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Summer Flowers - Pot Purri by Herbert James Draper (1897).

As summer bursts forth with hot, humid gusto here in the Midwest, life seems to change briefly, yet dramatically. Barbecues, picnics, and pool parties become the mainstay of weekend activities. The smell of sunscreen, freshly-mown grass, and morning blossoms fill the air. For a few short months, we live life with an unmatched vitality —  trying to fit in as much fun and sun as possible.

If you’re  a foodie like me, your eating and drinking habits often change in the summer, too (I’m not just talking about all of those frosty pina coladas I’ve been making). I crave fresh berries, corn, okra, mangoes, melons, and juicy garden tomatoes. My summer recipes tend get lighter and more colorful.

I’ve always been fascinated by seasonal changes — not just the wild weather swings that occur, but the changes in our taste and olfactory senses. Do we suddenly crave fresh strawberries because it’s hot or simply because they are in season? Why do we tend prefer fruity or floral smells in the summer? Why do those rich, spicy fragrances that I love to wear in the fall and winter suddenly seem heavy and unbearable?

According to Ayurvedic thought, in order to maintain balance our bodies require different things in different seasons  — cooler foods for summer months and warmer nourishment for winter. Could the same be said for scent? Perhaps our summer craving for light, refreshing, garden-inspired scents are derived from a psychological or biological need for balance.

Do your taste and scent preferences change in the summer? What are some summer scents you are drawn to?

If you’ve been looking for a signature summer fragrance, take a peek at Plume’s limited-edition collection of 100% natural summer floral perfumes — feminine, classic soliflores available in oils and solids.

Fragrantly Yours, Tara

P.S. Here’s the summer drink recipe I can’t live without — it tastes amazing with a little cinnamon sprinkled on top!