One of my picks for great new release winter perfumes may have been around a bit, but they are new to me this winter. Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, AJ Arabia V and Cartier Musc & Oud are my winter picks of great new release winter perfumes for 2015 that I want to curl up around a fire with.
Aftelier Vanilla Smoke is the smokiest vanilla I’ve ever fell in love with. It huff and puffs hot tea smoke over a vanilla base that is enchanting. Notes of yellow mandarin, Siam wood, saffron absolute, vanillin, vanilla absolute, Lapsang Souchong, ambergris and coumarin. Brilliantly balanced by the supporting notes so both the smoke and the vanilla never stomp on or smother each other. It’s a cozy and warm and is gorgeous when you sniff it on your clothes the next day. I tested both the parfum and EDP of these (provided by Mandy Aftel). I preferred the parfum just because it had that extra strength and power, but the EDP was amazing as well. The drydown has the perfect soft saffroned vanilla with just enough smoke remaining to make it interesting and not too gourmand or sweet. A must-try if you are a fan of smokey fragrances or vanilla fragrances and lose control of your wallet over smokey vanillas.
AJ Arabia V was my first try of the AJ Arabia line. Um, why didn’t someone tell me what I was missing? Okay, someone probably did, which led me to hunting one of these down. This is a great oud-centric line that doesn’t feel too oud’ish. Notes of lemon, peach, cinnamon, tuberose, orange blossom, solar accord, cedar, caramel and vanilla. It’s not that gourmand, I promise. The peach, caramel and vanilla take a lot of the bitterness out of the oud on the open, and the cinnamon and cedar add interest and depth. The brilliance of this is the tuberose and orange blossom heart. This stuff is really gorgeous and warm and cuddly and makes the world seem warmer in the depths of winter. I’m now a big AJ Arabia fan and need to check out the rest of the line.
Musette talked about Cartier Oud & Musc, part of the L’heure series from Mathilde Laurent. I love that series, but I’d just skipped past the oud ones because, well, isn’t oud over yet?
Not when Cartier Oud & Musc smells like this. I don’t have any note list beyond, well, oud and musc, but it does smell amazing. It’s smooth, just enough medicinal oud so you don’t think it’s not oud, but the musc is a little naughty and velvety plush, which makes an amazing bed for oud. I’m like Musette, I didn’t think that much one way or the other when I first smelled it, but the drydown is long and perfection in only the way a beautiful perfume can be.
All of these are unisex, yeah! With all three of these on, I smell the best I have ever smelled in my life. Okay, maybe that’s too dramatic. The best I’ve smelled this year.
Let’s do a giveaway. I’m not sure I have enough of the Aftelier Vanilla Smoke, but I think I can put together a small sample. So I’ll do sets of all three to two lucky commenters picked at random. If Santa would put any perfume in your stocking this year – any, discontinued, ridiculously priced, everything is available to perfume Santa – what would it be for you?