Baby it’s cold outside! Berlin is a winter’s tale, I have not moved my car for days and I take the subway instead – strange olfactory journeys from mainstream perfumes to wet dog flavor.
The Holiday Season is the time of cookies, snow, Christmas trees, roasted chestnuts, grog, fireplaces, candles, cocooning. What else? Time for warm, sensual and intense perfumes! I know that I am very late with this selection but my daytime job kept me busy. But winter stays with us for at least two more months. In Berlin definitely! So here are my recommendations for late winter. Caution: it’s getting sweet, exotic and spicy!
Both, the women’s and the men’s scents are outstanding and full-bodied. The men’s scent is a wonderful contrast between herbaceous elements like mint and basil with woods and incense, inspired by absinth and Charles Baudelaire’s Les fleurs du mal – how I love these poems! The women’s scent is really mysterious and absolutely gorgeous with notes of tangerine, absinth, tuberose, leather and musk – you have all facets of fruity, flowery, woody, resinous, animalic. The Green Fairy takes you in her arms and changes your world.
I have been anxious for this ‚modern fougère‘ by Bertrand Duchaufour, which was inspired by the Norton & Sons workroom on Savile Row in London. I really love the classy attitude of Sartorial with notes of oak moss, beeswax, paper patterns and leather – this is a real gentleman’s perfume! With its ‚forestry‘ appeal it fits perfectly into the winter season and it is so chic! I know that the most successful gallery owners of Berlin buy their suits at Savile Row, and yes, Sartorial smells like success!
Byredo: Bal d’Afrique
My scarf and me is a special romance. I love scarves and I spray Bal d’Afrique on them. This feels cozy and so me. Bal d’Afrique is warm and sweet but never too heavy. It is a scent that is very hard to describe, a new interpretation of vetiver, which normally has tart aspects and here turns into a sweet scent with a clean aspect. Some people talked about candies, but to me it smells like cotton with violet, brown sugar and vetiver. Bal d’Afrique is my favorite of the Byredo line. The lasting power is excellent, I sprayed it on the scarf of a friend of mine and she called me some days later to ask me “what was the name of this wonderful scent her scarf is still smelling of?“ This is my ‚Sweet child of mine‘ in case some of you guys still remember the Guns N’Roses song.
Serge Lutens: Cuir Mauresque
Sumptuous leather, orange blossom, clove, a touch of amber and subtle animalic notes. If you like Knize, you will adore Cuir Mauresque, because it is not as heavy. The composition is smoother; of course you have to wait until the nasty civet settles down, but then this is one of the most delicate perfumes for men who dare to wear it. And it is the favorite of Master Lutens himself, who said that he wears it only once or twice a year, but if he does, he uses a whole bottle – supersize me!
L’Artisan Parfumeur: Dzongkha
A soft, spicy and milky scent inspired by a journey to Bhutan, a Kingdom amidst the Himalayas. ‚Dzongkha‘ is the official language of Bhutan. And of course there is incense, we are talking about a Bertrand Duchaufour scent and there are lots of temples in the Himalayas! An iris note seems to be blended with carrot seed and goes perfectly with the cardamom and the other Chai Tea spices. It reminds me a little bit of Iris de Nuit by Heeley, which I love. As I prefer Iris de Nuit for women, this is for men!
Is there something more sophisticated than Arpège? I have to admit that I still feel to young to wear it, but I love the ‚arpeggio‘ of aldehydes and white flowers on a sensual, spicy, woody base. Arpège is an elegant lady; the mother of all perfumes. Classy, feminine, immortal. Please note that it was created in 1927 – and now imagine the film divas of the 1930s, Greta Garbo, Katharine Hepburn, Rita Hayworth, Joan Crawford. The flacon in Art Deco style is one of my all-time favorites; I love my ‚boule noire‘.
A warm gourmand scent with notes of candied orange, nuts, raisins, prunes, spices, woods and vanilla. Is there a tiny bit of pineapple in the opening? Seems so, but maybe it’s only one facet of creating the ‚raisins note‘ and it disappears as soon as you think about it. Thank you Cristiano for this recommendation – I love it! It is sweet, but in a discreet way.
Paul & Joe: Bleu
Bleu is one of my favorite Orientals. I discovered it on a beautiful girl from France during my vacation on Ibiza. In case you read this: No I will not tell anyone what you told me about this scent! Bleu is hard to find if you are not living in France, it is one of the two perfumes of the French fashion house Paul & Joe. Bleu was created by Pierre Bourdon, Blanc by Jean-Claude Ellena. Bleu has some vintage character and it is absolutely feminine and sensual with amber and vanilla; a powdery, warm cloud that surrounds you. Some compare it to Shalimar, but I do not agree! It is not nearly as animalic as Shalimar.
Andy Tauer: Le Maroc pour elle
You might think I am completely mad to recommend this fragrance for the winter season? Try it out. It’s so rich and spicy! I love to drink jasmine tea when it’s cold outside, I love incense sticks from India, I love to spend hours in Asian grocery stores smelling and I love orange blossoms in winter! Le Maroc pour elle is warm, sensual, powdery and feels like a cashmere scarf when it’s cold outside. I haven’t smelled this for months and when I tried it again today I was just thinking: how beautiful is this for the cold season! Kind of a personal escape; embracing. Did I already say that I love patchouli? Yes! Be careful, a little goes a long way.
A funny scent at the end: I have never smelled something like this before and it made me smile. Lann-Ael smells like freshly baked cookies, still warm from the oven. So delicious and incredibly good. Could be dangerous wearing it out on the street. Everybody wants to eat you.