Oh boy, now that we’re smack in the midst of the holiday madness, I find myself longing for a calm oasis, as I’m sure are many of you. And on a particularly crazy day that involves work deadlines, school activities and a shopping trip smack in the middle of horrific traffic, about the only way I can detour around the chaos and get to that oasis is through fragrance.
For me, the very unaptly named Donna Karan Chaos would be one of the ones that first comes to mind. Its gorgeous tapestry of notes, from saffron and coriander to sage, cinnamon, sandalwood and more, create a very calming atmosphere. And I find the original and the re-issue to work equally well. A beautiful chaos-buster, indeed, that one.
I’m also finding that the contrasts of Chanel No. 22: light (uplifting aldehydes) and dark (soothing incense) work well. Speaking of incense, Armani Prive’s Bois d’Encens has a lovely transporting effect on me; I can close my eyes and feel myself seated in a quiet church sanctuary, softly lighted by candle glow, immune to the world rushing by outside the stone walls and heavy oak doors.
And Le Labo’s Gaiac 10 has a very centering, peaceful aura about it as well. Some might dismiss it as simplistic or dislike it because of the high cost/city exclusive business, but it really does the trick for me. I found a partially used bottle on eBay, bit the bullet and never looked back. I’ve even thought about taking a blotter of this with me when I have to go to the mall and must deal with the craziness of sitting through three traffic lights and the can’t-find-a-parking-spot blues.
To remind me of the sweetness of life, the vanilla goodness of Indult’s Tihota helps bring back a bit of the childhood wonder and innocence that’s welcome and much-needed at this time of year.
The pine-y, balsam-y, resin-y vibe of Annick Goutal’s Encens Flamboyante or even Serge Lutens’ Fille en Anguilles also do their part to help settle me down and put me in a more festive frame of mind.
Thymes’ Frasier Fir and Agraria’s Balsam diffusers do the same thing for my home when I want that beloved Christmas tree vibe. Especially needed this year as our tree does not have a ton of fragrance. 🙁 And for out-and-out cozy, vanilla-based warmth, Henri Bendel Vanilla Bean diffuser and Antica Farmacista’s Vanille, Bourbon & Mandarin one get pulled into heavy rotation at my house to help keep the chaos at bay.
So share with us, what scents do you use to help calm the holiday chaos?