Choose the right fragrance for your Halloween costume!

31st October, 2013

So, Halloween is here! A sacred day, on the eve of All Hallows, when Christians remember saints, martyrs, and others who have passed away. It’s also about sweets, horror films and dressing up in public and it being absolutely OK, which are some of my favourite things.

But when you’re debating which costume to don this year will you consider your fragrance? Well, you’re in luck, because I’ve done the thinking for you!

Well, I for one am THROUGH with decaying animated corpses who somehow smell like J-Lo’s latest, so here are few suggestions for fragrances to match your outfit this Halloween:


Already, we have a problem. Vampires have changed, somewhat, over the past few years – so which vamp are you going for? If you’re aiming for the traditional Count Drac, then as far as I’m concerned a good dash of patchouli oil should work nicely. I mean, the man sleeps in soil and I doubt he’s bothered to splash-out on plumbing in that absurd castle of his.

However, we now have pretty, sensitive vampires like Edward Cullen, and I refuse to believe someone as COMPLETELY BEAUTIFUL AND PERFECT as R-Pattz could smell fusty, musty and dusty.

Despite those boyish good looks, we must remember that he is 112 years old, so I don’t think he’s going to be dousing himself in 1 Million.

For our sparkly Nosferatu, I’m opting for Le Male, by Jean Paul Gaultier – modern, vaguely stylishbut with a nod to tradition. I feel he would find some comfort in the retro-visuals it comes with. If you’re more of a True Blood type, then I imagine you’ll just need to bathe in bourbon and get sweaty. (Disclaimer: I have never seen True Blood)


This one seems easier – I’m instantly thinking of L’Ombre Fauve from Parfumerie Generale. It smells, as many have said before me, like fur. Good fur. It has enough earthiness for a creature who spends a good amount of time running through the woods (which they absolutely do), and it’s a bit sexy. And werewolves are a bit sexy, no?

Just slightly sexy...

Anyway, back to that list...


It’s a fact* that all witches are brilliant. They were feminists long before Mary Wollstonecraft came along, AND they can do actual magic. Brilliant. It also seems that they often like to indulge in carnal pleasure with man, woman and (sometimes) animal, so we’re not looking for a nice quite skin scent, here. Basically, witches are bloody fabulous, and would smell accordingly.

The Sanderson Sisters get a trio of scents, each outrageously loud, feminine and (of course) sexy.

For Winfred: Shalimar from Guerlain – The oldest, the original, the leader.

Sarah: Alien from Thierry Mugler - Modern, youthful and audacious.

And then there’s Mary, still dangerous, but a bit naïve. For here I’m choosing another Guerlain - Le Petit Robe Noire; That cherry just gives the right amount of sweetness.

Loud, sexy and a little bit dirty. A witch.

Frankenstein’s Monster

Tricky. Very tricky. We have to remember that this chap has been in the ground for some days – that flesh is going to be getting *pretty* pungent by now. We must also consider that Vic Frankenstein was a very good scientist, so that lab would be kept very clean.

So something that smells chemical, clean, and yet unclean. It has to be Psychotrope from Parfumerie Generale – if uncanny were a smell, this would be it.


A personal favourite – zombies are basically excellent. Scary, funny, sweet – they have it ALL. Decaying flesh, animated. I feel it should be Charogne by Etat Libre d’Orange, after all this is a fragrance based on rot. Let’s remind ourselves of the poem that inspired this fragrance, shall we?

My love, do you recall the object which we saw,

That fair, sweet, summer morn!

At a turn in the path a foul carcass

On a gravel strewn bed,

Its legs raised in the air, like a lustful woman,

Burning and dripping with poisons,

Displayed in a shameless, nonchalant way

Its belly, swollen with gases.

Yes, thanks Charles. Maybe just ‘I love you’ next time, eh?

But is Charogne rotten enough? Perhaps not. Maybe if you added another from the house, Charogne X Secretions Magnifiques? Yes. That will do beautifully.

So, there you have it, A FLAWLESS guide to your fragrance this year.


*literally not a fact

Shalimar Pumpkin Illustration: Grant Osborne

  • Share this

About the author: Callum Langston-Bolt

Callum Langston-Bolt worked for several years in fragrance after accidentally landing a job in a perfume shop while studying English. From the West Country he has been settled in London for seven years. His interests include fragrance, film, wine and dogs. He helps run the monthly fragrance meet-up Perfume Lovers London with Odette Toilette and Laurin Taylor.


Advertisement — comments are below