Fragrances for when it smells like rain

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There’s this thing going on in Melbourne that doesn’t sound like much until you’ve experienced it.

It will be a hot and smelly day, 35 or 40 degrees, and more than likely it will be for days. Realizing that you need to go buy coffee or toilet paper or whatever will make your heart skip a beat means going out.

A lot of the scents I love are inspired by the weather, and a rainy day really calls for something special.

Eve Maier/UNSPLASH

A lot of the scents I love are inspired by the weather, and a rainy day really calls for something special.

Then, around 3 or 4 p.m., the cool change will arrive. If you are outside, you will feel it immediately. The wind will pick up and turn, blowing your hair around your face for a second, and it’ll suddenly be a cool breeze instead of the blast of hot air that comes when you open an oven.

In 10 minutes, the temperature will drop by 10 or 15 degrees. Imagine if Wellington’s southward shift was a blessed relief instead of a grim omen. It’s happiness.

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As I write this, it is a gray and gloomy afternoon here. The low heavy clouds have just started to lift the rain they promised all day and it makes me think of how the weather creates a mood like nothing else.

The people who design restaurant layouts want to be able to have that impact. Think about feels like rain by Buddy Guy, texas sun by Leon Bridges. When trying to create atmosphere, you are very likely to look to the weather as a point of reference.

It also got me thinking about how many perfumes I love are inspired by the weather. Fragrances do their best to provide ambiance, and the best ones do just that. And I’m really sorry, but the first one I’m going to tell you about is really hard to get in New Zealand.

It’s Clean Reserve Rain, about $145 for 100ml if you can get it, and I wouldn’t include it here if it wasn’t perfect. Light, clean and fresh yet layered and complex. The notes that stand out to me the most are cucumber, musk and white flowers, but it definitely smells like the air after heavy rain. Ask a friend in the US to mail it to you.

Alternatively, and more accessible, there’s Goldfield & Banks Pacific Rock Moss, $260 for 100ml. This scent smells of sunshine and sea spray, with hints of lemon and cedar adding balance and a luxurious feel. Perhaps you have a glass of champagne in your hand while enjoying the sea breeze. Lively and energizing.

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