A Few of My Favorite Holiday-Season Scents

Christmas baubles

‘Tis the season! — and I’m trying not to get Grinch-y, as I often do at this time of year, when accumulated stresses and obligations (and NYC crowds) finally get to me. One way to stay calm, I find, is to turn to several scents that I associate specifically with the holiday season. I’ve worn them before, through holidays merry and not-quite-so-merry, and they remind me to stop and savor small, familiar pleasures at this all-too-often overstuffed time of year.

On one hand, Christmas is a time for tradition, and every year I reach for my treasured bottle of Caron Nuit de Noel Parfum on Christmas Eve. I find this fragrance wonderfully difficult to parse: it certainly includes oakmoss and some very dark rose, but I could also be convinced that it smells a bit like church incense, or roasted chestnuts, or a pine forest at night. In other words, it’s just abstract enough to lend itself to various fanciful interpretations…

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Parfums Raffy

Lush Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel ~ scented body product review

Lush Don't Rain on My Parade Shower Gel

If you sing in the shower, and you like violet scents, you’re the perfect customer for Lush’s new Don’t Rain on My Parade Shower Gel. Its name is the title of a song from the classic musical Funny Girl, written by Bob Merrill (lyrics) and Jule Styne (music). Barbra Streisand sang “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in the original Broadway production and movie version of Funny Girl, and numerous other artists have covered this song over the past half-century. It’s a defiant hymn to self-confidence:

Don’t tell me not to live, just sit and putter / Life’s candy and the sun’s a ball of butter / Don’t bring around a cloud to rain on my parade / Don’t tell me not to fly, I’ve simply got to / If someone takes a spill, it’s me and not you / Who told you you’re allowed to rain on my parade?

I do have a shower-humming habit and a love for the Great American Songbook, not to mention an especial fondness for violets, so I couldn’t wait to sniff and try Don’t Rain on My Parade…

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Le Couvent des Minimes Silky Shower Cream & Refreshing Body Moisturizer ~ scented body product reviews

Le Couvent des Minimes Silky Shower Cream & Refreshing Body Moisturizer

I own far fewer bath and body products than you might expect, especially in relation to my surplus of perfumes and lipsticks. Just two weeks ago, in fact, I realized that I was down to one partially used bottle of shower gel (not counting my secret stash of LUSH Rose Jam, of course) and half a bottle of unscented body lotion. Spring is always a good time to try new body products, so I recently introduced two items from Le Couvent des Minimes into my morning regimen.

Le Couvent des Minimes is named for a historic convent in the French town of Mane, and its formulas and fragrances are supposedly inspired by the convent’s gardens of curative herbs and flowers…

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Lush Prince Charming Shower Gel ~ body product review

Prince Charming and Sleeping Beauty

Every winter Lush releases a small collection of limited edition products for Valentine’s Day. These items tend towards the pink and sparkly and sweet, but sometimes one of them catches my interest and makes me wish it were a year-round item. Two years ago, I felt that way about The Kiss lip gloss (really a whipped balm, and now back as a re-release!); last year, I was enthusiastic about the Tender is the Night massage bar. This year, my pick is Prince Charming Shower Gel.

Prince Charming’s ingredients include pomegranate juice, grapefruit oil, sandalwood oil and geranium oil, as well as natural “decoctions” of marshmallow (the plant, not the dessert item) and vanilla pod. Sniffed directly from the bottle, it’s a tart, juicy blend of pomegranate and citrus. Used in a steamy shower, Prince Charming smells deeper and more complex…

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