Holiday Party Fragrance Tips


When it comes to parties, perfume is always my plus-one. It's the perfect opportunity to wear your biggest, funnest scents -- those larger-than-life characters that can really dazzle a crowd. Frédéric Malle Une Rose is one of my favorite high-heels fragrances, as is Chanel Coromandel. Agent Provocateur puts me in a minxy mood when I'm all foxed up for festivities, and Comme des Garçons Daphne is a real whoop-de-doo party gal. And after smelling Malle's glorious Carnal Flower on Juicy Couture co-founder Gela Nash-Taylor at Solange Azagury-Partridge's recent Beverly Hills jewelry shop bash, I'm now enlightened. I used to think Carnal Flower was too overwhelming for me to pull off, but I loved how it sang right off Gela's skin into a floral puff of joy that delighted everyone around her. I'm back on board the Carnal Flower love train.
Don't bother wrapping it, Solange - I'll just wear it home.
Carnal Flower's fresh vibrancy is the perfect optimistic perfume to ring in the New Year, and that's what I'll be smelling like when the clock strikes midnight. What will you be wearing? While you're pondering, here are my holiday party picks:
OFFICE PARTY / BLOCK PARTY / PARTY PARTY:
Agent Provocateur Diamond Dust -- this mossy saffron rose has already started fooling around without you. Hurry up and get in there! Starting at $40 for 1 oz from Amazon.com, FragranceNet.com and AgentProvocateur.com Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 -- cedar-ish and sandalwood-ish magic potion. Starting at $135 for 3.5 oz from LuckyScent.com
DINNER PARTY:
Guerlain Shalimar Ode à la Vanille -- a lighter-hearted version of the original, scaling back the leather and bumping up the vanilla. $150 for 1.7 oz from Amazon.com and the Guerlain Boutique at the Shoppes at the Palazzo, (702) 732-7008 Fresh Cannabis Santal -- quietly yummy patchouli, chocolate, plums, musk. Starting at $32 for 1 oz from Sephora.com and Amazon.com
NEW YEAR'S EVE:
Frédéric Malle Carnal Flower -- lavish and joyful tuberose. Starting at $200 for 1.7 oz from Barneys.com, LesSenteurs.com and EditionsdeParfums.com Van Cleef & Arpels Midnight in Paris -- sweet, leathery amber. $115 for 4.2 oz from LuckyScent.com

40 comments:

  1. Coffe much? lol! I think you overwhelmed the woman who did not seem ready to party for New Year's Eve or the office party. Won't find her in the copier room! Ha! I think she needs a spritz of something fun! ANd what is up with Raoul? He will definitely be in the copier room after a spiked eggnog or two!

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  2. We think alike, Katie - I like the big, larger-than-life characters for holiday parties, too!

    For office party #1, I wore Poison
    For office party #2, I wore Ungaro's Diva
    Friend's holiday party - planning on 1740 Marquis de Sade or Tabac Blond
    For Christmas Day, Clinique Wrappings

    New Year's Eve is usually low-key for us, so probably nothing at all that night!

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  3. SoS - lol! Yeah, I did kind of let 'er rip on unsuspecting Erica. Pen Pal Dan's comment was that she "didn't like Midnight in Paris. She had a 'tell': she winced a tiny little bit and moved her hand up to her chin."

    And my husb's remark was that he didn't think she liked perfume at all. And my observation is that Erica reminds me of Nicole Kidman in "To Die For".

    And I am starting to get a "work crush" on Raoul...

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  4. Patty, I see we think along the same lines. 'Tis the season to break out the big guns.

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  5. Yeah! If you can't knock 'em dead at a holiday party, when can you?

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  6. The ending of the vid made me lol!!!!!

    I think your awesome Katie and I want you and me to shoot the s*** and you can razzle my dazzle in person!

    <3 ~ Tamara

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  7. I'm thinking something like Tom Ford's Tobacco Vanille or Bond's New Haarlem will be perfect for Christmas, although I'd be happy to wear them every day with the temperatures dropping past cold and into frigid territory.

    For New Years I want to break out my Black Orchid, mostly because I don't get to wear it very often and ringing in the new year seems like as good an excuse as any to indulge my inner diva.

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  8. Well, Olfacta, I drift towards "annihilation levels" of perfume year-round, but at least I get a free pass at holiday parties.

    Thanks, Tamara, and I loved that "knucklehead" aside, too! Although given all the teasing he was getting, I think Raoul was the one being a good sport, not me.

    Spike, those are three great choices for the frosty festive season. And love the idea of Black Orchid for New Year's!

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  9. OMG LOL I had to stop the video to comment! That woman was like, "okay, and now *we* can hold the bottle still," and then she holds it backward for a ten count? Come on lady, don't ya know, Katie Puckrik is a pro! Don't patronize! And Raoul is my new fave! But I have more watchin to go ...

    BTW I like Spike's idea of New Haarlem for a guy.

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  10. Haha, N, thank you for feeling my pain on that. But my QVC chops could have been better with holding my Diamond Dust arm still. I'll get there.

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  11. Raoul is a sweetheart! I hope the ladies he works with treat him well, or else....

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  12. I'm trying to get my significant other to help me pick out a perfume that we will both like, do you (or any subscribers) have any recommendations on perfumeries in Atlanta? Thanks!

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  13. I love Carnal Flower for parties! I'll wear one of my top five (and might even bust out the Muscs Kublai Khan for something...you know 'cause you don't want to be proper sometimes):
    Carnal Flower
    Spiriteuse Doble Vanille
    Back to Black
    Musc Ravageur
    Ode de la Vanille

    Thanks!
    Geordan

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  14. Raoul is a sweetheart, Junelady. I get the idea his colleagues think so, too.

    Geordan, aside from Carnal Flower, you're working that big, warm vanilla cloud - with naughtiness supplied by Musk Ravageur and Back to Black. For me, both of those are real compliments-grabbers. Hmm, I've worn both of those to the theatre. Do you think that was too much...?

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  15. Zusie, I'm not familiar with the offerings in the Atlanta area, and if anyone else is, please chime in.

    The Perfume of Life boards could be a help with this...

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  16. Carnal Flower is amazing. I love the fresh top notes, the unbelievable tuberose, and the slightly coconutty but crisp hints dancing around the edges. But alas, I am a poor college student and $200 for 50mL is a bit rich for my blood. Can you think of any fragrance with a similar feel but a slightly more modest price tag?

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  17. thiswildelectricity: I can't think anything that captures Carnal Flower's radiance, crispness and freshy freshness along with that buttery tuberose. But here are some lovely fuzzier tuberoses that are pleasing and cheaper:
    Estee Lauder Tuberose Gardenia
    By the Creators of Le Labo Bouquet Blanc (their line for Anthropologie)
    Tom Ford Black Orchid Voile de Fleur (discontinued, but still found online)

    Anyone else with some crispy tuberose suggestions?

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  18. Katie, I'm back and having watched the rest of the video I can tell you that Erica was right, when you turn that fragrance bottle the right way it's SO much clearer! ... it's called "Sample". Oh, wait, see, I can read binary. 010011010 = Escentric Molecule 01.

    I was going to suggest SDV and Musc Ravageur but Geordan got there first! How about Fracas? That's so old school!

    A self-serving question: would Ode de la Vanille be accessible to someone who likes the idea of Shalimar but can't wear it b/c it comes across as musty on her skin type? Was wondering if any of that dirty-good lady has been cleaned up...

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  19. N - Yeah "Sample" showing loud and clear *slaps head*.

    Fracas, yes! She's a party girl from way back.

    The answer to a question always serves the self in some way, and that's no bad thing. My answer to your query is YES! and YES! Ode a la Vanille slimlines the musty/leathery fun. It does seem quite powdery to me, though, if that's all right by you. Which it should be, since you're a Musc Ravageur lover.

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  20. LOL but I liked the "sample" label. It made it seem so indie for some reason ...

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  21. Slutty rose....you just about made Erica fall off her chair. Loved this video so much!

    As an aside, I am finally getting your blog on my blogroll, what took me so long??

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  22. I think Erica's panties are bunched up a little too tight to handle an interview on perfumes. Maybe a Type A personality? What perfume would you suggest to relax her and put her in the holiday mood? Or is a mellow scent the wrong message at this time of year? Something bright and cheerful and tinselly? I guess I am thinking a glass of wine by the fire with that special someone.....

    (oops, when I was typing that last bit, it came out first as smellcial - not intentional but perhaps appropriate)

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  23. I would follow Raoul around whether he was wearing Escentric Molecule 01 or not. :) He seems fun and sweet and approachable, and you have great chemistry with him.

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  24. Scent Hive - you're right, I don't think Erica saw that one coming. And thank you very much for including me on your blogroll - I've read Scent Hive for years. Your blog (ScentHive.com) is a wonderful resource for info on natural perfumes and cosmetics, an area where I'm always looking to fill in the gaps.

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  25. ScentsofSmell, I didn't get the impression Erica's poison was perfume. Perhaps a shot of Jägermeister? That'll jolly her right up.

    Scott - I bet you would! Yes, Raoul seems a very sweet man. I read on his bio that he enjoys watching food show with his wife and listens to music from "Les Mis" on his iPod.

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  26. Katie -- Perhaps for your NY's Eve party schedule you might wish to sport that sample of JAR Bolt of Lightning that I know you have . . . *ahem*

    It's lush, gorgeous and radiates goodwill.

    Me? I'm dousing myself in Absolue pour le Soir. Sweet and dirty! The perfect way to ring in a new year.

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  27. Oh! Oh! Oh! I forgot to ask -- what's Dan wearing for New Year's Eve? I have a mental picture of him standing, paralyzed, before his 200 bottles of perfume, unable to decide which personality to spray on for the evening.

    :)

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  28. nathan, thanks for the Bolt of Lightning nudge. I'm trying to get my head around it now and will report my findings in an upcoming post. And we can argue about it...I mean, *discuss* then. So far, it's radiating, all right, but not goodwill.

    I'm so glad you've achieved perfume satisfaction with Absolue PLS! And all I've gathered from Dan so far re his New Year's plans is that "paralyzed" about sums it up.

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  29. thiswildelectricity - here's a callback to your cheaper Carnal Flower search: someone on LuckyScent posted that they thought Annick Goutal Un Matin d'Orage was Carnal Flower-like. It is crisp and fresh, but it's a gardenia interpretation made with jasmine, as opposed to tuberose.

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  30. Hi Katie,

    As you know, since I knew I was going to get a full bottle of Balenciaga Paris for Christmas, I dared to go to Christmas Eve dinner unscented, so I could spray it immediately afterwards. I felt naked for a while, but it was just before the food was served, LOL. I wore it for Christmas lunch as well, and felt very appropriate:) But I really have no idea about what to wear on New Year's Eve... I am not going to a big party, but I want to smell good. I'm thinking about Prada L'Eau Ambrée, Chanel n.5 Eau Première or Caron Farnesiana, what do you think?

    Hugs,

    S.

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  31. Sabrina, I've not smelled Farnesiana, but I think L'Eau Ambrée is too l'ow key. I like Eau Première better for New Year's, it's radiant and pretty, but I associate it with warmer weather (and maybe that's just me).

    Is your Malle Dans tes Bras too "everyday" for you by now? Because that seems pretty special to me. And since you're the violet lover, do you have Guerlain Attrape Coeur? That's a beautifully rich perfume for wintertime celebrations.

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  32. Thank you for your suggestions, Katie... I still haven't tried Attrape Coeur, can you believe it? You are right about L'Eau Ambrée, it's too low key for a celebration, Eau Première fits better, and it's great in warmer weather (which is exactly what I need right now, but I won't have it, LOL). But I took a look at my perfume cabinet and I guess I made up my mind... it will be one of hubby's favorites, Serge Lutens A La Nuit:)

    Hugs,

    S.

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  33. Sabrina, always wonderful to wear a "all hands on deck" perfume for a special night: one that your beloved loves as much as you do.

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  34. LOL @ "all hands on deck", Katie! That's exactly how I feel when I wear SL A La Nuit. I love jasmine, but this wouldn't be my normal jasmine choice if it wasn't a special evening (on a daily basis, I still prefer Annick Goutal's Le Jasmin). But it will be New Year's Eve and I want to be hugged and kissed (let's stop here to respect the readers) and it's not like I will be on Times Square surrounded by men, so it's completely safe:)

    Hugs,

    S.

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  35. Well, between your rec and the lure of a great deal, I couldn't resist a blind bottle buy of Black Orchid Voile de Fleur. It's got a lot going on, but it definitely smells like there's a wallop of tuberose in the mix. Intoxicating! I'm head over heels. I'm totally wearing this one tomorrow night to ring in the new year! It packs some pretty serious sillage, so I just hope people around me enjoy it as much as I do. Thanks for the tip, Katie!

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  36. thiswildelectricity - great score! Both on my rec hitting the target, and you tracking down the stuff. I do think the TF folks were hasty to discontinue this. So glad you have such a pretty (and exclusive!) perfume to wear for the new year!

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  37. Catching up on your blog. Everyone loves Raoul!! Funny cut at the end, good timing on the cut. I'm glad I didn't see this before the holidays, because then I would have obsessed over a party perfume when I haven't even figured out my everyday faves yet! I'll remember your advice next year.

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  38. Melissa,

    Yeah! Everybody does love Raoul!

    So much perfume strategizing to do!

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