Friday, December 1, 2006

Winter is here, let's celebrate!

The official start of winter in the calendar always brings a rush of joy and anxiousness as well in my psyche. The stress of the looming holidays in the end of December is enough to send my heart in palpitations wondering if I will have the time to meet my deadlines, to buy gifts for everyone, to prepare the home for the festivities and everything. In this context I need something soothing and reminiscent of the better aspect of December: nights by a log-fire, walks in the cool air, sipping mulled wine and lighting incense sticks and spice-laced candles. To that effect Fête d'Hiver by Ayala Moriel perfumes comes to the rescue.

As Ayala herself describes this at her site, Fête d'Hiver, which means Winter Festival, "is a heart-warming mélange of incense, amber and resins, along with tropical white flowers, warmed up by spices. The result is as soft as powdery snow and as warm as cuddling by the fire place on a furry rug. Fête d'Hiver is extremely beautiful, sensual and festive yet wonderful to wear year around." Ayala is a natural perfumer who uses only ingredients harvested from nature and not from a lab. This is a new direction in perfumery that is witnessing a rennaissence. Her admirable craft has been tackled before with her creation Film Noir.

On this one the official olfactory pyramid goes something like this:

Top notes: Bitter Orange, Nutmeg, Bois de Rose
Heart notes: Rose, Gardenia, Allspice Berry
Base notes: Incense, Amber, Sandalwood

To me the orientalised spicy scent of Fête d'Hiver begins on the traditional spicy-orangey accord that one is greeted with upon entering any discerning woman's home during the festive season. This kind of smell always brings a smile to my lips and a wink in my eye, as being a die-hard winter person I feel happy smelling what is intextricably tied to wintertime and the traditional aspects of it. Throws in soft chenille, peels of orange burning in the fireplace, crackling sounds of great logs of pine wood, nutmeg laced pies being baked in the oven, family around the hearth.
Some might term this pot-pourri, and I could see the influence, but myself I admit I have always liked spicy pot-pourri and am not ashamed to say so.
The development of the emphatically warm scent is not dramatic, as the spices echo on every nuance of the perfume, with the addition of an ambery and incensy touch at drydown that consolidate my impression that this resinous fragrance for women (and men, why not?) has something very cuddly in its core, but also confident. The incense is particularly evident and it is the warm kind of a church in the south, redolent with the light entering through the luminous panes in byzantine rotondas.
The fact that the perfume comes in a parfum extrait concentration is a guarantee that the lovely ambery resinous spice is staying with you the length of the evening. And when you wake up, may you witness the first snow of the season having fallen in the stillness of the early morning.

Just for this winter Ayala has also brought out Bois d'hiver, which is a limited edition play on the masculine counterpart to Fête d’Hiver. "It is a very similar formula to what is known from previous years as “Fête d’Hiver pour Homme”, only now with the addition of the mouthwatering candied Christmas tree note of Fir Absolute, and fabulous, sparkling Orange Flower Water Absolute to chase away winter gloom and bring joy to your heart!" Sounds delish!

You can get samples and order your perfume at Ayala Moriel perfumes site. Please take a peek at her specials and take advantage of her miniature collections for the holiday season.

Painting is The meal by Nicolaos Gyzis (courtesy of Wikipedia)

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