When the wind is howling outside, shaking the trees into a sweeping sound, and the logs in the fire crackle with gusto, perfume can play both a prophylactic role (reminiscent of its original purpose) and one of mental escapism. Winter-time brings on its own special slot for playing with fragrance, simply because we spend so much more time in close quarters noticing smells of the indoors (and on each other) and because the outdoors feels so quiet and silvery under the caps of snow reflecting the rays of a tentative sun.
Below is a capsule selection of tried and true warm, snuggly and devastatingly sexy fragrances to carry you into wintertime to make you feel like you're wrapped into your own portable hug.
GUERLAIN Tonka Impériale: Wearing it on winter sweaters and scarfs (where it clings for days radiating seductively) is akin to getting caressed by a honey mink étole while smelling fine cigars in a salon de thé serving the most delicious almond pralines on panacotta.
CHANEL Bois des Iles: The most caressing sandalwood-rich floral feels like a cashmere wrap woven by angels. Beautifully supple, rich but restrained, it's a fragrance whose every drop denotes indoors entertaining in elegant interiors.
BOTTEGA VENETA Eau de Parfum: Subtly leathery goodness with warmth and coziness, underneath a fruity chypre mantle with a beating jasmine heart. What's not to like?
CARON Poivre: As warm as a fur coat, as arresting as pepper spray, a pas de deux on clove and carnation blossoms; or the scent of Cruella de Vil.
SERGE LUTENS Douce Amère: A bittersweet harmony of anise etched in opaline, singing in a warm contralto, melancholic and vanillic, borrowing something of the introspective mood of winter.
HERMES 24 Faubourg: A rich floriental resembling a Hollywood heroine dressed in a light beige trenchcoat, impecably coiffed hair under a heavy silk scarf of prestigious sign aure, wrapped on her precious little head, lipstick in deep coral, complexion in peaches and cream, driving a sports car on the dangerous slopes of Monaco under a heavy steel sky.
Which are your own "cashmere sweater" fragrances? I'd love to hear suggestions.