Genre: Woody Oriental
The contemporary Nuit de NoŽl is a sweet woody oriental scent with a floral heart and a hint of gourmand edibility. As sometimes happens with relatively rich, dense scents, Nuit de NoŽl effectively does without distinct top notes, and delves right into an accord of vanilla, spices, orange blossom, soft, creamy woods, and a bit of iris. Time brings out a rose note with a touch of the peculiar yeasty quality I smell in certain live Gallica and Damask roses. The resulting olfactory arrangement suggests flowers and baked goods, which I suppose is consistent with the holiday theme.
I sense a distant kinship with Vol de Nuit here, but Nuit de NoŽl in its present form is a sweeter and simpler scent, with less prominent iris and without the edge contributed by the Guerlainís galbanum and herbal green notes. In stark contrast to so many contemporary scents, Nuit de NoŽl actually gains power, depth, and nuance in its drydown. Itís at its best three or four hours after itís applied, when a beguiling animalic musk warms the unctuous vanilla, amber, and sandalwood base notes. Happily, the drydown lasts for hours, with persistent sillage and a firm but unobtrusive presence.
Thereís been much talk of decline in Caronís feminine scents since Luca Turin and Tanya Sanchez savaged most of the collection, but Nuit de NoŽl still smells to me like a quality fragrance. Itís comfortable and versatile, with a development that belies its comparatively neutral opening. Try this if youíve enjoyed classic woody orientals like Vol de Nuit, LíHeure Bleue, or Bois des őles.
21st June, 2014 (last edited: 22nd June, 2014)
When I first exposed myself to this scent, it was in the form of the original parfum strength - and I never smelled a viler scent in my life. Take a tweed coat and a fur coat and throw them on a bonfire and then inhale deeply. The very worst thing I'd ever smelled that came out of a bottle.
The reformulation that is now available is a much toned down affair - this is now just a "very nice chypre," the sort of thing you would give a beginner to sniff and wear to introduce him or her to the chypre scent. Neither bad nor good, just acceptable.
I never understood how the original sold - or how it got that absurd name - Xmas Night should smell like pine, leather, vanilla, berries - not like a bonfire gone wrong.
This is a review of the extrait.
I find it wonderful, a powdery chypre with a big shot of carnation and jasmine. The clove feels like an extension of the carnation, and the subtle woodiness (I would never have guessed it was supposed to be pine) feels like like a subtle woodiness that's part of the chypre structure.
Like many of the Caron extraits, Nuit De Noel has that specific temperamental quirk where the powder note is strong enough to knock out your nose almost instantly, so it's quite easy to put on too much and run around thinking you smell of lovely subtle flowers while unknowingly choking everyone around you with monumental sneezy powder sillage. I prefer to dab on a single drop. Then, the wonderful flowers and woody greens may be a bit more in the background, but the powdery old-school aldehydes give it a wonderful depth and I feel like I'm smelling the whole thing.
There was a television commercial for make-up that aired when I was young. It tried to sell the viewer on the notion that nobody would even know you were wearing make-up! Not too bright, I took this to mean that make-up did nothing whatsoever. I thought if nobody notices, why wear it? To this day, Iíve never understood make-up.
Nuit de Noel strikes me similarly. It smells identifiably Ďperfumeyí yet on the level of perfume, it comes off as forcefully non-descript----intentionally under-recognizable. It is a soft chypre, soft like a seat-cushion filled with marshmallows. It doesnít evolve over time so much as it fades into the skin. Once on the skin, though, it doesnít disappear. It gives the impression of of something ostensibly hidden but easily found. Itís the person playing hide and seek who heads for the nearest tree, then hides behind it, peaking out often to see whatís happening.
Low wattage, low sillage, if you close your eyes, it might smell like either a tiny spritz of perfume or a whole lot of make-up. Great for a man if youíre willing to accept the implication.
My father gave my mother Nuit de Noel every year for her birthday. I bought the parfume and the toilet water. I am told that they are not made the way it used to be. I remember putting it on when I was 17 & probably over did it, as it lasted for hours.
I no longer find that the case, as I can use either the parfume or the toilet water & neither one of them last for very long. I would love some comments on this.
Not all Caron fragrances are masterpieces but they all share one very important characteristic: They are totally unpretentious. Nuit de NoŽl may not be the most spectacular EDT available but it is quite pleasant. And since it is not very popular nowadays, those who can wear it well can really make a statement. NdN cannot be compared to anything else on the market now except maybe some early 20's fragrances such as Chanel No5 (although very remotely). I just don't get the name though. My mother wore NdN a few times on Christmas Eve (as a conversation piece, essentially) but I cannot say that I find it particularly christmassy. To me, a fragrance with a Christmas theme should include notes such as nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves, orange peels, spruce, hot buttered rum or gingerbread. NdN has no such notes in it's olfactive pyramid:
Top notes : ylang-ylang, tincture of rose and jasmine
Middle notes: sandalwood and oak moss
Base notes: musk and amber
Nuit de NoŽl is a simple yet quite pleasant fragrance and I think it deserves a little more credit. I am glad most of us here gave it a good review!