This is the first year I’ve been wondering, well in advance, what I’ll wear during Christmas. Normally, I just wear whatever I want, depending on what I’m doing that day, or thinking about who I’ll be around. This year, I’m traveling to North Carolina to visit family so I’m planning in advance what I’ll wear and bring a few decants with me. I’ll be around my Mother, who pretty much hates perfume, or anything strong or what she calls “chemically perfume-y.” Yeah, I know, this means I can’t even consider bringing about 75% of my collection to NC (not that I’d bring the whole collection, I just mean this greatly reduces my choices to begin with).
So, I’m thinking about ‘comfort fragrances’ similar to comfort food. I’m thinking of scents that actually smell like Christmas to me (although I can’t bring Angel because Mom would suffocate, unless of course a few drops of Angel in pure parfum wouldn't shock her, since the parfum has much less sillage...hmmmm...or maybe the Liqueur version or Angel Violet). I’m aiming to bring 3-4 decants, I’ll be in NC for 7 days, and 3-4 should hold me.
Here’s what I’m thinking:
Jo Malone Pomegranate Noir: This is a lovely scent, utterly unisex, and it smells like Christmas. It’s somewhat soft and sheer yet I can smell it on myself all day. For a Jo Malone, the longevity is pretty darn good. It’s spicy and non-foodie yet it simply smells like Christmas. The Jo Malone websites lists the notes as: sweet fruity notes of raspberry, plum, pink pepper and pomegranate with patchouli, frankincense and spicy woods. You know, I don’t think this smells fruity at all. What I smell is the frankincense and spicy woods, and maybe a tart fruit, like what I imagine pomegranate to smell like, but it isn’t sweet and I don’t even get patchouli from this. I swear I smell balsam fir trees, a crackling fire, some nutmeg and maybe even a smidgen of snow and sparkling candle light.
DSH Mahjoun: Serge Lutens might think he holds court over the “loukhoum” type fragrances but my favorite is Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum. By a mile. DSH Mahjoun is another oriental which is said to focus on this Moroccan dessert but it’s nowhere near as sweet as the SL or the KM and, in truth, it’s much nuttier and more oriental than both. Let's just say there's no almond or cherry in sight. Mahjoun is a nutty, woody, slightly sweet oriental gourmand with dashes of cinnamon, nutmeg and what I can’t describe other than date-nut bread. Mahjoun is a crowd pleaser (thinking of Mom) but it also pleases me.
Ava Luxe Madeline: This is new, just arriving a couple days ago. Madeline is, I believe, Ava Luxe’s Christmas scent for 2010. Madeline is also similar to DSH Mahjoun in that it’s a gourmand but it isn’t as sweet as most. It is sweeter than Mahjoun, however, as it smells like spicy, creamy eggnog. The gourmand quality doesn’t go over the top because it has a blast of nutmeg keeping the sweetness in check. It’s delectable.
The Different Company Oriental Lounge: An essentially basic oriental, with both gourmand leanings and entirely non gourmand leanings (curry leaf). TDC Oriental Lounge has been a favorite of mine since I purchased it last year. It sometimes seems so basic in structure yet I find myself smelling it over and over again all day enjoying the off-beat twists that daughter-Ellena chose to include. TDC Oriental Lounge is again, a crowd pleaser (couldn’t possibly be called “perfumey”) yet it also pleases me.
Do you have any suggestions I might not have thought of? Of course, I can bring more than 4…(hee hee you know how it is!).
Oh, and PS: I'll have Teo Cabanel Alahine with me, because she's my closest friend, sort of like Oprah and Gail King; Alahine is always with me.
Photo is of the Biltmore Estate in Asheville, NC. I think we're attending a Christmas Eve event there.