The Encyclopaedia of Perfume database classifies Indian Summer as a floriental. I had to search elsewhere for its launch date: 1972 (according to Cleopatra's Boudoir). I recently found a small spray parfum of Indian Summer, with high hopes for it smelling as lovely as other early Houbigants I've tried.
Yes, this is floriental of sorts, but not like the loud, sweet florientals so popular in the 80s. To me it's more of a spicy oriental along the lines of Tabu. Aldehydes and spices open this fragrance, followed by a distinctly nutty aroma, a bouquet of soft flowers, and finally a rather lovely base with cloves and incense. At least that's what I think I can smell! I cannot find any information about notes for this fragrance, or any other reviews, so I am only going by what my nose is telling me :-)
I rate Indian Summer with a neutral thumb because this parfum is not really performing: I have to sniff really close to my wrist to get a sense of the notes, and the scent develops from top to base quicker than I would have expected. While there's no obvious 'turned' note, I think my bottle might have suffered with the passage of time. Even with heavy application, sillage seems minimal. Sadly, I won't be reaching for this bottle to spray before leaving the house.
A fresher version of this discontinued fragrance may of course be heavenly!
UPDATE: I recently had the opportunity to test a friend's small bottle of Indian Summer EDC which definitely smells fresher than my parfum! My first impression after application was of a big, narcotic narcissus, which quickly faded to a delicate, spicy sandalwood/incense base. Quite lovely.
02nd August, 2011 (last edited: 10th February, 2013)