In my mind there is a two-pronged approach to choosing personal fragrances for winter wearing: One is to go for traditional oriental elements, warm resins and balsams, rich florals and amber fragrance blends; creating contrast and invoking via perfume-magic warmer lands where the night is always warm and bodies radiate the heat of blood rushing to the skin's surface. Another, more unusual but perhaps more cherished because of it, is akin to homeopathy: inject a bit of cool silkiness to the routine, letting the outside cold enhance the silvery, metallic qualities of the perfume. Therefore throw in a mix of irises, artemisia, angelica and gentian essences, cool celebral notes, sour frankincense smoke that trails behind like the ashes off an extinguished censer...
|photo by Johan Klovsjö|
This is a capsule fragrance wardrobe for when the cooling touch of silk, with its shiny reflections reminiscent of drop of water on the icy pond, seems more sophisticated to you than the coziness of snuggly cashmere and wools.
GUERLAIN Aqua Allegoria Gentiana: The cool snowscapes of the Alps hide this plant, le gentiane. Its fresh and bracing properties are displayed in a simple composition that feels like icicles hanging from a thatched roof.
EDITIONS DE PARFUMS F.MALLE Angéliques sous la Pluie: Rained upon angelicas, a celestial gin and tonic on the rocks, refreshingly bitter with a cool edge of seeing snowcapped stone fences just across the road.
RAMON MONEGAL Impossible Iris: Impossible Iris is like those beautiful raven-haired girls with big, sincere eyes that seem to engulf you and creamy, gorgeous skin that shines with the sheen of mother-of-pearl. Delicate, shy beginning with a cool touch, then comes wooly mimosa with its hint of warmth to smile into the proceedings, while the quiet, bookish woody tonality of the aftermath has a pencil shavings nuance.
TAUER Pentachord White: silvery, expansive imagescape. A fragrance of either the crack of dawn or the crepuscular drawing of a prolonged cool afternoon, the contrast between light and shadow. Orris, violet, vanilla, ambergris notes...
DIOR Homme: A fruity iris for men, a pretty boy with eyelashes a mile long to inflict "butterfly kisses" with. Supremely beautiful and sophisticated with a suprising note of....lipstick!
YSL Rive Gauche: Mysteriously "blue" floral, yet non- romantic English bone-china-pattern-style—it’s flinty! Absolutely classy, sparkling with aldehydes, like the spy who came in from the cold.
ARMANI Bois d'Encens: A smoky incense that wafts from the forests on the cool wintery air, gloomy cedars silently silhouetted in the distance. The howl of wolves is heard from across the mountains.
GUERLAIN Après l'ondée: What is it that makes this so nostalgic, trembling with delight after the shower, which its name hints at? Is it its heliotrope soft powderiness married to melancholic iris and violet, like a smooth-faced Ophelia contemplating the joys of the river? No, it's probably what is more earthy: anise (and other herbs) give a glimpse of the sun forming a rainbow over still dewy petals. A 1906 classic.
Do you wear cool fragrances in wintertime? I'd love to hear your favorites.