In S. Florida the pursuit of the perfect tan was a way of life. When I was growing up there was no talk of SPF just what could make you have the best skin tone. People used baby oil (SPF 0), Coppertone, Hawaiian Tropic, Bain de Soleil, or straight cocoa butter. None of it protected, all of it was to turn your skin brown. While none of these kept out a single UV ray, they all had their own distinctive scent. As I walked around, I could define suntan society. The hardcore tanners had the slightly mineralic baby oil wafting off them. The middle-class kids were wearing Coppertone. Our mothers were wearing Hawaiian Tropic. The hipsters were using cocoa butter. The upper class had on Bain de Soleil. The background was the waves with the sea spray or the slightly chlorinated pool water. It continues to the present day, Vacation x Arquiste captures the scent of this current suntan society.
The perfume inspired by suntanning products is a niche within a niche. It is one that I enjoy immensely. Capturing sunny days on a beach towel or pool lounge are sure to induce a smile. Creative director at Arquiste, Carlos Huber was asked by the makers of Vacation sunscreen to create the scent of their product as a perfume. He turned to long-time collaborator, perfumer Rodrigo Flores-Roux to bring it to fragrant life.
It begins with deep coconut accord of coconut milk and coconut water. There is a fluidity to this which mimics the water somewhere close by. Petitgrain is like the sun glinting off the surface of the water. Ten seconds after you spray this on you will look down to make sure you aren’t in your swimming attire. It then transitions into the fruity part of a lot of tanning products as banana and pineapple are spread atop an expansive musk meant to convey the sun and open air. It forms a less intense version of the fruits than you might expect. It is just the right volume to evoke a poolside memory. It ends with the gentlest accord of slightly chlorinated pool water, sea spray, and lycra. This is a delightful reminder of the idea of being out in the sun without becoming too loud. It perfectly finished the milieu being represented here.
Vacation has 10-12 hour longevity and average sillage.
This is without a doubt the most palpable fun I have encountered from Srs. Huber and Flores-Roux in all the time that I have known them. I feel nearly certain there were laughter-filled conversations as they closed in on a final version. That joy is not an ingredient you will find on the side of the box. It is necessary if you’re going to find just the right tone for suntan society.
Disclosure: this review is based on a bottle provided by Arquiste.