Boozy scents to keep you going over the holidays

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If you can’t go without a drink throughout the day, you probably have a problem that must be addressed. But if you just like the smell of a little festive booze floating around this time of year, what you need is a good perfume that 1) is happy and 2) doesn’t make you reek like you’ve just come from a bender (as perfumes are fragrance dilutions in alcohol, there is a chance, it might go the other way).

Frapin would be a great choice to start with, as it’s a perfume line founded by a cognac company.  Passion Boisée is one of my favourites. It’s supposedly a masculine woody chypre with top notes of  tangerine, nutmeg, rum and clove, middle notes are oakmoss and oak and base notes are patchouli, leather and cedar. Well, the rum and cognac are quite strong but they’re blended in a very ambery aroma, so it’s more of a bold sweetness that radiates. It gives the wearer a warm and comfortable feeling of sipping a strong drink by the fire in a chalet in the Carpathians (we shall not go to the Alps cliché).

Le Labo’s Ylang 49 is a chypre floral with  tahitian gardenia, ylang-ylang, oakmoss, patchouli, vetiver, sandalwood and benzoin note. I suspect the patchouli and the ylang-ylang are mixed to give off a warm spicy aroma. To my nose, this is a boozy woody (new perfume category, please!). I find Byredo’s Rose Noir in the same vein, a boozy rose. Its top notes are listed as grapefruit and freesia; middle note is damask rose; base notes are labdanum, oakmoss and musk. I am starting to find a pattern here. Oakmoss mixed with certain things gives off an alchie vibe. And that is fine by me.

Now, gin is a special case here. As powdered iris root (a huge ingredient in perfumery) is added to gin as a matter of formula giving it its specific taste, it goes without saying some iris perfumes might come across as boozy. One scent that smells both fresh, invigorating and a bit like a drink is Cedrat Enivrant and that’s because it’s based on an actual cocktail named French 25 that Atelier Cologne founder Sylvie Ganter just loves.

Who can blame one for wanting to be widely awake and stupid drunk at the same time?