Happy Holidays

So this is one of Those Posts.  You know, the March Is Oversharing ones.  But not too much, I hope.

As many of you know, because I’ve blogged about it before, I had kind of a mixed-bag relationship with my mom, who died a long time ago.  When I was a kid, though – one great time of year was Christmas.  My mom poured her heart and soul into it.  She loved Christmas, and Christmas loved her right back.  For years, I shopped for a special ornament for her to hang on our tree.  After she was gone, this time of year often made me sad.

But the great thing about time is it gives you perspective.  Once I was able to consider my mother from the point of view of adulthood in my 30s and 40s, rather than the anxious-to-please 10-year-old that I’d once been, I could see that my mother did the best she knew how, gave the very best she had to offer, for us at all times.  I could appreciate her frustrations with her adult life, in which she was unhappy in large part because she’d found her own options so limited.  I understood how she must have felt, and how her anger and sadness were really directed at herself, and her life, rather than at us.

This holiday season has a lot of ups and downs for everyone.  But as we decorate the tree and listen to Christmas music and bake cookies and cope with the snow and make (and unmake) various plans for the holidays, I find myself blessed with a great deal of happiness and peace, as much as I’m likely to find in this world, anyway.

The perfumes of this season are for me the most festive ones, that go with the smells of the holiday.  It’s not quite time yet for the massive comfort fixes – the vanillas and soft musks of January and February, like a downy pillow.  Instead this is the time to bust out the new Annick Goutal Noel roomspray, with its smell of a holiday florist shop – camphor, greenery, and chilled florals (I somehow missed Kevin’s great review on NST, here’s a link.)  It’s the time for that wee bottle of the wonderful, discontinued Guerlain Aqua Allegoria Winter Delice (notes: Ginger, Norway Pine, labdanum Rock Rose, Vanilla, Gingerbread, Incense), and its tupenic cousin Serge Lutens Fille en AiguillesYves Saint Laurent Nu, which I mentioned in comments recently, seems like the perfect holiday incense, not too churchy and with a faint hint of sweetness.

For parties and cocktails — and, what the hey, sledding and trips to the grocery store in the snow – there’s the big guns: Mitsouko, vintage Femme, Cinnabar parfum, and a teeny, thumbnail sized bottle of vintage Youth Dew Bath Oil that has lasted me forever because you only need a toothpick-sized drop.  The Youth Dew was not love at first sniff – if I recall correctly, I went something like, ew, what the hell is that?   But that funny oil has emerged as a holiday front runner.  It speaks in a deep voice and it says EVERYTHING IS GOING TO BE JUST FINE, and it says it like that, in all caps, because there’s nothing shy or indecisive about Youth Dew Bath Oil.  And finally, there’s the rich, honeyed embrace of Teo Cabanel Alahine, and Serge Lutens (no-cedar) Cedre.  All of these with a touch of red lipstick, of course, even if it’s only for a trip to the mailbox.  At night, wearing Barbara Bui to bed is always a good choice (like putting on a pair of flannel pajamas), and then there are the last bits of my sample of CB I Hate Perfumes’ Winter 1972, with its magical touch of metallic coldness, and the damp of wet mittens, and frozen earth.

What are your scents of the season?  Are you getting any special perfume gifts?   I know I’ve got Lancome’s La Collection under the tree… what do I wish Santa would bring me?  A bottle of Ormonde Jayne Champaca, or a bottle of Serge Lutens Miel de Bois.

  • HollyGolightly says:

    Happy Holidays and Merry Christmas to everyone here! <:-p What a day this Christmas was, filled with travel and family, and love and the spirit of giving, as well as panic attacks (for me).:(( Oh well, wouldn't be the holidays without 'em! My little sister is currently my favorite person in the world, having tracked down a big, beautiful bottle of Chaos for me. That is what I'll be wearing, and not skimping on like I was with my little half-full .5 oz-er. :d Joy to the world!!

  • CynthiaW says:

    I can sympathize with the oddness of warm weather for Christmas – despite living in Texas for 17 years now, Christmas generally sneaks up on me because the weather is all WRONG. At least it a cold front blew in because it was in the 70s earlier this week, but it’s been in the 40s the last two days and we’ve actually had one of the colder Decembers on record.

    I do have to admit to being unabashedly in love with Christmas – especially since we all became adults and decided to skip the commercial aspects of it and just spend time together.

    I have quite a few cold weather scents – Jubilation 25, Epic Woman, Back to Black, Attrape Couer, Cuire de Russie, 31 Rue Cambon, etc., but right around Christmas, I find myself reaching for Brit Red more often than not. I don’t know if it’s the rhubarb, the gingerbread, the vanilla or what, but it just screams Christmas and comfort to me. Although I still have 80% of a 3.4oz bottle (despite wearing it daily for most of last winter), I still feel an irrational urge to buy several back up bottles so I’ll never be without it.

  • Mary says:

    Happy Holidays, and thank you for enriching the airwaves and sharing your enjoyment of perfume– I love tour humor and your sharing. We are visiting LA from the Bay Area– do you have any recommendations for a perfume sniffing safari with my daughter? I would love to know where you would go if you were in LA. For holiday fragrance– Roxana Villa’s Sierra Solid Gold is perfect for the winter holidays– a nice piney note with the christmas cookie vanilla underneath–yummy. 😡 Happy Holidays!!

    • March says:

      Hi, Mary — LA is fun. Patty and I went together — let’s see, DEFINITELY visit LuckyScent, they have the best collection of unusual perfumes, I googled it, address is 317 North La Brea Avenue,
      (323) 931-8297, tell them March from the Posse sent you, they had a great party for us last year! Barneys has some interesting things as well, and I know there’s a couple other big stores (NM?) If you don’t mind the drive, Strange Invisible Perfumes in Venice has some cool stuff, 1138 Abbot Kinney Blvd, Venice, CA 90291,(310) 314-1505

      Have fun!

  • Scent Hive says:

    Happy Holidays to you March and everyone at the Posse. I think I’m getting Aftelier’s Fig for X-mas. Fingers crossed! 8-|

  • sweetlife says:

    P.S. A Sweet and Peaceful New Year to all the Posse Folks including the readers! I don’t comment as often, but I still read and am bouyed up by all of you on a regular basis. Blessings!

  • sweetlife says:

    March, I want you to know that today–as on many days in the past–I came to Posse with my fingers crossed, hoping for “one of those posts.” Only I don’t call them oversharing posts. I call them, “those essays March writes that make me tear up and feel happier at the very same time.” Which you’ve done again.

    My DH and I are with my folks, having a mostly delightful time, except for my mother’s tradition of doing a number on me–just once this year, and relatively mild and full of well-meaning (and I’m old enough to hear all the ways in which it is really directed at herself), but it still makes me weary and sad. I thought we were done with all that. Ah, well. I’m here reading everyone’s wonderful comments, taking a walk down 5th Ave with Carter in my heart, and recovering a bit before I go back downstairs to wrap up my presents and participate in more Xmas Cheer.

    I’m wearing Feminite du Bois, which has–unbelievably–morphed into a comfort scent for me (but with armor–perfect!). I also took along spray samples of Bois de Paradis (which I wore last night for our big party), Black Cashmere, Boise des Iles, Theorema and — just in case I’m feeling truly overwhelmed — L’eau d’Hiver and Mythique. No fragrant presents under the tree, but if my brother comes through with an Aedes gift certificate there will be a bottle of…something….soon. Mythique, I think, though I am still so surprised at how much I love it (it was a sleeper) that I hesitate to commit!

    • ScentRed says:

      Sweetlife, not only do I completely agree with your comments about this great post and the challenges of holidays with family, I also share your list of go-to scents for this holiday season. I’m now eager to try L’Eau d’Hiver.

      Here’s hoping your brother came through with the Aedes gift certificate.

      Best holiday wishes!

  • Francesca says:

    Christmas was pretty horrible for me for a number of years because my ex-husband’s family had a tradition of hitting everyone house on Christmas. So this involved schlepping from Queens(shudder) where we lived, to the upper east side, where my SIL lived, to Harlem, where my parents lived, and finally to some totally inaccessible armpit of the Bronx, where thr MIL lived. And this was all on public transportation, since none of us had a car

    And then thank God, I got divorced and a few years later married my lovely DH. But because he was a store manager, I hardly saw him the whole month of December and he was a basket case by Xmas. But now he is retired and I love our quiet Christmases.

    And I’m waiting for my wins from TPC–Tauer une rose chypree and… I forgot what else I got.

    Merry, happy, blessed Christmas to those who celebrate it, and Happy New Year to all!

  • Mindy says:

    Happy holidays to everyone! I learn so much from all of you.:x

  • violetnoir says:

    Hello, March darling! I want to wish you and your beautiful family a very Merry Christmas.

    Nothing says Christmas to me like the scent of Anne Pliska. I wore it yesterday, and am wearing it today.

    I’m not sure what I’ll wear tomorrow while I am bustling (and bumbling!) around the kitchen. Maybe more Anne Pliska?

    If it ever goes to the discounters, however, I will purchase a bottle of Guerlain’s Paris-New York. Too bad I’ve used up my small decant, because it dries down to a delicious chypre spiked with peppermint. And, if I do spring for it, I’ll wear it next Christmas.

    Hugs and love!

    • March says:

      More Anne Pliska seems like the way to go to me, doll! What are you wearing on your nails?

      • violetnoir says:

        Nothing! Can you believe that? I have a middle nail that looks a bit tired and dry, so I think I will let my nails air out for awhile.

        But, I do have OPI’s Smitten with Mittens on my toes.

  • mariekel says:

    Christmas is a bit of a bah humbug day for me, though a bit less so this year since I do not feel the need to make merry.

    When I was a kid, Christmas was the one time my family tried to be a family in the Norman Rockwell (read delusional) sense: big tree (Scotch pine from Sears), Christmas stockings (one for the dog, too), loads of prezzies, stencils on the windows…Every Christmas Eve, my grandparents would take us to see all the Christmas windows in New York City, which culminated in a segue to Rockefeller Center to watch the ice skaters and to give the Salvation Army Santa a quarter (small fortune), then on to Peppermint Park for hot cocoa.

    All very odd, considering we’re Jewish.

    But after we grew up and dispersed, Christmas ceased to happen. My brothers go to their spouses families, my mom and dad are on opposite side of the US. So, it has become a day like any other. Except with worse television choices.

    My scents for the season are not associated with Christmases past. Unless someone comes up with the unique smell of roasting chestnuts, hot pretzels, snow and bus exhaust that I associate with Rockefeller Center, I don’t suppose there will be. But I do LOVE Chergui and anything with Saffron at this time of year, plus all those delicious incense perfumes (esp. Durbano Rock Crystal, Matthew Williamson’s original Incense and Kamali Ceremony layered with Divine by Divine — gorgeous).

    I would love to find a bottle of DSH Cafe Noir and one of Le Labo Poivre 23 under my nonexistent Tree (I do have some silk flowers, Santa, that could step in for a tree this year).

  • Catherine says:

    Happy Holidays, March, Patty, Everyone! Much joy and perfume!

    Chanel no. 22 is my Christmas scent this year. Plus Chanel No. 5 Eau Premier and Chergui. If I were at my place rather than with family, it would be Iris Poudre (but the bottle’s too big for airport security so I left it at home).

    I’m not getting perfume, but I bought a couple of things for my sisters. Two Kenzo scents that struck me as just right for what they like and wear. I can’t wait to give them tonight.

    Merry Christmas!

    • March says:

      Oooh, did you get them Kenzos at the duty free? They always have the coolest things there.

      Chanel 22 is just so very lovely.

  • Gretchen says:

    Bois de Paradis is perfect when, as now, the Christmas season is colder than usual here in the SF Bay Area. I feel as if I were in the heart of a magic forest set with twinkling lights, drinking spiced wine beside a warm campfire.
    Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

  • karin says:

    I’m wearing – TA DA – ANGEL!!! 😮

    Tomorrow, most likely Sacrebleu.

    Merry Christmas, everyone!

    • March says:

      …. well, SOMEBODY has to. 😉 And I admit it smells great on Louise.

      Merry Christmas to you!

    • karin says:

      Angel was perfect for cookie baking. Didn’t end up wearing Sacrebleu – felt like something brighter and fresher – Rive Gauche! Not very Christmasy, but somehow, perfect.

  • Allabouteve says:

    I’ve been wearing a new discovery constantly,because it makes me feel so snuggly and warm:l’Artisan l’eau ambrée! The first L’artisan I really care about..also the first amber I really care
    about! I’ve also been wearing lots of Cuir Ottoman,Shalimar and Tauer’s Maroc…and I know what I’ll find beneath my Xmas tree: a gift from me to me: Byredo’s “i married adventure” set of 30 ml of 5 of their fumes,including my faves: gypsy water,bal d’afrique and Pulp (the fruit-bomb!)…
    What I’ll be wearing tonight is Filles with a spritz of Cedre..and no,I get no pinesole from Filles and it’s just wonderful! Oh..and I do prefer it over Wazamba!
    Merry Christmas everybody!!!

    • Tiara says:

      I LOVED my sample of l’Artisan l’eau ambrée as well. Or at least the first 2 times I tried it. The third time I opened it the vial crumbled in my hand. Very weird. But I did enjoy wearing it everywhere on me that day — luckily I was home alone all day so no one complained!

    • March says:

      Filles and Cedre, check. I should go put some of that on right now, it sounds delicious, as does the rest of your Christmas list.

      Ambree hasn’t worked for me yet, but I haven’t given up.

  • pyramus says:

    Santa brought ME a bottle of Miel de Bois for Christmas!

    Well, the mail lady did. And I had to pay for it myself (ordered it last week from The Perfume Shoppe, and Naz got it to me in time for the holidays). And it isn’t sitting under the tree, because I didn’t bother to put one up this year. And I already opened it and wore it (and god it is JUST FANTASTIC, on those of us who do not think it smells like an overripe urinal).

    But still, Miel de Bois for the holidays!

    I hope you get some too, March. Merry Christmas!

    • March says:

      Hey, does your bottle come with a cap AND a sprayer? I mean, can you dab it? I always did, a spray seems a bit much, but I wonder if they come that way? Hm. I could probably scam a screwcap from Patty, though…

      I am sure I’ll get it eventually. It was NOT instant love for me. It was instant hate. Like many things, it took me awhile to come around to it.

      • pyramus says:

        I have bought two Lutenses in the last six weeks (because I am apparently out of control) and they both came with both a cap and a sprayer. Unfortunately, since I prefer to spray everything, I put the sprayer on the MdB immediately, and then, knowing that I would never need it, threw the cap in the garbage; otherwise, i would be glad to send you mine. Sorry.

  • Shelley says:

    I’ve only had two or three Christmas seasons with a perfumista hat in my closet, and the first two felt like definite “I’m learning” years. This year, today, for the Eve, I am going through what I think must be an obligatory rite of passage: have annointed myself with (can you guess?) Nuit de Noel. From the pretty black deco bottle, which I have been looking for for nearly two years, and finally turned up one with a smidge of juice at a price that was right a few months back. It’s been waiting for this day ever since. <:-p On the personal front, riding the too much info edge...we are going through transition around here. Kids are older, jaded teenagers with gigantic hearts, and we are trying to figure out how to express the current state of being(s) in a way that respects our various takes on the season. It's interesting, and probably going to be a bit of a mess, but I ♥ all these creatures so much, I'm trying to just enjoy and take note of the ride. Though I did draw the line at "no tree"; a scrawny little but real norfolk pine sits atop its tablecloth-covered gigantic crock perch, with a twinkling of lights. They tried to nail me...gee, Mom, you who talks to trees, why are you insisting on slaughtering one? And I came back with sustainable harvesting, blah blah, but really, I shoulda got a tree in a pot like my forward thinking mother did many moons ago. However, I *did* go druid crazy and create cut evergreen somethings for every entrance in the house... 😉 While I might be the only person tracking Santa with NORAD this year, the attention I pay also means I'll get to thank him for the L'Eau d'Hiver that is going to magically appear in my stocking.

    • March says:

      Nuit de Noel seems like the perfect choice. Regarding the tree… well, we went fake several years ago. As much as it pained me. But I was tired of spending $$$$$$ for trees that dried up almost immediately, and I felt guilty about tossing them, although at least here they’re mulched by the county and re-used.

      I hope the teenage Christmas works out!

  • ScentRed says:

    It’s a merry Manitoulin Island Christmas and I’ve packed Bois des Iles, Ormonde Woman and Feminite de Bois. My dog Layla can’t keep a secret and spilled the beans that she bought me Chaos for Christmas. Having once been a homeless puppy, she was a bit intimidated going into Holt Renfrew for the purchase but she said the kind SAs not only made her feel at ease but threw in a Jasmine oil and Cashmire Mist body lotion. We’re both feeling blessed 🙂

    I got decants of Nostalgia and Dzing! for the hubby along with a FB of Terre D’Hermes.

    I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and healthy happy 2010.

    • March says:

      Now that’s a smart dog! And it’s nice that she was able to score those samples. Your packing list of scents is spectacular.

      I hope Hubby likes his choices, they sound good to me, and a great holiday and happy 2010 to you as well.

  • Olfacta says:

    For me it’s time for the big whompers. Bal perfume, vintage Joy, Amouge Lyric, applied lavishly and damn the sensitive: it’s Christmas, and if you can’t be trailing one of these at a Christmas party, well, when can you? And I ordered myself a bottle of vintage My Sin perfume, too. And Arpege, which was my mother’s bottle. We had a difficult relationship. But I realize now that she was a perfumista, within her financial limits. When I cruise fleabay looking for vintage I say, often, “oh, I remember that, and that, and that and that.” We had scads of it, mostly the drugstore classics. I wish she was around to explore this with me now.

    Peace and Joy to all of you this season!

    • March says:

      The Big Whompers is right. The vintage My Sin was my mother’s perfume (I have her bottle) and so it holds a special place in my heart.

  • Nava says:

    Wonderful post, March.

    I can relate to your maternal relationship completely. And now, being here with my mother’s family, I think about her constantly and am reminded of her in ways I haven’t thought about in a very long time. There is a certain amount of peace in that given the present state of affairs in my own life.

    I’m looking forward to treating myself to something new very soon; maybe some L’Artisan Havana Vanille or By Kilian Back to Black. I haven’t splurged in a long time. In the meantime, I’ve dug out Bond Andy Warhol Silver Factory to wear today and through the weekend. I’ve neglected that one for a long time, but suddenly it smells very right again.

    Peace and blessings to everyone. 😡

    • March says:

      Actually … Silver Factory seems like a great thing to be wearing right now. It’s both festive and meditative.

      Thanks for all your help and insights on the blog over the past year. @};- And all my hopes for good things for you next year.

      • Nava says:

        It is an honor and a pleasure to share my insights with you, Patty, Lee, Anita and the rest of the “posse”, who make this such a wonderful place. Good luck trying to yank the laptop out of my cold dead hands! :d

      • Catherine says:

        I agree–Silver Factory is perfect. That’s a wishlist scent. You smell divine!

  • I love Tom Ford’s Japon Noir, Clinique Wrappings (which I just emptied my 2nd decant of. Must get a bottle of this!!), Chanel’s Sycomore, Lalique Encre Noire… I haven’t reached for the EL PC Amber Ylang ylang yet this year but I think I will be. Comme des Garcons 2, YSL Nu. Woods and incense all the way! I got a mini of Van Cleef & Arpels First parfum and am loving that as well.

    I snuck out some Ouds last week as well! Something by Asgharali that was nice and musty and Montale’s Steam Oud. Today I’m wearing Cruel Intentions.

    • March says:

      Wrappings. I bet you can get that pretty cheap too, yes? And you and I were the two fans of Amber Ylang, I think. 🙂 And it’s always nice to see another fan of Nu.

      Wow, I’ve not tried the VC&A First in parfum, I bet it’s glorious.

  • Rappleyea says:

    I’ve recently discovered the beauty of vintage Samsara, which I bid on and won on eBay. It was one of those impulsive moments that I instantly regretted as I’d had a sample and didn’t particularly like it! The fakey violet got too loud. But – WOW – the vintage is a whole ‘nother scent. It is really really beautiful. Also spritzing some older L’Heure Bleue and when I feel like smelling Christmas trees – Wazamba.

    The cats have put a bottle of Cuir de Russie extrait under the tree for me. I’m blessed with lots of brothers and a sister and thus lots of nieces and nephews so the celebration will be filled with lots of love and laughter. I usually laugh so hard on the day we all get together that my stomach hurts! Good problem to have.

    Blessings and light to everyone here on the Posse – both bloggers and commenters. 😡

    • March says:

      Vintage Samsara! I bet that’s gorgeous.

      Your cats are VERY thoughtful. And they have excellent taste.

      Lots of laughter is a great thing, I hope you have a wonderful get-together, and thanks for coming by so often and being a huge part of the fun on here.

  • Connie says:

    We will be celebrating Christmas Eve at my sister’s this year. I’m usually the designated dessert purveyor so I need to start working on that a little later on. Perhaps I’ll join my aunt this year and accompany her to midnight mass.

    Last week I received a bottle of Theorema so I have been wearing that when our weather cooled a little over the past few days. However, we’re warming up to 80F with possible showers tomorrow. 🙁 Eric (above) is so right about Christmas being so lame with hot weather. Boo hoo. Kind of difficult for me (way less experienced at this than most of the folks on here) to guage what to wear with our one season (Summer) and its subtle variations. tee hee! So, I end up wearing whatever I feel like weather-be-damned. The horror, I know. I’m open to suggestions, though.

    Happy Holidays to all. 😡

    • March says:

      We used to go visit the in-laws in Florida for the holidays. It did feel weird, down there with the Christmas lights. I think it would have been depressing if all winter were warm like that, but being in that warmth for a week or two was quite nice.

      Congratulations on the Theorema.

  • Fiordiligi says:

    A very Happy Christmas to all who celebrate with extra hugs for those finding it especially poignant. We have a very quiet time which suits us just fine (we have no kids and I have no family except an elder brother who lives a long way away, and we are not remotely religious).

    Predictably, I am wearing Nuit de Noel extrait today which is simply gorgeous, and will probably pile on the vintage Shalimar extrait tomorrow. No scented prezzies for me, as my friends are too scared to buy for me (can’t imagine why…)and the long-suffering Mr F thinks I already have a disgraceful amount; never mind, there is a present from Moi to Moi en route from Guerlain Paris – the security blanket of the soon-to-be-discontinued Attrape-Coeur (even though I already have Guet-Apens, Vol de Nuit Evasion and the Limited Edition No 68). There is also a bottle of Chamade Pour Homme coming for Mr F.

    Carter, your New York walk sounds terribly Audrey Hepburn – wonderfully glamorous!

  • carter says:

    Christmas is such a potent emotional mix for most of us, don’t you think? It can be a tough time if you’re not feeling it. When we were children it was about one thing: the exquisite anticipation of Santa’s stop-off in your living room and the magical sight of that tree on Christmas morning. Everything else was cake. My own mother was very big on the whole Santa thing when we were small — she went all out and it was SO MUCH FUN — but once we were all grown up and had left childhood behind, she lost interest entirely. It was as if a switch had been shut off, and it became a day to celebrate the birth of Jesus, nothing more and nothing less.

    I understand this now because my parents lost a baby at Christmastime. For her the season was for and about children, and, when hers were grown, it was about the birth of another child long ago.

    The scents I find myself wearing these days are ones that stay close and cling to my sweaters and scarves; the ones that heat up and enclose me in a cocoon of fragrance. I am partial to vintage Scandal, as I have been all autumn; it never seems to wear out its welcome. Another Lanvin that calls to me these days is Crescendo, which is so like L’Heure Bleue but somehow easier to wear. Vintage Bandit. Always Bandit this time of year, and of course her little sis, vintage Jolie Madame. I have so many bottles of vintage JM (too many — my own incurable little case of depression mentality perfume hoarding) but there is one huge honking one with a ground glass stopper that smells phenomenal, and that’s the one I’ve been dipping into of late. I am carefully doling out the Habit Rouge extrait, but fortunately it doesn’t take more than a spritz: the gift that keeps on giving (*)

    • carter says:

      Oh, and on Christmas Eve at midnight I will be walking up Fifth Avenue, admiring the windows at Saks, Cartier, Tiffany, and Bergdorf Goodman (the best, the best, the best!) and willing, with every fiber of my being, for a sweet little bottle of VIII to find its way onto Santa’s sleigh for the short trip not so many blocks up the Ave and hang a left at the Reservoir.

      • Winifreida says:

        OOH Carter, how the world turns…the poignancy…my parents lost their first child at birth…and it was not until many years into my adulthood, almost too late, did I realise what it did…..
        I will try to visualise you in New York…after we just got back from hanging some tinsel on the horse paddock gate, a world away… A wonderful Christmas to you, from the land Downunder%%-

        • carter says:

          Winifreida–I would gladly swap Christmases with you some time. Wouldn’t that confuse Santa? Ho-ho-ho!

          A world away, indeed, and yet here we are together. Wishing you the happiest of Christmases 😡

      • Nava says:

        As much as I try to convince myself that Bloor Street here in Toronto resembles 5th Avenue, I know in my heart there is nothing like that stretch of real estate. I mock it endlessly to keep up my blase New Yorker facade, poking fun at the tourists aiming their cameras at Trump Tower and lining up to get into Abercrombie and Fitch, but I love it, just as you do.

        Enjoy that walk my friend.

        • carter says:

          Yes, that’s how we do, right? Complain that it’s all too-too tiresome, and then sneak out in the middle of the night to take it all in. I don’t love the tourist experience — it’s not the individuals, unless they’re walking four across…sloooowly…holding hands — it’s the thundering hoards that make me want to tear at my hair. But I’ve found that if you go late enough and point yourself at 5th a block or two above Saint Pat’s it’s not too bad, and the closer you get to the park (read: Bergdorf, which is where I’m headed like an obsessive-compulsive homing pigeon) the numbers drop off dramatically and I can pretend for a minute that we have the city all to ourselves. This year, my husband and I are sharing our Christmas ritual with new friends from Across the Pond, and the four of us will oogle the magnificence and magic of it all and then duck into a bar and toast the new day with a stiff one.

          That last remark was my Christmas gift to March :d

      • March says:

        Carter, your New York Christmas is the stuff of fantasies, for me anyway. It sounds lovely. Thanks for being a huge part of what makes the Posse so much fun. It’s all the interaction with the commenters. I hope that in the not too distant future, I can come up there and we can make a day of it in person. 😡

      • Catherine says:

        Your Christmas sounds and smells magical, Carter. I wish you four a joyous stroll!

    • sweetlife says:

      Oh Carter…*SIGH*

      I’m with my folks this Xmas, but in spirit I am right there with you, and then headed back to my Imaginary Apartment to finish cooking a feast for all my real and imaginary NYC friends. Won’t you come? You can bring the Brits!

  • Annelie says:

    Last Christmas Eve I wear Ambre Narguile, but this year I haven´t -yet- decided what to wear. For some reason i feel like I am in a floral mood… (Can I wear Carnal Flower without scaring Santa Claus?)

  • Jared says:

    I’m finding Idole (Lubin) fantastic this winter. It was a blind buy, and boy did it work out! Also, CdG’s Kyoto is phenomenal. I think I may only wear it when there’s snow on the ground from now on. Since we’re talking CdG incense, layering some Zagorsk and Avignon is pretty nice, too, especially for that liturgical mood.

    I won’t be getting any fragrance for Christmas this year, so I went ahead and bought myself one. I went for the big guns, too: Jubilation XXV! It was a tough call because it was between that and The Party in Manhattan, but when I put on the Jubilation, my eyes pretty much rolled back in my head and I had to pick myself up off the floor. It will be worn for the duration of the holiday 🙂

    • March says:

      Idole, we’ve talked about that, right? I love it, although lots of people didn’t. And I think the bottle is fantastic.

      Really, Zagorsk and Avignon? I’ve been thinking I need to re-study those. I’m all “yeah yeah CdG Incenses = excellent” but I can’t think of the last time I really SMELLED them while turning my brain on.

      Congrats on the Jubilation!!!! That’s an excellent scent. <:-p

      • Jared says:

        Thanks! It just arrived! I’ve never gotten so verklempt about packaging before, and this is my first Amouage, but wow! I feel like my new baby was just put in my arms for the first time!

        You know, since you mention smelling those CdG’s like that, I think I know what you’re saying. I have been “yeah yeah yeah” as well, but I’m starting to be more critical when smelling them, and I’m starting to give them a little suspicious glance. I hate to say it. My brain is working more, and I’m finding a bit of a synthetic element in there that I’m not so pleased with, Zagorsk and Avignon especially since I’ve been wearing them a lot. Kyoto not as much. I mean, comparing them with, say, Tauer’s Incense Extreme is eye opening. Or, my new little XXV here for that matter. But hey, I’m still showing them love. They will always be in my collection.

        And Merry Christmas! Thank you for all of the wonderful things you do here at the Posse! You guys rock!!!:)>-

        • March says:

          Thanks, it’s all the commenters that make it fun.

          That’s the thing about a large-enough collection (although I have a lot of samples and decants, fewer full bottles.) Things just don’t get the attention they deserve, and they don’t get thought about as much.

          Really, a synthetic element? Well, incense is one of my favorite scent categories. Maybe we’re due for another incense bonanza on here.

      • Francesca says:

        Oh, you’ve named so many of my fave cold weather scents! I’m wearing Jubilation XXV to a party tonight, I’ve been wearing Idole de Lubin nearly every day as a comfort scent while returning back to work after a rather nasty back injury. And yesterday was our last day of work til Jan. 4, so I drowned myself in Avignon. Zagorsk sounds like something I’d like, but I found it just too masculine for me; smells like something Rasputin would have worn if he’d had the good sense to wear fragrance instead of just smelling as bad as he reputedly did.

        • March says:

          Wait … didn’t we decree that Rasputin wore Ambre Russe? I’m pretty sure I declared that Rasputin’s armpit! Of course, now I like it…

          • sweetlife says:

            Yep! Rasputin’s Armpit. Unforgettable Marchism. And it made me feel so bold, since at the time it was a comfort/sexy scent for me. Of course, now I’m ready to send you a big honking decant…

  • hongkongmom says:

    march i will be happy to do the mua thingy with you as i have miel de bois…but i don’t relly know what to do..i registered as hksent,but thats all i did?!!!:”>

  • Eric says:

    Shalimar or Vol de Nuit in extrait, preferably. However I ran out of my samples. Luck found me though. I work at estate sales infrequently and I found 15 or so vintage samples a few weeks back. One of them is called Volage (no other info) and it’s a dead ringer for Shalimar PdT. Fills my craving.

    Also living it up with my vintage Nahema. My mother used to wear it and she found a whole stash recently. It’s so warm and luxurious.

    And Iris Silver Mist will be making an appearance once the cold sets here. Down here in Houston, it’s in the 70’s. Pretty lame for Christmas.

    • March says:

      The vintage samples sound like so much fun! Sigh. Don’t you wish you had a time machine and could travel back to a couple different time periods and stock up on Chanel and Caron and Guerlain at $10 a bottle or whatever it was?

      • Gretchen says:

        You and me, March, as I’ve said before. And some period jewelry would go nicely, as well. A nice fantasy for dozing in front of the fireplace. . .

      • Eric says:

        Not as great as it may wound, unfortunately. They’re 80’s samples and at least four of them contain the same dry-down: Dryer Sheet. But there are two or three that I could use big bottles of. =P

  • Winifreida says:

    Well as I sit here in drought-ridden Australia, after going up to my farm to give “the girls and BIG K” (cattle) and the horses, a really big feed of lucerne hay (alfalfa) hey look at that US spellcheck doesn’t like ‘lucerne’, no-one dares give me perfume because I’m too particular – but darling teenage girl did try to get Ambre Narguile- because she was with me in Hermes Sydney when I fell in love with it….I’ve got a bit of vintage “Perfume” Desert Flower (damn you epay) on one hand and I’ll swear it is a funkier version of Musc Ravageur, Happiest Christmas and Holiday Greetings to all the snowbound perfumistas – yes, its on the news down here -…Christmas comes a little earlier here Downunder.
    Wonderful Seasons Greetings to all…Marion

  • Musette says:

    Right now, I’m loving the scent of Man At Work, as El O, in the twinkling of an eye, rewires a 3000sf house! I’m blessed to have El O and my boys with me, as we celebrate this season with my father, who just lost his wife 2 mos ago. Our families will be with us in the days to come and that’s a beautiful thing.

    I put Cuir de Lancome under the tree for me but that will wait to wear until January. Right now I’m loving the brittle sparkle of Cartier VI, with its velvet undertones. And my darlings Mitsouko and Jolie M, who traveled back to Chicago with me – our family dinner will find me in one of them, you can be sure.

    Happiest of Holidays to all of you, dearest Posse!

    xoxoxo >-)

    • March says:

      With his busted hand and everything?!?! Woman, I hope you are making it up to him! 😉 8-| By, uh, COOKING a lot for him! Man probably likes some meat loaf or roast chicken or lasagne … what wouldn’t he eat? Also I have some other ideas. I’m thinking he doesn’t want a bottle of cologne though.

      Seriously, I’m glad you have pulled your family together through this chaos and that you’ll all be gathered tonight. 😡 And I love that Lancome Cuir so much, it seems perfect for you! Miss hankie in the purse with the nice gloves…

    • Shelley says:

      Squee! Cuir!!! :d

      • March says:

        i know, I know! I remember the first time I smelled it and I thought …. holy 3:-o and went right online and found some.

        • Musette says:

          well, I was way slower and stupider than my regularly scheduled programming. Shelley gave it. I sniffed it, loved it. Forgot I loved it. I was wrong. Oh, yes..I was I wrong.

          I’ll go get you, I will
          While yet you are still
          burning inside my brain

          so this time, I did. I’m saving it for my surprise Christmas gift – I haven’t even opened the shipping box yet!

          His hand is busted pretty bad but the concept of having to walk me through wonky wiring was just too much.

          He is getting much appreciation, coffee in bed and a relatively shrikeless time of it – and a big ol’ roast :@)

          A Happy O is he!

          xoxoxo >-)

          ps. I was hoping for Cartier VI… but I guess in the fullness of time, my darlings, in the fullness of time

  • I wish for all of you what you wish for yourselves. And the Peace of knowing your journey to discovery is your own to enjoy.

    • March says:

      Um…. maybe you should ghostwrite a couple columns? Think how good it will make me look. 😕

      • No one explains and snarks like you do March! What I so appreciate about you is that you are fearless in showing up on the blog the way you are. I couldn’t begin to ghostwrite with the wit and edge you do. When we do the fake perfume contest, we ought to add a flanker on who can write a review that sounds most like you. . .what a fun job to read that would be!

    • Rappleyea says:

      Wow, Quinn! That would make a beautiful holiday/ Solstice card.

  • Amy in Ann Arbor says:

    This year at my house, it’s aromatic gifts for the men. I ordered (from your Court) samples of 10 or 12 PTG “Top 10s” for my husband to try out (men’s fragrances, plus some “Best Feminines for Men”). He used each one for a week, uncovering a few favorites, and decided his new scent for 2010 would be Parfum de Nicolai “New York.” He even read blurbs about his favorites (!), reporting that Dr. Turin claims to have worn it for a decade. I like it on me as well. Luckyscent was out of the size I wanted, and I was happy to get it from Beautyhabit.

    The college-age age son will find some Dad leftovers he appreciates in his stocking, along with packaged samples of a couple of decent men’s fragrances. He actually has fairly sophisticated taste. I don’t even try his twin sister out on perfumes yet. A silk- and velvet-wearing tomboy, I’m not sure she would see the point. She’d be happy to choreograph a sword fight for you, though.

    Perfume gifts are just so SIMPLE, and add a lot to our lives for comparatively little outlay.

    • March says:

      Ooooh, fantastic choice with New York! Can’t go wrong with that one, and the college-age son will find some things to smell that don’t smell like Axe. Or (what’s that other one…) Lacoste. All the high school boys are wearing Lacoste… something. Inspiration? Not sure. It’s better than Axe.

      That could be their ad promo. “Lacoste. Less nauseating than Axe.”

      Whaddya think? And I agree with you that perfume gifts are fun and simple. I don’t have any worse track record there than with anything else.

  • hongkongmom says:

    oops i live out “he WHO is happy..”:d

  • hongkongmom says:

    its always good to look at our Blessings and if we do…we see we have many. one of our lessons of our fathers is”who is rich?” “he his is happy with his lot/what and who he is” i don’t celebrate chrstmas and don’t have any goodies under a tree, but i am grateful for all of my Blessings and definately have a winter stash…attrape, bois de isle,emeraude,shalimar, amber sultan and i thnk i’lle stop right now
    while i don’t have any goodies to wish for..i do wish you all a very happy and festive holiday:)

    • March says:

      Heh, you’re set on the same sorts of classics and orientals that mals and I are! And among other things, I’m rich in friends on here.

  • mals86 says:

    (First comment. This is a sign that I’ve Stayed Up Too Late…)

    I’ve been relying on my winter standbys: Dolce Vita (gorgeous in parfum), Bois des Iles, and Vanille Tonka. Shalimar Light is a comfort scent for me; Organza Indecence is for when I want to go to bed but not sleep. And there is a bottle of Alahine under the tree for me!

    • mals86 says:

      Forgot my darling Parfum Sacre.

      This time of year just calls for Orientals, does it not?

      • March says:

        It does indeed. You are really tormenting me with teh Dolce Vita parfum. I’ve been watching eBay but haven’t seen it.

        Organza Indecence makes me indecently happy. 😡

        Great choice with the Alahine!