Years ago, I was a Caron person. Caron was my perfume house. Then something happened and honestly, I haven’t been in a strong enough mental state to even process it. But, Caron the house, started to crumble. They reformulated everything. They started to launch uninspired new launches. In a competitive market, the house seemed to take some bad advice to heart. They wanted to modernize but lost all their character. The boutique in NYC shuttered and now the perfumes are difficult to find. This is a self-fulling prophecy. If it’s not available, you won’t sell it. It’s really a shame to see what has become of one of the oldest perfume houses in France.
I hold the bottles that I have dear. One that I regret not buying is Nuit de Noel. It’s more subdue and understated in comparison to the brand’s other offerings (at the time). I overlooked it. Now that it’s hard to find in the United States, I want a bottle because that’s the rules. I wear it now and see its charm.
Initially, I expected for a scent with this name to smell overtly like Christmas. It doesn’t. And anyone that tells me it does, it makes me wonder what Christmas is like for other people. This is like a burlesque, vampy floriental. There’s no sugar cookies, fir trees and eggnog. This perfume was created for a mistress and boy, can I ever tell that.
Nuit de Noel opens as a dusty, fruity floral with aldehydes. These aldehydes quickly burn off or merely flicker like a candle’s glow. The heart of Nuit de Noel is like a dusting powder floral. It’s like a moss meets rose incense. It’s warm, slightly creamy with hints of lactonic peach-y rose. It’s cosmetic-like but there’s more. Being that it’s a Caron, there’s the Mousse de sax accord prevalent. In the heart of the perfume, this accord adds a warmth to the powdery florals. There’s a spicy carnation but it doesn’t come across like Christmas spices. It comes across like a classic, masculine aftershave mixing with a woman’s French cosmetics. Nuit de Noel’s magic is in its base. It’s quintessential “Caronade”/mousse de sax. This is like green but balsamic moss, damp woods and powdery/animalic musk. Even in the EDT, this base is rich and luxurious.
Notes listed include jasmine, rose, ylang ylang, moss and amber. Originally launched in 1922. Original Perfumer – Ernest Daltroff
Give Nuit de Noel a try if you like vintage florientals. Or perfumes like Jean Patou Normandie, DSH Perfumes Pandora, Miller Harris Fleur Oriental, Vivienne Westwood Boudoir and/or Malle Une Fleur de Cassie. And of course, if you like any of the older Carons, then you should try this one.
The EDT wears more like an EDP. Projection is subtle but longevity is above average. A note on the extrait/parfum – It wears with a thicker density of the same notes. There’s a nuttiness in it that isn’t in the EDT. I really like the extrait but I’m also surprised by how good the EDT is. Both of the these formulations that I’ve tried are full-bodied.
The extrait is available at Caron. Sometimes bottles of the EDTs show up at discounters. Oh, Caron, I miss the way that you were.
Victoria’s Final EauPINION – Classic Caron of French florals over balsamic musk/moss. I don’t pick up any “Christmas” but I do pick up on a love affair in this composition!
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Bois de Jasmin – Comparison of vintage/modern.