- The One:
If I were forced to limit my suggestions to only one perfume for the Christmas Holidays, Lolita by Lolita Lempicka would definitely be the one. With notes such as anis, heliotrope, vanilla, licorice and tonka, this beautiful gourmand-oriental scent has no trouble bringing to mind Christmas candy canes and lovely confectionary delights suited to the holidays. This scrumptious scent manages to be at once sweet and deeply sexy, without being sickly. And even though it definitely has a lot of presence, it stops short from being as oppressing as its Angel cousins. It is not just its gourmand qualities that make this perfect for Christmas though: Lolita’s character is exuberant, happy, full of confidence, making it a perfect choice for the season in which all the unlikely, attention grabbing, festive outfits have their day. Even the ornamental flacon seems to match the bauble-studded season, making application a primer for the parties that are sure to follow.
- Family Lunches:
Be it is ham, game or turkey that is on the menu, many, if not most, families follow the tradition of coming together for a Christmas Day lunch. And even those not bound by family obligations on the day are often invited to festal lunches organized by their close friends. Whether you are the guest or the host in this occasion, the choice of perfume is a delicate one in this instance. The spread on offer is likely to be elaborate and the cook will have labored long and hard in the kitchen to make sure everything goes according to plan. The focus is meant to be the warm atmosphere, the interpersonal relations and the delicious meal prepared for this special event. It is not the time to draw attention to oneself with an heavy, intricate sillage monster. The often-overlooked Fleurs de Citronnier by Serge Lutens is perfect for the occasion. Artfully moving and at the same time subtle, Fleurs de Citronnier opens with a very realistic rendition of a lemon tree with focus on the beautiful scent of the blossoms. In the drydown, this gorgeous fragrance turns into a beautiful skin-scent, softly reminiscent of creamy lemon-cookies, icing sugar and powder. It truly is a wonderful creation that will perfectly accompany a meal from starter to desert.
- Christmas Shopping:
No, no, no, I am not talking about hideously rushed, last-minute Christmas shopping. This is not about shopping with a list, or with a definite purpose. This is about going downtown, visiting the beautifully decorated shops during the holiday season. This is about indulgent, leisurely shopping, when every moment is savored and enjoyed. Don’t you just love seeing the city streets filled with well-dressed men and women enjoying the holiday spirits? Do you also love seeing everyone’s happiness reflected in their faces? Isn’t the hustle and bustle of the shops exciting in that time of the year? Isn’t it easy to picture, even now, how everyone quickly rushes into warmly lit cafes for an indulgent cup of chocolate viennoise as it gets dark? I dare you to forget about how tiring Christmas shopping can be this year. Do it early, then use the holiday shopping excursions for much more leisurely pursuits. Yes, go out there, see and be seen! Wear your winter city-best, wrap yourself in a luxurious cashmere pashmina stole and exchange your flats for heels. The perfume that fits the occasion best? It has to be Shalimar, true queen of luxury when it comes to ambery orientals. Its vanillic, slightly animalic amber character will keep you warm and safe, protected from the cold winds. You will be in your own bubble of comfort while at once exuding charm and sophistication. I love opoponax in wintry weather and Guerlain’s Shalimar makes wonderful use of this delightful note. I know it is a difficult perfume, but even those who can’t love it will surely agree, there’s no other like it for the occasion. Allow yourself to be a lady of leisure even for a day and I know Shalimar will hug you for it.
- The Office Party:
This is one occasion where you are required to be festive and controlled at the same time. Choosing an outfit is hard enough already and most women fall back to the safety provided by their favorite Little Black Dress. The equivalent of “festive yet controlled” perfume-wise for me is Burberry Classic, which is at once spicy, effervescent and joyful without compromising maturity and sobriety. It is as safe, as versatile and also as sexy as a Little Black Dress. It is a skin scent with unique appeal. It will be good enough for the office party and it will be great for an evening in front of the fireplace too. It will do for coffee or tea with friends in a little cafe whose windows are misted over and it will do great for informal seasonal visits to family and friends. It will set you apart, but it will not draw unwanted attention. In other words, it is perfect. You can read a full review of Burberry Classic here.
- New Year’s Eve:
Giving a definite pick for this one night would be unfair. New Year’s Eve is already riddled with enough too-high expectations and oftentimes subsequent disappointments to risk wearing a perfume you are not entirely sure about. So even though you might be tempted to bring out everything that’s new out on that night, including your scent, my advice is to stick with your one of your established, dearest, most treasured perfumes. Ideally, you have a number of those! If so, choose the one that sparkles, the one that makes you feel confident and optimistic, and of course, sexy. Lasting power is of great importance too, as you will likely be busy until very late. A last piece of advice: Don’t be afraid of big scents for this special evening. Go all out, indulge, make your heart be glad with whatever it desires!
- Home Scent:
If you are lucky enough to be a domestic goddess who will spend a lot of time baking wonderful goodies and regularly throwing orange and mandarin peels in the fireplace, there is no need to read this section! Your house will already smell delicious due to your efforts, you admirable creature! For those of us who are more...domestically challenged (or, aherm...lazy...) though, some solution has to be found to make the house smell Christmassy. I swear by Marks & Spencer’s yearly limited edition Frankincense & Myrrh burner oil. The smell is gorgeous – everyone who steps into the house immediately exclaims how wonderful the house smells. The scent is spicy, with orange-glazed cinnamon and cloves overtones, which give the house a beautiful, warm atmosphere. I love this so much, I stockpile during the holidays just so that I can use it throughout winter.
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