Monday, November 22, 2010

What Is The Perfect Thanksgiving Perfume?

Thanksgiving rules as the Best Holiday Ever Invented.

Not all of you celebrate this day (it's an American thing), but I have to believe you would love it.

Thanksgiving is all about people, food and gratitude.  No exchange of gifts, no dressing up in costumes (don't get me started on Halloween), nothing to compete with what matters most.  

Of course, even great traditions can be tweaked.

See that turkey in the picture?  We won't be having one.  Lately, I can't tolerate eating anything that includes the handling of internal parts and leaves a carcass to clean up afterward.

That's just nasty.

We're serving ham instead.

Yes, I realize that ham is a pig.  But, because I don't have to touch (!) its gizzard, neck and liver, and clean up what's left of its bones (okay, watch B-man clean up), I can tell myself anything I want.  

Like, for all I know, Honey Baked hams grow in a garden where they are lovingly cultivated and sweetened by bees.

I may not be a vegan, but I have a good imagination.

What is Thanksgiving's scent of the day?  Not sure yet.

My criteria:

1)  Must go well with food
2)  Must play nice with others (people and perfume)
3)  Must add interest - and warmth - to the day

After narrowing the field, here are my tried-and-true contenders:

Serge Lutens Borneo 1834 - nothing goes better with food.  In fact, at one point, Borneo actually smells like food with its roast beef loveliness.  Borneo has interest out the wazoo, and patchouli out the wazoo, too.  While I find it warm, others may find it annoying. 

L'eau du Navigateur by L'Artisan - great with ham, doesn't fight in the sandbox (although it will kick back if provoked) and warm-ish with notes of tobacco, coffee and incense.

Fracas by Piaget - didn't see that one coming, did you?  Fracas is one of the only florals that works well with food.  That's because it is so over-the-top with tuberose and black ink that it doesn't scream FLORAL.  Interesting, for sure, but too sexy to be considered warm.  Plays with no one but flirts with everyone.

Ambre Sultan by Serge Lutens - amazing with food because of the herbal and cannabis notes, interesting and warm, too, in the deep, amber drydown.  However, it has been know to crush others and take over the room if not applied sparingly.

Tea for Two by L'Artisan - nice with food because of it's chi tea vibe, interesting because it's smoky like a fireplace. The epitome of warm due to its slight sweetness and spice. Tea for Two mingles well with others and has more fun when everybody plays.

If you were me, which of these would you choose?  

What perfume would you wear?

Picture from


  1. Hi Josephine,
    Love your blog! Your post got me thinking on what I would wear on Thanksgiving. I fear I will be a hot cranky mess cooking for the large group I've invited this year. What scent goes with a pushy mother in law and wine withdrawals?
    I agree with your options and I lean toward the L'artisans. Tea for two may be the perfect choice . . . it certainly won't overpower, in fact you may need an extra spritz to last. Ginestet Botrytis might be nice too. Hope you have a great holiday!

  2. I think Tea for two is a fantastic choice. Let us know what you choose, and how it goes down with your guests.

    I had this same dilemma on the weekend. I asked my husband to choose between 2 fragrances and I would wear his pick to the dinner/dance. After he chose a fragrance (Soivohle Bottleneck Blues) he said "what about that other one I like?"

    He was talking about Guerlain Attrape-Coeur, the 200 foot tall wall of amber and vanilla with candied flowers. I explained wearing that to dinner would put people off the food. I sprayed it on the air, he took a whiff and agreed.
    Also, I'm all for not having turkey. By the time Xmas rolls around, I'm sick of it. Ham is delicious.

  3. Hi Josephine!

    I would go with Ambre Sulton out of your choices, but I will probably either go with Spiriteuse Doble Vanille or Carnal Flower. I know, I know, Carnal Flower may overpower, but I love being able to play "dress-up" for any occasion. So many people will be at my friend's house, that I hardly think it will matter, and I'll make sure to spray judiciously (sp). Another choice might be 5 O'clock au Gingembre.


  4. Hi Charna - good luck cooking for your crowd this year! A perfume for a pushy mother-in-law? That's a thinker! But no need for wine withdrawal - you know exactly what to do there. :)

    You're right, Tea for Two would probably be perfect...but I'm a little bored by perfect so we'll see.

    Happy Thanksgiving!

  5. JoanElaine, hello! I love 'two hundred foot tall wall of amber and vanilla with candied flowers.' LOL! Some perfumes are SO not meant to go with food.

    Thanks a lot for your comment!

  6. Hey Geordan! Thanks for your suggestion of Ambre Sultan - it is a beauty, indeed.

    Carnal Flower? You go with your bad self!

    Have a lovely Thanksgiving and thanks for the comment!

  7. A woefully retrospective comment - have been hijacked by work lately - but I would go with Tea for Two: it ticks the twin boxes of discreet and food-related, as befits your communal feast!



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