Tag Archives: best Christmas perfume

How to Smell like Christmas

There are certain smells associated with Christmas that we don’t come across in the course of the ordinary year (i.e. the boring non-Christmas period). Now, I might be romanticising things here, but I have vivid Christmas memories of the exact smell of 1970s tinsel, the smell of roasting beef (we didn’t eat turkey) and Mum and Dad smoking all day. In the 1970s you were  encouraged to smoke all day and anywhere you pleased. Unimaginable now, I know, but the scent of cigarettes always takes me back to the family home back where chocolate advent calendars hadn’t been invented  and the internet was just a twinkle in the sky.

These days, any kind of foodie/boozy scent has me thinking wistfully of Christmas and I use it as an excuse to step outside my usual chypre scented comfort zone and into cosy, smoky gourmands.  Basically, I want to smell good enough to eat.

Here are five fragrances that have me salivating around Christmas time. They are rich, evocative, wintry and absolutely delicious. Dive in with me.  Sherry?

Zadig et Voltaire This Is Her

The plain white bottle from this achingly cool Parisian brand doesn’t look particular festive but it has dominant chestnut notes and lashings of whipped cream. This is an unusual fragrance, but I like it because of that.  They could have played it safe but no, they thought they’d confuse our brains with jasmine and chestnuts and whipped cream and cashmere wool and pink pepper and, did I say whipped cream? It sounds confusing but I promise you, this scent really works and I could happily plough through a whole bottle, and the body lotion and candle too. You can find it here.

4160 Tuesdays at Pitti

4160 Tuesdays Captured by Candlelight

With overtones of Cluedo and Agatha Christie in the intriguing title, this fragrance smells as Christmassy as a tangerine in the bottom of your pillow case. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to a Christingle service, but it reminded me vividly of that. What happens is that children attend a simplified Christmas service in a church (an old one for preference) and each child is given an orange with a candle embedded in it. Jutting out of the orange are cocktail stick with little Haribo gummy sweets on. Combine the old wood of church pews with the orange, the sweets, the candlelight and the flask of Baileys you have in your bag, and you’ve got Captured by Candlelight. Check it out here on the 4160 website, which is dangerously tempting at this time of year.

Hypnotic Poison

Christmas isn’t Christmas without some sort of marzipan encounter.  Hypnotic poison allows you to carry that scent around on your skin. With rich, boozy vanilla and thick, rich almonds, Hypnotic Poison is hard to beat, and very long lasting. By the way, just holding the pumpkin shaped bottle feels like magic. I keep thinking its going to turn into a tiny coach at midnight.  You can buy it here.

Hermes Elixir des Merveilles

The nose behind Hermes Elixir des Merveilles is none other than legend Jean Claude Ellena.  Famous for his blending, which is often described as having the delicacy of a watercolour painting, Elixir des Merveilles is a gourmand that has the kind of mouth-watering appeal that never feels too rich for a second helping.  To my nose, this smells like caramelised oranges, but without any stickiness.  Imagine a crème brûlée with slightly seared bitter orange fruit.  I’m not usually a fan of gourmands, except at Christmas, obvs, but this one has me drooling with undisguised avarice. You can buy it here.

Yves Rocher Bourbon Vanilla

Never let it be said that I don’t cater for all budgets.  This cheap and cheerful vanilla scent from trusty Yves Rocher stopped me in my tracks and made me check the price again. Twice. This is a rich, golden vanilla scent that smacks of boozy vanilla liquor, rather than the more commonly found synthetic cupcake note that sometimes poses as vanilla.  Not, this one, though, No Sir. Yves Rocher Bourbon Vanilla will make everyone ask what you are wearing. Even the most curmudgeonly perfume resister will be unable to stop sniffing you. Don’t blame me. Blame Yves Rocher! Oh, and the price? My 30ml bottle was the princely sum of £3.99 five weeks ago.

How about you?

What will be wearing this Christmas? Something cosy? Something new? Do you always wear the same fragrance at Christmas? Do let me know. I always love to hear from you.

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Library of Fragrance Giveaway!

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Those nice people at Library of Fragrance have been kind enought to send me some bottles to review. As much as I want to rub my hands together like a miser and refer to them as “The Precious”, it is only fair that I spread the joy.  After all, it is Christmas and  a good deed goes round the world.

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I will be giving away a bottle of Cupcake, Blue Spruce and Log Cabin. All you have to do is comment below, or on my Facebook page, or on Twitter ( @IScentYouADay) to tell me which of the three you would like to win. The giveaway closes at midnight on 17th December 2016 so I’ve got time toget it to you before Christmas.  The giveaway is stricrly UK only, I’m afraid, due to postage regulations. But don’t worry, that’ll all chage when I’m Queen of the World. I am also on Instagram, so you can follow me there too! I’m iscentyouaday.

Good luck!

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The Smell of Christmas: Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce and Log Cabin

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I once said that I wish Library of Fragrance would do a perfume that smelled like a 1970s Christmas Tree. The trees of my childhood smelled so terrific that the smell of pine has encapsulated Christmas for me ever since. Here’s a sad fact: I even buy pine toilet cleaner because it reminds me of Christmas. THAT’S how much I like the smell of Christmas trees.

Being a hoover dodger with three cats and two children, we have a fake plastic tree  (So Radiohead!), but I yearn for the smell that used to greet me when I sneaked down in the mornings in the early seventies to open the advent calendar every third day (I had to share with two siblings).

Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce brought back that feeling of excitement as the beautiful scent of pine filled the room. It’s not green and sharp, though: there’s muted waxiness to it, like candles. Don’t be put off by this- it’s a kind of softness. Pine can smell bitter but there’s no danger of that here. It’s as if the pine has been muffled by snow. There’s an ozonic, fresh air sort of note going on in the background which gives you the best of both worlds. You’ve got outdoorsy and cosy all in one. The best thing is, you don’t have to leave log-cabinthe cocoon of your central heating (set to Level Sauna) to experience this exhilarating scent. I have sprayed it liberally on myself and also, on my fake tree. I was trying to recapture something and this was like Christmas nostalgia in a bottle.

This goes very well indeed with Library of Fragrance Log Cabin. I pulled a face when I first smelled Log Cabin, but then the next day I walked past a timber yard and thought “Yes! That’s it exactly!” Log Cabin doesn’t smell like a wood fire or like egg nog, it actually smells like the timber the cabin is built with. If you like sharp cedar that borders on the herbal (think clary sage) then you need Log Cabin in your life.  Spray it over Blue Spruce and you are in an olfactory ski lodge. Gorgeous.

Stockists

christmas-cakeLibrary of Fragrance Log Cabin and Library of Fragrance Blue Spruce are both available from the Library of Fragrance website. Prices are £15 for 30ml but check out the special offers and the cute purse sprays which are even less! You can also find a selection of Library of Fragrance scents in branches of Boots. My bottles were very kindly supplied by the Library of Fragrance but opinions are all my own.

Serge Lutens Mandarine Mandarin: A Festive Brew

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 This is my second time of trying Serge Lutens Mandarine Mandarin.  The first time smelled like orange crème brulee, which as much as I would to try that, I feel sure that I don’t wish to smell of it.

The second time, I like this a little more, but there is a note like dried Pot Pourri that just stops me short of loving it.  Maybe it’s the tea?

 Suddenly the fragrance comes back to me. As a child, I would place the peel on a hot burner of the stove, rendering a scent I’ll never forget- Serge Lutens

First off, I love oranges in scent.  I love Jesus del Pozo Ambar,  LUSH Karma, Biotherm Eau Vitaminee, and Ô de Lancome to name but four.  In Mandarine Mandarin the orange is used differently, like a resonant background that gets deeper and darker like a rich spice. There’s no more creamy, burnt note like there was the first time round. This smells like herbal tea, infused with all the parts of an orange that dear Christopher Sheldrake could get his hands on.  There is also a smell like marmalade that has been reduced to gloop on the stove. It’s not an immediate fondness, but it grows.

The notes are Tonka Bean, Orange, Mandarin, Nutmeg, Tea, Labdanum and Amber.  I haven’t listed them in order as they don’t really emerge in order.  Oranges and Tea come though first, followed by Amber and Nutmeg, and then it kind of settles into a cross between the above mentioned pot pourri and Oranges being steeped in dark tea.

Longevity is as good as ever with Serge Lutens and  the quality of ingredients is excellent.  It’s not for me, but it  might be for you, if you like what you hear. Oh and it’s very Christmassy! I wouldn’t wear this, but it would be unbeatable as a room scent at this time of year.

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