Happy Holidays!


Happy Holidays! Angela will have a post on Monday, then Now Smell This will be taking Tuesday and Wednesday off — we'll be back on Thursday. In the meanwhile, feel free to talk about whatever you like: what perfume you’re wearing today, what you’re cooking (or eating) for the holidays, what you'll buy on Boxing Day, anything at all.

Or, ask a question about fragrance, then see if anyone else has asked a question that you can answer…

Note: top image is Ornament [cropped] by John-Morgan at flickr; some rights reserved.

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  1. lucasai says:

    I’ve been baking and decorating gingerbreads yesterday and today it was time to do some cleaning in my family appartment. Yesterday I was wearing Parfum d’Empire Cuir Ottoman (newly arrived bottle – I bought it because parents decided to buy me sth else for Christmas) Today I’m in Pink Vetiver from JO LOVES… range.

    Merry Christmas / Happy Hannukah to those who celebrate. Have a wonderful time, great presents and memorable atmosphere!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Oh, I’ve been craving gingerbread this week. Might have to make some, too! Do you make crunchy cookies, soft cookies, or something else entirely?

      I’ve been filling the gap by wearing Jacomo #8, whose chai tea could be almost mistaken for gingerbread scent.

      Happy Holidays, Lucas!

      • lucasai says:

        We made two kinds with my mum – ones are crunchy and ones are a little bit harder, perfect for soaking in hot milk, cocoa, chocolate.

        Happy Holidays Marjorie! Have a good time.

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          Oh, a hard cookie for dipping sounds lovely! My family is Danish in origin, and I have an old family recipe for Lebkuchen. They are soft ginger cookies and require “aging” for several weeks for prime eating. So, probably won’t make those this year! I don’t think I want to wait that long to eat them!

          • lucasai says:

            So your family roots are located relatively near Poland :) A family recipe sounds great, but hey, I’m sure you’ll have lots of delicious food in the table. You’ll make those gingerbreads next year.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Yes, my father’s parents spoke Danish at home, and there still some remnants of family traditions from Europe. The holidays are my favorite, with the best tradition being that we open our gifts on Christmas Eve rather than Christmas day–a whole day earlier than my friends (which seemed very important when I was a kid)!

            And you are right, plenty of food will be on the table, with or without Lebkuchen!

          • lucasai says:

            We have the same custom here in Poland. We have a formal dinner on Christmas Eve and when everyone tastes every dish on the table then it’s time for presents.

    • Merlin says:

      Glad you got your Cuir Ottoman: you have been in love with it for a while. I have a small decant of it, and it is lovely (actually the only leather I like).

      • lucasai says:

        I’ve been thinking about getting it for a while and now I have it. For me Cuir Ottoman is one of those few leathers I like. I’m usually not a cuir fan.

    • Emily says:

      Congratulations on the Cuir Ottoman! I’ve been considering a bottle of that myself.

      • lucasai says:

        Thanks Emily! I don’t usually like leather perfume but this one is very enjoyable.

    • poodle says:

      Merry Christmas Lucas! I just put some gingerbread in the oven too. Great minds think alike.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Merry Christmas, Lucas…and congratulations on your much awaited Cuir Ottoman!

      Ginger — I’m not crazy about eating gingerbread cookies but I won’t refuse it if offered. Gingerbread HOUSES delight me…from the simple to the elaborate (the ones entered into contests) and even life-sized ones I’ve seen on TV.

      In any case, my most recent ginger discovery is adding minced ginger to hot tea (which I usually drink plain / no sugar / no milk / no lemon). The ginger adds some kick and chewing the bits afterwards made my mouth feel like it was having a (good) party! It’s probably healthy too and more palatable than garlic.

      • lucasai says:

        Merry Christmas to you too. And thank you! I fancy my new bottle.

        I love gingerbreads in any form, crunchy, soft & spongy, with jam or wih icing. very gingerbread will do for me.

        I’ve never tried adding minced ginger to my tea. I usually add lemon (or nothing, eventually rum when it’s freezing). This must be healthy though.

      • Arielle says:

        You are on the right track – ginger is amazingly good for you. When ever I felt like I was coming down with a cold or flu, my holistic doc in Hawaii would ask if I had any fresh ginger on hand, and why wasn’t I making it up into a tisane before calling? It’s also a cure for nausea. On a less medicinal note, Merry Christmas to everyone who celebrates this holiday at NST and enjoy the day!

  2. Abyss says:

    I was lucky enough to win one of Andy’s sample sets via Lucas’s blog. I was absolutely thrilled but since it happened this Monday I fully expected to wait until after Christmas to receive them. Imagine my surprise when I saw an envelope stamped with with Swiss Post and Tauer on my doormat this morning! Huge, huge thanks to Andy, Lucas and the industrious post workers!

    I asked to try Miriam, Loretta, Incense Rosé, Pentachord Verdant & White. I tried them very quickly on paper and Loretta’s white flowers and leather have really caught my attention but I’m looking forward to trying them all properly in the coming days.

    Happy Holidays to everyone who celebrates!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Oh how fun, Abyss! I don’t remember to enter the draw every day, but it’s such fun to participate. I always hope that *this one* will be the one I win! Enjoy your samples.

      • Abyss says:

        Thank you! If I were even remotely superstitious, I would be tempted to put it down to some good fragrance karma from helping a fellow perfumista get hold of perfume not available in US. I did win a bottle of something a couple of years ago, though, so I’d say that the odds of winning are not bad and it’s definitely worth taking part. It’s pretty fun too, as you said.

    • lucasai says:

      Hi Abyss! When I mailed your details to Andy he said he’ll pull some strings for this set to arrive before Christmas. So great you received it today. Do enjoy your Tauer Christmas. SanTauer Claus is very charming and generous man

      • Abyss says:

        I agree, Andy seems like an incredibly kind and generous person. I don’t just mean the material things since this must also take a lot of effort and time to organise at such a busy time of the year.

        • jepster says:

          Congratulations on your Tauer score!! I know you will enjoy–you have one of my favorites, Incense Rose. Andy is a kind and generous person–maybe your good luck will rub off on me! Enjoy.

          • Abyss says:

            Thank you! I’m liking Incense Rosé and I think this might be my favourite out of Andy’s roses – I found URC a little too dense and URV too sweet but this seems really well-balanced. I don’t consider myself a huge fan of either incense or rose but I try to keep an open mind and I’m happy that decided to try it.

            Happy to share my luck, hopefully some of it will rub off :D

      • nozknoz says:

        “SanTauer Claus” is perfect, Lucas! Wishing you the best for the Holidays and New Year 2013!

        • lucasai says:

          Best Christmas wishes to you too Nozknoz, my friend!

    • Emily says:

      Congratulations on the win! And thanks for reminding me that I have a sample of Loretta that I need to try.

      • Abyss says:

        Thank you! Get that Loretta sample out but spray/dab sparingly, it seems like pretty powerful stuff.

    • poodle says:

      Congrats on winning! That’s so wonderful.

      • Abyss says:

        Thank you, it really cheered me up :)

    • ladymurasaki says:

      How marvelous, Abyss! Enjoy your wins and happy Christmas to you as well :)

    • Merlin says:

      Another congratulations! Enjoy your win:)

  3. Abyss says:

    P.S. curious to hear what everyone wore for yesterday’s apocalypse ;)

    I dug out my sample of Manoumalia simply because it’s been ages since I tried it last and I couldn’t remember what it was like. Plus a lush, tropical floral seemed like it would make a good antidote for the miserable, wet weather.

    • platinum14 says:

      I wore Balenciaga’s Ho Hang Club.
      This is something that I wore almost everyday, years ago. That year had a big influence on the rest of my life. I was lucky to find a bottle of that discontinued gem for almost nothing. It brings back LOTS of happy memories. So, if it had turned out to be real, I would have gone with happy memories.
      But since the fire-and-brimstone never came, I guess I’ll have to pay a few bills today!

      • Abyss says:

        Oh, I’ve never heard of this one but it’s always nice to smell something that brings back happy memories.. And, hey, anything that’s appropriate for the end of the world must surely make paying some bills more bearable too, right? :D

    • Emily says:

      I settled on Kerosene Whips and Roses (after a morning of testing it alongside Copper Skies and Jean Patou Chaldee, which was an interesting and probably ill-advised combo, but I couldn’t let those three fall by the apocalyptic wayside). I almost scrubbed Whips and Roses because the opening smelled exactly like Off! bug spray, but then it developed into a wonderfully edgy leather with gasoline-like notes and just a bit of rose. I liked it so much that I was willing to reapply and suffer through the bug-spray phase. Not sure I need a full bottle, but I’m glad to have a substantial sample.

      • Abyss says:

        That’s a really great name and I’m fan of edgy fragrances and leather so I might have to investigate this one.

    • nozknoz says:

      Good question! That would have been the ideal day to pull out a rare decant, just in case it was the last chance to enjoy it. Can’t remember, actually, although I slept in one of those LE harvest versions of Organza.

    • Dilana says:

      I had been in heavy duty proceedings for the prior three or four days, so I had been discrete about my scent. Without thinking of the apocalypse, I celebrated my temporary liberation from conservative dressing by wearing a Pour Camille by Anick Goutal.

  4. 50_Roses says:

    Either today or tomorrow, I will start baking stollen, as I do every Christmas. I am not a bread baker normally, so it is typically the only yeast bread I ever make. It is a long-standing tradition in our family to have stollen at Christmas, even though we are not German.

    For only the second time in my life, I have absolutely nothing I need to do on Christmas day. The younger members of the family have so many obligations that day (needing to visit various sets of parents, grandparents, friends) that is was going to be impossible to get together at my parents’ house of the 25th, so we are having our family Christmas next Saturday, the 29th. I am actually looking forward to spending the day with just my husband.

    • Robin says:

      How nice — have a lovely relaxing day!

    • poodle says:

      Merry Christmas and enjoy your quiet day. I’ll be very jealous thinking of you relaxing while I’m trying to feed the fussy in-laws.

      • 50_Roses says:

        I saw your post about your father. I am so sorry–it is never easy to deal with things like that, and having it happen at the holidays just makes it that much more stressful. Try to take care of yourself. I know when I have been under a lot of stress I tend to let my own needs go–not eating right or sleeping enough–and that only makes things worse.

  5. lenika says:

    Today I’m wearing Le Labo Gaiac 10 (thanks to one very generous swapper :) ), and I’m in love with it.
    Happy Holidays to everybody who celebrate!

  6. ladymurasaki says:

    This will be a Christmas we will be spending for the first time in London in years. For nearly a decade, we had spent it either in SoCal or NY. Early this week, my daugther and I had such a lovely time decorating the tree, reminiscing about the last Christmas we had in London as we placed the ornaments on the tree: each one holds special and fond memories. We also found the paper ornaments my daugther had made almost 14 years ago when we spent Christmas in Luxembourg. One of our friends had chopped down a tree for us when we arrived for the holidays and since we hadn’t brought any ornament, she and I made origami chains and baubles.

    So, for the first time in a dacade, I am relishing the joys and fun of a London style Christmas; carol singing with friends in Chelsea to raise funds for charity, Christmas food shopping at Borough Market, attending the Midnight Mass at Westminster Cathedral, etc. And on Christmas day, I’ll get to wear my brand new Iris Ganache. So far, my husband has no idea that I know ;-)

    • Robin says:

      That all sounds just perfect :-)

    • Lys says:

      That’s so nice that you get to spend your holiday in London, there’s nothing like being around for Christmas in a place where you have fond memories.

      Boy, you’ve had a good perfume year! And the Ganache, that’s discontinued so that counts extra.

      • ladymurasaki says:

        Yes, Lys, I’m so excited about Iris Ganache. I can’t seem to help myself from surreptitiously picking up the gift box to sniff it. lol

        • poodle says:

          Hmmm, it sounds like someone was naughty and did some peeking. ;) Enjoy your perfume and try to act really surprised when you open it. Merry Christmas!

    • bookgirl says:

      Sounds like an absolutely wonderful way to celebrate Christmas. My ideal!

    • Annikky says:

      London and Iris Ganache sound perfect. If I wasn’t all nice and cosy in a lovely country house in the middle of ancient forests, I would be very envious!

  7. Betty_Kinkade says:

    Happy holidays and merry Christmas to all of my NST friends!Today, I went antique shopping with my mom and sister and scored a very small bottle of vintage Emeraude. Such powdery green goodness. I’m very glad I remembered seeing the name on this blog and knew to snatch it up. Cheers and hope you all get your HG scent by New Year’s! :)

    • Emily says:

      Congratulations! What a good find.

    • nozknoz says:

      Congrats on the Emeraude, Betty, and thanks for your ideal perfumista New Year wish!

  8. Veronika says:

    I’m preparing for my final exam on monday. Therefore I decided to wear something calming soothing and light – Osmanthe Yunnan seemed like a perfect choice with it’s far eastern serenity and Cofucian wisdom:) Every time I spray it on I feel like I’m in the Forbidden City looking at some Garden_of_One_Thousand_What-Nots…:)

    • Betty_Kinkade says:

      Oooo, sounds lovely! I am looking forward to sampling that one in the near future. I hope your exam goes well!

      • Veronika says:

        It smells of perfectly brewed cup of tea infused with dry apricots smell.
        Not too sweet, not too fresh – just perfect for those days wen you want some serenity and simplicity. It’s my favourite Ellena’s work so far. Un Jadin en Mediterranee only comes second (but very close!) :)

        Thank you regarding the exam wishes. It’s math.statistics – a nightmarish subject!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      Veronika, what did you end up deciding about the Shalimar Parfum? I was downtown today getting my hair done, so I dropped by Nordies and had to give it a try, thinking of your quandary and being a Shalimar lover. I’m finding it to be very similar to my older bottle of Shalimar–less bright than the current formulation of edt (which I don’t enjoy as much). And after just one spritz on my hand, it has remarkable sillage. I can smell it easily without putting my hand to my nose. I’d think it would be a good buy, if you’d enjoy it!

      • Veronika says:

        Hi, Marjorie Rose! Hope you are enjoying your new house (or was it an apartment?) Anyway, I also moved in a new apartment a couple of weeks ago – I’ve been dreaming of going shopping for house fragrances candles and soaps – I adore to put soaps in my drawers – that way my new flat will be sooner smelling like my place, you now. Some of the furniture is from the Soviet era here – I haven’t changed here much…
        About Shalimar. Well, I decided to stay true to Vol de Nuit – I’ll save my money to sum up to those 380$ it costs here. Although Shalimar is simply gorgeous – and having that kind of quality parfum at such a low price would be fantastic. But VdN is much rarer – and sometimes we have to pay some extra …for the exclusivity I guess. Plus – it suits me better – less sillage – less sweetness – oriental headiness was toned down with chypre qualities. I don’t know how to say it really: I’ve picked my Guerlain:) No need to dawdle anymore!

        • Marjorie Rose says:

          New house, yes! I know exactly what you mean about scent. I went through the house with some B. Paris last week, something I used to do after vacuuming in my old apartment. That fresh, clean violet feels like home to me (better as a room scent than a perfume, I’ve decided). I like the idea of putting soaps in drawers. My various attempts at scenting my drawers or closet have been unsatisfying–the scent doesn’t last long enough!

          I can understand holding out for a scent you adore. I don’t like to spend money on things that I’m not sure I’ll always enjoy–rather have a few quality things over a lot of stuff that’s sort of meh.

          Funny about the Soviet furniture. My new house is in a neighborhood with many Russian, Ukrainian, and Romanian immigrants. There’s a furniture store just down the road with signs in English and Russian, and it is where I bought my sofa and love seat–they are beautiful, with carved wood and an “old world’ aesthetic. Nice without being snobby, imo.

          • Veronika says:

            Ohhh… I sprayed Le De Givenchy a lot in my previous apartment – and Roger et Gallet soaps in Rose for the drawers.

            And I have to say – the last time I put on Shalimar – just a couple of sprays of EDP from a tester in the store – my whole place smelled of Shalimar for a week just from my scarf I was wearing – the wardrobe, the corridor. I literally coudn’t detect any other smell… It’s a sillage monster indeed. You have to try that! :)

            Russian-Ukranian neighbourhood? Do you have special food stores there? I love Ukrainian cousine! If you like to cook might be interesting to try varenyky or borsch with galushki :) Hope those guys aren’t too loud where you live – I often hear from “western people” that russian tourists are the loudest.

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            I have not yet ventured into the local groceries. I did notice that there was a “Russian” section to the nearest big-box store. I do love to cook, so I’d be happy to take suggestions on something new to try! My students from that part of the world always mention borscht and blinis! :)

          • Veronika says:

            Your students? Am I talking to a University Professor here? What is your subject? :)

            Regarding the food – oh yes! My Ukranian grandmother – may she rest in peace – was famous for her Varenyky http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Varenyky with Tvorog http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Quark_(cheese) I don’t know if you are familiar with those words, but Tvorog is something almost like italian Roccotta cheese only Tvorog is more granular. Some people make varenyky with Tvorog to be sweet – they add sugar, but my grandmother always added some salt instead – so that they could be eaten as a main course – some butter and high quality 25-30% sour cream on top! (Boy, was I a happy child :)) And for dessert – there’s nothing better than varenyky with cherries (those should be sweet!) with sugar powder on top! Every time we visited – she had to wake up at 6 a.m in order to make 200 of those little guys (I’m still talking about varenyky) – and we could eat them all at once! Later she would start preparing borscht with galushki (pieces of dough: water, egg, flower, salt). I also love “black bread” (- rye bread in a brick form) to complement almost every meal and crunchy sushki at tea time http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sushki (sometimes they are topped with poppy seeds)

          • Marjorie Rose says:

            Ah, no, my students are quite a bit younger than university! I’m a middle school teacher. My students are in the 10-14 year-old range. I teach at a school with a lot of children of immigrants, though, so I interact with a lot of kids from eastern Europe, amongst other cultures.

            All of those dishes sound lovely! I will definitely have to be on the lookout for them. Thank you for sharing! They sound like such wonderful comfort food for this time of year, especially!

  9. Emily says:

    I have some family members arriving today, but it’s going to be a pretty low-key Christmas since I have to work on Monday and Wednesday. (I am taking time off during the first week of January, which I am so looking forward to.) My husband and I don’t usually do much, anyway, aside from making a big brunch and going to see a movie and generally being lazy for a day.

    I currently smell of cleaning products, but after my shower I might go for one of the Le Labo oils from the Luckyscent sample pack — maybe Patchouli 24.

    • Lys says:

      Oh, you did the sample pack! I don’t really do well with Le Labos b/c there’s a weird sweetness in the perfume base (at least on me there is), what do you think of the oils compared to the regular EDPs?

      • Emily says:

        I ended up being lazy yesterday and going with Volutes EDT instead of any of the Le Labo oils. Had a bunch of stuff going on and didn’t feel like I could give a new scent my full attention. I did take a whiff of the Patchouli 24 oil today, and it seems faithful to the EDP — maybe a little richer/heavier, but pretty much the same otherwise. Will be interesting to compare them on skin.

    • juicejones says:

      I just received my Le Labo oils too.
      I think we have hours of fun ahead of us. It made me think of the multiples I have enjoyed at Christmas’s past. A book of Lifesavers, or the big 101 crayon box. I thought ‘how could I be this lucky?’.
      I had that same excitement watching those 12 little vials roll out of their muslin sack! Enjoy…and report!

      • Emily says:

        I like that comparison! Enjoy your samples, too, and we should compare notes in a future thread.

  10. poodle says:

    The Christmas season has been pretty awful this year. My dad fell about 2 weeks ago and went to the ER because he had a head wound that needed stitches. The CAT scan looked okay so they sent him home but he wasn’t right and ended up back in the hospital this week and has a bleed in his head. He’s already got other issues including having a major stroke 25 years ago (on Xmas eve actually). He was put in rehab yesterday to get his strength back to go home but today when I went to visit his color was gray and he was out of it. I really thought the end was near. His BP was extremely low as well. Eventually he started to come out of it but it was not a nice visit and my mom’s a mess because she’s worried and exhausted. And I get to host the in-laws on Christmas day. Yippee. I don’t live super close to my parents so I feel a bit helpless. I’m having a hard time getting in the holiday spirit so I’m glad to see that other people are enjoying the season a bit more than me. Oh, and I’m drowning myself in all my incense perfumes trying to find some serenity.

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      So sorry to hear about your father. It’s crappy timing. I know how hard it is to have a rough time at the holidays when others seem to be having a more joyful occasion.

      For my part, I broke into tears on the last day of classes as we got ready to leave for the break. One of my coworkers commented that I seemed down and not my perky self. He hoped that I was doing something nice for myself over break. It’s the first Christmas without my little brother and there’s no way around it, it’s gonna be hard. But what can we do except work our way through it and try to find the moments that suck less?

      (Never sure if misery really loves company or not, but I figured you wouldn’t mind some good-smelling company! Wishing you the best, in any case!)

      • poodle says:

        Thanks sweetie, I know you’re having a rough time too. You’re right, you have to work through it and find some little moments of joy where you can. I appreciate the good smelling company too. :)

      • C.H. says:

        Marjorie and Poodle, I am so sorry to hear both of you are dealing with such hard situations. I read a really nice poem a couple of weeks ago–a new Hafez collection–that made me feel better. In case you might like them too, my favorite lines: “Sweet swinging bird, survive until the spring, and then/You’ll tread on grass again, deep in the flowers’ shade.” Appropriately enough, I feel like flowers’ shade is probably a place that smells pretty nice too. Thinking of both of you.

    • Betty_Kinkade says:

      Oh, no, I’m so sorry! I hope your incense perfumes are helping to cheer you during this hard time.

      • poodle says:

        Thanks. I do find some scents comforting. I hope I don’t start to associate them with unhappy things though.

    • jirish says:

      So sorry to hear about your dad! I can sympathize, as I’m going through something similar with my mother. She’s developed a blood disorder called mds as a result of previous chemo, and it doesn’t look promising for her. Her doctor actually told her she has ‘evil genes’ which make the possibility of successful treatment slim. She’s in the hospital now, and I can’t even visit with her because I have a bad cold and her immune system is completely gone. Like you, I am dosing myself with incense fragrances Hang in there! I’ll be thinking of you and sending good thoughts and prayers your way.

      • poodle says:

        I’m sending good thoughts and prayers your way too. My fathers situation is bad but if it were my mom I think I’d be a basket case. Sorry about your cold too. Hopefully you will feel better soon and can get in to see your mom. Somehow some way things will work out I suppose.

      • C.H. says:

        So sorry to hear this–the poem above is for you then too! And your mom. Thinking of you both.

    • ladymurasaki says:

      So sorry to hear about your father, Poodle. As you say, things always work out somehow. Much love and peace to you.

    • Lys says:

      Poodle, wishes to you and your family.

    • AnnE says:

      Poodle, sorry to hear about your father. Hope you can find some moments of peace. I’ll send out some healing vibes for you and your dad.

    • hajusuuri says:

      Poodle, sending healing thoughts and prayers your way. I hope your father’s recovery happens on the right trajectory.

    • nozknoz says:

      Poodle, Marjorie Rose, Jirish – wishing you fragrant hugs!

    • poodle says:

      Thanks everyone for thinking of me. Hopefully today will be better. My mom and I asked that he be tested for a UTI. If anyone has elderly parents who all of a sudden seem confused or out of it in a way, have them checked for UTI. Urinary infections can cause those symptoms in the elderly it seems. He was like that once before from a UTI so we’ll see if that’s part of the problem.

      • juicejones says:

        Poodle, So sorry you are going through this. You are absolutely right about UTIs in older folks. They can spike a fever, get dementia symptoms and if they are diabetic, their blood sugar goes crazy.
        This time of year amplifies the emotional aspects of change.
        The holidays don’t want to hurt your feelings. I remember a year I spent in the hospital with my Mom. That year I called Christmas, Tuesday. It just made it easier.
        Blessings to you and your family.

        • poodle says:

          I hate feeling helpless and I hate how upset my mom is. My brother and niece are with her though.

    • Robin says:

      Oh Poodle I am so sorry to hear all that.

    • Emily says:

      I’m so sorry to hear all that, Poodle. Take care of yourself.

    • Merlin says:

      Sending Poodle, Marjorie Rose and jirish some good wishes.

    • Annikky says:

      So sorry to hear this, Poodle. I wish you (and others having a tough time) anything and everything you need to get trough this.

  11. Happy Holidays to you as well. Which Le Labo fragrance would you recommend?

  12. dolcesarah says:

    I wore Aoud Gourmet by M. Micalef and I’m in love the top notes are amazing and then a strong Aoud made me feel powerful, though the end is the best. It goes back to the sweet beginning. It’s one of my most loved new frags. Blind buy and all. Christmas seems sad this year tomorrow is my birthday and I’ve opened all my presents. Found a yellow diamond I have to have. It’s mine. Don’t know where the sadness is coming from. Husband had been gone for five weeks came home Wed. and he’s ill. So are others. Wishing everyone a safe a blessed holy season.

    • Robin says:

      Happy Birthday Dolcesarah — hope Christmas turns out happy for you.

  13. CM says:

    For the first time ever, I’ve purchased a Diptyque scented candle – Amber – and have been burning it all day today. It’s wonderful! I loved the scent of the Amber Oud but Nordies was out, so I’ve ordered it online, along with the green pine one as well.

    I’m not really a ‘candle’ person. I have a lot but never think to burn them. Over the years, I’ve put them away. Most of the scented candles I’ve tried left smoky ash or smell too fruity and sweet. These Diptyque candles are fantastic. Has anyone tried the Malle candles? What other lines/brands do you recommend?

    Happy Christmas!

    • Marjorie Rose says:

      I don’t have any fancy candles, but I do what you do–I have a lot and forget to burn them. I do really enjoy a beeswax candle, though–love the clean, honey scent! Some day I’ll probably venture into fancy candles, but I fear that I’ll enjoy them too much!

    • Abyss says:

      Diptyque is my favourite brand for candles and I tend to treat myself once or twice a year. I’ve only ever had wonderful service from them so it’s a company that I like to support. I couldn’t resist Amber Oud either this year.

      I’ve been eyeing up the Malle range since they came out but haven’t managed to bring myself to spend that much money on them. Plus, having smelled them, I wasn’t completely smitten with any so it’s probably just as well.

      I do like Jo Malone candles, their French Lime Blossom candle is just the most realistic linden I’ve smelled in any product. Plus the containers make excellent whiskey tumblers once the candle’s gone ;)

      • CM says:

        That’s a great idea for the empty glass… I’ve been wondering what to do with the empty glass. Guess I’ll have to get a couple more to make a complete set.

        I’ll have to look up the Jo Malone as well!

    • Lys says:

      I’m not really a candle person either but I have the Beauty and the Beast duo set from Diptyque (the violet, not the rose) and it’s awesome especially the Beast, which is leathery violet leaf with really husky vetiver and patchouli. It was limited but if they do another B+B set, I’d scoop it up.

      I have one Malle candle, have never needed to burn it b/c it has great throw unlit – one problem is that it requires a large space to get the proper distance to complete the lily flower trompe-l’oeil(/nez) , which means if I put it in one room, I’ll smell lilies down the hall from it but not so up close. I think it requires a grander space. Can’t speak for the others, I bet the churchy one or coffee society one would smell good even in small spaces but my floral one is deconstructed until you have the right distance for it to come together. Could I write any more?

      • CM says:

        Your take on the Malle candle is fascinating…a deconstructed lily?! Love that idea, although I’m not sure my space is grand enough either. You’ve convinced me to make a trip to Barney’s and give them a sniff. Plus, those orange glass jars are divine!

    • poodle says:

      I love scented candles but haven’t ever bought any of the super pricey ones for fear of liking them too much. One of these days I’m going to treat myself. I did find a candle at TJ Maxx recently that smells like cinnamon pipe tobacco that I really like. I bought it for a gift but ended up keeping it.

  14. hajusuuri says:

    Today is the first full day of winter and it was brrrrr COLD. I attended a 1PM performance of The Nutcracker and it was fitting to wear AG Nuit Etoilee…and I still smell pretty good :-)

    To those who celebrate it, have a wonderful Christmas!

  15. hajusuuri says:

    Just when I thought I’ve seen them all, more ridiculous than the gift of a life-sized LEGO sculpture of your beloved for $60K or a couples version for $120K (no discount…if you need a discount, you cannot afford it)…how about —

    The World’s Most Expensive Coffee – a cup could set you back, oh, anywhere between GBP140 and GBP6,800. It is available for pre-order from Harrods. If you buy the best grade of this Terra Nera coffee, it will be presented to you in solid Britannia sterling silver and 24-carat gold-plated sacks. Each is handcrafted and individually engraved with the customer’s name.

    Want to know more? Here are some extracts from hauteliving.com (but note I first read it from Hereisthecity in its effort to help you spend your bonus)

    “The coffee cherries are passed through the stomachs of civet palm cats and are then collected, washed and dried on specifically-built elevated tables to be processed immediately in the jungle. The Uchunari, or civet palm cats, live with the coffee farmer where they roam freely around the house and the plantation. 100 per cent Arabica, the Uchunari coffee has a rich and decadent aroma which displays hints of bitter cocoa, hazelnut and dry leather alongside light, clean, smooth and buttery finished – intoxicatingly rich for all coffee lovers!”

    And to tie this to perfume…if you take out the hazelnut, it sure sounds like this coffee could yield a very interesting smelling perfume with notes of coffee! civet! leather!

    Link to the article:

    • nozknoz says:

      That’s such a funny story, Hajusuuri. The civet palm cats must think people are crazy!

    • poodle says:

      “passed through the stomachs of civet palm cats”
      Um, does that mean what I think it means???

      • hajusuuri says:

        Some things are probably left to one’s own imagination / interpretation ;-)

  16. bookgirl says:

    I’ll be working through the holidays this year, but I’m happy to have the day off on Christmas and Boxing Day. I’ve been indulging in a lot of vanilla scents lately, and I’m thrilled that the LA weather has been cooperating, as it’s been perfect for that type of scent, weather-wise. My current favorites are L’Artisan’s Vanille Absolumant and Guerlain’s SDV….I may need a bottle of the latter at some point. I’m kinda hooked.

  17. perthgirl says:

    This year most family members are working Christmas so today is lunch at mums, and boxing day at dads, though I’ll be hanging out at dads on Christmas day helping with the cooking and enjoying the air-conditioning and his lovely lush garden. It is 26 degrees C today and I’m wearing Francis Kirkdjian APOM which is my new favourite summer scent this year and my priciest fb purchase for a while. When I leave this evening I’ll dab myself with mums vintage Poison parfum, which I’m still hinting at one day owning as she has no sense of smell due to sinus infection and doesn’t wear… I’m still waiting in vain alas.
    Christmas day will be 39C and I’ll probably wear Ninfeo Mio, which I adore in hot weather, and have been wearing a lot lately.

    • nozknoz says:

      Perthgirl, enjoy the warm weather and vintage Poison!

  18. Annikky says:

    SOTD is Bois des Iles, as I want to be elegant for an event, but am feeling somewhat melancholy as well. It has been slightly difficult to get into holiday mood this year, as my lovely boss (who is in politics) is embroiled in a nasty scandal through no fault of her own. There is not much I can do to help, which makes it especially frustrating. To take my mind off those things, I curled up in bed to smell my newly arrived Chanel Exclusifs samples with my daughter (she is almost 4), who declared them all “sweet” and “probably made of candy ” and insisted on spraying some Eau de Cologne on herself. As far as DIY therapy goes, I can definitely recommend this method.

    I wish you all happy and well-scented Holidays! And thank you for being there.

    • nozknoz says:

      Your daughter is clearly a future perfumista, Annikky! Which of the Exclusifs are you liking best?

      • Annikky says:

        Thanks for asking, Nozknoz, but this is a though one, as I like almost all of them. Cuir de Russie is probably my favourite, but I also love Rue Cambon, La Pausa and Bois des Iles and enjoy Coromandel, Gardenia, Bel Respiro and Beige (I own a FB of this from my very early perfume-interest days). I haven’t spent enough time with the rest to give up on them, but I can already tell that No 22 is the toughest for me. My uneducated nose gets mostly (very expensive) soap from it.

        And yes, expressing an interest in Exclusifs must be a good sign for the future!

    • Robin says:

      Oh, I love “probably made of candy”!

      Hope things start to look up, for you and your boss.

      • Annikky says:

        Thank you, Robin. I loved the candy-comment as well, but I am her mother, so I’m massively biased.

  19. themrdave says:

    I’ve just baked some crepes suzette and I’m looking for perfume ingredients online in order to play with them and try to make some funny-cheap-homemade perfumes! Right now I’m wearing Zara for Him, because I can’t afford a lutens right now (ahahahah)… it’s a nice perfume, lot of men perfumes make you smell kinda wild man, I don’t like them… I’ve waiting for my gf, and I’m going to give her the Petite Robe Noire by Guerlain! Yes, a lot of people disliked it, but she used to wear childish-vanilla pefumes, so I think this can be a good ‘bridge’ ;) Well, now that I have a little free time, I think I’ll go reading each review on this website!! Merry xmas people!

    • nozknoz says:

      Themrdave, some of the descriptions of LPRN sound great for a young woman. Grain de Musc summarised, “It starts out on a tart mouth-watering red fruit Kool-Aid note before gaining in complexity with a rose-violet-raspberry jam sandwiched between darker, chewier vanilla-licorice-almond layers…It’s actually pretty well balanced – the way it hangs together is Guerlain – and joyful, much in the way of Insolence Eau de Parfum.” I think your strategy is brilliant!

  20. perfumelover says:

    Hi :D
    I’m making some Italian “cookies” called “crispeles” that we prepare for Christmas and Easter (I’m Argentine but it is an old family tradition). Today I’m wearing Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey.
    I wish you all Happy Holidays!

    • themrdave says:

      I’m italian! ^^ I think that they’re “seadas”, a Sardinia recipe, or someting similar… well enjoy them!

  21. perfumelover says:

    Hi themrdave! We make them with flour, oil and honey. Then we fry them. In Argentina some people call them crústeles. My grandparents were from Calabria :D I know that there are different recipes, in some towns wine is also added., is it true?

  22. themrdave says:

    I don’t think wine is added in the original recipe, but it’s not uncommon to find several versions of the same recipe! But eating them with a good wine is a perfect choice. I know the version with honey and cheese, or honey and rice, this last one is called “zeppole” ;) btw, I think yours are gorgeous! ;)

  23. perfumelover says:

    Thanks! I have just found the real name for our “cookies”, not crispeles, they are crustelles. The perfume I’m wearing today is perfect to “counteract” the oil smell.

  24. Bela says:

    Nothing to contribute to this lovely thread since I don’t celebrate it, but wanted to wish a Merry Christmas to all who do. :-)

    • nozknoz says:

      Bela, I just visited your site to look up the pronunciation of one of my seasonal favs, Caron’s Nuit de Noël. Thanks again for doing Frag Name of the Day!

    • Merlin says:

      And I was having a loud disagreement with my family two days ago about how ‘Hermes’ is pronounced; so I finally settled it by clicking on the recording you have!
      I’d got some of the names right a few months ago – but now I need to go back to your site and do a serious review as I think its all corrupted in my head again:)

      • AnnieA says:

        Someone’s mother said years ago , “I just got a Herpes scarf!” which has to be my favourite malapropism ever…

        • Merlin says:

          That is a classic!

    • Robin says:

      And wishing you a happy day regardless!

  25. katerina says:

    Happy holidays to everybody!
    Today I bought the ingredients to make ”melomakarona”, a Christmas Greek dessert with cinnamon, nuts and other stuff, like biscuits, dipped into honey syrup!!! I ”bathed” with Chergui by S. Loutens and I went to smell the relaunched Nuits Indiennes by J.L.Sherrer. I was waiting for that for more than 10 years. I smelled the new version and I was super disappointed. It is not the same anymore. If any of you has tried it, please report. It has nothing of the warmth I recall from the 1994 edition I used. Merry Christmas!

    • Calypso says:

      I’m sorry the fragrance disappointed you, but the combination of Chergui with your Greek cookies must have smelled awfully nice!

  26. Queen_Cupcake says:

    I’ve been making gingerbread–the cakey kind–and the house smells wonderful. The recipe is Old Fashioned Gingerbread, a very dark version as found in the Fannie Farmer Baking Book. I bake it in loaf pans and wrap up the loaves to give as gifts for my neighbors. Then some long overdue sorting and organizing of perfume samples, happily rediscovering some perfumes I forgot I had. Merry Christmas to all who celebrate!

    • poodle says:

      Seems like everyone is making gingerbread. I like the dark one. Merry Christmas to you.

  27. Lotta says:

    Since I work in retail, this time of year most of all means bustin my ass off. Just got off à 12 h shift, and found out I gotta go through surgery to extract a tooth, so I figured I deserve à devastatingly gorgeous xmas gift. Bought the Malle sample coffret Ive been gawking at. Christmas day Will be spent sniffing, thats for sure!
    Happy holidays, all :)

    • nozknoz says:

      Sorry about the tooth – good time for perfume therapy!

  28. Calypso says:

    I am making the cookies I make every Christmas from my grandmother’s recipe. They are rich, buttery, and crumbly, with a dough dipped in pecans and then a very tart lemon glaze frosting. Yummy. I have been wearing Eau des Merveilles today. I always (five years) have worn the Elixir but bought them at the same time and thought “Well maybe I should try the other one for a while.” I like it a lot but it doesn’t seem to have the same staying power. By the way we are having very warm weather in Houston with nearly 80 degrees forecast for Christmas and I am running my air conditioner. :-(

    • Robin says:

      I guess that isn’t Christmas-y, but I’d take 80 in a heartbeat!

  29. sayitisntso says:

    Last night, after deciding I shouldn’t be the only wonderful smelling creature in the house, I applied the smallest dab of Bois des Iles parfum onto the fur of my puppy, a Pomerian / Shih Tzu mix named Milo. His fur diffused the scent in an amazing way and I must admit, he wears it better than I do!

    • Merlin says:

      Sigh, dogs are better than humans in so many ways. Oh well, my pooch is going to take me for a walk now!

  30. Dilana says:

    On Saturday, I went to see the Scent exhibit at Museum of Art and Design, so here is my report.

    I had stopped at Bergdorf’s prior to the exhibit (They are quite close to each other) to smell the new Heure Bleu flanker as well as the perfume concentration Despite my best efforts, I ended up with some on collar so ended up reeking of Heure Bleu at the exhibit. (Normally, a very fine state of affairs, but potentially distracting at the exhibit).

    The exhibit is only two rooms-my guess is t hat it would take frequent reader of this column about 45 minutes to go through. It would in fact be faster, but they use this light show technology to intermittantly project the information on the fragrances ont he wall. Since the texts fade in and out, you have to spend some time waiting for the text to fade in. (On the day, I was there, one of the texts for one fragrance was permenantly off).

    I did infact enjoy some fragrances which I had not previously. As others have noted, the primary portion of hte exhibit is 12 fragrances in constructed vapor chambers which are triggered when you lean into smell them. Even Jicky seemed light and airy through this presentation. My guess is readers of this blog will have already sniffed and made up their mind about at least half of them. (The usual suspects include Jicky, Channel NO. 5, Angel Eau D’Issey). In a second room, there were small pools of the same fragrances into which you could dip a paper smell strip to get a more concentrated whiff, as well as a rip and smell exhibit of different accords which were stages of development of Tresor. I actually preferred some of the early stages.
    There was a docent, (whom other bloggers claim was an employee of some fragrance company) who seemed connected witht he museum explaining the exhibit and Burr’s theories to some touristly looking nice folks who seemed to be there because they thought this museum exhibit would be of interest to their twelve year old. When I asked a “technical” question if the exhibit were current formulations, (a point otherwise not mentioned in the exhibit), she said yes, and explained that some formulations had to be legally changed to “avoid animal cruelty” and massive toxins. The docent even mentioned the touchy subject of “whale vomit” (i.e., natural ambergis-which is in fact whale vomit, and now only is procured when small samples wash up on beaches and is recognized by alert beach combers). Given the twelve year’s olds reaction to this news, I refrained from commenting that some of the “toxic” substances are found in orange peels, (which are of course, candied or pounded into spices and marketed as food).
    ALl in all, I was glad I went. I had never sniffed L’Interdit or Elixers which were really beautiful. ON the other hand, if you are not already in NYC, and have read Chandler Burr’s writings, there is no need to be unduely grieved if you miss this. (Indeed, you can print out some of his interviews and get yourself to a very fine department store where you will be able to sniff the same scents). I hope future exhibits are more provocative for fume heads.

  31. Moey says:

    I’ve been out on a mine site for the last 2 week and am going on break boxing day. The only thing that’s been keeping me sane leading up to christmas are reading nst posts and thinking what perfume i’m going to purchase with my chrissy gift mulah. I want something sweet and girly and a bit sexy as it’s my bf and my 1 yr on the 27th and the perfume i’ve decided on believe it or not is Angel. Strange, that I hated it for so long and have decided to change my mind all of a sudden. Merry Christmas everyone!

  32. Veronika says:

    Can anyone recommend me the most masculine Hermessense?

    • nozknoz says:

      Not sure about the Hermessences, Veronika, but Hermes Eau d’Orange Vert is wonderful.

      • Veronika says:

        Thank you, NozKnoz! I love Eau d’Orange Verte, but I wanted to broaden the horizons of my dearest and nearest) I was finally able to take him off the hook of L’eau par Kenzo with Eau d’Orange Verte and Eau Sauvage!

    • Robin says:

      Vetiver Tonka and/or Poivre Samarcande.

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