Monday, December 13, 2010

Caron - Nuit de Noel

Christmas in a bottle
Mistletoe hung from the gas brackets in all the front parlors; there was sherry and walnuts and bottled beer and crackers by the dessertspoons; and cats in their fur-abouts watched the fires; and the high-heaped fire spat, all ready for the chestnuts and the mulling pokers. - A Child's Christmas in Wales by Dylan Thomas
It's the time of year when I get nostalgic. I play all the traditional carols on a continuous loop and sing all the words. I pull out the neglected cookie sheets and bake shortbread from the old family recipe. I long for snow. This year, I think I've added a new tradition to my list, wearing Nuit de Noel.

Legend has it that Nuit de Noel was created by Ernest Daltroff for his lover, who loved Christmas Eve. I love an old-fashioned Christmas too. My Christmas must have candles, wine, family, and the smell of rich food cooking. Nuts and oranges and crackers and chocolate should be on the table. There must be a fresh tree with every decoration saved from my childhood miraculously finding a branch to cling to. Children and dogs should run a little wild. A real fire should be poked occasionally and new logs added. It's better if it snows, even if I have to drive to and from two sets of parents homes through the storm. Everything should sparkle, or glow or shine.

A woody floral with gentle spices and a warm amber finish, Nuit de Noel has everything I want; it's old-fashioned in the best way. It opens a little fruity and a little powdery, like Sheherazade. Then, it warms up with gentle spices. There is a classic, floral heart with rose, jasmine, and ylang-ylang, that seems dry somehow, maybe because of the oak moss. (I'm testing a vintage sample, so yay for oak moss!) The heart also has a beautiful smoky sandalwood. Under everything is a buttery, cozy, amber.

Nuit de Noel is like a beautifully set Christmas table. Everything in it is complex but well-blended and the notes are warm and jewel-toned. Nuit de Noel is to Christmas what Like This is to the fall. It's not a perfume of cold snow and pine trees, but one of soft blankets, candles, gingerbread houses, fireplaces and Christmas puddings.

House: Caron
Nose: Ernest Daltroff
Notes: Top notes are ylang-ylang, tincture of rose and jasmine; middle notes are sandalwood and oak moss; base notes are musk and amber.

Photo: Laenulfean


  1. Wonderful!
    I have to go see if I have a sample of this somewhere (I keep thinking I saw it someplace).
    I love Christmas and the fact I spend time with family and enjoy good food with them. I can't wait! :)

    P.S. I made for myself 3 cds with Christmas song so I can listen to them whenever I feel like these days.

  2. Aaaaaaand Nuit de Noel moves up several dozen notches on my wishlist, thanks to this review. :)

  3. oh how I love nuit de noel. Thanks for writing about it. My grandmother wore this scent. I just found out this year. My aunt remembers the bottle on her mother's dresser when they were growing up, and when she and my grandfather went out to parties or whatnot, the whole house would smell of this. My aunt could describe the bottle but couldn't remember the name. "Christmas Eve?" she wondered. It was so exciting to be able to tell her that the perfume still exists and to know that my grandmother had such individual taste.

  4. Thanks for reminding me of the bottle Brian. I forgot to put up a picture of it.

    Thank you everyone for the comments!

  5. Oh yes my kind of Christmas. I discovered Nuit de Noel about two years ago and it is the perfect Christmas scent .


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