Caron Nuit de Noel : Perfume Review

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Nuit de Noël was my introduction to the house of Caron, and what a wonderful exploration it has charted out for me. Caron creations seem unusual to me; they are carefully balanced, possessing a dark languid undercurrent that immediately conjures visions of classical French couture. I do not want to use the term old-fashioned since it is liable to negative connotations, but Caron’s creations have a classical aspect that I do find appealing, if slightly nostalgic.

Nuit de noel

Nuit de Noël was created in 1922 by Ernest Daltroff for his lover, Félicie Vanpouille, who loved Christmas Eve and the scents associated with it. Indeed, it is a quiet, whispering fragrance, conjuring perfectly the silence and the serenity of the night before Christmas. “Twas the night before Christmas, when all through the house not a creature was stirring, not even a mouse…” (by Clement Clarke Moore). Nuit de Noël is one of my favorite Caron scents because of its interesting composition and exquisite dry down. Overall, Nuit de Noël is a soft wood-based scent with a floral heart. The top notes are very classical rose, jasmine and ylang ylang–dry floral notes rather than a creamy modern composition. The most interesting changes take place after the fragrance dries down slightly. Suddenly the floral blend is dissipated by the wetness of oakmoss. Then the spicy notes become apparent, albeit remaining very soft and intertwining with sandalwood and vetiver. The fragrance does not lose its dry quality which is wonderful and comforting. I imagine walking around in the city as the snow is falling softly.

On Reformulation (3.21.2011):
The creamy, dark richness of Nuit de Noël is still intact in the current version of this Caron classic. However, the attenuated oakmoss note makes it somewhat less complex and beguiling. I still like this Caron though for its creamy woods, dark incense and swirl of dark roses. The parfum presents all of these facets beautifully, while the eau de toilette is thinner and sharper overall.

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15 Comments

  • mireille: Quick, before I become intimidated by the vast expanse of perfume knowledge, I must tell you how much I loved the phrase “dark, languid undercurrent.” It makes me CRAVE Caron. Thank you, V. June 1, 2005 at 12:10pm Reply

  • Robin: Lovely post, V! The dark Caron undercurrent does not suit me personally, so I know it is heretical but I prefer the modern Carons like Aimez Moi. Nuit de Noel I admire from afar 🙂 June 1, 2005 at 6:38pm Reply

  • Diane: Dear V, lovely, lovely! Although we are only at the brink of summer, I cannot wait for those terrific transitional months (there I go with transitions again) when the leaves start to brown, nature becomes a kaleidoscope of mustards, greens, and reds, and Nuit de Noel makes a reappearance on my shelf. Right now it’s tucked away as I have plenty of spring scents to keep me company.

    You can still get the parfum at a number of online sites, albeit a whopping 1 oz-er. Here’s the best price I’ve found: http://www.parfum1.com/perfume.asp

    Robin, I love Aimez-Moi, too. Your posts on the board, without a doubt, encouraged me to seek out my sample. When I first tried it years ago, I loved the violet, but couldn’t make up my mind about the sweetness. Flash forward to last fall/winter, I couldn’t be more pleased, finding the honeyed anise accord utterly unique and playful. June 1, 2005 at 7:27pm Reply

  • N aka parislondres: Aaaah the extrait of Nuit de Noel is so soft and gorgeous but sadly I just cannot wear it any longer.

    Lovely description again!

    xoxo June 1, 2005 at 4:34pm Reply

  • jimmyfresno: Wonderful description. I received a vintage bottle of the Eau de Cologne with some other vintage fragrances I wanted. I must say that what struck me most about this fragrance was not the floral or wood aspect but the deep, rich brandied fruit, wassail, dried fig and caramel and nut with toasty wood and moss. Perhaps the top notes have dissipated with age, but my bottle is a a burnished, well rounded comforting warm scent that would be very classy on a woman over 30. Not a casual scent at all. Mmmm. October 7, 2006 at 8:25pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Jimmy, thank you for sharing your thoughts. I find that Nuit de Noel has an incredible number of nuances, and there are days when I notice rose the most, and others when it is the animalic softness of the drydown that dominates. October 8, 2006 at 9:14pm Reply

  • elizabeth: Nuit de Noel is perfection outside on a cold winter’s night. March 18, 2011 at 9:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: I cannot agree more! It is beautiful. March 19, 2011 at 11:40am Reply

  • Babette: Nuit de Noel or Clinique Wrappings? Discuss. 🙂 November 5, 2011 at 7:55am Reply

  • ScentScelf: Funny, I came here just to refresh my memory regarding BdJ’s take on Nuit de Noel, as I have been thinking this fall that it actually is a good *late autumn* scent for my zone. The bridge between flowers and woody and gently warmed spice — I like smelling this / smelling like this when wearing a sweater of a certain weight, with the chance that some of my skin might still be exposed to fresh air.

    So, I started to ponder this, and spritzed Nuit de Noel and Clinique Wrappings, just to ponder what implications being swayed by a name might have.

    Wrappings is so much drier/citrusier that I can see it as a start your day scent, but not a through the day into the night stays cozy even if you need a fire kind of scent. Nuit de Noel, however….perhaps a little too dense when one is not fully awake? But not so much that you couldn’t mistakenly apply and not suffer, meanwhile knowing that when you are ready for another layer, NdN is ready to reveal it to you. But such are my thoughts as I look out the window with the only green on the trees pretty much now the on the evergreens, with a host of yellow and red falling with every swoosh of breeze. Maybe when the wind blows fiercely unrepentantly cold, and there really is a fire in the fireplace, NdN will claim a place as the best accompaniment for Yule logs. November 7, 2011 at 1:11pm Reply

  • Victoria: What a coincidence that this fragrance came up today! I've been cleaning my desk, when a sample of NdN rolled out from under some papers. So, I've put it on, and suddenly here is your comment. It is definitely dense and opaque, in that fur perfume style of the 1920s. Definitely requires a certain mood and perhaps some snow. 🙂 November 7, 2011 at 2:05pm Reply

  • M Gilliam: I just inherited two bottles of Nuit de Noel perfume in their original boxes from the 1930s from my mother – one of the bottles is still sealed and completely full. I am wearing the perfume from the open bottle and loving the association with my mother and the season. December 20, 2011 at 7:34pm Reply

    • Renee: What a wonderful tribute to your mother. May your remembrances be happy and peaceful. December 9, 2012 at 7:52pm Reply

    • Notturno7: Lovely! Thank you for sharing.
      I love my little bottle of EDT but can imagine how wonderful the perfume must be!! April 26, 2016 at 3:23pm Reply

  • SARAH: THIS IS ONE OF THE FRAGRANCES MARILYN MONROE WORE AND GIFTED TO OTHERS 🙂 March 16, 2012 at 1:39pm Reply

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