One of my favorite treats on a hot summer day is to come home, kick off my shoes, and spritz myself with chilled cologne. Here in Spain, there are a couple of classic colognes that you’ll still smell when you’re out and about.

There’s the baby version, super-nostalgic, and so popular that cleaning products also come in “colonia” scent — to give you an idea of the cognitive dissonance, my floor wash smells of baby cologne. What can I say? They were out of pine…

What Spanish babies’ heads smell like.

And the grown-up version — it’s a little harder for me to explain what this one smells like. Clean, fresh, just-out-of-the-shower…in a sort of old-fashioned way. (If any locals are out there reading, please feel free to chime in.)

What freshly-mown meadows smell like, theoretically. (“Heno” means “hay.”)

The way to wear both of these colognes (and there are plenty of adults who wear Nenuco on the sly) is to splash them on liberally — like we did in the States with Jean Naté, or “4711,” the original eau de cologne. (Remember Jean Naté? I loved it as a kid! I’m having an olfactory flashback.)

What summer smells like at Casa Rubi…

As I said, I’m more of a spritzer than a splasher. And there’s nothing I like more in the summer than a green tea scent. Since the key here is “guilt-free,” I’ve forgone the Roget & Gallet and L’Occitane versions, and grabbed a bottle of Yves Rocher “Thé Vert” (10 euros for 100 ml). I haven’t had a chance to chill it yet, but tomorrow morning, whoo! I can’t wait.

What’s your summer scent? Do you stay luxe, or go el cheapo? To chill, or not to chill? Let me know…

P.S. If you want to try Nenuco or Heno de Pravia for yourself, you can buy them online at La They also sell world-wide superstar Jabón Magno (the divinely-scented black soap) and MamaRubi’s old favorite, Maja. (No Jean Naté, though.)