Antica Farmacista Happy Hour ~ fragrance review :: Now Smell This

Every year, at some point in late August or early September, I end up feeling too hot and cranky to wear most of the perfumes I love. Just as I pare down my wardrobe to three loose-fitting, machine-washable dresses during the inevitable late-summer humidity, I pull a handful of refreshing, lightweight fragrances to the front of my stash. For the time being, I can’t even stand my usual powdery roses and violets and ambers; I can only tolerate sheer, tart fruit blends like Jo Malone Tangy Rhubarb or Clarins Eau des Jardins or citrusy colognes like Editions M.R. Acide and Le Jardin Retrouvé Citron Boboli.

This year, Antica Farmacista Happy Hour made my heat-wave cut. It’s one of five scents in Antica Farmacista’s new Facets collection — personal fragrances, in “five different moods…complex, multifaceted, and fluid,” from a brand known for its high-end home fragrance collection. I tried all five Facets in August, focusing particularly on After Hours (berry, dark rose, and modern patchouli, like a cousin to Calvin Klein Deep Euphoria) and Cozy You (a delicious peach-skin accord followed by a soft white musk). But Happy Hour was the one that I kept picking up, especially when the temperatures soared into the high nineties.

Happy Hour promises notes of tuberose, yuzu, coconut, ylang ylang, green mango, lime zest, grapefruit, lychee and warm sand, for an effect of “sun-heated skin, with a backdrop of tuberose enveloped by palm trees, heady tropical blooms, and enticing fruits. Too-cool water that suddenly is just the right temperature, the prismatic reflections rippling with an invitation.” Yes and no: I really didn’t detect much of a tuberose effect, or any beachy notes, but I did enjoy Happy Hour’s fruity cocktail vibe and its overall sunny (but not sweaty) mood.

What I do get, and what keeps me going back to my sample vial on these lingering warm-weather days, is a mouth-watering olfactory fruit-salad of yuzu and green mango. Happy Hour leans just slightly more sweet than tart, and there’s a faint hint of something creamy in the background (a drizzle of coconut milk?) — overall, I would eagerly drink or eat an actual food item that smelled like this, particularly on a hot day. It’s a fairly linear composition, and that’s fine, because I don’t want too many surprises when I’m already feeling uncomfortable. Instead, I’m just content to enjoy this scent’s pulpy freshness.

I’ve been wearing Happy Hour all around my neighborhood lately, from shopping errands to physical therapy appointments to backyard get-togethers, even to an actual happy hour at a local bar. It’s bright and easy, it has above-average staying power for a citrus-focused perfume, and it manages to refresh me despite soaring temperatures or heavy humidity. That makes me feel, well, happy.

If it’s late summer in your part of the world, what fragrances have you been choosing to wear during these steamy dregs of the season? Feel free to share in the comments!

Antica Farmacista Happy Hour is available as 50 ml Eau de Parfum ($86). A Discovery Set of five fragrance samples ($18) is also available.

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