September is almost over and summer is winding down. Here in LA we're still getting steamy 100 degree days, so it doesn't really feel like fall. At all. As a result, I still have summer on the brain and one of my favorite things is the smell of summer. I love the smell of sandy salt air, jasmine and plumeria hot from the afternoon sun, and the tinge of fresh coconut. Surfers' Sex Wax and Sticky Bumps, and getting slathered up with Hawaiian Tropic and Banana Boat. It's that smell when you've just come out of the ocean and you're laying face-down on a towel, the wind brushes over your shoulder while you examine the microscopic kernels of sand inches from your face. You smell all of that, minutes before you fall asleep with the sun on your back.
When I was living in New York, I kind of made it my mission to find this smell... if only to remember the California summers of my childhood. I was extremely picky because, like my mother, I have an extremely sensitive sense of smell. I'm the type of person who sneezes in the detergent aisle or the perfume department because of the general onslaught of odors, good or bad. I have an aversion to any sort of artificial smell, like fake coconut or scratch-n-sniff stickers. To replicate my summer smell, I wanted the "real" thing, or as close to it as I could get.
From my searchings, here are a few of my favorite items that, to this day, I am totally obsessed with: