When you’re into perfume you know that it’s important to pick the right scent for the right occasion. I’m sure I’m preaching to the choir here, but selecting your scent is as important as picking out the right pair of shoes. Sure, perfume may not be as visible as a nice pair of heels, but it’ll make just as much of an impression, I assure you. So yes, it’s important to pick the right scent for the right occasion, but not just for reasons of vanity, but also because one is likely to form a poignant scent memory on a special occasion – so why not make that memory one that smells gorgeous?
Christmas is a time that many of us will have strong scented associations with, whether it be the pine needles of Christmas trees, the dusty odour of decorations that have spent a year chilling in the loft, or even Brussels sprouts (hey, not every smell has to be a great one). So the perfume we wear over the holidays will be an important one because it has so much to compete with. To help you I’ve asked some of my favourite perfume people to tell us what they will be wearing on the big day – hopefully, they will inspire you to try out something new, exciting and fragrantly festive.
Christmas is a time when I want to smell like the food I’m surrounded by. It helps that everything smells rich, fruity and warm at this time of year. For me, it will have to be Serge Lutens Arabie. It smells like Nigella Lawson’s recipe for Black Cake: rum-infused fruit and dates left to marinate until the richness is irresistible.
Thomas Says: Serge Lutens is the creator of delicious oriental treats – olfactory delicacies infused with exotic spices, sugared flowers and stewed fruits. No wonder Sam has found herself craving Arabie at Christmas, it’s chock full of heady deliciousness. Also, it’s NEVER a bad thing to channel Her Majesty, Nigella. Never!
This holiday season I will be wearing Givenchy Ange ou Démon since I find it one of the best wintertime scents and so perfect for the holiday parties. l love it’s dualistic nature – it is dark, daring and sexy but at the same time so feminine, elegant and warm. Ange ou Démon, it is.
Thomas Says: Jelena and I have been chatting perfume for the last year or so and if there is one thing I have learned along the way, it’s that she and I share a lot in the taste department. So much so, in fact, we often call ourselves scent twins! Ange ou Démon is a playful floriental that contrasts the flirtatious sparkle of saffron and lily with the corrupting warmth of vanilla and oakwood. Do I like it? Of course, I do, Jelena and I are scent twins after all!
I’m never 100% sure in advance of which fragrance to wear on a given day, but I’ll probably be wearing Comme des Garçons 2 on Christmas Day. It’s one of my favourites, and it has this metallic, almost tinsel-like vibe. And tinsel is my favourite thing about Christmas (apart from the excuse to eat loads of course!).
Thomas Says: See, this is why Nick and I get on so well, we’re on the same wavelength. Comme des Garçons 2 is pure, unadulterated tinsel and glitter in lovely silver tones.
Christmas is a time for indulgence; spices, alcohol-steeped fruits, and all the sugary treats you can handle. Christmas fragrances are sometimes the same way; rich, heady and a little overwhelming. So, when I’m not in the mood to smell like a figgy pudding I reach for Etat Libre d’Orange’s Noel au Balcon, and smell like an expensive Christmas wreath instead. Suffused with dried tangerines, gloriously bright orange blossom and topped off with just a tiny dribble of honey and cinnamon, Noel au Balcon is surprisingly sexy, fabulously festive, and a wonderful wear at any time of year, not just Christmas Day itself. Yule love it.
Thomas Says: Louise has chosen one of the very best Christmas scents out there – a fragrance that the brand describes as a “flirtatious temptress” and a “dancing queen”. It’s a fun, decadent, and deliriously delicious fragrance that people are going to want to smell. As Louise says, forget the figgy pudding, because if you’re wearing this you’re going to be dessert!
What about me? What will I be wearing on Christmas day? Well, I’m such a boring old boy when it comes to Christmas perfume because I inevitably always wear the same thing year on year, pairing a decadent scent with my smart clothing for the day. Sure, some years I’ll kid myself and say I’ll pick out something different, but my hand will always reach for the one thing that feels as appropriate on Christmas day as Quality Street for breakfast or a post-turkey malaise on the sofa in front of the Queen’s speech. That fragrance is the one, the only, the divine, and the heavenly Shalimar by Guerlain. It simply cannot be beaten.
This year I’m really going to try something different. Honestly! I love me some Shalimar, especially in the winter (that warm, smoky vanilla is like the world’s comfiest scarf) but this year I fancy a change. Well, not that big a change, because I’m going for Guerlain again, but this time I’ll be wearing Habit Rouge (French for red jacket due to the fragrance’s equestrian inspirations). Some people say that Habit Rouge is the masculine counterpart to Shalimar and it’s easy to see why – both share vibrant citrus overdoses and a balsamic, Guerlinade base with oodles of vanilla. Where Habit Rouge differs is with it’s dandy-esque but also transparent leather accord. It’s basically the most handsome, dapper thing there is.
Habit Rouge isn’t like many Christmas-appropriate scents in the sense that it doesn’t smell like any particular facet of Christmas. It’s not tinsel-esque, wreath-like or delicious in a sumptuous, Nigella sort of a way, but it provides comfort, softness and an effervescence that somehow feels both smart and casual. So I’ve treated myself to a bottle (from Escentual, obviously) and I’ll be rocking the reddest of fragrant jackets on Christmas Day! I cannot wait.