Seasonal Picks, Winter 2011

I’ve been trying to do a Seasonal Picks post four times a year since I started blogging, and this is the first time I haven’t really kept on top of the concept.  Why do I care about the Seasonals? Well, I do live in a place that has four distinct seasons, and it’s true that weather plays an enormous role in my scent selections.  Too, I look forward to wearing certain fragrances at certain times of the year. 

Last year, I posted my Winter Picks in January, mid-way through the season.  This year, I thought I’d wait until the end of the season and look back at what I actually wore over the cold months.  (I knew those Scent Diaries would come in handy for something…)  At least, it appears to be the end of the season here in the Virginia mountains, although I wouldn’t put it past Mother Nature to zap us with another snow in March.  The air is warmer, and it feels as if the earth is beginning to stretch and wake up: spring is, if not here yet, just around the corner.

Winter 2010-11 looks a lot like 2009-10 – not exactly the same fragrances, but the categories were very similar.  This past winter I wore the following:

Teo Cabanel AlahineOf course.  A repeat from last year’s list. It still smells like Christmas; it still smells like joy and golden bells.  I still love it. 

Mary Greenwell Plum: New this year, and one of the few year-round fragrances I have.  Elegant yet friendly, weightless but with presence.  I love this one too.

Woody and/or spicy fragrances: Sonoma Scent Studio Champagne de Bois, Chanel Bois des Iles, Givenchy Organza Indecence. These are all repeats of last year’s choices, too. 

Dark Roses: another repeat category.  Amouage Lyric Woman, Gres Cabaret, Caron Parfum Sacre.  I wore Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady several times before deciding it wasn’t “me,” but it was entirely appropriate for winter.

Tuberose scents: this category wasn’t on the list last year, but it should have been, given all the tuberose reviews I did last January and February!  I wore several different tuberose-heavy fragrances this winter, including Honore des Pres Vamp a NY and Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur, as well as many many samples.

And a category new to the list this year, Aldehydes.   I’ve always liked them, but it seems I was drawn to them over the winter just as much as I was this past summer.  I notice my decant collection is quite heavy on aldehydes: Chanel No. 5 parfum and Eau Premiere, Guerlain Vega, Le Labo Aldehydes 44, Serge Lutens La Myrrhe, Lancome Climat, Frederic Malle Iris Poudre, Mariella Burani, Ulric de Varens pour elle

Anybody else notice going in a new direction with your fragrances choices over the past winter?  Feel free to share what your Most Valuable Perfume was over the chilly months.


8 thoughts on “Seasonal Picks, Winter 2011”

  1. I wrote a long comment, but then it just vanished… So annoying. Well, I’ll just try again.

    It’s been a cold winter with lots of snow, and I’ve used warm, smoky and slightly masculine scents, as well as gourmands. Comfort scents, but it has to be interesting and a bit challenging as well.

    Most used this winter:
    Serge Lutens Santal Blanc, Douce Amere and Fumerie Turque
    L’Artisan Safran Troublant, Traversee du Bosphore, Tea for Two and L’Eau du Navigateur
    Chanel Coco and Bois des Iles
    Miller Harris L’Air de Rien
    Parfumerie Generale Intrigant Patchouli
    Guerlain Jicky
    Etro Messe de Minuit

    I also like Chanel No. 22, tuberose and jasmine in this season.

    1. Sorry it’s taken me awhile to get back to you, M! Painting the family room is taking up my spare time this week.

      You have some lovely things keeping you company in cold weather – lots of woods, some tobacco, some incense and rose and white florals. Good stuff.

  2. I’ve started recording my fragrance daily choices just recently (4-5 months ago, thanks to your Scent Diaries), so I still do not have enough data to answer your question about new choices/directions. But I can share my findings about which notes I preferred this Winter season (not that here, in the SF).

    Bergamot has an overwhelming lead as a top note: within the recent 2.5 months 24 times I wore a perfume that had it (the runner up mandarin was present just in 11). The most popular heart notes were jasmine (27) and rose (19). Base notes – musk (24) and sandalwood (22).

    I also wanted to ask about Alahine. If you do not mind, where did you buy it? I’m asking because I like it and plan to buy but I had a bad experience with Alahine samples I bought through e-bay (those smelled of an old perfume with unpleasant opening notes), so now I’m a little hesitant.

    1. I think it’s good for me to keep track of what I’m actually wearing; I’m quite sure I have Too Many Bottles I’m not using.

      Bergamot is sort of ubiquitous, isn’t it? It’s probably harder to find a scent that doesn’t have it than one that does…

      I bought my Alahine from an online discounter. It was a tester bottle, which I can only tell because a) the box was plain and b) the bottle itself says “tester” on the bottom. Otherwise it looks just like the standard one. I will say that the first few times I wore Alahine, I really disliked the opening notes. But aromatics (common in the opening) do seem to go bad fairly easily, perhaps because the molecules are so small.

  3. This teasing about with the Mary Greenwell Plum just has to stop, OK?! Seriously, though I can’t wait to try this one.

    Micallef’s Note Vanille is my favorite perfume in the winter. Just adore that but Alahine is a very close 2nd. Neither of them see the light of day come warmer weather so they seem that much more special when fall turns to winter.

    1. I only have a few decants of Plum, but boy, do I love the stuff. I don’t know that I would say Holy Grail material, but it’s certainly a fragrance that I would wear in just about any weather or circumstances.

      I agree with you on “saving” certain scents for certain seasons – they do become special and you look forward to wearing them. Sort of like Christmas… if it were Christmas all year, it wouldn’t be nearly as much fun.

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