It’s time for the “scent a Christmas carol” game! Here’s how it works: someone tosses out the name of a carol, and the rest of us pitch in with suggestions for fragrances to accompany it. I’ll get us started.
We Three Kings: “Frankincense to offer have I…myrrh have I: it’s bitter perfume.” As Robin pointed out when I proposed this post, Eau d’Italie Baume du Doge has frankincense and myrhh. For frankincense alone, you have a hundred choices. Start with the new Tauer Perfumes Au Coeur du désert. For myrhh, try Annick Goutal Myrhhe Ardente. You kids in the back are undoubtedly remembering this song’s alternative lyrics: “We three kings of orient are / Trying to smoke a rubber cigar.” I’ve got you covered, too. Bulgari Black should do it.1
The Christmas Song: “Chestnuts roasting on an open fire.” Caron Nuit de Noël is a sure winner here. Not only does it have “Noël” in its name, it wafts a sweet nuttiness that’s a bulls-eye for this song.
Deck the Halls: “Deck the halls with boughs of holly.” I admit to not having smelled a lot of holly. It’s so prickly that I stay away from it and yank it from my garden with leather gloves when it sneaks in from the neighbor’s yard. Let’s assume holly is green and resinous. Try Serge Lutens Fille en Aiguilles. (Note: this recommendation doubles for Have a Holly Jolly Christmas.)
Wassail Wassail All Over the Town: Does anyone have the slightest clue what wassail smells like? Not me. All I know is that is contains booze. Therefore, I’ll cut this short and direct you to 5 Perfumes that Smell Like Booze. (Now I'm tempted to ask for a "wassail, dry, with a twist" from my bartender.)
Silver Bells: “City sidewalks, busy sidewalks / It’s Christmas time in the city” (Pro tip: cat lovers can substitute “kitty” for “city” for a satisfying take on an old tune.) What perfume smells like a sidewalk? I’m going to choose an oddball and go with Estée Lauder Azurée. Oakmoss can smell like wet rocks to me, so Azurée might smell like a damp sidewalk with leather shoes parading over it.
Little Drummer Boy: “Ba-rump-a-bum-bum” etc., ad nauseum. Clearly, here we don’t need something that smells like a boy or a drum. We need something that’s alluring at first, but ultimately annoying. A fragrance that cloys. Forgive me for choosing Rochas Tocade. I love it, and I need to where it from time to time, but it irritates the heck out of me.
Please chime in! Which fragrances match which holiday songs for you? We didn’t cover Silent Night, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, or the music for the Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy. Any ideas for these or others?
1. Ed. note: Angela left out the other well known alternative, "We three kings of Leicester square / Selling ladies underwear / So fantastic, no elastic / Only £2 a pair." Which of course would be Victoria's Secret Bombshell.