I did some research on my own by polling a few perfumistas. Much to my surprise, I found answers to run the gamut. "It depends upon the weather" was a very popular answer. Okay, elusive enough considering October, November and December weather varies throughout the world. Here, they are arguably the most beautiful months of the year with sunny days and cool nights, very light jacket required. That coupled with personal preferences make brainstorming a hard and fast list nearly impossible. Still, I offer a few suggestions based upon my own preferences and those of others.
Semi-formal to casual affairs in a friend or associate's home. Because the focus is food and drink, a fragrance with less sillage is optimum unless your scent matches the menu, akin to Chandler Burr's opulent evenings. Light, low sillage florals or delicate gourmand fragrances work best in these situations. I have chosen a few that suffice from various fragrance families, depending upon your preferences:
- Frederic Malle Le Parfum de Thérèse - For a more formal party where you want to be noticed. An uplifting, cool, clean and very French fragrance. With a nutmeg note, perfect for the holidays!
- Guerlain Chant d'Aròmes - An understated and beautifully composed chypre that will not overwhelm you or those around you.
- L'Artisan Parfumeur Jour de Fête (new formulation) - A holiday tradition in my home since I can remember is to make candied almonds and pecans and display them throughout the kitchen and dining room in holiday decorated bowls. It creates a warm atmosphere and a sweet, nutty scent. This fragrance reminds me of the savory snack. A soft, bitter almond based gourmand with vanilla.
- Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier Soie Rouge - A surprisingly quiet skin scent featuring carnation, pepper and fruit. Short staying power for me, so make sure to spritz just before the party.
- Miller Harris Coeur d'Eté - Another slight whisper of a scent; light and delicate gourmand floral.
- Serge Lutens Rousse - A "well behaved" cinnamon scent that will serve only to augment the spicy dishes and sweet desserts you will devour.
No other scent comes close to Parfumerie General Un Crime Exotique for this category. It smells of the most scrumptious, fresh out of the oven gingerbread cookies. Enjoy!
Update (10/9/07): Thanks to Divina, I add Etro Heliotrope for this occasion. Delightfully sweet, nostalgic and comforting, Heliotrope will only augment a festive home filled with the delicious aroma of warm cookies.
Corporate or more formal Holiday Parties
Classic, opulent and sparkling scents are deemed most appropriate for these events. While you do not want to offend other party-goers, you certainly want to make a good olfactory impression. The scents from my collection that always deliver are:
- Chanel No. 5 Parfum or EDP - For those who can wear this, it is an incredibly soft, stunning fragrance. Classic and sparkling enough for any black dress.
- Escada Collection - Simply gorgeous, surprisingly subtle gourmand oriental.
- Frederic Malle Carnal Flower - The most refined tuberose scent I own. If you have not yet tried it and you like creamy tuberose, you must give Carnal Flower a whirl. Its refinement and stunning beauty make it a perfect choice for an event!
- Jean Paul Gaultier Classique - A floriental with pizazz and come-hither qualities. A mainstay in my collection and a fantastic choice for winter events.
Enjoy your upcoming events, from the very casual to the formal. A general rule of thumb that will always serve you is to match the description of your scent to the description of the evening. And if your description is any less than captivating, why waste your precious time attending?