Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Five Perfumes I wear To Bed

Bedtime perfumes are an oft discussed topic among fragonerds. Do you go for something cozy? calming? re-apply your scent of the day? Test something new? I even hear that not everyone wears perfume when going to sleep. I always have. Being unscented is not an option in my world, and I simply like the pleasure. But I have some rules, such as not choosing a new perfume I've never tried before. This was a lesson learned the hard way when I discovered that sweet dreams were certainly not made of certain fragrances. Then there's the fact that I share my bed with a husband and several cats, none of them enjoy aldehydes (and the husband tends to grumble about things "smelling like vintage"). Since I test so many perfumes during my waking hours, bedtime is when I'm off-duty and free to wear old favorites. However, some of my staples are so dominant that I have to apply carefully. I have no problem marinating in MKK during the day, but more than a dab can keep me awake half the night. A look through my files reveals that there are several perfumes that make regular appearances at bedtime, and with good reason. In no particular order:

1. Shalimar. Always and forever, in any formulation, but most often the vintage eau de cologne from the classic "clock bottle". It's the one vintage perfume the husband never complains about. It's just an effortless thing that smells "me".

2. Ines de la Fressange (1999). It took me ages to come around (mostly thanks to my friend Donna), but the delicate beauty of this green floral perfume eventually won me over. It's calming and very low-key perfume that is not distracting.

3. Annick Goutal- Encens Flamboyant. A truly meditative incense perfume. Namaste.

4. Annick Goutak- Ninfeo Mio. A green and clean fig that is never emotionally demanding.

5. Paul & Joe- Bleu. I love my ambers, but many of them are on the larger-than-life side, which can be too much when trying to wind down. Bleu is very measured and balanced, more chamber music than opera, which is exactly what I need to prevent twisting and turning.

Do you wear perfume to bed? If so, does it help you fall asleep? What are your favorites? 

Art: Flaming June by Sir Frederic Leighton, 1895.


  1. Hello Gaia,

    sometimes I also wear perfumes to bed, just to calm down.. I like Love by Kilian and body cream Tom Ford Black Orchid.

  2. The only perfume so far I can and do wear to bed is also Shalimar. :) It just feels so right to do it. Especially now the weather has turned cold...

  3. No...I don't wear perfume to bed. Never have, and the thought doesn't enter my mind! I'm a perfume neophyte - your descriptions of scents and the seemingly huge collection you seem to have is really foreign to me! I wear perfume (or other types of fragrance), but I have a body chemistry that turns a lot of fragrances into sharp unpleasant smells, so I am limited. Gourmand scents attract me, and I do well with scented roll-on oils that I pick up from sellers on Etsy. There's a Bond No. 9 fragrance that I love - I re-purchase when I feel like spending that kind of money only - in fact, it's getting to be one of those times! I always liked Angel, and have worn it on and off for over 20 years - I know a lot of people hate it, but I always got compliments, so it worked for me.

    Thinking further, the idea of putting on perfume before going to bed really doesn't do it for me...I've often put on hand cream, and had to wash it off because I couldn't stand to keep smelling the fragrance wafting up from my hands! Different strokes...

  4. I go for simple comfort: vintage Coty Wild Musk, Hypnotic Poison, Kiehl's musk, and Shalimar, usually cologne.

  5. I got my mum a bottle of vintage Shalimar eau de cologne - she nearly cried when she sniffed it, the scent memories were so intense. It is just gorgeous. And P&J Bleu and Blanc are lovely lovely perfumes. Sadly under-marketed.

  6. I also always wear perfume to bed, and what I wear depends on weather and mood. On warm nights it's something like Guerlain Du68. On cozier nights Amouage Lyric (indulgent I know but it's such a wonderful embrace of a fragrance), or pink and fluffy Divin Enfant by ELdO. The biggest bedtime mistake was Youth Dew. Suffocating. And my poor cat threw up on my bed- 3 times! The poor darling.

  7. I wear DSH Winter White or MdO Musc although sometimes I just wear some lovely body powder by Santa Maria Novella. A few nights ago I went to bed with Sahara Noir and I loved it.
    I love when you make these posts Gaia!
    Have a wonderful Wednesday

  8. I DO sleep better when in the words of the song "These Dreams" by Heart when "there's perfume on my wrist." Most often recently, it is either Chanel Anteus or Wild Country by Avon (Another one of Avon's underrated fragrances--was also a gift from a friend who is no longer alive. It's almost as though Mac is watching out for me.

    Lawrence in sunny, but cool Ohio.

  9. It would be literally inconceivable to me to go to sleep without going through my nightly routine of choosing perfumes (at least two - to be able to have multiple application areas for scent is the primary reason I can see for having dual limbs). I wear extremely small amounts (even though DH is near anosmic) since my nose seems to be even more hyper sensitive at night. I love green chypres during the day, but these don't usually work for me at night (w/ the exception of Ma Griffe because I have such wonderful memories of childhood associated with it). I'm not sure why, but I also find that I rarely choose white florals at night and only occasionally rose scents (again, major exceptions being MH Rose en Noir, Liu and Mandy's solid Rose). At night I gravitate towards ambers, musks, softer incences and orientals. I have way, way too many favorites to list, but, like you, I adore Shalimar and AG Encens Flamboyant and they are high on that list. Tonight I'm going to go the gourmand route - another favorite night time group - and one choice will be Mandy's Chocolate and Saffron oil (love!), the other will probably something vanilla.

  10. Wonderful post. (and love Flaming June) I wear perfume to bed nearly nightly. One of my favorites is L'Heure Vertueuse (III) by Cartier. The green, herbal lavender is very soothing for me, and sends me off to sleep on nights when I feel ultra stressed. On other nights, I'm not as picky, and tend to try just about anything. Nights are for me, and I don't have to worry about offending folks at work, so I often sample scents in the evening. It's rare that I find something so jarring that I have to scrub it off. Sweet dreams.


  11. For bed wear, I take fragrance oils and mix them with a scentless moisturizer like Cetaphil, massaging them into my neck, shoulders and extremities for relaxation. I always have 4 or 5 in little jars in a basket next to my bed, changing with my mood. Solstice Scents are nice, as are Avas and Bourbon French soliflores. I have mixed Youth Dew bath oil but you have to be sparing given the wallop this packs. For those who like their scented body cremes professionally mixed, I recommend Antica Farmacista's Ambre as a good night choice.

  12. Narcisso Rodriguez L'eau for Her is comforting for bed. Just looking at the colour of the bottle one would dare to dream the nicest dream ;)

  13. I too wear Bleu to bed. Also Chanel No. 5 in the body lotion, L'Air de Rien in the body cream version, White Musk body cream from the Body Shop and Bottega Venetta Eau Legere. They're all comforting scents, florally unspecific, nothing edible, nothing shrill, green or citrusy.

  14. Great post and conversation! In winter, Tom Ford's Tuscan Leather - I find is very soothing for bed. It's also really at its best in cold weather. In the summer, Jo Malone's White Jasmine and Mint.


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