I basically called my mom for help. Except when I say mom, I mean an esthetician.
Here in Virginia, the winter solstice greeted us with
70-degree temperatures, and while I usually dread the season, this just felt
My hatred for winter is
deeply rooted in more personal experiences like nostalgia and seasonal
affective disorder. The one redeeming
thing about winter, for me, is the concept of "cozy." I loathe the dreary, I
complain about damp shoes and numb fingers, and I cry a little bit on my dark,
lonely drives home from work, but those moments of gray and bleak make the cozy
moments so, so delicious in comparison.
There’s a push and pull, and the contrast deepens those warm,
While recent warm days have been highly irritating, I
have been testing new scents in anticipation of the return of the crisp and
cool--scents that are soft, warm, close
to the skin, sometimes sexy, sometimes yummy.
But just as cozy manifests in
different incarnations, so does the sweater. If a woman has more than one
sweater, does she not perfume them as such? I think Shakespeare said that.
The Smart Cardigan:
Biblioteca de Babel by Fueguia 1833
Notes: cedar, cabreuva, cinnamon
As a lifelong tomboy, I have been involved in many a love
affair with cardigans. A cardigan can transform a t-shirt and jeans into a
sharp little outfit. A cardigan can keep a body warm while pulling all-nighters
in the library.
My cardigan sweaters
lean more old man than ladylike sweater set, so a signature scent for this
garment would be woody and spicy.
Biblioteca de Babel by Fueguia 1833 captures the smell of
ink, wooden shelves, leather chairs, and bookbindings. Notes of cedar, cabreuva (a creamy South
American wood), and cinnamon combine into something rich and complex, and
though the scent does not develop and change like other fragrances, the result
is beautifully warm.
On my skin, it
opens with a whiff of pipe tobacco and something sweet, like dates or cassis,
which makes me think of varnished library tables. It mellows into the wood and
vellum, which are heavy but not overpowering, and a hint of tuberose takes over
for the initial tobacco.
lasts for quite a long time, and while it might not suit everyone’s taste, it’s
a must-try if you find the scent of ancient libraries comforting.
The Flannel Shirt:
Bois D’Ascese by Naomi Goodsir
whiskey, cinnamon, amber, cistus labdanum, oakmoss, Smoked cade wood, Somalian
I have assigned our next scent to the flannel shirt, but
really it could go with any of your more rugged tops: cable knit, ragg wool,
fleece. Essentially, this fragrance will immediately transport you to a roaring
bonfire, so it pairs beautifully with your warmest outdoor gear. I’m a flannel
girl myself, as I find wool to be a bit scratchy on my delicate baby skin.
I am in love with this fragrance. It smells just like the
smoke from a bonfire: dry, pungent, tarry. However, it doesn’t stay there. The
intense smoky opening blossoms into a soft, resin-y incense. Oakmoss and labdanum transform the smoke into
something warmer and more seductive than your average campfire.
Upon learning that the name translates into "wood asceticism," I smell meditation around a flame, incense on an altar,
comfort. It becomes a very personal scent, close to the skin. I think it would
be delicious on a man or a woman.
wore for a long time on my skin, and even though I could still smell the sweet
amber-whisky, I applied another splash before heading out for my birthday
celebration so I could experience the transition from smoke to smooth again.
1826 by Histoires de Parfums
tangerine, white flowers, violet, cinnamon, ginger, patchouli, amber, incense,
blond woods, white musk, vanilla
The sweater you borrow from the person you love (or even
tolerate) steps up the cozy quotient. It’s an intimate thing to wear another
person’s garment, especially fresh from his or her back, the warmth still
I don’t hope to alienate
those of you who are without someone with whom to share sweaters, so I will add
that this fragrance is seductive and elegant enough for a first date, soft
enough for a night at home with a good book.
The idea of the shared sweater came to me as I realized that
this scent is more unisex than the listed notes would suggest, and the sillage
is understated enough that your partner, no matter their sex, would have to get
pretty close to enjoy it.
On my skin, a
spicy bergamot gives way to an abundance of patchouli, but it is softened by a
bit of cedar. It becomes creamy with vanilla, and a sharp pop of violet keeps
it from going too dark. It is so well
blended that, after the initial heavy spice, no one note seems to dominate. A
smooth, supple, luxurious aura surrounds the skin, and it’s disappointing that
the longevity isn’t better than average.
This almost-gourmand, fluffy, airy patchouli
is worth trying, especially if you’re a fan of Prada or Tom Ford White
Fluffiest Cashmere: What We Do in Paris is Secret by a Lab on Fire
honey, lychee, Turkish rose essence, tonka bean, vanilla, heliotrope, tolu,
sandalwood, ambergris, musk
I am a big fan of
cashmere. My cashmere is sensible and comes in everyday colors like navy and
taupe. My girliest sweater is a turtleneck, but it is soft, soft, soft.
Do in Paris is Secret is a scent that surrounds and holds onto your skin like a
plush, double-ply, heavenly soft pink cashmere set of pajamas--sexy pajamas. It’s the most feminine of my
sweater scents, and decidedly unlike me because it is so sweet, but it is good,
The big secret in
Paris must include eating marzipan and honey in bed. The fragrance opens with a golden honey and a
bit of green from the bergamot and lychee. The honey lifts and sweetens with layers of almond-y heliotrope and
It smells comfortable and familiar, not challenging. Just when I
thought I couldn’t take the sweetness, the rose and sandalwood arrive to add a
bit of sophistication. The sweetness is not a baby-cupcake-cheap-juvenile-sweetness,
but something more mature, sexier, dirtier, like a sweetness worn on the back
of your lover’s knee, rumpled overnight in the sheets.
The nose behind this perfume is Dominique
Ropion, who is also responsible for Carnal Flower, Amirage, and Alien, so you
know you’ve got something interesting, at the very least.
Apparently, I find
warmth and comfort somewhere between a nice roaring fire, a glass of whiskey,
honey, and old books. Also, sweater weather is much appreciated before it wears
out its welcome--so like, for a good three weeks, maybe.
What scents are your
go-to winter fragrances? Any good recommendations for cheap cashmere?