Oh Christmas, oh Christmas – it truly is a very special time of the year. Despite all the commercialism, there is still this magic floating in the air, a relic from your very personal childhood. The silence that covers the snow on a Sunday morning walk, the December-long frenzy of activity that culminates in legendary and often disastrous family events and the breathtaking peace of the morning after – all wonderful. The feeling of seeing one’s beloved or estranged family members once a year, the joy of symbolically putting the whole “old” year behind us, and the act of preparing for the new one. And on top of that all: the fragrances that encapsulate this special time for us, that pervade our senses, and make Christmas time so remarkable and unique.
What then could be a better than a very special Christmas compilation post by the Fragrance Daily team, revealing the scents they plan to use on Christmas Eve. We hope to inspire you, find out what YOU are planning to wear, and maybe even convince each other to try a little something new this year!
Our Christmas Eve Scents
Oh dear! First of all I apologize for the terrible selfie☺I look drunk, but I swear on my OJ Woman bottle that I wasn’t. Perhaps drunk on the beautiful sillage of this beloved scent of mine, my default choice every Christmas since I bought it. Drunk on perfume is all I can afford to be during my lunch break which was the time when I took the photo, perilously trying to balance the precious flacon above the rocks while attempting to capture a half decent mug shot. Again, apologies! I’m actually pleasantly surprised it doesn’t look even worse than what it is.
Enough of that, I’d better get down to the business of this post, namely of justifying my choosing Ormonde Woman as a Christmas scent. I’m not the biggest fan of this holiday, I’m no Scrooge but I really believe somewhere along the road the true meaning of it got lost. Maybe it’s just part of growing up and becoming a slightly cynical adult. But I did love it as a kid. I still have in my nostrils the smell of the Christmas tree as it was dragged through the front door by my father, cheeks red with the freezing cold and his navy wool coat speckled by a flurry of snowflakes. Oh the excitement! I was jumping up and down, laughing and pulling out the tatty cardboard boxes in which we kept the glittery baubles, silver, red and gold tinsel and coloured lights in the shape of street lamplights. God, the whole thing looked gaudy, but to me it was the most beautiful sight every single year. We would hang in it chocolate candies too, and more often than not they were all consumed within a day or two, with only the shiny wrappers hanging empty like a forlorn, reproachful reminder of what they once were. Mum and I were always the ones decorating the tree, as she was going back and forth between the kitchen and the living room, trying to keep an eye both on the vanilla laden Christmas cake and her daughter.
For me Ormonde Woman is that atmosphere bottled: the piney, woody aroma of the the black hemlock absolute, the luscious sweet-smoky vanilla smothered over opulent jasmine and enchanting violets, the magical amber glow, all create a fairytale of a fragrance. It’s a trip through an enchanted forest, and captures that sense of wonderment and magic that every child experiences on a daily basis and especially at Christmas. Ah, my childhood how I miss you and how quickly you were gone! If you fancy reading a more in depth review of Ormonde Woman by yours truly you can follow this link http://fragrancedaily.com/ormonde-jayne-ormonde-woman-to-be-worn-with-emerald-velvet . Have a happy, peaceful and healthy Christmas, my lovelies!
To be honest, I don’t know what I’m going to be wearing on Christmas Eve because I always just end up wearing something that appeals to me in that moment. I am not one of life’s forward planners! But it’s probably going to be something heavy and smoky, like Balsamo della Mecca, the perfume that arrived in the post on Christmas Eve last year, or spicy and medicinal, like the original Comme des Garcons Eau de Parfum (1994). Actually, given that I’ll be in the kitchen all day cooking up my traditional Persian feast, I’ll probably opt for a crazy layering combination that will be able to penetrate all those strong cooking odors! It could be wonderful – who knows? I have a feeling that the rough, smoky labdanum in Balsamo della Mecca will curl itself around the dark, metallic cloves, honey, and incense of the Comme des Garcons just perfectly, like two little cats on a chair in front of the fire. I will smell of spices, smoke, and honey, just as my kitchen will.
For Midnight Mass, I am going to get very literal and wear Messe de Minuit by Etro, if I can locate the remains of my sample. It’s been famously reformulated three times, and most people say the current version isn’t half as Gothic as the first two versions. But believe me, it still packs in plenty of atmosphere. It smells like the inert dust on the cold flagstones of the sacristy. It totally nails the smell of unburned myrrh resin, with its moldy, slightly animalic, cold aroma. That it also smells like orange pomander spice is the cheery Christmas part, I guess. To finish things off, when the house is quiet, and the kids are in bed, I might just dab on a bit of the vintage Caron Nuit de Noel pure parfum for a glass of wine with my husband beside the fire. I received a sample of this a few days ago and I’m enjoying getting to know it. Smoky, slightly rosy, and with that famously dark, nutty Mousse de Saxe in the base, it is so subtle that it makes all my other perfumes smell loud and vulgar.
This Christmas I will most certainly be in the comfort of my own home, taking in the excitement that is my 10-month old daughter tearing through and taste testing every gift she receives. If there is inclement weather, then that’s even more reason to not step foot outside. So for this super, special, festive occasion commemorating the birth of baby Jesus, my couch, Netflix, binging on The Walking Dead, and drinking my weight in tea/coffee, I elect my newly-designated comfort scent d’hiver as Karl Lagerfeld Floriental, I can’t get enough of the spiced black tea with loads of cinnamon. I will spray Floriental often and liberally throughout the day until maybe, it’s time to venture outside and see what G’ma cooked up for dinner. If that’s the case, I will elect Clive Christian X to take me into the 5 o’clock sunset and beyond. X, just so happens to be Christmas in a bottle, seriously, you got the pine, the cedar and cinnamon, aaahh perfect!
When one lives in a perpetual desert, choosing a scent for Christmas is not easy. It’s a bit like attempting to pair a proper 20-year-old single malt Scotch whiskey with a Big Mac and fries – no matter how enthusiastically one might attempt to make it work, at the end of the day, something just doesn’t quite seem to fit. On the other hand, thankfully, my climate always ends up saving me from embarassment. Left to my own devices, caught up in the spirit of the holiday season, I’d somehow end up attempting to smell like a Christmas tree. Pine would be my pairing of choice, but while I do so love my Blenheim Bouquet and Royal Mayfair, something about those fragrances strikes me as far too aloof and austere to be worn to a family function.
Complicating things further is my heathen nature – I envy the ability of some to select a fragrance to match a church service. I suppose that I could pretend that I was attending a Christmas service, in which case I’d reach for the wonderfully named La Liturgie des Heures by Jovoy Paris. But in that event, with my terrible luck, chances are I’d be unmasked as an imposter and a gleeful diety would ensure that I was summarily struck by lightning.
(What does lightning-cooked heathen smell like? … That gives me some fragrance ideas.) It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the perfume I’d most want to wear somehow seems inappropriate; unfortunately, as much as I enjoy Absolue Pour le Soir, I probably couldn’t get away with smelling like a harem on Christmas Eve.
Decisions, decisions. I haven’t yet arranged my Christmas plans yet, but I suppose that I’ll select a fragrance based on where I’ll be and who I’ll be with. If I am with people who I secretly don’t like, I’ll be wearing Acqua di Gio and a few dozen sprays of it. If I’m with people that I love dearly, I will bequeath unto them the wondrous aura of Roja Dove’s Danger Pour Homme Parfum and they shalt contentedly marinate in my sillage. Of course, should I happen to find myself in a harem (or a harem-like environment), Absolue Pour le Soir will be too tempting to resist.
In all seriousness, I truly don’t know what I’ll be wearing on Christmas besides my candy cane socks, though quite obviously I’ll need to be wearing more than just that. As for my choice of fragrance, we’ll just have to wait and see.
Until then dearest readers, have a very Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays, Hanukkah, Boxing Day, Festivus, Feast of Winter Veil, Malkh, Dies Natalis Solis Invicti and 冬至 (Dōngzhì Festival). Whatever your tradition, live long and prosper!
To chose a perfume for myself to wear on Christmas Eve proves to be always much easier than finding the perfect gifts for everyone around or succeeding to make a satisfactory festive dinner. In the past I wore scents from Guerlain. I recall that in 2013 I picked a vintage Shalimar Parfum de Toilette that I`ve found in Nice at an antique shop, then the next year my Christmas smelled of Vol de Nuit – I love that pale yellow-green powdery galbanum that creates such a sweet melancholy and last year I wore the ambrosial Mon Precieux Nectar. But I feel that it`s time to break this Guerlain tradition once in a while and opt for something a bit different but still very suited with this occasion. When I opened my perfume closet to find a new Christmas scent, I knew I had to pick something not too eccentric or dominated by notes that, for me at least, do not match with the Christmas atmosphere such as white narcotic flowers, cool citruses or oud and chose maybe a vanillic scent, or even a gourmand.
Then my eyes laied on the bottle adorned with tiny red crystals of Près de Toi from Rancé and I smiled thinking “…but with this beauty I`ll break my own theory”. This glorious, velvety scent contains among others… yes, you`re right: citruses, white flowers and oud. But they`re blended to perfection so none of them is too clearly defined and the scent could be regarded as very elegant, comfortable, calm and appropriate.
Basically, Prés de Tois is a scent that could aptly be described as balmy and insanely soft despite its intensity. In the opening it has a briefly shade of a honeyed, delish citruses, then it smoothly metamorphoses into a suave mixture of ambery like resins of tolu, white flowers, vanilla, some choco-patchouli and a very polite accent of oud. Most of the time, except the citruses, these notes are strong players in other scents and could create together a napalm bomb, but here they reveal their most subtle sides creating an enveloping scent that will accompany me for sure this time for Christmas. As for what I hope to receive from Santa…that`s another fragrant story. Happy Holidays!
When it comes to Christmas I become very traditional. I love Christmas as old fashioned as possible and so there must be certain, typical notes within the scent of the Christmas Eve. Last year for example I have worn Serge Lutens – Serge Noir. Cinnamon, cloves and spices – that was the dry and spicy side of Christmas – this year I wanted it even more obvious. The scent shall be an invisible winter wonderland, a bavarian Christmas market smelling like oranges, almonds, vanilla and gingerbread. Actually the perfect fragrance would have been the scent of last years Edition de Parfums Frederic Malle Christmas candle “Joyeux Noël”, but I had a hard time to put that wax on. BUT! I stayed within the range of room fragrances. Some of you may know the German house “Linari”. They are creating some nice Eau de Parfum to wear, but they are especially well known for their great home fragrances (especially “ALBA“, an Iso E Super room fragrance bomb, which has been a large success). So when I tried out their Special Christmas Edition “Natale” I was blown away. They captured the typical German spirit of Christmas within a candle, and – drumrolls – in room spray. And now I will tell you something I got directly from a Linari sales person: Linari’s room sprays are all Eau de Parfum quality and you can spray it on your skin without regretting it later. I have a sensitive skin and react easily when newcomers send us samples of their selfmade perfumes, when they used cheap or wrong ingredients (I am the Essenza Nobile guinea pig, when it comes to skin testing) . So I tried Linari’s Natale room spray on my wrist first and I had to note directly a downside: Sprayed in the air it smells immediately perfect, on the skin it has some cutting undertone in the first minutes. Once this is gone, it is pure CHRISTMAS vibe. Santa takes you on a reindeer ride, you hear the sounds of jingle bells, and get sucked into a tornado of oranges, almonds, carnation, jasmine and heavenly musk. This Christmas in a bottle is not expensive (around 45€), and the longevity is OK with around 5 hours. Directly used at the evening, a few sprays should do the job. For the big family celebrations the day after Christmas Eve, I will choose some more common, though. Currently I think of Jubilation XXV – which is very decent and elegant, but not that much Christmas as Natale is it to me. I admit, it is an untypical approach to wear a room fragrance, especially for this special celebration – but, try it once and it is likely that a simple spray will trigger all the Christmas memories and make you forget all the December hassles. Happy Holidays!
Sterling Nichols III
….Chestnuts roasting on an Open Fire
….Dahn Al Oudh Nashwah Knocking at your door!
When it comes to Christmas the smell of burning wood and Yule logs comes to mind for me so naturally one would expect a comfortable and snoozy woody scent to mesh with all the holiday cheer, scents, folly and loads and loads of Glee. So, for the Woody theme it has be spectacular. The choices are many but few and far between when it comes to Glamour because After all, at Fragrance Daily we are Glamour in our own strategic ways..(SMILE).
So, the dilemma begins…is it Bois D’Argent by Christian Dior for this Season’s Woody Theme? Bois D’Argent sounds so good but I have worn it religiously for 3 months straight. It has everything you desire in a woody scent, creamy-moist-powdery-ethereal. It is so pleasing to the nose it would be comparable to a journey into Providence. I think by next Christmas I will have become fond again with this familiar scent for the Second Annual Fragrance Daily Holiday Special after running the table with this layering heavily with 10 sprays here and there throughout the day. Maybe, I could do Comme des Garcons Wonderwood, such an enjoyful conventional western style Oudh featuring Bergamont, Pepper, Vetiver and Nutmeg..ahh Nutmeg a perfect scent for Christmas. Vetiver is in Wonderwood so it goes well with the oudh but now are getting Closer. What about Lalique’s Encre Noire…vetiver-Sandlewood-Cedar and luxurious burnt smoky notes? Possibly. Now we are even closer with Christmas Eve so many days away. So, now that we have Nutmeg and Cedar sharing something in common for a woody scent whats next?
Dahn Al Oudh Nashwa by Rasasi! It is the perfect scent for Christmas, heres why. It contains: Honey, Imortelle, Nutmeg, Dry Oudh, Prickly Juniper Oil, Amber, Leather Cedar and another dose of Oudh which is called an Oudh database synthetic note. This is perfect in that it reminds you of the elements that make up for this precious time. Chimneys, Christmans trees, Santa riding with Rudolf on a 1 Horse open slay. It is dark, smoky-some what bitter-, a little piny, and a wonderous amber-honey mix that transfoms this unisex scent from comfy to dangerous and even sexy. You won’t need to worry about standing under the mistletoe with this on…Dahn Al Oudh Nashwah brings all of the attraction.
‘Tis the Christmas season in ‘Harlem-World’, New York City. USA. As I am entering the 2 Train on 125th street and Lennox Ave I sit down moderately layered with Dahn Al Oudh Nashwa and pass by a party of four who comment…”What is that smell”. I turn around and respond “Why, did something Happen”. They say “No but it smells so random and inviting. Is that you wearing cologne” “Yes I say. They finally cave in and ask what is that to which I inform them that it is Dahn Al Oudh Nashwa by Rasasi and hails from Dubai, UAE. To make a long story short, They think it smells awesome and they will purchase it.