Favorite Winter Fragrances 2005

Snowmaidenvrubel
In the depths of winter I finally learned there was in me an invincible summer. Albert Camus, French existentialist author and philosopher.

Today I wake up with the feeling that it is winter already. Even the white light flooding my bedroom has a chilly quality. The winter means holidays and a much needed break, but before one can reach that stage, it signifies the end of the semester and the madness of the exam week. Therefore, please let me indulge once again into making a list of favorites, my winter favorites that have a warm quality or that allow to awaken my “invincible summer.” Please share yours.

My Winter Favorites (alphabetically ordered)

Cacharel LouLou An abstract vision of dark red flower touched by the dark verdancy, LouLou veils its voluptuous heart of jasmine, tiare and mimosa in the velvety richness of vanilla. The tropical warmth of this fragrance allows one to escape into the world where snow does not exist.

Donna Karan Black Cashmere Its incense laced darkness clings to the skin much like the fabric from which the fragrance derives its name. Warm sweetness of woods and spices in Black Cashmere is a perfect antidote for the cold weather.

Christian Dior Eau Noire  Caramelized bitterness folded into the silkiness of woods, Eau Noire is one of my favorite fragrances by Francis Kurkdjian. Its multifaceted and unusual composition warms up beautifully on the skin, maintaining the sensual and comforting character.

Frédéric Malle Noir Epices  The dry warmth of its veil encrusted with the jewel-like shimmer of spices sets Noir Epices apart from other oriental compositions. Its relative lack of sweetness lends a unusual austere elegance, which nevertheless has a sensual quality.

Hermèssence Ambre Narguilé Layers of sweet, gently animalic amber and transparent smoke are folded around the richness of cinnamon and roasted sesame seeds, which have an abstract edible quality.

Guerlain Samsara The rich heaviness of sandalwood laced with opulent jasmine is particularly welcome on the chilly days, when its creamy sweetness rises from the collarbone in the comforting manner. The parfum is particularly beautiful, as being softer, it stays closer to the skin than the more diffusive EDT and EDP.

Jean Patou Sublime Burnished gold of oranges and roses is resting on the glowing base of amber and vanilla. Its elegant arrangement never remains static, its hues changing from light ochre to vivid sienna.

L’Artisan Parfumeur Dzing! The ethereal animalic darkness of Dzing! is comprised of diverse facets that conjure the balmy richness of musk, the smokiness of tea, the sugared wood sweetness of cinnamon and the sharpness of rosin used on the tips of pointe shoes.

Lubin Idole de Lubin The newest composition by Olivia Giacobetti captured my heart with its darkness woven of sweet spices and precious woods. Underscored by a caramel redolent note of rum and soft leather, Idole has a rich and sonorous quality that makes it a perfect winter fragrance.

Yves Saint Laurent Opium The parfum is my preferred version of Opium, as it is softer, even if no less potent. The richness of spices and the dark sweetness of plum ornament the patchouli and carnation accord around which the composition is constructed. Resting on the animalic incense base, Opium can indeed melt the snow around its wearer, therefore it is best to apply in moderation.

Painting: Mikhail Vrubel. Snow Maiden. Originally, the watercolour was done as a sketch for a costume in opera by N. Rimsky-Korsakov Snow Maiden. 1890s. Watercolor and gouache on paper. Ryazan Art Museum, Russia. From abcgallery.com.

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75 Comments

  • parislondres: This is a lovely post again dear V! I love your list.

    Here are my winter favourites:

    Chanel Bois des Iles parfum

    Caron Nuit de Noel
    Caron Farnesiana
    Caron En Avion

    FM Carnal Flowers

    Guerlain Attrape Coeur
    Guerlain Vol de Nuit extrait
    Guerlain Apres L’Ondee extrait

    Hermes Ambre Narguile

    SL Cedre
    SL Cuir Mauresque
    SL Un Lys

    Have a super weekend. Hugs! December 9, 2005 at 4:34am Reply

  • Evan: Interesting, because I have inside me an eternal and invincible winter, the season from which my creativity springs. I’ve always understood that I am in the minority with this view. I’m not immune to the pleasures of spring and summer, but winter embodies all the qualities of life that are important to me: quietness, solitude, stillness, rest, contemplation. Of course this presents a conflict for one who also loves perfume, whose roses and jasmines could not yield forth their smell but for the spring and summer, but I’m prepared to accept this conflict and embrace it; even the warmest summer perfumes among my favorites bear the faint, if unmistakeable, reminder of the fate of all living things, be they flowers or friends; the chill that waits at the end of the most florid, verdant summer (Le Parfum De Therese comes to mind).

    Anyway, many of my favorite perfumes do not work so well in the sweltering heat, so fall and winter are certainly welcome seasons for that reason alone. I’ll just name a few whose grace shines best among fallen leaves and in the snowy streets: Cabochard, Mitsouko, Bandit, Jolie Madame, Cuir De Russie, Joy, Cinnabar, Angel, Tabac Blond. Actually, the house of Caron is made for fall and winter; almost all of the perfumes, especially Daltroff’s creations, are perfumes that do best in the colder months. I’ve been wearing Alpona for the last week and it’s worked beautifully. The Caron darkness does well this time of year (have you any idea what that is, V? The quality that some people call “musty” or “tangy” in the earlier Carons? I’ve been trying to figure it out forever).

    The great thing about perfume in the winter is that, in general, there are far fewer environmental smells to compete with, so perfume is given its chance to sing solo. It’s too bad that winter also means far more inoperable noses due to colds! I’m just getting my sense of smell back after a week of sniffling. December 9, 2005 at 5:41am Reply

  • Laura: I used to have a long list of favorite winter ones but now I don’t. Here, though, are THIS winter’s faves:
    Angelique Noire, Eau de Jade, 100% Love, Ormonde, and Eau d’Hiver. And now I’m wishing I had Idole. Ah well.
    Have a wonderful trip, my dear V. December 9, 2005 at 5:48am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear N, wonderful list, and I shall take two of each. 🙂 You really did name nearly all of my favourite, winter or summer.

    You are making me wish I wore Vol de Nuit right now. December 9, 2005 at 6:13am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: I cannot say that I have winter inside of me, as I really cannot stand the cold, but I do carry autumn. I love the transition seasons best, because it is the time when I feel the most change in the air, and it is what I find inspiring. When everything is changing, how can I remain the same?

    I think that last summer was one of the first summers I wore fragrance on daily basis. I cannot stand too much scent in the heat, but that this year, I spent a lot of time in an air-conditioned apartment and could douse myself in pretty much anything I wanted. Therefore, I agree that winter could be the best time for wearing perfume as the environmental smells do not compete. On the other hand, the cold weather affects the scent in different ways, so I suppose there is a tradeoff.

    The musty darkness of Caron is fascinating. In Nuit de Noel, it is the combination of sandalwood, vetiver and mousse de saxe (de Laire base, which contained isobutyl quinoline, geranium, vanillin–what a combination!) In others, it is the flatness of sandalwood playing against methylionones (serving as a lovely transition from the heart to the base) and oakmoss. I am sure there are other nuances that I cannot pinpoint, as I only can recognize the aroma-chemicals I have already learned, so over time I notice more and more. He was a man who was not afraid of using new and potent bases and unusual synthetics. The effect is powerful.

    Jolie Madame… Let me maintain a moment of silence for its beauty, of which a mere trace can be found in the bottle I recently bought (the modern version). December 9, 2005 at 6:28am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear L, it is a wonderful selection, and I am so glad that some of my favourites (Angelique Noire and 100% Love, among others) made it on the list. December 9, 2005 at 6:33am Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hello, everybody! Wonderful lists, as always, and beautiful topic! I also love winter, in fact my concentration is much better. I agree with you, V., winter means holidays and fun, but for me, the time before Christmas or summer holidays often means that I get anxious trying to finish work. I adore oriental and woody scents in winter, I often look longingly to the bottles in the summer, but at 40ºC or more in the shadow I do not dare to touch them! My list is:
    Ambre Narguilé
    Eau des Merveilles
    Vétiver Tonka
    Eau D´Hermés
    Narciso Rodriguez (EDT and EDP)
    Omnia
    L´Or de Torrente
    MaxMara
    …And I also love my dearest Rose Ikebana layered with Poivre Samarcande December 9, 2005 at 7:20am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mercedes, I confess that part of the reason for the list rather than the article is the pressure to finish work on time. So, good luck to you with finishing yours!

    I knew that I could expect a fascinating list from you as well. Eau D´Hermés is such a wonderful fragrance, and I am glad to see it mentioned. It smells of someone’s impression of a fine handbag rather than representing the smell of a handbag. Quite special. December 9, 2005 at 7:30am Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): Love these lists!
    Mine (no order):
    Caron En Avion
    Caron Tabac Blond
    Guerlain Jicky
    Montale Aoud Rose Petals
    FM Musc Ravageur
    YSL Opium parfum
    Hermes Ambre Narguile
    Armani Prive Bois d’Encens
    10 CC
    SL Rose de Nuit December 9, 2005 at 8:09am Reply

  • Judith (lilybp): And adding just two more b/c I’m feeling guilty about having left them off:
    Chanel Cuir de Russie parfum (always)
    Guerlain Mitsouko parfum December 9, 2005 at 8:12am Reply

  • Liz: I’m rubbing the sleep out of my eyes and muttering “Hypnotic Poison.” Actually, for the most part, my favorite perfumes are those I feel I can wear year-round – chypres and musks. It’s a rare floral I’ll wear in the winter and a rare vanilla I’ll wear in the summer. One of the rare florals would probably be Rose de Nuit, which I am wearing today – still lovingly nursing that sample, V! But for the most part, if it’s snowing, my hand reaches automatically for the HP. December 9, 2005 at 8:18am Reply

  • Marina: V, that is one of my favorite quotes, of Camus and in general! Lovely post, and two on that list, Noir Epices and Ambre Narguile would definitely make it on my list as well. This review is especially today, because there is a smallish snow storm here in PA. December 9, 2005 at 8:28am Reply

  • julien: Hi
    Another list another loving time to share precious ideas,thanks to you,my dear.

    Well,my list is not that long.

    For winter (and even autumn) times,i wear…

    1)Opium for men,for it is warm,rich,spicy,sweet and sexy.

    2)Mitsouko edp,my only chypre love.
    So beautifully made,a real jewel to wear when it is cold…it says:”Here i am” in a very elegant way.

    3)Ambre précieux by Maitre parfumeur et gantier.
    The richness of amber and vanilla with a balsamic drydown.
    Feeling like a dandy is also great.

    4)Opium in extrait.
    Spicy yet soft…my preferable version,just like you do my dear.

    5)Cèdre by Lutens,for it is a tuberose mixed in a warm woody fruity spicy scent.
    Original and classy.

    6)Shalimar,it is so beautiful in winter…vanilla is so great in winter.

    I guess that’s all for me,even if i know and wear many other perfumes when it is cold.

    😉

    Kisses,dear.
    j. December 9, 2005 at 10:07am Reply

  • Carolyn (Clb97p): Great list, and I love the Camus quote as well. I find more and more that I *need* my warmer fragrances to help the cold weather not seem so bitter. My favorites this year:

    Guerlain L’Instant

    DSH Cimabue

    Susanne Lang Cashmere

    POTL

    Les Nereides Imperial Opoponax

    Yvonne LaFleur

    Fresh Scents by Terri Dream oil

    Hermes Ambre Narguile combined with Rose Ikebana (I enjoy this combination in colder weather more than either fragrance on its own). December 9, 2005 at 11:00am Reply

  • Prince Barry: Fabulous lists!

    here are mine in no particular order either..

    Guerlain’s Mitsouko
    Idole de Lubin (yes, I’m hooked too)
    Musc Ravageur
    Tabac Blond
    Guerlain’s Derby December 9, 2005 at 11:09am Reply

  • mreenymo: Hmmm…let me see. I love cold weather fragrances better than summer ones. Here are some current favorites:
    Ecume de Rose
    Shalimar parfum
    Ambre Narguile
    Bois de Iles parfum
    Passage d’Enfer
    POTL (body cream)
    Tea for Two
    Vetiver Tonka
    Bois de Paradis
    Zenzero

    Hugs and love! December 9, 2005 at 11:49am Reply

  • Robin: Great list V! No brain power to muster one of my own, but you are making me want to revisit Dzing today 🙂 December 9, 2005 at 1:04pm Reply

  • Tania: I’m the sort who throws the windows open in winter. Also, I’m on a serious Frederic Malle kick, as you’ll see.

    From warm to cold (loosely), here they are:

    Musc Ravageur
    Bois des Iles
    Bulgari Black
    Vol de Nuit
    Cuir de Russie
    Iris Poudre
    En Passant
    Violette Précieuse
    Bigarade Concentrée
    Eau d’Hadrien

    I love citrusy colognes in the cold. These New York buildings are so overheated, it’s like we’re living in artificial tropics, anyway. Of course, I have to spray often, but who cares? December 9, 2005 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Tania: P.S. V, I wish you’d do a post on scents that specifically evoke snow or winter. L’Eau d’Hiver, Demeter Snow or CB I Hate Perfume’s Winter 1972, Teint de Neiges, or whatever all those snowy, wintery fragrances are. It would be cool. Just thought I’d throw it out there. 🙂 December 9, 2005 at 1:15pm Reply

  • Sisonne: Dear V, it´s pretty hard to choose my winter favourites. Normally I´d have a very long list, but at the moment I´m madly in love with SL Chergui 🙂 & wear it exclusively.
    Another all-time favourite of mine is LV Teint de Neige, a scent that reminds of winter time like no other.
    Moreover I like:
    KM Loukoum
    Ginestet Botrytis
    Etro Heliotrope
    These are the ones I can only imagine to wear in winter, all other fragrances I like & own are – at least for me – suitable for wearing them year around. December 9, 2005 at 1:20pm Reply

  • ScarlettPacific: Oh, you’ve made my day with this post! It’s wonderful to see LouLou back on a favorites list. I love Opium and Black Cashmere as well. Bois des Iles is my ultimate favorite, especially in cool, but your article has inspired me to pull out my old and steady bottle of LouLou and enjoy it today!

    ScarlettPacific (formerly RoseAmber) December 9, 2005 at 1:25pm Reply

  • Kathleen: I too used to love Loulou until the infamous train journey I had when a 100ml bottle of EDP got broken in my bag, this too was in winter and the heating really kicked up the aroma a notch or two. Since then I couldn’t bear to buy another bottle.

    As a winter lover my favourites include Obsession for Men, Knowing by Estee Lauder, Moschino by Moschino, and Azzaro pour Homme. It seems to me that you can lavishly apply these to no ill effect in the winter. Definetly to be worn after dark though. December 9, 2005 at 1:39pm Reply

  • Allison: These lists are great! I tend to find that I do a lot of eating in this month and that some of my heavier stuff really interferes with food (see Armani Bois D’Encens – its not pleasant during mealtime for me)
    That said, I love Shalimar and L’Heure Bleu in winter, they go so well with sweaters.

    But as was hinted at above, I tend to appreciate Quelques Fleurs more now when there are no living flowers competing for my attention. December 9, 2005 at 3:10pm Reply

  • Melissa (Thisbe): Hi V! This is my first time posting here. Feeling kind of shy but I can’t resist lists! My winter favorites are:

    AP Preparation Parfumee – I know this seems summery but I just love it in cold weather.
    Avignon
    Bois Farine
    Dzing!
    En Passant – Anytime! 🙂
    Farnesiana Parfum
    Iris Silver Mist
    Premier Figuier – Love this summery one in cold weather too!
    Tam Dao
    Tea for Two

    I enjoyed reading everyone’s responses. Seeing LouLou and Sublime on your list reminds me that I have samples of them I’ve never even tested. I must try them out soon! December 9, 2005 at 3:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Judith, your list is great. We really share many favourites. Of course, I now feel guilty about leaving out Cuir de Russie and Mitsouko. December 9, 2005 at 7:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Liz, I know what you mean about Hypnotic Poison. I am always struck by its wonderful comforting quality. By the way, I noticed that it is no longer on the Dior site. Does it mean it is discontinued? December 9, 2005 at 7:31pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: M, thank you. I hope that the snowstorm is not too strong. I love snow only in theory. In practice, it is more bother than it is worth. December 9, 2005 at 7:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Julien, another fantastic list! I love Opium for Men, after you introduced me to it. It is such a beautiful fragrance. Of course, Shalimar is a perfect winter fragrance. Its rich baroque warmth is so appealing. December 9, 2005 at 7:32pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Carolyn, oh, what an interesting list, with lots of fragrances to inspire me. I have a sample of Les Nereides Imperial Opoponax, and I shall finally try it. Your combination of Rose Ikebana and Ambre Narguile sounds wonderful. December 9, 2005 at 7:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Barry, oh, I was just thinking that I need to revisit Guerlain Derby, and you mention it in your list. I shall definitely do so right away.

    I am very glad that you are hooked on Idole. I love this fragrance, and I cannot wait to see what else Lubin might offer in the future. December 9, 2005 at 7:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, beautiful list! I have not tried POTL cream, but something tells me that I should. I recall that you were not too pleased with the EDP, which did not sway me much either. December 9, 2005 at 7:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: R, Dzing! is the perfect fragrance to wear when braving the snowstorms. December 9, 2005 at 7:33pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, yours is another list I would swap for my own quite happily. Indeed, I knew that you might name some of my absolute favourites that I would not include in my list for the lack of space. Bulgari Black is what I was wearing earlier today—perfect! December 9, 2005 at 7:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: T, that is a great idea. I shall definitely implement it in about a week. I have tried quite a few of the “wintery” fragrances, and it might be fun to write about them. December 9, 2005 at 7:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Dear C, I agree—a beautiful fragrance would please anytime. I am so glad that you mentioned Chergui. I actually included in my list, but then I think that it got lost in the code. It is a perfect fragrance for the winter, especially since it is named after a hot dessert wind. December 9, 2005 at 7:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Scarlett, oh, I am so glad to see another fan of LouLou. I do enjoy many Cacharel fragrances, and it is a pleasure to revisit my first love among them, which was LouLou. December 9, 2005 at 7:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Kathleen, I absolutely agree that breaking a bottle of any perfume would mean disaster, even if one loved it dearly.

    Your list is great. I also love Obsession, women’s and men’s versions, and it is the fragrance I reserve for cold weather as well. December 9, 2005 at 7:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Allison, if I go out to have a nice meal, I do not tend to wear fragrance, lest it interfere. Therefore, I can understand really well what you mean. Bois d’Encens does not go well with many meals for me as well. December 9, 2005 at 7:35pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Melissa, thank you for your list! No need to feel shy, as it is really wonderful to have a chance to learn what others like and wear. Your list is so unusual and diverse, from avant-garde to classical. You mentioned my other favourite, which I was about to add to my list– Farnesiana Parfum. Its combination of violet and almond have such a wonderful abstract quality, which has a teasingly gourmand element. December 9, 2005 at 7:35pm Reply

  • cait: V,
    I am impressed by your knowledge of chemistry. Have you been actually learning chemicals and then practicing your recognition? That would be a fun endeavor. I agree with T’s suggestion on posts with a winter theme. Winter inspires me these days, since I moved back to smack dab in the middle of the howling wilderness. I smell all kinds of things out in the snow as we walk the pups past our fox with its sumptuous long tail and we skitter away from groaning recumbent moose in the grove across the street. There, all the fermented berries of fall under the moist snow and the woodsmoke of homefires combine with the variable scent of _cold_ to create an olfactory wonderland.
    On Alpona and Caron, I always thought I was smelling chypre, as if chypre were a concrete object in the universe. Oh, and I chalked the quality up to mousse de saxe, which is a chemical creation, no? My winter favorites are
    Chanel No. 5 (I’ve come back to my old lady after straying afar);
    SL Bois et Fruits, which has that same fermented sweetness turned and haunted by winter; and, I must say, as many scented diversions as I can get my hands on. Moose and foxes only go so far for entertainment during our 8 month winter up here! December 9, 2005 at 7:35pm Reply

  • Katie: Oh I love that you listed Sublime. It sometimes doesn’t get the love I wish it did. On me it wears as a warm vanillic chypre, but I get a truly tart note that floats all across the top of it, one I can’t quite identify. It’s like a really out of season slightly sour tangerine almost, but that is not quite it at all. It’s just a nice warm scent that is alive and interesting enough to not make me sleepy.

    I love T’s suggestion: I’d love to read your thoughts or an essay covering those fragrances created to specifically evoke snow. December 9, 2005 at 7:41pm Reply

  • Ayala: I have more perfumes that I associate with Autumn or Spring for some reason. Perhaps because these are the “changin” seasons.
    However, I don’t truly separate my wardrobe into seasons, as I wear many of them in the “inapproriate” season.
    There are three perfumes that I stonrgly associate with winter though:
    Parfum Sacre, Fete d’Hiver (both remind me powdery snow and cuddling cozily by the fireplace, and at the same time feel very festive and elegant), and most recently – Ta’if (because I smelled it for the first time on a chilly London evening last December). December 9, 2005 at 11:50pm Reply

  • Patty: en Avion
    coup de fouet
    Aqaba

    Wow, there’s so many, I don’t even know where to cut it off.

    Rahat Louhkhoum

    There is a really old drugstore perfume that I don’t think is made anymore that will always will like winter, it’s the one I wore in high school always in the winter, Stephen B is what I recall the name being. I keep looking for it, but zip. December 10, 2005 at 8:44am Reply

  • Uella: Hello Julien! je pensais que tu avais fait tes adieux non?

    winter favorites:

    Serge Lutens Clair de Musc
    SL Fleurs d ‘Oranger
    SL Miel de Bois
    SL Arabie
    SL Un Bois Vanille
    Caron En Avion
    Gobin Daude Seve Exquise
    Parfums Delrae Eau Illuminee
    Guerlain Mitsouko (parfum)
    L ‘Artisan Parfumeur Passage d ‘Enfer December 10, 2005 at 11:11am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Cait, I have, and it is definitely fun. I have always loved chemistry, and organic chemistry was one of the reasons I became interested in perfume (via fragrance chemistry and terpenes).

    I cannot agree more with you and your choice of favourites (and that the fox can provide only so much entertainment :). Bois et Fruits indeed has a quality that makes it shine in the cold air, although I wear it all year round as well. December 10, 2005 at 1:34pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Katie, I do love vanillic warmth of Sublime, and its chypre accord is quite interesting. I also wish it were more loved, therefore it is great to see someone else who wears it. It seems to have a burnished gold quality that fits perfectly with the colours of the box and the bottle. December 10, 2005 at 1:37pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, I do not really separate mine, although heavier fragrances work better for me in the cold weather, while in the summer, I would find them too overwhelming. It is fun to think of what fragrance makes us think of specific season though. Your list is wonderful! December 10, 2005 at 1:40pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Patty, making these list is always a problem! When does one stop? 🙂 En Avion is the one that reminds me very much of winter, and I always reach for it whenever we have cold, snowy days. You reminded me that I need to revisit Aqaba soon. It has been ages since I tried it. December 10, 2005 at 1:42pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Uella, another nice list, which is reminding me that I have to take out my bottle of SL Arabie. I find it rather rich to wear at any other time, but winter is a perfect season for it. December 10, 2005 at 1:45pm Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hi again, everybody! Rose Ikebana AND Ambre Narguilé? I will try it tomorrow! Sounds really interesting. And since Bigarade Concentrée has been mentioned, I confess that I wear it also in winter , just last week I wore Cologne Bigarade (I also have the Concentrée) and Angeliques sous la Pluie. I like Dzing! and Tea for Two, but I only have samples. I also want Malabah next year. Bulgari Black: I love it, but they are discontinuing it in Spain. I´m glad to see Ambre Narguilé in so many lists! Today I´m wearing Princesse Muscat, from Comptoir sud Pacifique.
    Yesterday I was acting as a “personal shopper” with a friend, she bought a beautiful hatbox of Colonia Assoluta Aqua di Parma,with the purse spray, 100 ml. cologne and shower gel, just for about the price of the cologne…So many temptations…I bought Mandorlo di Sicilia (Blu Mediterraneo by Aqua di Parma) and they gave me samples of Iris Nobile. I will try it…
    By the way, I have seen Opium in many of your lists. I also like it, and the other day I saw in a French magazine an article about combining classical fragrances with modern ones. They combined Opium with Un Jardin sur le Nil Hermés an Poivre Samarcande Hermessence…Believe me, and sorry if some of you find it a little heretic, but I have tried both and they are…wonderful.
    Must return to work December 10, 2005 at 1:53pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Mercedes, what an interesting idea! I shall try it as well. Last year, Jean-Claude Ellena recommended mixing classics and modern in French Elle, and it was fascinating. I posted several of these suggestions as a comment under one of the articles. I will follow you in trying the mixing of Opium and Un Jardin sur le Nil with Poivre Samarcande.

    Sounds like you had a great day shopping! There are many temptations this time of the year. December 10, 2005 at 2:09pm Reply

  • Mercedes Rey: Hi, V! The tip was from French Marie Claire, they usually have interesting articles about perfume, and the “mixer” was Francis Kurdjian. I liked the most the mix between Opium and Un Jardin sur le Nil, they recommended it more for daytime. Another idea was Paris-Rose Ikebana. They proposed also interesting things with Feminité du Bois, Shalimar and others, I forgot the article at home, but I will check it. And, disgracefully, I feel tempted by parfum all year round, not only in Christmas! I forgot to mention, I also went to Hermés with this friend. She bought Eau des Merveilles in coffret for her sister, and they gave me 4 samples of Hermessences! (Good for travels in Christmas holidays). December 10, 2005 at 2:24pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Oh, thanks for that. I will pick up the magazine tomorrow. I love Francis Kurkdjian’s work and would be curious to read the entire article. Paris-Rose Ikebana also sounds terrific. I can imagine that rose and rhubarb would have a nice effect on December 10, 2005 at 3:29pm Reply

  • Miriam: Well, winter is definitely here in Quebec– four inches of snow and temperatures below freezing. Amazing how my own every-day scent changes with changes in the weather. I still love Passage d’Enfer, but where it was cool and light and transparent spirituality in summer and autumn, now it feels dark and churchy, the frankincense and smokey precious wood notes much stronger in the chill air. It also warms up faster, and reminds me of burning wood fires, blazing starry skies and choral fantasies.

    The same is true for Ormonde. When I wore it in the spring, it was a rich, sappy violet. In the summer, it was sweet and green, like crushed grass and a vague wafting scent marujana on a hot summer’s day. Now it smells like fresh pine boughs oozing amber brought inside from the cold, and hot cups of jasmine green tea.

    In general I prefer dry and cool scents year round, so I’m not likely to switch to sweeter, more gourmand scents in the winter. I’d rather drink some chocolat chaud and nibble on a praline! So, I stick to the same scents year round, but am amazed at how they too seem to shape shift depending on the season. That said, there are some scents I cannot wear in the cold months. Like Hiris– anything that icy cold and fragile simply cannot be worn in frigid temerpatures. It reminds me of the icy flag pole in below zero weather on the school playground. You know, the one there were urban legends about kids licking and getting their tongues frozen and stuck! But, come early spring, its dark purple velvet heart will begin to beat again. December 10, 2005 at 3:45pm Reply

  • Qwendy: Winter IS great for scents, and I too have trouble finding the “right” scents for me in the summer ………….. but perhaps some of these will stay with me until then?

    OK, Ambre Narguile wins! It definitely has the most “votes.” Funny, I think I don’t like Vanilla, but it just depends on the scent — I have three Ambers on this list!

    Vetiver Tonka
    Ambre Narguile
    Ambre Sultan
    MicalleF Hiver
    Safran Troublant
    Coup de Fouet + Or et Noir
    Knize 10
    French Can Can + Tabac Blond (only at night!)
    Emperatrice Eugenie
    L’Artisan Ambre + Piver Cuir de Russie

    Looking forward to untried Eau Noire, Lubin, and Les Nereides Oriental Lumpur as future faves. And must try Bois et Encens!

    Happy Holidays! December 11, 2005 at 2:02am Reply

  • Christina H.: I’m amazed at what wonderful responses and how many responses you get when you post these lists!I love reading them,and it is fun to participate.I always discover scents that I’ve forgotten about! December 11, 2005 at 10:19am Reply

  • Uella: Bois de Jasmin, actually I think Arabie is nicer, smoother and more sensual in the Fall season and spring bc I find the licorice note a little too harsh by colder weather but I still love it of course. December 11, 2005 at 12:08pm Reply

  • Patty: Qwendy, do you do the Or et Noir and Coup de Fouet together? Hmmm, that sounds really yummy. December 11, 2005 at 9:04pm Reply

  • Madelyn Etkind: Dear Victoria and dear readers,

    Quelle Plaisir ! To discover a web site devoted to my precious passion :fragrance ! Victoria, you wrute so descriptically,, I can almost “smell” the scent you are analyzing without ever experienced it myself !! Un grande joie ! Personally Ilove soo many. current winter faves are

    Bois des Iles – the extrait is magical
    Passion Eau de parfum- Annick goutal
    Heure Exquise by A.G.
    Dolce vita – by Christian Dior
    the eau de parfum or parfum – so sexy
    Coco Chanel – eau de parfum- invigorating and so like a evening in Paris with a lover
    Organza – eau de parfum
    Also ..V.what do you think of Chantecaille’s Tiare and Frangipane> They are both so perfect in their invisible tantalizing. Regards to all of us the love and life this life with 5 sences..the fifth being the sense of smell without which our collective perfume therapy would not be possible
    love – Madelyn December 12, 2005 at 1:44am Reply

  • Qwendy: Patty, oh yes, it’s fantastic, the clove and rose are the most natural combination, I discovered it in Paris playing at the Caron Boutique — I blogged about it in October I think, Caron must be in the title of the post!
    I’ve got clove essence now and I’m going to fool around with it over the holiday! December 12, 2005 at 1:50am Reply

  • Ayala: Victoria, actually most of the perfumes I love are pretty dark and heavy and very well suited to a cold weather. I live in Vancouver, which has pretty cool weather all year around, so I have the privilege of wearing mostly whatever I want to without it feeling too heavy most of the year. However, I really miss the abrupt change of seasons that more polarized climates offer. I guess because of this, most perfumes remind me of either the fall (it’s when everything start being cooler) and the summer (the only rare time here when it starts to be really warm). It used to be Fall and Spring back where I grew up, but not anymore. So I should really not have said that on the post before…
    For the dark season (most year around – fall and winter and most of the spring which is even colder than the winter sometimes):
    Mitsouko, Vol de Nuir, Femme, Feuilles de Tabac, Habanita, Ta’if, Private Collection (especially for super chilly spring days), Ivoire, Miss Dior.

    For the warm season:
    Samsara, Opium Fleur de Shanghai, Philosykos, Obsession, Shalimar (these last two are really weird for the summer, but that’s how I love them the most!), Chant d’Aromes, Diorissimo, Spring Flower.

    Serge Lutens’ Fleurs d’Oranger is a strange one in the sense that I was craving it “all summer” (only two months for goodness sake and they go really fast!) and was planning to make it my summer perfume for this yeat, but didn’t get around to buy it until the summer was over. I wear it now to remind me of a golden sun and it really cheers me up. December 12, 2005 at 3:01am Reply

  • shychai: I am so elated to see LouLou on someone’s favorite list! It was my coveted favorite *many* years ago, and I recently got a decant of Harmonie Creole by CSP and they are (to my nose)scent-sisters. It brought back many fond memories, I went through 2 bottles and I’m planning to get another soon.
    Other winter favorites:
    Sage Onyx
    Regina Harris Frankincense Myrrh Maroc
    Aroma M Geisha Nobara-Cha (Rose, Amber & Sandalwood)
    Moksha by Ava Luxe December 12, 2005 at 12:30pm Reply

  • portlandia: I cannot disagree – especially the Sublime and Opium. To them I add Caron’s Parfum Sacre – the myrrh evokes all things Christmas, the depth is bottomless, and wearing it makes a gentleman magically open a door for a lady when she least expects it. And he won’t even know why. December 14, 2005 at 1:33am Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Miriam, I love how you describe the effect of Ormonde in different weather. It is almost like Monet’s paintings of haystacks in different seasons and lights. What you describe sounds wonderful, and I would like to experience it for myself.

    Like you, I prefer richer, darker and sweeter compositions, yet if something is beautiful, its effect never changes. December 19, 2005 at 5:11pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Wendy, fantastic and diverse list! These are so fun to read through, as I also discover many interesting fragrances. I absolutely must revisit Knize Ten, because it is a great leather. December 19, 2005 at 6:13pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Christina, I cannot agree more. It is fun to think of these list and it is even more interesting to see what others select. December 19, 2005 at 6:14pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Uella, I cannot say that the licorice note bothers me much in general, but the overall sweetness of Arabie is not something I can carry off unless in certain mood. December 19, 2005 at 6:15pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Yes, that combination (Or et Noir and Coup de Fouet) sounds very interesting! December 19, 2005 at 6:16pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Madelyn, thank you for your kind words and for sharing your fantastic list! I love many fragrances you mentioned.

    I am familiar with Chantecaille fragrances, and I especially like Frangipani, which has a nice vanilla and amber combination in the base that contrasts with the smooth white floral heart. Tiare is a green fragrance, with a delicate jasmine note. I do not find it as interesting, but it is very pleasant and wearable. December 19, 2005 at 6:18pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Wendy, clove is a fantastic note, although too much and it ends up overwhelming everything. I am looking forward to hearing what new combination you devise, so please let me know. December 19, 2005 at 6:19pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Ayala, I also love the transition seasons, which allow one to adjust to the idea of change and to feel how the nature changes as well. I love reading about your favourites as you always describe them in such a lovely manner.

    Serge Lutens Fleurs d’Oranger is an immediate boost for me as well. It cheers me up immediately, and even though I find it too sweet, I have learned to layer it with other Lutens fragrances–Cuir Mauresque, for example. December 19, 2005 at 6:26pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Shychai, I am also glad that someone else loved LouLou as much as I do. I will never forget the first time I tried it and how its smell of some magical tropical flower has enthralled me. Thank you for sharing your favourites for the winter. I have not tried some of these, therefore I will add them to my list. December 19, 2005 at 6:28pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Portlandia, what a great description of Parfum Sacre! I love this image, and I think that it fits beautifully. December 19, 2005 at 6:29pm Reply

  • Eileen: Well! I’m quite impressed. I have been off LouLou for several years since a so-called “friend” made a catty remark that “after all, it’s available at Duane Reade!” I still love it, the architecture of the bottle, and on my pH it thrives for hours.

    But let me be frank, here among us women of fine taste–I love to wear my fragrance in the refined art of seduction. My absolute favorite in the Winter is Poivre and Tabac Blond (Caron Boutique)– BUT I’m a steady mistress of Arpege. Right up there, Joy Parfum, White Shouders, Dioressence–my olfactory and sultry senses tend to volley.

    Here’s a hint (maybe), I acutally pour out a quarter-sized dollop of the Johnson & Johnson Baby Gel (get in in the baby products aisle, unscented) and then spray into the pool of oil the scent I’m wearing–then annoint my shoulders, breasts,legs, thighs and hips with the oiled scent…!
    The neutral oil “catches” the scent and holds it.

    I haven’t yet tried Amber Narguile (Hermes)–I’m heading out tomorrow to make a new acquaitance, as I am to this lovely posting.

    Thank you all–by the way the quote from Camus is acutally the title of CD by kdLang.

    Bravo for us all. Nothing thrills me more, the pleasure of scent!

    Eileen December 26, 2005 at 3:50pm Reply

  • BoisdeJasmin: Eileen, thank you for sharing your thoughts and a tip. I know that some people experience fragrance evaporating rather quickly from their skin, therefore this might be a good technique to retain it. Interesting about kdLang. I did not even realize that the quote by Camus was on her CD. December 26, 2005 at 11:26pm Reply

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