Friday, December 14, 2012

Hug Me, Cashmere Wrap Fragrances for Wintertime

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. 


  1. Lovely choices. One of my favorites is Barbara Bui, a soft and cozy woods and light incense scent that has that *cozy sweater* feel.

  2. Rosine Rose Kashmirie and Tauer Une Rose Vermeille help me feel that snuggly warmth of a (scented) woolen wrap.

  3. A list (a very nice list!) of 'cashmere' fragrances, wherein DK's Cashmere Mist didn't make the cut???
    I, too, reach for Bois des Isles in the winter, and Sycomore. Lovely!

  4. Bois des Iles is perfect! I know it's obvious, but Donna Karan Black Cashmere is pure warmth to me. Also, and this is maybe a little odd, but L'aP Bois Farine is winter coziness to me, with it's rich sandalwood with the bready note. LOVE!

  5. Anonymous16:55

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

  6. solanace17:20

    Bois des Iles is something, I'm really in love with it.
    Must try Douce Amère.

  7. Anonymous17:40

    L'Heure Bleue, Farnesiana, and Montaigne for me!

  8. When I read the headline of this post my first thought was: Tonka Imperiale...:-)
    Of course there are many others: Frapin Caravelle Epiceé (which I review on my blog today )
    Alahine by Téo Cabanel,the new Miss Dior Le Parfum, Guerlain Rose Barbare (and dark roses in general)
    PG Aomassai and Un Crime Exotique, Robert Piguet Casbah, Amouage Opus VI and ByKilian Amber Oud.But yesterday, in the middle of the cold and extremly snowy winter up here in Sweden, I suddenly craved for Chanel No 19 Edt probably a reminder of the winter Solstice next week and the spring to come..

  9. These are my favorite type of scents. I own/want to own almost all of the ones you listed. One that you did not list is Moschino Couture. This scent epitomizes cashmere sweater weather scents and I have you to thank for introducing me to it. I believe you sent me a small bottle in a swap and I've been in love ever since. I can't thank you enough!

  10. Anonymous21:27

    For me it it Samsara, Obsession, Classique JPG in EDP and Jungle Elephant by Kenzo. That's what I use from my collection.

  11. Bois des Iles, 24 Faubourg, Alahine, L'Heure Bleue, and Mona di Orio's Musc are the ones I keep reaching for to wear this winter with my cashmere sweaters. I mix in some Nahema just to shake things up a bit!

  12. Anonymous02:35

    Years ago Guerlain issued a gold box of fragrances. inside were imperiale, Samsara, Shalimar, Chamade, Eau de Guerlain, and Jardins de Bagatelles, and Mitsuko. imagine-the pure parfums 9except for imperiale and Eau de Guerlain). I always wanted to smell Mitsuko, so i bought the set, even though it was a big expense for me at that time. Well, my nose was not ready for those parfums. i was intrigued but it was like sensory overload. It made a big impression on me-I love Guerlain at Christmas!
    So my cashmere favorites would be Arpege, Poivre, Farnesiana, Nahema, Cruel Gardenia and the Guerlain Myrre fragrance. And Shalimar. I have a lot of favorites!

  13. AnnE03:24

    My newest in this category is What We Do in Paris is Secret from A Lab on Fire. Pure cocoon-like bliss.

  14. Judith DM04:04

    LOVE What We Do in Paris, full bottle worthy. The Guerlains, Cuir Beluga and Gourmand Coquin, many Vanillas such as Mona di Orio and Le Labo, I could list endless Vanillas. I have always been curious about Barbara Bui, there is a boutique on Rodeo? One of the BH streets, just noticed today. Is it still in production?

  15. Anonymous08:06

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  16. For snowy chilly outdoors I find that incense woody fit well.
    Avignon CdG creates a black and white harmony and has a great projection.
    Sequoia CdG is as a dash or rum before you go to chop some trees.
    And Fille en Aiguilles SL is a pine forest.

  17. Rosarita,

    oh yes! Good one! I also love its sibling, Rykiel Woman.

  18. Carol,

    I always hear good things about Rose Kashmirie and I haven't got around to trying it. Must do!!
    (agree on the Tauer, he does roses exceedingly well, my fav being Une Rose Chypree)

  19. Sarahbelle,

    you're right! And to think that I actually like Cashmere Mist quite a bit. Perhaps it's that I think of it as pan seasonal, any time any place sort of perfume.

    Sycomore is a beauty!! :-)

  20. TTW,

    worth mentioning, even if obvious. It's a shame how the original version was pulled. But at least they reissued thanks to the demand, which is hopeful for all lost fragrances.
    Bois Farine didn't sit so well on me for some reason, but I can appreciate its refined coziness, nothing heavy or dull there.

  21. Solanace,

    yes, you should! It's a wistful vanilla, a feat unto itself.

  22. Patty,

    classy girl!! (LHB is so perfect for cooler weather, isn't it?)

  23. Parfumista,

    sending a few rays of warm sun your way all the way to extremely snowed in Sweden. :-)

    Thanks for your fine suggestions and your link. I like many of those.
    You know, I hear good things about the Miss Dior Le Parfum, you guys all have me having a change of heart and going to test it out after all! ;-) :-D

  24. Jen,

    thanks honey for remembering and yes, it's a good one. Unsung though.

    You must have a great time picking up scents during the cool, drab days then!

  25. Dominic,

    Jungle L'Elephant!! This is such a heavy-load for where I am that I'd only be able to pull it out in the cooler days. It's even then forceful and loaded; but so good and unusual.

    I admit I rather like Samsara and Obsession from time to time; they're so 80s-leaning, but...

  26. Gretchen,

    sounds like a perfect plan! Thanks for offering these suggestions!

  27. Carole,

    sounds like the perfect extravagant gift to spoil oneself for Xmas! *sigh* Extraits, eh? So good! (Some of those should absolutely be sampled as extraits to be appreciated properly).

    Your Caron favorites are absolutely among my favs as well. And I do wear Cruel Gardenia to many compliments received, but usually reserve it for warmer days; it's so uplifting and pretty.

  28. AnnE,

    I bet!!

    Thanks for stopping by!

  29. Judith,

    The Cuir Beluga and Gourmand Coquin are very snuggly, cozy things, I agree!

    I last recall Barbara Bui being out of production. But there is the occasional bottle floating on Ebay and online discounters. Wouldn't hurt to ask at the boutique, either.
    Now that Laura Biagotti reissued Venezia, maybe that one is about to be reissued due to demand? I hope it stays the same, though.

  30. Idomeneus,

    adore incenses no matter the season, so you won't find me disagreeing! Avignon is just about the closest to the church incense I grew up to love.

    Funny though, personally I perceive Fille en Aiguilles as a sunnied on pine forest in the dead of summer. Maybe has to do with my associations! :-)

    Thanks for writing.

  31. Shalimar, Shaal-Nur, L'Heure Bleue (vintage), Musk Renee, Intimate Revlon (vintage cologne), Norell (vintage cologne), Miss Dior (vintage).

    So I am celebrating a season of oriental chypres mostly.:)

    I recently discovered a beauty of vintage cologne concentration, and this is a gorgeous thing. They are a whale lighter than other concentrations, the sillage is beyong my comprehension, though longevity does not lag behind much heavier concentrations. Wonderful.

  32. Anonymous15:39

    Chanel Coco -- in any form, including the scrumptious body cream.

    Clinique Aromatics Elixir -- just a fine mist of the perfume, or else a nice bit of the body cream on the arms and tummy.

    Estee Lauder Youth Dew -- again, a fine mist of the perfume, or the bath oil dotted on the pulse points, or the wonderful body cream here and there.

    I love anything rich, baroque, and womanly.


  33. Winter favorites are Ambre Narguile and Ambre Merveille, Shalimar Ode a la Vanille, Amouage Epic and Memoir. When it's really cold and temperatures hit -30, I usually go for Puredistance I-atmospheric!

  34. I get a lot of love and warmth from these lovelies: Chanel's Bois des Iles, Coco and 31 Rue Cambon; Guerlain's L'Heure Bleue and Shalimar; Sonoma Scent Studio's Winter Woods, Nostalgie and Tabac Aurea; Hermes' L'Amber de Merveille; and ELDO's Vraie Blond.

  35. A few weeks ago, I was in a mall perfume store and they had Barbara Bui. Assured me that it was in production. I thought it had been discontinued a few years ago and had been trying to corner the market on it.

  36. Ника,

    oh, the Intimate by Revlon!! What a GREAT, totally unsung fragrance. "One of the ten best perfumes in the world" or so, as I recall in the press.
    Love all your choices, they suit me well too (well, apart from LHB which I can only make "sing" in Parfum de Toilette and you know how rare that is).
    The vintage "colognes", especially in Guerlain, are a superior concentration in my experience as well. They're created with more of a sparkling top note and thus give incredible radiance. And more lasting than imagined. :-)

  37. Marsi,

    "I love anything rich, baroque, and womanly. "

    And it shows!!

    Love your application technique: perfect for such lush, rich heavyweights!

  38. Eva,

    brrrrr....can't even imagine -30!! (And therefore have no chance of testing out your lovely theory on Puredistance I myself! But it sounds absolutely thrilling!)

    Isn't Ambre des Merveilles the perfect winter equivalent of the summery original? Very clever of them.

  39. Annina,

    thanks for all your lovely suggestions, noting down a few I haven't devoted time to yet.

  40. Woodgirl,

    that's encouraging to hear! Thanks for bringing this information here.

  41. Anonymous07:34

    I also love TI and BdI, but Attrape Coeur, Byredo's Seven Veils, Kenzo L'Elephant and Angelique Encens are also very warming and lovely. Ormonde Jayne Woman as well, and PG's Cadjmere is one of my top 5 scents.

  42. Anon,

    you're reminding me of some I had forgotten about (AE). OJ Woman is perfect for every season, I personally love it for autumn, but it'd fit in wintertime too.

    Thanks for commenting!

  43. Inspired by this post, I tried Guerlain's Tonka Imperiale the other day. I really love it but unfortunately I don't love the price tag... So I was wondering if you could suggest something that is very similar at a more affordable price?

    As for my current favourite winter fragrances, I think they are Ormonde Jayne's Tolu and Dior's Hypnotic Poison.



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