Generally I wear scent to bed. Sometimes it´s whatever I had on that day. More likely, though, it´s something I´ve selected particularly to sleep in. Note the word “sleep” – these are quiet scents, not scents designed to be worn to bed for other, more exciting activities. In general they are relatively light and very simple. Thus, Givenchy´s Organza Indecence works quite well for me as a comfort scent during the day, but at bedtime I´m likely to reach for a less spicy-sexy vanilla.
I realized at some point that, even though my range of samples continues to grow, the list of scents I wear to sleep remains tantalizingly small…
Violettes de Toulouse from Berdoues – the quintessential soft, slightly almondy violet. Click the link and check out the fab bottle. There are much better violet scents, of course, but none so soothing to me. I am sure for other folks there are soliflores like rose that provide the same effect.
Demeter Egg Nog – There´s nothing “eggy” or even liquored about it – it doesn´t smell like traditional eggnog to me. As I think I have written on here before, I thought “egg nog” fragrance sounded so wrong I refused to open my sample. I was mistaken. Egg Nog is a delicate, spicy (cinnamon and nutmeg) vanilla. I wish Demeter would do a Chai, or a Milky Coffee.
Liz Zorn Grand Canyon – I don´t know what it is about Grand Canyon that does it for me, and it´s the only one on my list that I sometimes wear during the day. If an orange could reach out its wonderfully fragrant (okay, nonexistent) arms and give you a long, warm hug while gently stroking your hair, that feeling would smell like Grand Canyon.
Fendi Asja – a perfect balance of sweet fruits and smoky amber-y woods that wears a lot more lightly than that list sounds, and evokes for me the funny, distant smell of hot radiators. What is more comforting than that? Bonus – the black-and-gold bottle is wonderful. I think this has been d/c’d but is still found online without too much difficulty.
The DSH comfort oeuvre – Dawn Spencer Hurwitz does spices and gourmand comfort scents beautifully. I have wee samples of many of these, and they are an excellent lead-up to a sweet dream. My personal favorites – Sienna, a cinnamon-spicy-resin scent, and Blond Suede, a softly spicy suede with a touch of hay and sandalwood. I still need to try Chai Tea, Au Lait, Honey, and several others. Daytime favorites of mine: spicefests Cimabue and Mahjoun.
Bath and Body Works Brown Sugar and Fig – the olfactory equivalent of a Fig Newton (in terms of comfort and sophistication, if not smell) and I make no apologies.
Of course, your idea of comfort may be quite different than mine. What sorts of fragrance do you wear to bed, or does the whole idea seem strange?
Comfort Perfume PS -I clearly have trouble smelling Estee Lauder Sensuous the fragrance – musk anosmia, I assume, and I´d guess I´m only getting about half the scent. In dry-handed desperation at the mall the other day I slathered on some Sensuous lotion, and wow! I can really smell it in there, wonder if they use a different musk formula? I´m not much of a scented lotion person, and I think the tall purple lotion bottle is weirdly ugly and bears no relation to the fragrance flacon, but that lotion is wonderful. Fans of Sensuous (or non-fans who can´t smell it) might want to check it out.
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A word about today´s illustration – I think most people (or at least most people with kids) could conjure up in their minds the wonderful illustrations of Richard Scarry, or Tasha Tudor. I count as one of my most prized possessions my own childhood picture book collection. Love of illustration, like love of perfume, is entirely subjective. I love the illustrations by Gyo Fujikawa (today´s featured illustrator, from A Child´s Book of Poems), who does darling illustrations with just enough whimsy that they manage somehow to avoid my gag reflex. I am also a fan of the stunning, often faintly melancholy work of Maurice Sendak. Most people would recognize Where The Wild Things Are, or the illustrations for the Little Bear Series. But I recommend his odder books (with far more intricate drawings) — for you, not necessarily your kids, unless they can tolerate a spoonful of darkness — The Animal Family, Higglety Pigglety Pop!, and The Bat-Poet, about a young bat who has trouble sleeping and writes poetry to try to describe what he sees. I still read them periodically, to myself, and am always left with that same feeling you get when you wake up from a wildly beautiful but slightly disturbing dream. For pure unadulterated joy for children ages 3 to 83, every family should own The Nutshell Library, the best $12.20 ever spent — four books in a set small enough to fit into a Christmas stocking.