Angel Belsey is a Londoner. She owns too much perfume and too many books.

Gin Fizz

I recently had the good fortune to meet a lot of new people at a networking event, including one of the organizers, a lovely woman named Truda. Unprofessional I may be, but I was captivated by her soft and beautiful perfume, which she told me was Juniper Sling from Penhaligon's.

Well, apart from going straight on my wishlist, Truda's perfume reminded me of three perfumes in my collection which I haven't written about but should. With regard to Penhaligon's, they have committed the one absolute unforgivable sin: they have discontinued TWO of my favorites, Lily & Spice and Amaranthine. I still feel the pain of their loss too much to talk about them right now, but I can talk about the (juniper-related) third on my list: Lubin's Gin Fizz.

I bought Gin Fizz unsniffed on the recommendation of my friend Genevieve, who said it was a perfect summer fragrance. I wasn't sure I wanted to go out reeking of gin, but Genevieve is so good with words that my wallet opened up, and before it I knew it, Gin Fizz appeared on my doorstep.

Reader, you may know that I am not particularly into citrus perfumes. I don't have anything against them, but I tend toward skank and spice, which don't typically mesh with citrus. It's kind of like when I recently went to a 1920s supper club and exited out the back door around 1am smack into the queue for Slimelight. Of course we could all get along, but we weren't exactly natural bedfellows, and it was a bit jarring to see us all together.

Gin Fizz, though, is something special. At first, yes, gin is prevalent. For me this is a dry gin with lime juice--not particularly sweet, and with an edge that is greener and sharper than lemon. And if you overspray yourself, it is true that at first you might feel like you've just walked into a house occupied by an overzealous cleaner.

But, friends, GET PAST that first 5 minutes, because what Gin Fizz does is beautiful. It warms up, and suddenly you are not sitting in a sanitized kitchen having dribbled gin right down your front. Suddenly you are standing on a back porch in the sunshine having gathered in your warm white sheets from the washing line. And even if you did spray too much it, it's all good, because Gin Fizz warms up into something soft and human and real. It's a clean, hugging scent. That low-sillage, friendly warmth doesn't change much over the course of the next couple of hours--and then it just fades away. It's sparkling at first, and it fades into pretty and comforting.

Genevieve was right: this is a great summer fragrance, one for when you don't want to go out weighed down by something too heavy and spicy. But I've been using it occasionally throughout this autumn, and the way it clings in a gentle, clean, and highly personal way is really appealing underneath a scarf or a high-necked sweater. Gin Fizz is not the party girl who attracts attention the way the name suggests--but it is there for you, the wearer, quiet and companionable, no matter the season.

Sarrasins