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Body scent of summer

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Boston in June is the best time of year, when everyone appreciates the warm air, sunshine and scents from flowers in bloom. Winter is becoming a mere memory as we head into the warmer month of July, and when people begin to complain about the humidity levels. Not me. I'm loving summer and all that it brings -- farmers markets, walks on the beach, longer days, lobster rolls...

One of my favorite summer flowers is grown on a bush. Peonies have been hard for me to grow, but once they bloom, I'm happy. Everything about these bouquets makes me smile. The big puff of pink petals, the scent, the time of year when you know summer is here -- it's all good.

Michel Design Works has put that scent of peonies into a body lotion, which comes close to what the real thing is. I hadn't known the Michel Design Works line until I got this bottle of Peony Hand & Body Lotion ($15) in an incredibly beautiful box of Parisian decor and braided tassel. Once I received it, I began seeing Michel Design Works products everywhere I went. On Martha's Vineyard in a boutique shop, and in the gift shop of Mansion on Forsythe Park in Savannah, Georgia, and in the gift shop at Jupiter Beach Resort in Florida.

What's even more interesting is that every time I use the peony lotion, I think of my nana. The smell evokes nostalgia and I'm using my bottle sparingly to savor the memories. What's curious about this product is that the ingredients for the peony scented lotion include aloe, shea butter and some botanical ingredients, but there's no mention of peony at all. Other scents in the product line include "From My Garden," "Wildflower Meadow," "Seashore" and "Tutti Fruitti."

If you're looking for your own beautiful boxed lotion, visit


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