Spraying away the rainy-day blues

By Ann

It’s raining cats and dogs here, and although we need it, it makes for cold, dreary afternoons and evenings. So I rambled through my perfume drawers (that sounded kinda funny, didn’t it?) to see what I could find.

I decided to cozy up to some warm and fuzzy ambers, including Ambre Sultan, Ambre Fetiche and my new sample of Ambre Orient — all lovely. And you know what? They really helped to take the chill off, literally and figuratively. Paired with a nice cup of tea and a good book, and I nearly¬†forgot that the weather outside was a bit frightful.

What’s your favorite scent for a rainy day?

Photo from flickr

  • Darryl says:

    Comfort scents don’t really cut it for me on rainy days. For all its dreary connotations and mid-February context, there’s something invigorating about rainfall, even on the greyest days, to me. Everything outside seems suffused with extra weight and meaning, and the senses feel heightened. It makes me want to wear something Scorpionic and mercurial rather than sweet and pillowy. Bulgari Black fits the bill every time: it’s dark, moody, and inscrutable, with enough sweet amber and musk to give it some texture and thickness. Actually, just about any amber works for me on rainy days, particularly the darker, more leathery (rather than powdery and light) ones. I rarely wear ambers on crisp, sunny days when I’m brimming with optimism.

  • Sarah says:

    Cold,wet,dreary days………Habanita inside old cashmere sweater, dog next to me, book in hand and mocha coffee waiting.

  • reglisse says:

    I am big on Theorema when it’s cold and rainy; I’m not sure what I will do when I use it all up! Probably cry and start with the Chergui….

    • Ann says:

      Love both your choices! But don’t fret – it seems like there’s always some on eBay. I know what you mean, though; it’s no wonder we perfumistas have “hoarding” tendencies.

    • Suzy Q says:

      Oh, yes, that’s a good one, too.

  • Eldarwen22 says:

    Chanel’s Cuir de Russie is my comfort scent or a scent where no other scent will do. Vintage BaV in EDP form is a new comfort scent for me. I’ve only used maybe 2ml of an 8ml decant and have another on the way. I’m kicking myself because I just got the newest version on BaV in EDT form and it smells like peppery musk after 15 minutes then disapperes in about 3 hours. Thankfully, it was only $30. I have no idea why, but ebay scares the living daylights out of me.

    • Ann says:

      So nice that you’ve got an old comfort scent and a new one now, too. Early in my fall down the perfumista rabbit hole, I tried CdR and didn’t like it. But now that I’m mature (ha ha!) and am enjoying leathers more, I really need to revisit it. Bal, however, is just a bit too skanky for me, but very happy that you’re enjoying it so much.

      • Eldarwen22 says:

        The current version of BaV (EDT) I had bought through Amazon and was so very dissapointed because it doesn’t really smell that great, it’s a Shalimar wannabe. I think it’s off to TPC to order a decant of the vintage EDT to make the comparison.

        • Ann says:

          There you go! Sorry about the eBay thing — usually it turns out pretty well but once in a while … Enjoy your vintage!

          • Eldarwen22 says:

            On the upside, I now have a better understanding of why so many people dislike or hate reformulations of perfumes. They simply don’t smell as good. After consulting The Guide, Turin and Sanchez had reported that Cuir de Russie still smells great even though it’s been reformulated.

  • Suzy Q says:

    Oh, yes, definitely agree that amber is great in cold rainy weather. I fell in love with Ambre Sultan, thanks to the recent Swapmania! Also, Coromandel is great. Lightly applied I also like Histoires de Parfums 1725 (“Casanova”) which is lavender, vanilla and amber. It’s like an extra layer of clothing–or an extra blanket.

    • Ann says:

      Suzy, I love me some Coromandel as well. It’s the most elegant patchouli I think I’ve ever smelled. Wouldn’t it be fabulous in a body cream?

  • Tamara J.* says:

    Une Rose Chypree is my HG and what I can count on to wear no matter what the mood or weather, just more for colder days and a tiny squirt for warmer ones. :)
    I had a horrible reaction to my meds awhile back and was so sick that it put me off my perfumes for over a month. I just couldn’t handle all my heavies.
    I missed them terribly and would sniff the caps but even that turned my stomach. It was sad.
    When I finally did want perfume again I only craved greens and citrus or light scents.

    URC is what I finally dared to try and it was so divine,so lovely and such a comforting olfactory embrace from an old friend.
    The ones where you can just pick up where you left off,even after a long silence..

    • Ann says:

      Oh, no, poor baby! Hope you’re complete back to normal now. And glad you found a comfort scent that worked. Sometimes old friends are simply the best …

  • mals86 says:

    (We had snow yesterday, sun today. Awfully nice to finally get some snow – it’s the first of this winter here in the mountains of VA. Had a lovely fire and watched videos all afternoon yesterday.)

    Climat is an autumn rain for me, probably due to some past experience because every time I wear it in the rain, I see a fuzzy nostalgic day out with my mother and grandmother in the early 1970s, when I could have been no more than four years old. We drove downtown (this was when “downtown” still meant department stores and dressing up) and went by my dad’s office, then went to Hieronymus for shopping and lunch in the tea room, and then to my mother’s doctor’s office, where I sat in the car with my grandmother and watched bright yellow maple leaves spiral down against the dark brick of the building.

    In a cold winter rain, I like Shalimar Light and Alahine, as well as my vintage Emeraude pdt. Soft and snuggly, and on the sweet side but not too heavy.

    A summer rain? Crown Perfumery Crown Bouquet, or Diorissimo, or Petite Cherie.

    • Ann says:

      Yay — snow for you!! We haven’t had any this winter and it’s just as well, because the city gets paralyzed, everything shuts down and cabin fever sets in. What a beautiful scent memory from your childhood; thanks for sharing.

  • Lisa D says:

    Well, I’ve found that enough Ambre Narguile will chase away more than the rain.

  • Musette says:

    For a spring rain, nothing beats Liz Zorn’s Violets and Rainwater, which transports me to Lexington Avenue in early May. A colder winter rain requires something warmer – I would go with her Centennial for that, which is a warm, peachy chypre. It’s strange but rain = Liz Zorn perfumes for me! ūüėē If I had no Liz I would probably wear vintage Coco or vintage Mitsouko.

    I’m so glad you guys are getting the rain you need, even though it is dreary. I hope it rains long enough to replenish your water table, something you’ll be thrilled about, come those scorching summer months.

    xoxoxo >-)

    • Ann says:

      Hey, sweetie — very cool that you have your perfect rain scent(s). The showers have stopped now but every little bit helps …

  • (Ms.)Christian says:

    The ‘original’ Comme des Garcons edp that Mark Buxton orchestrated back in the ’90s always makes me feel good. I use it when I am really ill, very cold, depressed or a combination of those and it never fails me. The notes are labdanum, cedarwood, cardamom, cinnamon, black pepper, honey, clove, nutmeg, sandalwood-all warmth inducing things, so it’s a no brainer for me.

    Second favorite for cold and rain is Guerlain’s Winter Delice. Notes Fir trees, Scotch pine, balsam, Somalian incense, sugar and vanilla. I hate gourmands and don’t get the sweetness in this and on me it’s not very piney-just makes me feel great.

    Tea for Two can be good or bad; depending on my mood, it’s like a bracing cuppa or just too damn smoky.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, lady, hope you’re doing well. All your suggestions sound great. I have been wanting to try the Winter Delice for a while now; I also am wondering if the CdG you mention is what I see on Luckyscent, called CdG Original. Is that it?

      • (Ms.)Christian says:

        Hi Ann. Doing okay-waiting for spring and enjoying the emerging daffodils here.

        Yes, the CdG on Luckyscent is the same scent I’ve described. Labdanum is one of my favorite notes and I think that’s primarily the thing that attracts and delights me-and keeps this one from becoming a Christmas potpourri scent.

      • Milena says:

        Hi Ann, I can send you a samples of both Winter delice and CdG original together with the other scent.

        I do not have a rainy day perfumes; cozy – yes. Muscs Koublai Khan and Musc Ravageur are one of them.

        • Ann says:

          Hi, Milena! Thanks for your lovely offer, very sweet of you. I can’t do the MKK but the Musc Ravageur is a nice warming scent. Thanks!

  • Rena says:

    Chantecaille’s Kalimantan is my dreary day option

    • Ann says:

      That is a good one — and to my nose, there’s something about it that makes it smell so unusual, too.

      • Sherri M says:

        I have come to love Kalimantan. It is similar to Guerlain Oriental Brulant, in fact I have a hard time telling them apart side by side. Great choice for cold, rainy days!

        • Ann says:

          I’m not that familiar with the Guerlain, Sherri, but that’s an interesting observation. Wonder what (if any)ingredients they share? I really enjoy doing side-by-side tests of scents and comparing their notes and development.

  • Mindy says:

    Serge Lutens Five O’Clock au Gingembre, but only for a winter rain. It’s too heavy for me in the warmer months.

    • Ann says:

      Yum, Mindy, that one sounds delicious. Have not tried it yet though. Is it anywhere close to L’Artisan’s Tea for Two? If so, I’m in!

  • maggiecat says:

    We need rain so badly in Texas that it’s cause for celebration when it comes – even if it is cold and dreary, as it was this weekend. Eau Duelle is a wonderful comfort scent, as is anything tropical – Hove’s Magnolia worked just fine for me last Saturday!

    • Ann says:

      I’m with you, Maggiecat, so I hate to complain. That’s why it’s nice that we can just cozy up with our scents and enjoy the rain. Eau Duelle is a fave of mine as well, but I’ve yet to try the Hove. Is that out of New Orleans?

    • FragrantWitch says:

      Yay for another Hove lover! Magnolia is an excellent choice. Have you tried Creole Days? Just lovely!

  • FragrantWitch says:

    Hi Ann! Here in England, you need a rainy day fragrance to hand rather frequently, I’m afraid.
    For wintry, rainy, days I go for Chergui, Shalimar or CN 21.. For spring rainy days, I like Hove’s Verveine or, CBIHP’s Black March. Gentle summer rainy days warrant White Linen or Caleche whereas violent thunderstorms need Dune with its beachy weirdness or the unknown Tiare flower oil thingy I have which is all soaked tropical blooms and sweat-beaded skins entwined.
    Looking forward to getting some recommendations!

    • Ann says:

      Hi sweet M! Mmmm, I’m smiling just thinking of Chergui, and wishing I could pull off Shalimar. Love your other picks as well, especially Dune. Haven’t smelled that in years so I definitely need to revisit.

  • Bevfred says:

    Andy Tauer’s “Le Maroc pour elle” fixes just about anything, including a broken heart!

    • Ann says:

      Now that’s quite a recommendation! Hope you’re talking in the past tense and that you’re OK now. I’ve tried most of the Tauers but somehow missed that one, so on my list it goes. Thanks!

  • rosarita says:

    My favorite cold rainy day scent is Bond 9 New Haarlem. It makes me feel like I’m in a chic, cozy coffee shop, meeting friends for a mid Saturday shopping break. Perfume escapism at it’s best. :)

    • Ann says:

      Ding-ding-ding — we have another winner!! Sweetie, I forgot completely about that one but I adore it as well. So much so that I sprang for the candle several years ago. And later in the year, when it might seem too heavy, try it with a spritz of Bond’s Little Italy on top — very yummy!

    • ElizabethW says:

      Me too–I love this one when the weather is wet.

      • Ann says:

        It’s just as Rosarita said, wearing it is like being tucked away in a warm, cozy coffee shop, isn’t it? Glad you like it as well.

  • Austenfan says:

    Ambers are good for lifting your spirits and making you feel warm. One of the most cheerful fragrances I own is Vamp à New York. At least I find it so.

    • Ann says:

      Oooh, I’m so envious that you can wear Vamp. When it came out, it sounded perfect for me and I so wanted to love it, but it was not to be on my skin. Glad you’re enjoying it!

  • Olfacta says:

    It’s just the weirdest thing. Last year I spotted an old bottle of Bijan for $9.95 at Maxx. I had never wor n it but put some on yesterday…ok, it smells like all the Iranian girls in Beverly Hills in 1981, but it’s not too bad! It’s a ylang-ylang over an amber. And it lasts forever. I can still smell it.

    • Ann says:

      Hey, lady, how are you? Thanks for the reminder about Bijan (the bottle with the white, rubbery donut-hole-like top, right?). If so, I used to enjoy it also. You are so lucky re: TJ Maxx — I NEVER find anything good in those places …

    • Joanna says:

      That’s so funny, I was just holding a bottle of Bijan at TJ Maxx yesterday. Now I wish I would have just bought it along with that bottle of Molton Brown…but I couldn’t tell which scent it was.

      I like Dzing! on a rainy day. Or Cimabue.

      • Ann says:

        Molton Brown, you say? Oh my! Joanna, I see that you, too, are one of the TJ Maxx blessed, lucky girl …

        • Joanna says:

          Ann, yes but because of the big clunky plastic antitheft packaging and unfortunate clearance tag placement I couldn’t see which Molton Brown scent it was. I’ve been kicking myself for not just picking it up anyway. I couldn’t remember what Bijan was like aside from liking it in college. I’ll have to check back next weekend when I’m in the Twin Cities again and see if either is still around.

          • Ann says:

            If you go back and it’s there, maybe customer service would take the thingamajig off for a sec, just long enough for you to read the label. Good luck and do let us know …

  • Portia says:

    It’s blustering away in Sydney Australia too.
    Andy Tauer’s Eau D’Epices is keeping me scent warm. MMMM

  • pyramus says:

    For years my favourite rainy-day scent has been Hermes Rocabar, and I don’t even know why: it’s not particularly warm or comforting until the end, when it turns into vanilla. But it has sort of a boreal-forest quality that just seems like something I ought to smell like when it’s rainy. It’s really excellent.

    • Ann says:

      I’ve seen that one from time to time in the boutique but have never smelled it as I’m usually making a beeline for the latest Hermessence. It’s now on my list for my next visit — thanks!!