Friday, March 25, 2022

Cheap As Chips: A Day At The Beach With Jennifer Aniston

Do you like to wear perfume when you go to the beach? I enjoy wearing some of the pricey perfumes made to artistically mimic the perfect day at the beach when I wish I were at the beach, but I am in actuality not anywhere near the water. But when I actually go to the beach I want to enjoy nature. I always like to smell good but I don't want to blast a scent trail, which makes the notoriously short lived and minute sillage spreader, J by Jennifer Aniston a perfect choice.

Actress Jennifer Aniston, who will forever be identified with the iconic role of Rachel on the television show Friends, has carved out an image for herself over the last twenty years as the ultimate California beach babe. Dressing in minimalistic colors, sun streaked hair and sun-kissed skin, she exudes the healthy and wholesome vibe of life lived on the beach, toes in the sand with waves washing over them. Thus is was a good fit when in 2010 she came out with her first perfume, inspired by life by the beach. 

Over the course of the last ten years I've tried many of the Jennifer Aniston brand perfumes, and I have a vague memory of wearing the original one, simply called Jennifer Aniston. I remember it having more of a sunscreen vibe in the beginning, which morphed into a gentle floral pretty quickly. I don't have that one, now, so today the first perfume I will talk about is J by Jennifer Aniston. This perfume does give me beach vibes, although maybe more tropical beaches than the Australian coastline where I took the above photo. It has aquatic notes of water lily and "sea notes", and I do get a slightly salty tang. Then softly muted florals enter the picture as if carried by the breeze, including notes of jasmine, magnolia, and freesia. Base notes are vanilla, musk, and sandalwood, but quite honestly this is so short lived that base notes are pretty fleeting.

I find this a pleasing scent to wear on the beach precisely because it is so light and non-combative to the nose. I paid twelve dollars for my bottle so I am not expecting miracles. Are the notes a little synthetic? Yep. Is it, "Spray ya, see ya later"? Yep. But I honestly don't care because for the money, its an enjoyable scent which I can spray with unfettered abandon should I so desire. In countries outside the USA the price point may vary, so take that into consideration.

The second perfume from the brand I own is Beachscape. This fragrance was launched in 2016 and has notes of sea, sand, wildflowers, and woods. It is meant to be a more realistic version of the beach itself.  My usage varies. On the beach I did get the sensation of smelling salty air and brackish seagrass. But when I spray it in my home on an overcast day, I get a totally different sensation. It is as if I am Jennifer Aniston sitting in my Malibu beachside house. My minimalistic decor is on point and my luxuriant white linen sofas will never come in contact with a grain of sand. But looking through my sheet glass windows at the beach before me, it is all very clean and sterile. This is not unpleasant, in fact, there is a whole category of scent dedicated to the smell of fresh laundry. The mystery is how I get such different takes on the perfume in two different settings. Maybe the first time I was actually smelling the beach and not the perfume! Or maybe it needs salt air and sea winds to take on its true character. Quite a mystery cast by a twelve dollar bottle of perfume! In any case, it is a simple and easy scent to wear if you don't want to smell too scented.

Last up from my collection is Near Dusk created in 2015.  Ms. Aniston said this fragrance was meant to capture the fleeting moments of sunset, that glowing space of time when daylight transitions to night and the sun is put to bed. This photo taken on an Adelaide beach shows the warm glow of the setting sun, and I think that Near Dusk does a decent job of capturing this. Like all the Jennifer Aniston perfumes, this one is lightweight, but there are a few moments in the opening of spicy sizzle, warmth, and maybe slight smoke from a beach bonfire, and these notes translate to that golden glow. 

Opening notes are pepper, sea notes, coconut, and nectarine, but I don't get any coconut. Jasmine, peony, and orange blossom are in the heart, and the pepper note continues to dominate the florals. Base notes are musk, vanilla, white amber, and woods. 

I enjoy wearing J and Near Dusk. I'm not a fan of clean scents, so Beachscape is less of a hit with me. If you can get these for a good price, as I did, then their fleeting nature is not such a concern. They're also worth considering if you need "office friendly" type scents. I know many perfume lovers will turn there noses up at these drugstore scents, but there is a time and place for everything. Sometimes you want to be wowed with crème brûlée or crêpes Suzette, and sometimes you just want a Dairy Queen soft serve vanilla cone. I find that lately with heartbreaking images on the news, and the foreboding of existential nuclear threats, I just want the soft serve. The easy choice. And that's what these perfumes are: not high art, not groundbreaking scents; they're the soft serve. And they serve comfort, ease, and prettiness at a fantastic price.

The perfumer for all these fragrances is Jean-Marc Chaillan.

Perfumes are my own. Photos are taken by me, at Adelaide beach.