Nuit de Noel ~ A Caron Christmas

I’ve been thinking very hard about this post.  Caron’s Nuit de Noel is not just another perfume for me, it means so much more.   It truly changed my life.  Let me tell you a bit more about me.

After the birth of the Princess, I was miserable.  I had some extra weight hanging on to me, loose skin, stretchmarks like a tiger, not to mention being very tired and very frazzled with trying to fit into motherhood.  Things were bleak.  Nothing fit and I wanted to cry. Alot.  One day, sick of feeling like a trainwreck, I pulled out my copy of Lauren Stover’s Bombshell Manual of Style determined to start feeling better about me.  Afterall, I had a little girl to raise and I wasn’t going to teach her self hatred and body shame.  While weight takes time, as do other things, one thing you can easily change is your perfume.  The hunt began.

There were many suggestions for Bombshell perfumes in the book, most hard to find, some unheard of and others dismissed, like Chanel no. 5  for being too old and stuffy.  (look for a post on no.  5 in the near future) However, Nuit de Noel intrigued me.  Stover says, “Imagine seeing Paris on a snowy, wintery night from the top of the Eiffel Tower while sipping champagne.  Created in 1922, this warming, heartful scent pays homage to the roaring twenties with an effect so uplifting it’s dizzying.”  It sounded like a prescription for a new chapter in life.  A more glamourous, happy chapter, one that I could happily leave as legacy to a little girl.

 Exhaustive internet searching fueled the fire.  I encountered other’s descriptions that ranged from “powdery old lady” to “chestnuts roasting, mulled spices, brandied fruit” and couldn’t wait to get my hands on it. I also encountered references to it in books, such as Auntie Mame.  “Auntie Mame is a froth of whipped cream and champagne and daydreams and Nuit de Noel perfume.  She’s not mortal at all”

 Fortunately for me, I also discovered at that time and nabbed a sample.  I’ve been wearing it for months and have bought a bottle or two of my own. One important thing I noticed about this perfume is how it’s notes are smoothly blended together.  It is difficult to discern the ceaderwood from the rose, the rose from the ylang-ylang.  I’ve had to wear it for months before I could even begin to pick out the individual notes from the snow-globe swirl of smell.  Instead, each whiff reveals a different association.  Fur Coats.  Potted rouge.  a slightly indolent flower bouquet on a night stand.  A collection of perfume bottles and silky under-things.  Heels.  Nights out.  Rosy Cheeks and yes, firesides on snowy nights.  It is dark and beautiful.  Never naughty, always nice.  Definately to be worn on evenings out or special evenings in, but never with jeans.

Story-wise, I see a beautiful woman getting ready for an elegant evening party.  Her glossy hair is carefully put up.  She applies the final lipstick and checks herself in the boudouir mirror.  She finishes a glass of champagne, rises and goes to the door.  Her gentleman companion helps her into a luxurious fur coat and opens the door to a starry night with a blanket of snow on the ground.  Champagne, laughter, intrigue fill the evening.  On the walk home, it begins to snow again.  The beautiful couple laugh and catch snowflakes on thier tounges.  The kiss at the door and go inside to the fireside, which is crackling away.  They find warm cognac and a slice of fruitcake to enjoy on the fur rug by the fire.

I would dab this perfume out of the art deco black crystal bottle on my pulse points in the morning, a ritual that felt more decadent with the pretty bottle/gorgeous smell combination.   Smelling so luxe and refined encouraged me to fix my hair and put on respectable clothing for the day.  I would venture out of the house and feel human, feminine again.  Eventually, the baby weight came off and I regained more of my old self back.  I like to think it was a perfume intervention, as I needed a little Christmas.

Nuit de Noel is my obvious choice for Christmas day and any day I want a little glamorous lift.  It could be worn year round, however, like it’s sister perfume, Parfum Sacre, it stuns in cold weather.  Unlike Parfum Sacre, it is not cashmere, but fur.  Dark and warm, sparkling and glowing.  I can’t think of a better perfume choice for a holiday.

Question for discussion:  If Nuit de Noel were divorced from its name, would you still have holiday-esque associations? (Think of Shakespear’s rose meditation)  Or do you think the name is essential to set the tone for the perfume?

Cedarwood, Rose, Ylang-Ylang, Orris, Mousse de Saxe accord (Oakmoss, Licorice, Myrrh, Cedar moss), Vetiver, Sandalwood, Castoreum  and 10 minutes after posting I think I got some candycane.  funny!

Published in: on December 11, 2007 at 9:40 am  Comments (9)  

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9 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. Huh, I thought I had a sample of Nuit in my desk and was all set to have a surrounding blog experience. Must give it a try for office Christmas party on Friday.

    At that point I’ll expound on the question of nomenclature.

    P.S. I recommended your blog for a link on another Web site. You’re fantastic!

  2. Gee Thanks for the rec’. YOu know does a scent club, essentially a surround blog experience. THey had an installment this morning. I think next installment is thursday of friday. I’ll dash you some samples of what they are doing next tonight. Yes, other readers, this reader is indeed family. Secret is out!

  3. I don’t have a sample of this, and have not tried it in years. My nose has surely matured since then, and the bright, spicy opening I remember would be more appreciated now I think.
    As a concept fragrance, I would bet the jus and the name were planned from the start. In a way, the name has kept me from exploring it as I might…hmmm.
    Thank you for your review!

  4. Oh my. This one is not working for me. I’m feeling sort of migraine-y after application.

    Unless something changes soon, I’ll be sticking with Crime Exotique for tomorrow’s soire.

    This is disappointing after your fab description.

  5. Carol,
    I was intended to be a Christmas Perfume. The Perfumer’s girlfriend loved Christmas Eve and he created this for her in the 20’s. Shouldn’t we all be so lucky as to have a man creat a perfume just for us. Like Parfum de Therese. Even though I abhor it, I love the sentiment behind it, which compels me to retry every so often.

    Funny, I remember when you tried it on over here one day and it was terrific on you! But to each his nose…

  6. I really need to add this to my collection,
    my birthday is on Sunday, and my father always calls me his Christmas Carol, even in my 50s, so this calls for a trip to the outlet mall…
    yes, lissa, to have a fragrance made just for you…*sigh*

  7. ok, so I went to the outlet mall yesterday and picked up the EdT, which was the only bottle in the store..did not apply it to my wrists until this am…
    strong blast of cedar at first is probably what was bothering Jen…after about 15 min it softens and sweetens, almost feeling sticky on my wrists. So seamlessly blended, very little actual floral detectable to me, does not smell “cedar-y” anymore, but warm and sweet, with an intriging mossy, greenish undertone (smidgeon of castoreum coming through?)
    lovely, and will carry the memory of your story and Christmas now. By any other name it would still be a complex memorable scent with the definite stamp of classic Caron!

  8. Ah, so you got the EDT? I reviewed the parfum, which is a completely different animal! Where the EDT has moer cedar sharpness it’s all smoothness with the parfum…

  9. As I say, the only bottle in the store…but still a nod to what you smelled…I am actually very much enjoying it’s mossiness, and the lasting power of even the edT is very good…
    it sort of reminds me of parfum prive by la perla ( the creation of the caron coming first, of course )

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