In the United States, we’re at the gateway of the season of Way Too Much Food and Booze. I’m not going to suggest you lay off the pumpkin pie or look the other way when the office manager waves the company credit card and suggests you all go out for a holiday drink. That’s your business. But if you decide you need a break, yet still want to smell like a party, here are five boozy scents to consider, paired with the outings at which you might wear them:
Liquides Imaginaires Dom Rosa: Best worn when a friend suggests you meet up at the bar at a fancy, wreath-decked hotel for a glass of wine. Dom Rosa is from Liquides Imaginaires' Eaux Sanguines trilogy and was inspired by Dom Perignon Rosé. I’d peg it for a fruitier wine than that — maybe even veering to tropical cocktail territory — but I heartily agree on “pink.” Dom Rosa is cheerful and delicious, and its woody-incense base keeps it on the classy side of wine cooler, but just barely. (Notes include champagne, pomelo, pear, rose, clove, frankincense, woods, cedar, vetiver and lignum vitae).
Nasomatto Baraonda: Wear this when you’re invited to a party by the neighbor who just got back from Antigua with a bottle of rum and a recipe for toddies. Baraonda smells like a mouth-burning sip of rum aged in oak barrels. It has a brown sugar sweetness that eases up after a few minutes and quiets, but it’s fairly linear and simple. Rum and wood. If this were actual booze, I’d fear a wicked hangover. Take the Baraonda instead. (No notes listed.)
Profumum Fumidus: This one will get you through drinks with your father-in-law at his club, especially if your drinks are taken next to a fireplace that smokes a bit. Fumidus is a stiff potion of woodsmoke without the fire, and scotch whisky without the bandaid-like scent of peat. This one is also fairly linear: woodsmoke, smoke, and more smoke, but none of the heat of the fire that Serge Lutens Chêne, another boozy fragrance, holds. (Notes include essence of distilled scotch, vetiver and birch bark.)
Xerjoff Richwood: Dinner is over, and the host brings out a tray of glasses of Madeira. You’d rather not partake. To envision Richwood, imagine sipping sweet, aged Madeira in a sandalwood forest at dusk with rose petals stuck to your feet. That sounds better than a digestif after another rich meal any day, and Richwood lasts even longer than a star restaurant’s most expensive tasting menu. (Notes include Mysore sandalwood, citrus accord, rose and patchouli.)
Lubin Gin Fizz: Your girlfriends are in revolt. No more gut-busting dinner parties. They’ve dragged you to happy hour for cocktails and hors d’oeuvres. You turn down a gin and tonic and opt for Gin Fizz’s effervescent burst of citrus and juniper. It’s invigorating, but not overly assertive after its first few minutes. As you hug your friends goodbye, they’ll say, “You smell so fresh and, um, un-Christmas-like.” Mission accomplished. (Notes include bergamot, lemon, mandarin, juniper berry, iris, galbanum, orange blossom, rose absolute, jasmine, lily, benzoin, vetiver, oakmoss and white musk.)
Happy almost-Holidays, everyone! Don’t forget that seltzer water with a few shakes of bitters and a lemon twist is a great alternative to liquor if you can’t find the right perfume substitute.
This list barely skims the boozy perfume possibilities. What are your favorites?