Last weekend was the first that hinted at summer. The temperature climbed into the 80s, and roses seemed to explode overnight. To celebrate, I spritzed myself with L’Artisan Parfumeur Ananas Fizz. Saturday evening I prepared to go to an art school gala. My azure silk 1960s cocktail dress was set out, along with some Weiss and Eisenberg rhinestone jewelry and a ten-year old pair of gold Prada evening sandals. Now for perfume. I still smelled faintly of Ananas Fizz’s vetiver and pineapple but wanted something a little headier for the evening. Then — bingo! — I knew just what to choose: Jean Patou Colony parfum, a rich pineapple chypre. It layered perfectly.
So many magazine articles tutor the art of day-to-night dressing. Just pack stilettos and a clutch in your briefcase, they say, unbutton your blouse, put on red lipstick, and hello disco. But what about perfume? How do you go from day to night with perfume?
An obvious approach is to do like I did on Saturday and choose an evening perfume that carries forward one of the main notes of your day fragrance. Combinations off the top of my head are Parfum d’Empire Eau Suave (fresh, green rose) or Jean Patou Joy Eau de Toilette (rose and jasmine) for day and Guerlain Nahéma (lush, peachy rose) for night. The Joy would also pair well with a dab of jasmine knockout Serge Lutens A La Nuit, too. Others? Prada Infusion d’Iris for day and for a romantic evening, Guerlain Attrape Coeur or XerJoff Irisss. Chanel No. 19 (green, powdery iris) for day, followed by Frédéric Malle Iris Poudre for a night at the opera. Or, stay all-Chanel and wear crisp, green Chanel Cristalle during the day and No. 19 at night. Try galbanum-sharp, leathery Robert Piguet Bandit for day, and for a positively smoldering evening — if you can get your hands on some — the divinely leathery Lanvin Scandal or elegant Christian Dior Diorling.
Another approach is to choose a secondary note in your daytime perfume and run with that. For instance, I could have worn a little Lalique Encre Noir in the evening to play up the vetiver in my Ananas Fizz, but it didn’t seem right with my dress. A day’s application of Serge Lutens Five O'Clock au Gingembre might be perfect for an autumn day and Chanel Bois des Iles (sandalwood with a touch of ginger) for the fancy dinner later on. A pensive day’s Comme des Garçons Avignon, a cold, wet incense, would be complemented by Amouage Lyric Woman’s dark, spicy rose and frankincense for an evening out. The satiny green chypre Yves Saint Laurent Y might be the perfect foundation for a midnight spritz of Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower.
You might also want to choose an evening perfume that mimics the style of the perfume you wore that day, even if they don’t share a lot of notes in common. For instance, if you’re in a fresh, light mood, you might wear a classic cologne during the day and Annick Goutal Des Lys, a lily as fresh as a green cologne, later on. Or maybe you're leaning oriental and wear an amber during the day. You might choose the heady Guerlain Shalimar, Chopard Casmir, or even Dana Tabu for evening.
Of course, you could always shower and start fresh in the evening wearing whatever you want. I don’t know about you, but with my ridiculously large perfume collection, I relish a few limits.
Do you have any favorite day-to-night perfume transitions? Guys, you were ignored here. How about you? Please share!