Top 10 Winter Fragrances 2018

I tried not to get too Grinch-y over the holidays, and I did pretty well, considering the world events of late 2016 plus the fact that I was suffering occasional bouts of Instagram ennui. So many exotic vacations, so many artful table settings, so many #thankful embraces scrolling past my eyes; you may know what I mean.

I’m happy with my own lot in life, truly, but sometimes I worry — not on my own behalf, but on yours, dear readers. My taste in perfume may be glamorous, but my life is pretty quiet. I hate to let you down. Still, rather than fabricate some picture-perfect fantasy life, I’ll just come clean and share my own mundane activities, with the fragrances that I wear to dress them up a bit.

Just a regular day at the office: Byredo Rose Noir. This was my most-worn fragrance of 2016, because it’s a “no brainer” for me: a blend of citrus, rose and modern patchouli that doesn’t come on too strong. It’s my olfactory equivalent of my many basic black dresses.

Waiting for my bus on a rainy/snowy/sleet-y morning: Frederic Malle L’Eau d’Hiver. I’m trying not to repeat anything from my 10 Winter Fragrances 2012 list, but I’ll make an exception for this softly enveloping marvel. It it warm? Is it cool? Just perfect, that’s all.

Sitting in a café with my laptop: A Lab on Fire What We Do In Paris Is Secret. I think I’m choosing this one for the Paris/café associations, and for the reason that its confectionery-like character makes me feel comfortable yet creative.

Giving a fragrance lecture: Chanel no. 5 L’Eau. I can never decide whether to wear something classic or something new when I’m speaking about perfume, and this one splits the difference beautifully. (I just try to ignore those ads with the scrawny model.)

Snuggling with the cats: Velvet & Sweet Pea Black Cat. Neither of our cats is actually black (one is a buff tabby and the other is a tuxedo, just partially black!), but this quirky gourmand would suit them if they wore perfume.

A visit with my neighborhood friends: Lolita Lempicka. I wish I’d known these women back in the 1990s. When we share a night in, we might watch a movie, we might just chat, but we’ll certainly be eating dessert…so Lolita (a 90s fave) really fits the bill.

Spending an evening home alone, listening to my vinyl collection: Cacharel LouLou. Let’s wallow in 1980s nostalgia! Plus, as much as I love LouLou, I don’t wear it out in polite company. It demands a lot of attention.

Running weekend errands: 4711. A few spritzes of this timeless cologne keep my mood brisk and bright as I make my way from drugstore to supermarket to local Italian deli.

A Sunday afternoon nap: CB I Hate Perfume At the Beach 1966. I’d nap every day, if I could. And on a cold and cloudy afternoon, a dab or two of this oil-based scent might help me dream of childhood summer trips to Florida.

A night out: Serge Lutens La Fille de Berlin. Okay, once in a while my husband and I do go out for quiet conversation over a fancy cocktail. And I just might end up Instagramming my drink.

Stay warm, if it’s winter where are right now; and enjoy whatever you’re doing! And do check out the winter lists at Bois de Jasmin, Grain de Musc, Perfume Posse and The Non-Blonde.


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