Rich, lush and plush: Scents for celebrating

Wishing everyone a happy holiday season and a very merry Christmas Eve to those who celebrate it. On these festive days, I always think carefully about what scent to wear. And I’ve noticed that over the years, I’ve grouped a number of scents that I love together in a category I’ll loosely call “million-dollar babies.” These fragrances smell like no expense was spared, and are rich, lush and plush, with a capital P:

Givenchy’s Ysatis, a big, bold ’80s floriental, accompanied by a sly wink of coconut; Clive Christian C for Women’s seamlessly blended mix of tuberose, rose, violet and a slew of other lovelies; Hermes’ 24 Faubourg, with rich, lush and plushits Ms. Got Rocks’ nectar of orange blossom and jasmine; my newly rediscovered ’90s fave Faberge Imperial; the Queen Carnal Flower; any number of Amouages; and perhaps even the new floral beauty from Puredistance, Opardu, although I need to spend more quality time with it to see if it will qualify. Hey, I’ll even include Chanel Coromandel. It’s got patchouli, but it’s gorgeously put together and refined — not something that’s often said about patch. Of course, I’m sure I’m missing many others.

These are scents that make you (or at least me) want to don high heels, slip on a strand of pearls (or a tux, for the guys) and go out to some kind of oh-so-elegant affair, be it a grand party, dinner at a posh restaurant or an evening at the opera, theater or ballet. (Or maybe just playing dress-up at home, which I’ve been known to do, ha!)

Just spraying on one of these beauties makes me feel dressed to the nines, even if I’m wearing jeans. I stand a little taller, hold my head a little higher and reach for ravishing red lipstick.

Speaking of Carnal Flower, I wore it to our family’s Thanksgiving celebration this year rich, lush andplushand got several compliments on it, which is a rare occurrence, indeed. That day was two spritzes’ worth: one on my chest, then one on the wrist, which I then gently touched to the back of my neck and to the other wrist.
I usually apply my fragrance VERY lightly, one spritz or dab only, so is it any wonder I don’t get much feedback? (But that’s probably a good thing these days.) At any given time, you’d have to press your nose into my wrist to sniff what I’m wearing. Maybe this will teach me to be a bit more decadent, eh?

Anyway, what fragrances make you feel like a million bucks? What scents say rich, lush and plush
to you?

BTW, I’m still trying to decide what to wear tonight: Despite neither being on my rich, lush and plush list, I’m leaning toward Annick Goutal Encens Flamboyant (for that lovely hit of balsam-y goodness) or a spray of drop-dead beautiful Ubar, sent to me by a generous perfume pal. Or a dollop of Amouage Memoir body cream, sent by another wonderful perfumista. I’ll definitely choose something from the list for Christmas Day though.

  • Jan Last says:

    I wore Annick Goutal’s Nuit Etoilee. In Guaynabo, Puerto Rico! Even the Grandkids loved the smell, so we misted it onto the christmas napkins! Amazing.

    • Ann says:

      Very cool, Jan! It’s so nice that your grandkids will remember you from that scent. That’s such a lovely, refreshing fragrance, perfect for the holiday, and that gorgeous blue bottle is just to die for.

  • Heather Wood says:

    Does anyone know anything about a Creed scent called Venisia? Sounds in the big plush category, and evidently frequently knocked off. Is the real thing worth seeking out?

    • Ann says:

      Heather, I think there is a Creed called Vanisia, but I have not sniffed it. Maybe one of our other Posse folk knows more about it and can help …

      • wooddogs3 says:

        Right, Vanisia it is. I’ve found a sample of it, and YECH. The oddest alternation of soap and various body parts that really need some soap.

        • Ann says:

          Oh, no, Heather — so sorry to hear this! But at least you’re only out for a sample. Here’s hoping you find something else to love soon …

  • Mariekel says:

    Divine by Divine always makes me feel exceedingly glam. But nothing tops vintage Chamade parfum for plushhness extraordinaire.

    To quote from my version of a Christmas Carol on these pages: “Guerlain spritz us, every one.”

    Happy Christmas, beloved Posse!

    • Ann says:

      Thank you, sweet Mariekel — we love you guys, too! If that’s the Divine I’m thinking of, it reminds me a bit of Ysatis, another plush baby. Need to try vintage Chamade though, since it’s been years. Merry Christmas!

  • Alityke says:

    I adore the golden silky richness of Ubar but it may be overkill with all the rich foody smells of Christmas day. Christmas Eve I’ll wear the very appropriate Armani Prive Bois D’Encens. Perfect catholic church service incense.

    Christmas Day? Chanel 31 Rue Cambon, definitely luxurious, definitely rich.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Alityke. I have on the Ubar now, testing it further, and so far it’s perfect, but might be a bit too much tomorrow. Ah, that Armani Bois — good stuff, indeed, as is the Rue Cambon. You’ll smell terrific!

  • tammy says:

    Oh, and could someone please pass along all my best wishes to Nava and Lee?

    • Ann says:

      Tammy, we’ll try. I am on FB with Nava but don’t really know Lee. But I’m sure one of the Posse head honchos like Patty or Musette would be happy to do it.

  • tammy says:

    I tend to wear rich, lush and plush all the time…Jub 25, Party in Manhattan, Joy, Poivre….but at Christmas time, it’s always Nuit de Noel. (And not just at Christmas!) I have a few precious drops of Voux de Noel that I wear on the day itself.

    I must have sat too close Portia, as I am now down with a cold, so I won’t waste it this year when my nose is not at its best, and am thinking perhaps some Regina Harris Frankincense Myrrh and Rose Maroc might be just the thing,

    • Ann says:

      Tammy, so sorry you’re feeling poorly. Hope you’re better soon and sniffing up a storm. You have some real lovelies there. I can’t believe I haven’t smelled Nuit de Noel; I’ve always meant to, just never got around to it. Guess I’d better get busy. Happy holidays to you and yours!

  • AnnieA says:

    Bois de Paradis is very Rich Lady to me. Peace to all…

  • Alison says:

    Nothing screams lush, plush, and expensive to me like Hermes Caleche Soie de Parfum. My bottle is now sadly almost gone so I need to budget for a new one – . Can’t be without!

    • Ann says:

      I hear you, Alison! Gotta save your pennies for another bottle of your preciousssss … (Me, too, except I have so many that I don’t know where to begin, ha!)

  • Musette says:

    oooh! I forgot one of my Lush, Plush, favorites: MDCI Enlevement au Serail! Luxe beauty in a bottle!


  • Heather Wood says:

    Opium, little dabs of the pure parfum, can produce a very lush effect. Like some other Big Perfumes of its era, it was so overused by some of its fans that the rest of us forgot how lovely it really was.

    • Ann says:

      You are so right, Heather! The tiniest dab was just heavenly. And I adored a little slather of the body cream as well (that heavy frosted glass jar with the cinnabar top was the epitome of luxury to me back then). Thanks for the reminder that even the most-dreaded heavy-hitters of the ’80s (Opium, Poison, Giorgio, etc.) were actually quite beautiful in small doses.

  • Holly F. says:

    Teo Cabanel Alahine is a holiday favorite. To me, it smells golden and rich.

    • Ann says:

      Holly, “golden and rich” fills the bill perfectly. That one would be great in a body cream; I wonder if they make it?

  • Vintage Parfum d’Hermes extrait is the richest, densest, plushest, most expensive-smelling thing I know of. It’s a mid-eighties floral oriental chypre with lots of incense, just everything but the kitchen sink in that eighties style, and it is utterly fantastic.

    • Ann says:

      Ooh, Robert, that sounds absolutely divine! I’m not exactly sure which one that is, so need to look around to see what the bottle looks like. Enjoy it!

  • Jan says:

    Ubar is a very good idea! I also like to wear opulent scents these days, I am thinking of wearing 1697 myself this evening.

    • Ann says:

      Jan, glad to see another Ubar fan. I’m glad you mentioned the 1697 — I desperately need to try that whole line and haven’t, not a single one (hangs head in shame). But it’ll be something new to explore it in 2013.

  • solanace says:

    I’d say Amouage Gold Woman and Dia Man, the old Black Armani and vintage Magie Noire, l’Heure Bleue and our dear Shalimar.

    It is summer here, so I’m thinking jasmine for tonight, A la nuit, Sarrasins or maybe AG Songes.

    • Ann says:

      Very nice choices! I haven’t smelled Magie Noire in ages — wish it were still around and widely available. Lucky you to have summer there. Those jasmine scents are all amazing!

  • Suzanne says:

    Hi Ann! Many of the perfumes you named make me feel like a million bucks. Others for me include Amouage Opus I, Amouage Jubilation 25 (actually, just about any Amouage), L’Arte di Gucci, Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady, Chanel Coco and Chanel 22, and MDCI Chypre Palatin.

    Btw, you’ll smell amazing in any of those three that you’re thinking of wearing on Christmas eve. Great choices. Merry Christmas, dear friend!

    • Ann says:

      Thanks, dear lady! You really are an Amouage girl, through and through! 🙂 Mmmm … I’d almost forgotten about Coco and the Palatin — going to pull those out here in a bit. I am enjoying Gold immensely but I think Ubar has captured my heart 🙂 But it’s all good. Merry Christmas and a big hug to you!

  • Joan says:

    PArfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe is probably my lushest perfume. Even lusher than Amouage Gold.

  • eldarwen22 says:

    Usually, on holidays like Christmas or Thanksgiving, I’ll wear Shalimar or Amouage Lyric for women when I am with friends and family. Work is another matter though, it’s either Mitsouko because she gives off the don’t want to be messed with vibe, or some random perfume that I am indifferent to.

    • Ann says:

      I can see Mitsouko doing just that — almost like perfume armor. Wish I could wear her but she will not have me. I do like Lyric; that’s a great scent for this time of year.

      • Musette says:

        I keep telling you! Mitsouko is the Armor of the Gods. She puts everybody on Notice! I adore her, though I wouldn’t wear her to a holiday event, unless I wanted to scare everybody in the room. I tend towards …….what? hmmm….well lately it’s been Jub 25 from head to toe, ever since I was gifted with my MiN New York gift cards, which begat the Jub25 body cream. And Lyric. I wear Carnal Flower body butter and the edp all the time so I don’t think of it as ‘special’. Perfect, yes. But not ‘special occasion’. Until I ‘do’ wear it for a special occasion and get loads of compliments. When I want to play it cool, I wear Memoir.

        Yours is a great list, Ann. Some really rich, bombastic scents on there, perfect for glamming it up!

        Happy Holidays, everyone!


        • Ann says:

          Hey, sweetie! Love your list — lots of lovely Amouages and body creams on there. But I just couldn’t wear Carnal Flower every day: I think I would die of happiness from the overload of gorgeousness. I am loving that Memoir cream (might have to save my pennies for a jar!). Thanks!

  • Heather Wood says:

    Nothing makes me feel quite as luxe as a dab of Carnal Flower, but Sarrasins is great for times when I want to feel rich and wild. Carnal Flower is a luscious reminder to dress well, be on my best behavior, and use my indoor voice. In Sarrasins, I feel deliciously inappropriate. That said, I’ll probably wear 7 Billion Hearts on Christmas Day. Deep, dark, smoky, resonating vanilla seems just right. Hope everyone has a great holiday.

    • Ann says:

      Oh, Heather, I love your little Carnal Flower reminder list — it made me smile! I have not sniffed Sarrasins in a while but if I recall, it made me feel a bit wild, too, so definitely must revisit it. Also need to try the 7 Billion Hearts as a deep, smoky vanilla sounds right up my street. Thanks!

  • rosarita says:

    Hi, dear Ann and the rest of the Posse! I have a small, cherished bottle of vintage Shalimar extrait that’s my favorite lush, plush perfume. Also my vintage Coco. Enjoy your holiday, everyone.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, sweet lady. You know, I probably should’ve included vintage Coco on this list — oh well, hindsight is 20/20. I can probably think of at least 10 more, but you have to stop somewhere. Hope you enjoy it and also that special bottle of Shalimar. I have never been able to wear that one but so happy that you can indulge in it. Hope you have a great holiday, too! P.S. Am really enjoying Trayee.

    • solanace says:

      Hummm, I love Shalimar, this vintage extrait must be IT!

  • Parfum d’Empire’s Ambre Russe!

  • Sherri Miller says:

    Mmmm….rich, lush and plush! Cuir Beluga is my favorite. I was planning on wearing Messe de Minuit tomorrow, however, just for the name. Hope everyone has a great Christmas!!

  • Jeff Berbert says:

    Organza Indecence and Neil Morris’ Afire will be my scents the next two days.

    • Ann says:

      Hi, Jeff! Thanks for stopping by. I have not tried Afire, but I do love me some Organza Indecence — it’s just so yummy!