Yes, ladies and gentlemen — it’s that time of the year again, when we all put forth our Top Ten Fragrances of Winter. These are scents that may be new, or just new to us — or perhaps rediscoveries or simply old favorites that we rely on to get us through the gloomies until Spring.
Lee: We’ve had more snow this year than I can recall since childhood. A full two inches laid on the ground for a week. Hell indeed, or its inverse (waves at Canadians, Scandinavians and midWesterners with irritating insouciance). Anyways, what’s ringing my bells and pulling my buttons? Well, the first is no surprise – Parfumerie Generale’s Cozé. Pure wonder. But I reckon this will be a year-round mainstay for me. (By the way, winners of the samples from two weeks back are Geordan1244, carlene and chasa. Get in touch, peoples!).
And sticking with the patchouli and chocolate oddness, I’m going to choose dear old Serge’s Borneo 1834. Reeling from Perfume Shrine’s discontinuation revelation, and still soccer-punched by my sample of l‘Eau Serge Lutens (bright light, squinting eyes, iris squeal, high pitched melody – “Der Hà¶lle Rache” from the Magic Flute is how high it goes – facets of bleach and scrubbed sanatoria, with Dior Homme in the far drydown) Borneo 1834 is the perfect elegant off-centre number for when I want to project more … something… than the delectable Cozé will allow. No nasty vomit comments (vomments?) now please.
March: It’s been a funny winter (aren’t they all?) because it’s either 67 degrees, or it’s cold and there’s 20 inches of snow on the ground. Oddly, I have not yet shifted to my gourmand cozy-sweater comfort scents. Instead I’ve been reveling in these two:
The first is Lancome Climat, re-released in La Collection, I blogged on it already. Part of the ongoing fascination is that I’ve fallen in love with a fragrance I wouldn’t consider “me” at all. It’s too big, too angular, too green-and-white. Too dressy. Too … too. Not that I’m opposed to ballsy elegance (hello, Mitsouko!) but I never thought I’d find myself swooning over an aldehydic white floral with plenty of the dreaded lily of the valley. I like wearing it casually — in the daytime, with my jeans and a sweater. Perfume is always full of wonderful surprises, isn’t it?
The second is Serge Lutens Santal Blanc. When I mentioned it in my sandalwood post, several sandalwood fans said they hated this scent. My new interest in sandalwood (my timing couldn’t be worse, could it?) allowed me to have a perfume experience I’m not sure I’ve had before: to view an already-appreciated scent through a completely different lens. I think SB was my second Serge bottle, and it’s always been that weird pencil-y thing. But right this second it’s the perfect sandalwood for me, radiant, with no giant rose to spoil it for me. Also, sandalwood and fig together are delicious. Having acquired several figs during my fig jag, and then promptly burning myself out, I’m getting a chance to wear those figs again. (My personal fave: Philosykos layered with SB.)
Musette: A lifetime ago, my (then) husband had the noive to sniff my best friend and say “you smell intoxicating.” It was in Winter. She was wearing Prescriptives Calyx. I was furious. But intrigued. Went and sniffed. He wuz right. Busted!….but right. I think the good ship LucaTania gave it 5 stars, with good reason. It goes on smooth and sunny and blooms in the cold, without trying too hard. It’s not quite ‘summer’, just a nice fresh, juicy (without being ‘fruity’) rosy-green.
Speaking of rose…normally I am not a huge rose fan in perfume (love ’em on bushes, though)…but something about winter brings out the Rose Love in me. My favorite for this time of year is The Different Company’s Rose Poivree, with that hit of peppery zing! slicing through the redness. First runner up is Rosine’s Big’un – La Rose de Rosine. Nothing but, uh, Rose….it’s great for snuggling under the blankets on a cold winter night.
Nava: So far, my first full Canadian winter has been less than impressive, but I should be careful what I wish for, correct? It hasn’t been anywhere near as brutal as what my mother’s childhood recollections had me fearing, but at least it was snow, ya know? Nowadays, it’s those pesky “ice pellets” (aka, sleet) I need to worry about; that and falling on my ass in the driveway while I scrape the protective coating off my car. But hey, at least I’ll smell good wearing Serge’s Five O’ Clock Au Gingembre and Guerlain Spiritueuse Double Vanille. I know I’ve been singing the praises of wood, incense and the like for a while, but when it comes down to chasing away the doldrums of winter, these two get it done. This is where I’ve landed on the journey from foody and gourmand, to, dare I say it…grown up.
Patty: I’m a simple girl, and I feel like I’m flogging these two scents to within and inch of their life, but they are quintessentially winter, By Kilian Pure Oud and Amouage Tribute Attar. Dark, rich, warm, pungent, a little bitter, but, like life, worn long enough, warmed up by the heat of your life, the become almost an extension of you, even while retaining an other-ness.