Before anyone thinks I'm writing about Nuit de Noel just because we are in the run up to Christmas would be wrong. And right. To an extent. I've actually used my sample of this classic Caron perfume from 1922 quite a few times over the last few months, but only at night.
Now, I don't know if that is strange or not, but to me, Nuit de Noel is a nighttime fragrance, and not just because of part of its name. There's something about these softer, ever so slightly oriental-feeling chypres that seem better suited to darkness. Not because Nuit de Noel is edgy, or full of deep, mysterious notes, but because it is soft, velvety, creamy and comforting. I like to wear it to bed (God forbid, yes!), where I can smell it on my wrist, like a warm caress.
I'm not sure of the exact notes, but they definitely include rose, ylang-ylang, oak moss and musk. And plenty of aldehydes too, in the opening. Not fizzy per se, but bright. There is an oriental feel in the dry down, and I think that could be sandalwood and amber. Basenotes certainly mention those notes. In reviews I've read, reference has been made to a similarity to Chanel No 5, and I get that, definitely, without it ever smelling like No 5, if you know what I mean. I think its the rose, ylang and aldehydes. I can't find the note mentioned, but there is a hint of incense in Nuit de Noel too. At least, my nose seems to encounter this, correctly or not.
Like a few others, I don't think that Nuit de Noel smells massively like Christmas, at least not in the conventional sense of fir trees, pine sap, spices, orange and so forth. To me it smells more like winter, in that it feels comforting, as if one is venturing outside on a cold, snowy day, but is dressed in the warmest coat imaginable. I'm not quite sure how I arrive at that analogy, but somehow that is what Nuit de Noel felt like when I wore it on Tuesday, the sort of day whose weather could have frozen the brass balls off a monkey.