Winter Favorites

LA_Skyline_Mountains2Well, winter arrived here in the city of the angels in the form of our first big series of rain storms. Rain in the southland is always problematic: being in the worst drought in receded history we obviously need it, but it tends to come in big, fat wages rather than slow, steady and scattered. So we had the usual issues, like mudslides in some of the burn areas and flooding. PCH in Malbu was closed for a few days because of mudslides and too many homes were flooded out, especially in the Inland Empire which got quite a few more inches than the basin. The upside to this is that it clears out the air and leaves you with the sort of day where photographers take this beauty shots of LA like the one I’m posting with the snow on the mountains in the background.

It also gives me an excuse to pull out some of the scents that I wouldn’t try to wear in a tiny office in summer. You all know of my fondness for Muscs Koublai Kahn as well as some of the others in the Lutens line like Ambre Sultan and Fille en Aiguilles. MKK is of course one of those musks that frightens some people, but on me I sort of neuter the bog cat and pare down some of the claws. It’s all cuddly on my skin and it’s one that I never want to be without, although in a pinch I can do Kiehl’s. Kiehl’s is definitely less refined, but if you’re like me and on a budget that’s more Diet Pepsi that Dom Perignon it can be a reasonable substitution.

Ambre Sultan is almost sticky-smelling: it’s a super rich amber with smoky spices and the tenacity of the late Joan Rivers- get some on a sweater and you’ll be smelling it forever.

Fille En Aiguilles is a pine scent, bracing yet warm at the same time. It’s like walking into a cabin after a long walk in the woods to a warm cup of mulled wine.

Ambre Sultan is $130 while Fille en Aiguilles is $150 for 50ML at the usual suspects. It seems that MKK has left the USA in the export bottle size after a visit of several years. It’s bell jar only from now on and available at Barneys or the Lutens website for $310. Oh well, I didn’t need car insurance anyway.

So what are your favorites for winter? Let us know in the comments..

No samples this time, just spritzes from the bottles in my cupboard.

Image: Wikipedia

  • Eloquaint says:

    My belief is that you can wear anything in any season as long as you are circumspect in your application, but right now I’m on such a MKK kick that I would be doing my laundry in it it that were at all feasible.

    I may wear Tea for Two on Christmas Eve. It seems so cozy, and my wee nephew, who always picks up on smells in the air, is probably not ready for MKK.

  • Ashley A says:

    My winter staples are Prada Candy, Chergui, Clair de Musc, Avignon and Dzing! I guess there are many more, but those seem to be my go-to security blankets. It’s funny because I absolutely loathe the winter, but “winter” fragrances are some of my favorites. Cozy ambers, honeys and tobaccos, please! I have a small decant of CdG’s Daphne, which I LOVE and wore a fair amount last winter. Everyone talked about its monster sillage but I truly didn’t notice it. Then I decided to wear it on my birthday this last year, which is in late May, and it was very warm. Geez Louise, it was truly a MONSTER. I would not be surprised if people were trying to run away from me.

  • Ingeborg says:

    My favourite for this time of the year is Five o’clock au Gingembre. I am still looking for the perfect amber perfume and that proves not so easy to find since I want something without much spice. Pada Candy is much used at home in the evnings, a warming scent. No lasting snow yet, just dark and humid, not my favourite time of the year, but Christmas preparations help fight the gloom.

    • Spiker says:

      Oooh! I love Five O’Clock au Gingembre and haven’t really pulled it out yet this year. Thank you for the reminder!

  • elvie says:

    Hey Tom dear,

    Oh how I envy those with some snow. We in Hungary are still waiting for real winter (I prefer snow, but rain is all we have right now), but WHEN it comes, I’ll be pulling out my big ambers, and powders, and even some of my gourmands as well. I love to cuddle up against the minuses with Alamut (best goodbooks-fuzzyblanket-glassofscotch-scent ever), Fumerie Turque, Mona di Orio’s Cuir (oh that gingerbread!), Tea for Two, (though that one is usually a fall staple, I kind of get something gorgerous honeyed-waxy from it in the coldest months) and my favourite ambers (Ambre Russe, L’Artisan’s Ambre (prefer the Extreme) and Montale’s Amber. Powder feels really soft on scarves, so I will be donning Brit Gold and (gasp) even Immortelle Marylin. And… I am a bit shamed to admit, but… well, Angel. A winter go-to, none of the patch in the cold air, all honey-cognac-caramel, and people just come and sniff my neck on buses and workplace and all, and go mmmmmmm…… So sue me, not the most sophisticated, but I do smell sweet!:) When I’m in that dark, leave me alone mood, it’s Magie Noire (can’t wait.). It’s deep and quirky enough to build a wall around me nobody dares to cross.
    Sorry for the babbling, it’s my favourite time of the year, partly because I can liberately wear the kind of scents that are really me.:)

  • Debbie R. says:

    I do the same thing to MKK. In the winter, I like that, Ambre Sultan, Fumerie Turque, PdR Amoureuse, Nuit de Noel, Neil Morris Midnight Tryst and Mystic Dragon.

  • einsof says:

    everything smells better with moisture in the air… i’m aglow in Erdenstern from April Aromatics. cheers!

  • I was frustrated that my doors won’t shut without a heavy SLAM! due to moisture, then I realized yes, we need all this damn rain here in LA! I’m taking advantage of the cooler temps with Ambre Sultan, it’s exactly how you described! Also bringing out some of the discontinued TF which I can only seem to wear in cooler weather: Urban Musk (wayyyy too much when combined with heat) and Italian Cypress, which has enough oakmoss to choke a small village. And of course anything else that’s nice n woody like CDG Dover Street Market because it smells like Christmas.

  • Back in Sydney now Tom and drenched in Beyond Paradise By Estee Lauder. It fits the day, and my mood perfectly.
    Portia xx

  • MaureenC says:

    It rarely gets incredibly cold in my part of the UK but as soon as the temperature drops a little out comes Alahine and then that drug of choice for the ex-Catholics like me – incense particularly Avignon and Messe de Minuit!

  • Artist says:

    Here in Vermont, C O L D, snowy, windy….time for Ambra di Venezia!!!!!!!!!!