Tag Archives: winter fragrance

Library of Fragrance Fireplace:  The Last Word in Winter Warmers

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Now that we’re properly cold and wearing woollies it’s time to bring the rabbit out of the hat.  If there is a cosier, warmer smelling scent than Library of Fragrance Fireplace I have yet to come across it.

Somehow the exact smoky dustiness of a real log fire has been captured in a scent. If I’m not mistaken, something extra has been added too:  not quite spice, but more of a peppery note.  I name it old wood beams in a rustic farmhouse as the wind whips the windows outside.

Fireplace is a delightful wintry fragrance that is equally good on women or men. In fact, this would smell amazing on a man wearing a warm jumper as if to say “I am all capable and manly and have big strong arms”.

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I have mentioned Fireplace briefly before in my review of Library of Fragrance Gingerbread, and I will reiterate here how well Gingerbread and Fireplace go together.  These two were simply made to be worn on freezing November evenings.  Longevity is pretty good too at around five hours. To make it last even longer, spray your hair and clothes as these will keep the scent longer than skin. This is especially good on scarves.

Play Bing Crosby and pour yourself a sherry.

Stockists:  Library of Fragrance is available from the Library of Fragrance website or Boots in the UK, online or in store.  Prices are £15 for one or £25 for two (one for you, one for Christmas presents). Photo by www.3planesoft.com

Serge Lutens Arabie: Leather and Fruit? Can I Tempt You?

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You can tell that I am a fan of Nigella Lawson. The appalling state of my copies of her books is testament to this. The sticky toffee pudding recipe is stuck together with sticky toffee pudding and she is responsible for at least one dress size that I didn’t used to be.

Don’t worry, my blog hasn’t changed direction, but one of Nigella’s recipes sprang to mind instantly when I first smelled Serge Lutens Arabie. The recipe in question is for Nigella’s Black Cake from the  Nigella Christmas book. The instruction is as follows:

 Cover the fruits and leave to steep for at least two weeks, but up to six months. I say up to six months – which is what Colwin writes in Home Cooking – but I must tell you that I steeped all the fruits one year in November only to find in December that I was just too exhausted to make the cake. So I used it up the following year, after 13 months’ marinating. It was strong, but it was good.

chow.com
chow.com

When I first sprayed Serge Lutens Arabie, I was indeed vividly reminded of dark, rich fruit that had been steeped in rum for many years.  Uncork the lid and there it  is, wafting out like a snake being charmed from a basket. If you’ve ever eaten so much Christmas cake that you feel you may turn into one, you will be familiar with boozy fruit, and this beauty has it by the bucketful.

I wasn’t remotely surprised to see that the main notes were fruit, nutmeg, figs and dates , or that there was some festive myrrh in there too. For some reason, on the second day of wearing this, I picked up a slightly smoky Leather base as well.  Leather is not listed as a note, but it could be the myrrh and the resin creating a by product that provides smoky warmth.

This is rich and redolent with feast like properties, but stops just short of being strictly edible.  The myrrh makes it fragrant- like incense, and the combination of rum doused fruit and  a wisp of smoke makes Serge Lutens Arabie full of mystery and allure.  And Christmas.

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L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage D’Enfer: Heavenly!

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 How I love a bit of incense at Christmas!  Being a fan of both Andy Tauer’s Incense Rose and Comme Des Garcons Avignon, I am always ready to try a good churchy incense fragrance and L’Artisan Parfumeur Passage D’Enfer was no disappointment.

 Passage d’Enfer was created by the legendary, and prolific, Olivia Giacobetti, who  also has Frederic Malle’s En Passant and Hermes Hiris under her belt, to name but two of many.

The notes are simple, and sometimes that is all I ask of a perfume.  I get soft Wood and church standard Incense.  I know what I’m talking about here as I have sat through many a High Anglican Mass complete with Latin, plainsong, and thuribles, and jolly nice it was too. There is nothing Hellish about Passage D’Enfer, this is a divine scent that smells of aged church pews. The Lily and Musk were off the day I tried this and I couldn’t find them anywhere, but I didn’t mind. Their colleagues more than made up for their absence.

My only tiny bugbear is that with a smell this good, I would like to crank up the sillage and longevity and really make it sing like a choir, but sadly, it close to skin and rather faint after less than half an hour.  I guess I love it so much my skin just gobbled it all up.

Passage D’Enfer can be bought for around £80 per 100ml.  If it lasts on you, you have a wonderful winter gem of a fragarcne.