One of the most uplifting things that can happen in Winter is to come inside from a grey dreary cold day into a warm room that has a large fresh fragrant floral bouquet, or to run into someone wearing a wonderfully floral fragrance. I was fortunate enough to receive some new samples lately, (new for me, the perfumes have been well reviewed elsewhere) when Sniffapalooza's two Karens decided to have a small NYC weekend gathering recently. There were also thoughtful gifts of various samples over the holidays, which I am just now getting around to trying. Three that stand out for me and inspire strong mental pictures of the coming warm seasons are Pink Jasmine by Fresh - citrus, freesia, lilac, magnolia, jasmine, woods and peach, among other things, Fleur de Narcisse, by L'Artisan, which has a green as well as a deeply floral nature, and Creed's glorious Fantasia de Fleurs, a spicy floral which seems to magnify the sensation of strongly scented flowers when applied indoors in the typical overheated, dry atmosphere of NYC in winter. Wonderful also are the absolutes of sole fleurs, in as high a quality as you can find, such as rose and jasmine. Especially lovely is the concentrated meditation on Jasmine which comes in the form of a solid perfume by Mandy Aftel; a very mellowed version of jasmine that blends with the natural skin scent over the day. For a sheer weekend or errand going scent, to use while running about doing one's chores or business, I think Jo Malone's Vintage Gardenia Cologne works well. Floral themed sheer colognes can be a Winter alternative to the more summery citrus and gourmand scents that seem to currently be in the majority at the moment. I love bergamot and other citrus scents, but I feel more like using them in the warmer seasons. Something else that has been working well lately is to take a heavy cream for the hands that has no scent and mix into it a little essential oil or favorite fragrance so it can be released close to the face all through the day. This is obviously something that is a more private enjoyment. I do appreciate, though, being greeted by a big floral fragrance on coming indoors from a winter's day. For those of you who are good at growing indoor plants, jasmine can bloom indoors and provide a direct connection to a primal floral scent in the darkest of winter nights.
Above, Jasmine Sambac, easy to grow and bloom. White Flower Farm has mail order availability and provides high quality plants.