Let’s Go To Bed


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 oeuvreDawn 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.

 * * *

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.

Tessa November 21, 2008

You women are the best. I got more of a kick reading the comments to this post than the actual post (which was an inspired idea). I like to wear lolita lempicka a little while before I lie down, or I Spray Demeter's Graham Cracker all over. Everywhere.

joe805 November 7, 2008

Wow, lots of comments -- I love wearing scent to bed. Faves include Bois d'Iris, Bois Farine, Cedre, & L'Heure Bleue. And this may sound odd, but I've recently been wearing Mitsouko to bed a lot and grew to love it that way -- I think part of it is that I would never really feel right wearing it during waking hours, but I really dig wearing it (on my t-shirt, mostly) in the privacy of my own bed.

lapidary November 5, 2008

One of my favorite illustrators is Yan Nascimbene--his work is always sort of melancholy and poignant (or do I mean piquant?). He was a lonely little kid, and I think he taps into that alone-ness in a way that's very true to childhood perspectives on the world. I wish I could live in his illustrations and I've been very happy to see him get work recently in The New Yorker. The books he co-writes are less compelling, but I often buy them just for the illustrations. He did illos for a French edition of Italo Calvino's Avventures (sp? too lazy to get up and check) that really makes me wish I read French. Wearing KenzoAmor right now as the comfort/bed scent, I love it but I always forget its penetration--it is one I would prefer to apply molecule by molecule rather than an entire spritz.

GGS November 4, 2008

Yes.. wearing perfume to bed. I like F.Malle Musc Ravageur, but I also keep sample vials on my nightstand to try new things when I'm reading before bed... Yes re: The Nutshell Library!! I want to play and reminisce too! (Please note per your migraine discussion, that "H" in "Alligators All Around" is "Having Headaches")...I still have 3 of my 4 little books (ahem...now 40-something years old) but they are a little fragile, so I bought my kids a new edition (now 19 years old, sigh). And 2nd to the recommendation for Carole King's Really Rosie, which my kids & I both loved, in which sang the words to these books. In addition to the audio recording there was a video of it too available in the mid-90's, set to the Sendak illustrations. My mom is a book lover, who carefully saved (through many moves in our military family!) all of our childhood books for her grandkids, bless her. She bought us hundreds of children's books, including many that became classics, plus we had dozens and dozens of Golden Books, that she would pick up at the grocery store. She told me she had very few books as a child, and she was determined to make that up for us, although we went to the library a lot too. **off to pull favorite books from my shelves** We also had another set of 3" high books in a little cardboard sleeve, like the Sendak Nutshell library, written & illustrated by Robert Kraus. Anyone else have this series?? The one that I have in front of me is called "Springfellow's Parade" (c.1965) about a colt and a chick who are told they can't be in "Mr Rabbit's" Spring Parade, so they invent their own celebration. Who can resist little tiny books?! I treasured these. And **sighs** didn't you LOVE The Little Bear books, illustrated by Sendak & written by **looks this up** Else Holmelund Minarik. I also have my childhood copy of "What Do You Say, Dear? A Book of Manners for All Occasions" illustrated by Maurice Sendak, and written by Sesyle Joslin. Funny! There was also "What Do you Do, Dear?" We had Tasha Tudor's books too (yes, and Mom chose a Welsh Corgi as our family dog, hmmm...) and I also had some by Joan Walsh Anglund (remember the plump-faced children with no nose or mouths?) And let's not forget Ezra Jack Keats (Snow Day) and Robert McCloskey (Make Way for the Ducklings & Blueberries for Sal) and Don Freeman (Corduroy) and our family favorite : Harold & the Purple Crayon by Crockett Johnson. Some of the next generation of author-illustrators that I bought for my children and am now saving for MY grandkids: Alexandra Day (the Carl books), Shirley Hughes (Dogger! adorable book), Audrey & Don Wood, Jan Brett, Rob Shepperson (The Sandman), Dieter Schubert (Where's My Monkey)... It makes perfect sense to me that perfumistas are often also book lovers and art/illustration lovers.

mollypenny November 4, 2008

I reach most often for Aqua di Parma Iris Nobile to sleep in. It smells pretty and soft (yet crisp) and I like the girly way it makes me feel when I crawl into my fluffy girly bed with my girly cotton tank. I never wear it during the day as I'm a skank lover at heart.

divinemama November 4, 2008


Aparatchick November 3, 2008

warm as toast smaller than most in little fur coats and they lived in a warm wooden tree The Little Fur Family by Margaret Wise Brown with illustrations by Garth Williams - does anyone remember that one? And Country Bunny and the Little Gold Shoes (DuBose Heyward and Marjorie Flack)? I could go on and on.... but back to perfume. I've been working my way through a bottle of Vanille Sauvage de Madagascar. It's been an excellent comfort scent. I swear I sleep better.

Natalie November 3, 2008

Speaking of November's gusty gail... yippee for the Nutshell Library! And this isn't a book, but my vote for the all-time weirdest/coolest spoken-word work not really intended for children but they love it anyway goes to Edith Sitwell's Façade (recently re-released -- get it NOW!). I wear perfume to bed only on those days when I somehow seem to need it, and I tend to go for Philosykos for sweet comfort, CdG 2 for its lovely ditto-paper/new-clothes-from-a-fancy-department-store aroma, or L'Air du Desert Marocain for its ability to transport me out of my mundane existence.

rosarita November 3, 2008

The illustration is charming, love it. I have a set of Childcraft books from the '50s that I adore because of the illustrations. My sister had it first, then me. I go through my favorite volumes every now and again, usually after a really bad week, or on a snowy day. :x As to bedtime scents, I love vanilla, esp. Noire Mexique (hi, Louise!) and a couple of cjscents; often something that's just too sweet for me in daylight. My other favorite category is soft musk: Clair de Musc, Musc Samarkind, Kiehl's original. Les Nereides scents in general are great to sleep in - Imperial Oppoponax is so soothing and still smells wonderful in the morning.

carmencanada November 3, 2008

I don't really wear perfume to be that often, except for some samples to explore while I'm reading, like Olfacta. Except... that tends to trigger language, and next thing I'm know the sentences are starting to form in my head, I have to turn on the light, take down the notes, and sometimes even stumble to the computer to draft a blog post... All of which adds up to insomnia. But I sometimes like to bury my nose in the funk of Eau d'Hermès before falling to sleep. Does that say something about me it shouldn't?

Disteza November 3, 2008

I'll post on behalf of the 2 or 3 of us who don't wear ANY perfume to bed--in my case, my allergies get kicked into overdrive by extra scent when I'm sleeping, so I try to avoid applying anything after showering or before bedtime. During the day when I'm up and moving about I don't have a problems with perfume, but something about lying down sleeping seems to do me in. I've often thought it was the lack of air circulation, or something along those lines. Anyway, I managed to keep most of my childhood books (the LM Montgomerys, the Roald Dahls, the Tolkiens), but I'm at a disadvantage--my parents didn't buy me much in the way of 'children's' books as my mother borrowed most of those from the hospital library where she worked to keep up with my voracious reading habit, so I don't remember the very early ones.

Musette November 3, 2008

I'm with those who use nighttime to sample scents they might be too ~:> to try out during the day. It was during the night that I shop bolt upright in bed, shouting "PLAY-DOH!!" to the insistent question of 'what the heck does this Anne Pliska smell like?". Better then than at a client meeting, though it did scare the puppy (El O slept through my revelation; El O sleeps through everything) When I just can't take the chance (migraine, fragility, out and out crankiness), I reach for my Bal...or FemdBois - oddly enough, I find Feminite dBois to be more of a bedtime scent than a day scent. Ineke After My Own Heart is very comforting as well. Joy gives me a headache at night, whereas it's all perfection during the day. xo>-)

Kim November 3, 2008

Often when I get home at the end of the day, I like to spray on something that I couldn't wear during the day in a professional setting or would want to pay too much attention to. And then I just add an extra spritz for good measure before I go to sleep. My favourites lately have been Chanel No 22, Guerlain Shalimar, Guerlain Angelique Noire. I have also been exploring the Comme des Garcons line and like to wear one to bed - I get he tops notes and wake up to the drydown. Lately it has been White, which is going onto my full bottle list along with CdG 2!! I love children's illustrated books - artwork designed simply to please. My favourites are Beatrix Potter, Chris van Allsburg (of Jumanji fame) and David Weisner (Sector 7 is stunningly gorgeous!).

mirandajane November 3, 2008

Hmmm--is there some sort of mysterious link between the love of perfume & children's books--because I love children's books too! The coziest book I own is an old copy of Three Little Animals by Margaret Wise Brown. The sleepiest bedtime book you can imagine. As far as bedtime scents--I mostly wear a solid perfume accord mixed up by Douglas Little. It is a labdanum & benzoin vanilla accord. Douglas told me labdanum was used in medieval times to help babies go to sleep. At any rate, it's soothing. Also, sometimes I wear a narcissus oil by Santa Maria Novella. A complex smell--deep, mysterious & purple--I think I'll go put some on right now!

sweetlife November 3, 2008

I have steadily smuggled home all my children's books from my parents house. I only have a dozen or so left to go. What's that you say? I have no children of my own? What does that have to do with anything?[-( Love wearing perfume to bed. I have sometimes sampled before bed out of sheer greediness, but now I tend to do so in the mornings while walking the dog--better outdoor sillage test that way and I can always shower if it doesn't work out. Many of my current faves for sleeping are things I'd happily wear out of the house if it were cold enough. It's just that in Texas it is hardly ever cold enough: Hermes Elixir des Merveilles, Osmanthe Yunnan (this is an anytime scent, it's crept up on me that way), Organza Indecence, Attrape Couer and Coco in extrait (though sometimes I feel its a waste with those two, I want to show them off), Ambre Narguile (sorry March!), Encens Mystic and probably half a dozen more I'm forgetting about right now.

Christina H November 3, 2008

Lostmarc'h Lann-Ael is my go-to snuggly bedtime scent. Occasionally though I'll get in a woody mood and lightly spritz Chene or TF Oud Wood. I can't handle overly sweet or spicy at bedtime.

Kathryn November 3, 2008

Lostmarc'h Lann Ael is my bedtime comfort scent (but only when I'm sleeping alone!!!) I am a sister migraine sufferer, but have found that my migraines have decreased with age. I wonder if that means I am getting less intelligent as I grow older? Sometimes my no-longer-children say things that indicate they think that might be the case. My kids are long past the bedtime story phase, although we still read books together, Michael Chabon's The Yiddish Policeman's Union being a recent shared favorite. However, I can recite from memory many of the nighttime stories I used to read to them: long stretches of Edward Lear and Lewis Carroll, Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are, and, of course, Margaret Wise Brown's Goodnight Moon. (The television show The Wire did a take-off on that, that was both hilarious and moving, what a kid might see in the evening on the mean streets of Baltimore.) I, too, adore Barbara Cooney. However, I've never thought of Miss Rumphius as only a children's book, but rather an enlightened guide as to how to live one's life. I've given it to several young women as high school and college graduation presents.

Robin November 3, 2008

Adding that once you own the Nutshell library, you must buy Carole King's Really Rosie. Listening to One Was Johnnie is every bit as wonderful as reading it. My son won't listen to it anymore (it's for babies!) but I still do when he's not home.

pavlova November 3, 2008

I adore illustrations in children's book!! Maurice Sendak will always be a favorite, but Barbara Cooney is fantastic....check out Emily (as in Dickinson);Eleanor (as in Roosevelt); Hattie and the Wild Waves; Miss Rumphius. All in all, she illustrated 100 books in her long lifetime.

divinemama November 3, 2008

Why oh Why does the embarrassed icon NEVER work for me! It is so cute!

divinemama November 3, 2008

~~I only one kid have under 10 left~~??? Clearly, more coffee is needed!:">

divinemama November 3, 2008

:d March, Higgelty Piggelty Pop! was a childhood favorite of mine. My mom gave it to me for my birthday back in the 60s and I read it over and over. I may still have it...if it survived 4 kids worth of reading. I need to go look in the 'kids' library, which is filled with picture books bought mainly for the art work. 'Kids' library...snort...I only one kid have under 10 left. My fav comfort scent may shock some. I LOVE to wear Montale Oud Queen Roses to bed. Of course, it is best to apply about an hour before retiring, but I have been known to dab with my head near the pillow. I am not sure how my DH feels about it, and I am not going to ask. ;)

Divalano November 3, 2008

*squeal*!!! :x the Nutshell Library. I still have mine :) Counting once, counting twice, counting chicken soup with rice. And of course, Pierre, who doesn't care. Maurice Sendak always makes me smile. I do wear Organza Indecence to bed, almost exclusively in the heart of winter but there was one night last summer when I wanted to be completely saturated & immersed in something intoxicating & I wore it to bed. OI is almost always a bedtime scent for me. Last night I wore Ambre Fetiche to bed because I'd been "showing" it to a friend an hour earlier I it had gotten all over me. And my most common bedtime fix is Barbara Bui White Oil. Lately I've been craving Cuir Beluga (mostly because that's what I always crave, regardless of hour) & SDV at bedtime but I try not to if I'm going to be asleep in less than 1/2 hour. I hate putting on favorites if I won't be around to enjoy them for long. I will have to check out Demeter Egg Nog & the BBW Brown Sugar & Fig, both sound pretty perfect for bedtime.

Melissa November 3, 2008

I love ambers at night, although like Olfacta, I often try samples too. L'Occitane Ambre is a favorite for sleep-relatively soft, reasonably priced, perfect for spraying on pillows etc. I also have an electric tart warmer that I use with fragrance rather than tarts. I partially fill it with water and use add a small amount of fragrance or room scent to it. Combination nightlight and fragrance diffuser.

Olfacta November 3, 2008

I usually try samples on the backs of my hands before going to bed. I like to read for awhile before sleeping, so it gives me a chance to evaluate them as they begin to dry down. There's something really nice about waking up in the night, knowing you still have hours of sleep left, and smelling perfume as you doze off again. But...sometimes I wear heavier scents to bed, if I'm in a perfume mood. Bal is a favorite, Habinita, in winter, or Vol de Nuit EDT. Have recently discovered Black Cashmere, too, as a night scent. It's all about the climate here, so I wear lighter scents in summer. But the big chypres just don't seem like bedtime scents to me for some reason, although I love them during the day.

Shelley November 3, 2008

Hooray for The Bat-Poet! Some books I didn't discover until I was grown up, but am still thrilled to find they exist. The Bat Poet is one, along with The Phantom Tollbooth, and the weirdly wickedly benign short story "A Very Near Thing for Captain Najork." I'm going to be one of those who confesses I don't wear scent to bed. The risk of it triggering a headache is too much to overcome, though I have played at times with pillow scents, etcetera. (I know, a perfume fanatic with migraines? Isn't that an oxymoron?? And yet, we exist... Quite happy for those of you who can do it, however. :)>- Interestingly, flowers in a vase are a good smell for sleep...until the cats start exploring... #-o ... :)>- )

Elle November 3, 2008

I am a *huge* fan of illustrated books. Don't have human children to read to, but have a substantial collection of children's books simply because I adore the illustrations. Have always loved Gyo Fujikawa. I've still got the copy of her Baby Animals that I got as a child. Am going to have to try the Sensuous lotion. I always wear scents to bed, but must say I don't have any special requirements and I often use night to take advantage of the fact that nobody will be sniffing me other than my semi-anosmic DH and canine child and will wear scents that I am not as comfortable wearing around people during my work day, such as NK's eponymous perfume or a couple of the stronger ouds. If it makes me happy, I can sleep in it, no matter what scent category it falls in.

Marina November 3, 2008

Being bed-worthy is one of the main characteristics my favorite scents have to have. :)

Louise November 3, 2008

I've got wretched insomnia, so am pretty careful to wear well-tested soothers to bed, along with well-worn jammies. Mostly this is a time for vanillas, even sweet ones such as Noire Mexique, gentle tobaccos, and softer ambers. I love my vintage Toujours Moi, too, for its sweet powder. Comfort, fuzzy things. But there are nights when I simply must get a chypre groove on:-$ and out comes some Mitsy or Femme parfum. Not sure I sleep well, but man, I smell nice :> , or so I believe :-?

Nancy November 3, 2008

I also use the time before bed to try new fragrance samples, it gives me a chance to spend some quality time with them, as well as see how they go the distance in the morning. When I'm not trying samples, which is most nights, I spritz myself with Demeter "Grass". It reminds me of summer nights going to bed with the window open after the grass had been cut somewhere in our neighborhood, which was frequent--very compulsively tidy home owners. A whiff of gasoline might make it for a more accurate recollection, but it's not necessary for a good night's sleep for me.

Calypso November 3, 2008

I first heard of wearing scents to bed when a SA at Saks told me she wears Hanae Mori to bed at night as a comfort scent. I've tried that too, and it's good! I tend to spray my pillows with something nice. Lately I've been using CdG Jaisalmer and Bond No. 9 Lexington Avenue... it's truly a relaxing, happy, upbeat scent. Glad to know I'm not "weird" for doing this. But I've also used violet scents in the past, and definitely will try the one you're recommended here!

sylvia November 3, 2008

lovely illustration! i generally wear perfume at night to try out new samples but sometimes i wear comfort scents, which on the whole tend to be vanillic. i totally agree that fragrance can affect how you sleep. i got a god-awful night's sleep when trying miel de bois and fleur de male, as opposed to fantastic nights of safran troublant, theorema, and tonight feminite de bois (although ive been camping the last 2 nights and didnt sleep well on the ground or the night before i left so it may be more pure exhaustion)