#verbenatime alerts me to the fact that it’s time to think about sunny stuff

Here’s how I know it’s summer: L’Occitane’s Verbena offering for the season drops. #verbenatime, more than cherry blossom, the Leaving Cert or anything else, alerts me to the fact that it’s time to think about sunny stuff and OMG, maybe, possibly ditch the opaques?

There’s something about citrus scents that sends my spirits soaring: the zest, the zing and the clean finish is what gets me every time. If you’re like me, then you’re in for a treat because both L’Occitane’s 2014 Verbena edit and Tom Ford’s new Neroli Portofino Collection, a trio of new scents that includes Mandarino di Amalfi, are just bloody excellent.

L'occitane Verbena and Tom Ford Mandarino di Amalfi

Let’s start with Mandarino di Amalfi, shall we? Here’s the good news: this looks great and has a smell to match. It’s also €178. I know – it’s part of a new Private Blend collection from the brand and these are always more expensive than his other offerings. To me this does have an immediate, but tempered, burst of mandarin because beyond the lemon, bergamot and mandarin topnotes are lavender, rosemary and amber, and their herbacious qualities push through. So, while this could smell of a roast chicken (lemon, rosemary) it, by the very powers of perfume wizardry, smells like being away on a hot Mediterranean jaunt instead. Top marks, Tom.

You’ll be pleased to know that L’Occitane’s Verbena is rather more purse-friendly at €49 for 100ml and while I don’t adore each year’s Verbena offer – one year it was a sun version that I didn’t get on with, and I was very sad – 2014’s a good’un. It’s got a big burst of lemon and bergamot as well as cooler cucumber, which adds a bit of a twist. Yummy.

Both scents launch in July, so a little while to wait, and let’s also address the elephant in the room. Ok, so we know citrus scents don’t last as long (they’re less stickable to skin, basically, and if your skin is dry wear-time will be even less) so what you can do is take some advice from this recent post about making perfume stay put.

Are you a citrus fan? Lemme know below.