For those of us not inclined to do mad shopping, nor partying till dawn just because it's the holidays, meeting with relatives and close friends who have distanced themselves spatially by moving to other countries is the very best part of what makes the holidays what they are. There's a beautiful ambivalence surrounding these meetings, which reminds me of the boyish hands-in-pockets and rocking-on-toes-a-bit pose that says "missed you" in the sort of shy manner that you know is really heartfelt. The feelings run so high, even if we do not admit them verbally, that a reassuring fragrance feels like welcome expression of the warmth that emanates from hearts that have grown fonder by the distance put in between.
My scent choice for those occasions is Tolu by Ormonde Jayne. The fragrance oscillates between the cozy affability of a classic "oriental", built on balsams and powdery amber, and the nostalgic, in the literal sense of "pain from an old wound", feeling that the sharp and aromatic elements bring to the composition. A whiff of frankincense lends it the spirituality which inevitably surrounds Christmas. Could it be that you're all meeting over candles burning with the flicker warming your hands praying for journeys ending in lovers' meeting? Or snacking over orange-flower-sprinkled butter cookies and sweet wine, reminiscing over past funny events?
There's a pang of moments in the future already lost when meeting knowing you must part again, and Ormonde Jayne's Tolu captures that perfectly. In the meantime, rejoice for the moments shared. It's the holidays, after all.
The other fragrances which I'm fondly thinking of wearing this holiday season are:
Ambre Narguile Hermes (Christmas baking)
Bois des Iles Chanel (Night out)
Dans tes bras Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (Clubbing)
Feminite du Bois Serge Lutens (Evening by the fire)
Nuit de Noel Caron (Silent Night, Holy Night)
Angeliques sous la Pluie Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle (Rainy Morning After).