Comfort Scents for a Rainy Winter Night

Screen Shot 2014-02-06 at 6.53.01 PMI’m playing hooky.

It’s 6:32 PM on a rainy Thursday here and I was supposed to go to a meeting of the West Hollywood/Beverly Hills Democratic Club. I am not budging. All I want to do is write my post then curl up on the sofa with a nice hot tea and a book. I know I should do my civic duty, but it’s (insert whiny voice) raiiinnniiinnngggggg and coooollldd.

Well it’s in the low fifties but in Los Angeles, that’s cold. Plus our older buildings don’t have insulation like back East (so those of you dealing with actual winter please don’t want to slug me for whining about the low 50’s.) Plus, the dog ate my car keys and the cat my bus pass. I have a suspicion that there might be a rogue group of giant man-eating clams outside my apartment.

So I am staying in.

Of course that begs the question “what to wear?” Not clothing of course- that’s taken care of with gracious lounging pajamas consisting of flannel pants with ducks on them and a logo sweatshirt from LL Bean. No, what scents? I considered Muscs Koublai Khan, Musc Nomade and CB I Hate Perfume Musk Reinvention, since all of them on a cold night are to me the equivalent of the roaring fire I can’t have without just setting a wall ablaze.

Going through the bags in the closet, I spied a smudge left in the decant I got from Surrender to Chance of Fermez Tes Yeux. Perfection. One of these days I have to get a bottle of this. Maybe I’ll sell the car.

What’s your winter night scent? Or your Holy Grail? Discuss in the comments, and if you’re suffering Winter,I hope it warms up. My friend in NYC sent me a post from Gothamist about the epic slush there. Rainy and 55° seems positively tropical by comparison.

Image: screenshot from my MacBook

  • Gentiana says:

    Winter nights… Well, my soothing night-time fragrances for coold and rainy-snowy-foggy-depressing weather are, about in the order of preference:
    Nuit de Noel, Un Bois Vanille, Mona di Orio Oud, Mona di Orio Vanille, Al Haramain Afaaf, Rasasi Dehn al Oudh al Cambodi layered with Un bois Vanille (fabulous!!!!), Ambre Fetiche, Encens Flamboyant (these two are nice memories – the samples are dried out), Molinard Fleur de Chocolat, Frederic Malle Eau d’Hiver, Etro Heliotrope (some drops left).

  • Lisa D says:

    It’s really windy outside. I hate really windy. I hate really windy like my cats hate really windy. It makes me cranky, propels irritating specks of who-knows-what into my eyes, and it messes up my hair. How’s that for whiny?

    However, our faithful postal service has, despite gale force winds, delivered into my greedy little hands a bottle of Incensed, by Smell Bent. I’ve been wearing CdG Jaisalmer, AG Encens Flamboyant (thanks, fairy godmother!), and SSS Incense Pure over the course of my months-long obsession with incense, but I kept on coming back to my little decant of Incensed, so I gifted myself with a bottle. Eminently wearable without being at all generic. Good longevity without being overpowering. Best of all, doesn’t require that I sell a big ticket item or file my tax return early in order to justify a purchase.

    So that’s my windy winter night scent!

  • Davidoff Cool Water is my favorite!

  • DaveStPaul says:

    No, no heckling from me. We had a little, older house when we were in Palo Alto, and it was amazing how cold it would get in there!

    This winter I’m relying on Parfumerie Generale’s Cozé.

  • Mary K says:

    I am in the Midwest, and we have had plenty of really cold temperatures this winter, so I am enjoying L’Air du Desert Marocain, Chergui, Five O’Clock au Gingembre and Teint de Neige.

  • Lizzy says:

    The weather has been straight up bipolar here in NorCal these past few weeks: we went from nearly 80 degrees IN JANUARY straight down to upper 50s in one freakin’ week. For those hunkered down in the polar vortex I offer this explanation for our bitching about the cold here in CA: a gradual slide into a long, uber frigid winter is a lot less shocking to the system than a nearly 30 degree drop in temps in less than 10 days.

    Sweet Mother of God, I am thankful for the rain, though. There were talks beginning here of rationing water, and the city council passed a resolution before the storm hit that everyone had to reduce water consumption by 20% and they were asking folks to call in if they saw their neighbors being wasteful (like overwatering the lawn, washing the car, etc.). Code enforcement came to my aunt & uncle’s home and said they’d be fined $1000 if they didn’t adjust their lawn irrigation to avoid runoff. Crazy.

    TL; DR: my favorite comforts on cold rainy nights are Riverwalk by Liz Zorn (I got a sample in the Summer of Patchouli Love box back in 2011; come to think of it there’s a lot of cold-weather comfort in that little sample box!), which I positively hoard, Donna Karan Black Cashmere, Sonoma Scent Studio Rose Musc and Tabac Aurea, Cuirelle by Ramon Monegal, Tom Ford Grey Vetiver (which I blame Tom for introducing me to!), and Field Notes From Paris by INeKE.

  • HemlockSillage says:

    Fermez Tes Yeux, Yum! I also have a tiny scrab of this that I adore, and think, WHY do I have to love this kind of thing so much? I will be so sad when it is gone. If I didn’t buy a single sample or decant for how long, can I have a FB? I really need not to make those kinds of deals with myself. . .

    I’m freezing, and bravely busted out Tauer’s Dark Passage today, as Robin at NST had mentioned it. I’d tried it in summer in 90+F weather and hated it, but around 30F it is much better! I love all the big leathers and dense orientals that I rarely wear, unless it is cold. Ambre Narguile (The Nazgul!), Cuir Ottoman, Chergui, Black Aoud, Pardon all get more skin time, then go back into their cool, dark hiding drawer until cold days come around. Enjoy your cold (cool?) snap 😀 Be well.

  • Gwenyth says:

    COLD. Yes, it is. …..and snowy.
    When I want a comfort scent in the cold, dark winter – I choose:
    SPICY (Fendi Asja; Serge Lutens Rousse, Five o’Clock Gingembre or Arabie; Etro Raving; Estee Lauder Cinnabar; Yves St. Laurent Opium),

    COMFORT/CUDDLY (Bvlgari Blv Notte, Gabrielle Strehle Strennese, Keiko Mecheri Loukhoum, Guerlain My Insolence or L’Instant Magic),

    something reminiscent of PINE/TREES like S. Lutens’ Filles en Aiguilles, Sonoma Scent Studios Forest Walk, or Guerlain Winter Delice.

    something with AMBER and/or INCENSE
    Parfum d’Empire Ambre Russe
    Annick Goutal Ambre Fetiche and Encens Flamboyant
    Sonoma Scent Studios Incense Pure

  • Portia says:

    Hey Tom,
    Currently in brisk but not freezing London. I am wearing tester of Parfums de Rosine’s Kashmiri and it is absolutely gorgeous. Michael and I popped into the Palais Royale store on a whim and were treated to a full range consultation by the beautiful girl who is the store manager, Dami(?).
    We both agreed that we loved the product but the brand needs a bit of a rejuve because it’s so old fashioned looking.
    If you can get past that then there are some lovely treasures to be found, and Kashmiri seems perfect for winter. MMMMMM
    Portia xx

  • Rose says:

    I’m actually living in New York and it’s been a horrible winter so far. What helps me power through and stay hopeful for spring is Bond No 9’s New Haarlem perfume. It is absolutely DIVINE in the bitter cold. It’s very sweet and keeps me warm. It sort of reminds me of eating a warm breakfast on my couch on a Saturday morning. For anyone who is losing hope this winter, I suggest you try New Haarlem.

  • tammy says:

    Gah, I lived in SoCal for almost all my adult life, and you forgot to mention that the older places don’t have weather stripping around the doors and windows, and almost everything is on cement slab foundations. I don’t think my feet were ever truly warm in 25 years.

    I tend to wear heavy perfumes as a rule, so nothing really changes for me in the winter, but I have been on quite the amber roll lately and I’ve also have been wearing the heck out of Regina Harris’ Rose Maroc. ( No rose on me, just the incense)

  • einsof says:

    well, the good news is you’re not the first person to mistake Tammie (“with an ‘i, e'”) Brown performing “Clam Happy” to be ACTUAL man eating clams– it happens. 😉 From the depths of the wyoming tundra (it made it to a balmy -4 (no windchill) here yesterday), i had an instinctual aromatherapeutic reaction to the cold, and quickly concocted two responses to the cold:

    the first a cinnamon/myrrh/benzoin blend which definitely brings some heat.

    the second, cedarwood, fir, bergamot, lavender, benzoin which reminds me of the evergreens i can’t smell through my frozen nostrils.

    but if i were reaching for someone else’s juice? Italian Smoke from Joanne Bassett, Rose Boheme from Providence Perfume Co (of course this i could die in a bathtub full quite happily), or perhaps whatever it is Tammie sprays on those clams to make them so darned happy.

    stay warm and (clam) happy!

  • mals86 says:

    Soivohle Centennial is a snuggly wool blanket of a thing. Or Parfum Sacre, that’s lovely when you feel chilled. (I have rarely felt so cold as I did in New Zealand in August… no insulated buildings there either, though it wasn’t terribly cold according to the thermometer.)

    Stay away from the man-eating clams, dude.

  • Alison says:

    I’ve been wearing a lot of Montale Powder Flowers. Both my husband and my teenage daughter love to bury their noses in my neck and inhale deeply. Comfort scent for everyone, not just me!

  • kelly cross says:

    Absolue Pour le Soir is my winter go-to. Musk, roses, incense — sacred and profane all rolled into one.