Jeff's Holiday 2022 Wishlist

Jeffs's Holiday Wishlist Post Graphic with Bottles of Perfumes for desktop browsers

We all have those items we add to our lists but never seem to check off those lists. It's no real reflection on the value or quality of those items, it's more of a matter of timing, expense, or something else getting in its way. Throughout the year, those items can add up as well but the holiday wish list is a great opportunity for them to grab hold of the spotlight and finally get their well-deserved shine. Here are a few that I'm hoping will find their way under the tree or hidden in my stocking.

Monsieur - Frederic Malle

This has probably been my most wanted fragrance all year but I've sadly skipped over it or missed the opportunity to buy it on several occasions. I've had a few samples and a pretty decent sized decant I've been working through so that probably explains some of my hesitancy. Nonetheless, this is top-to-bottom, a classic woody-amber that never disappoints and always delivers whenever I wear it. It starts off smoky and sharp with dried woods and incense on top of some wonderfully boozy and citrus notes. Eventually the woody notes retreat and allow the tangerine to sparkle, the rum to glisten, and invites in a wonderfully warm vanilla to sweeten up the mix. Monsieur lasts forever, and the balance stays tight throughout, but down the line a few hours, you also get this peppery patchouli skin musk that reminds me of working in the yard.

No 17 - Civet Chypre

Don't let the civet in its name fool you. This is a very welcoming and accessible fragrance that tends to lean more floral and citrus to me than anything else. You definitely get a nice hint of civet but it's coated heavily in neroli, ylang-ylang, and some sweet amber notes. Even the chypre side of things is rather mild. The classic combo of rose and oakmoss are certainly present, but this isn't your grandmother's easter service chypre. No 17 - Civet Chypre is modern, subtle, and masterfully blended with plenty of wear and projection.

Sellier - Byredo

I truly love the Night Veils line from Byredo but Sellier is definitely the stand out for me. It's a perfect blend of high quality leather accords restrained by the soft touch of cashmeran that provides some powdery sandalwood type notes. There's a smokiness in the combination of both met with some green pops from tobacco leaf and earthy oakmoss. It all feels and plays very lux. This is fine bourbon in a Baccarat rocks glass, warm fireplaces and leather sofas, discussing the estate with grandfather as he decides who will take over the family empire.

Un Patchouli - Obvious

We love patchouli here, and typically we go for the classic varieties featuring wet soil, mossy greens, and chalky chocolates but I really enjoy this interpretation. Obvious does such a great job of selecting a note to feature and then expressing it in a way that is unique and uncommon. They chosen to go really dry and green with patchouli in this instance and use its surrounding notes and accords to add the more common attributes. Tonka Bean is its biggest counter-note bringing a waxy amber vanilla that goes its typical lactonic route at times. In the base you have these lovely soft and dried woods along with some resins to add some richness. It's so delicious!

Atlas Fever - Ex Nihilo

This is a perfect night out scent to me. It's a tonka bomb, but it's so well blended with bright and sweet red berries and a light smoky incense. With all that rich tonka, smoky incense, and red berry sweetness, you need something in the base to round it all out. That's where Atlas Fever really earns it keep with the softest, warmest wood base of guaiac wood and oily cedar. There's such a nice powdery sandalwood note that really brings it all home. Those wood bases seem to very much be a signature with the Ex Nihilo fragrances we wear and love and it really stands out with Atlas Fever.

Jeff's Picks

Photo of Monsieur
Photo of No 17 - Civet Chypre
Photo of Sellier
Photo of Un Patchouli
Photo of Atlas Fever

Such a classic woody amber that seems pretty simple in its note list, and in the story it wants to tell, but there is plenty of complexity in how it unfolds. To me you get a lot of wood and incense up top with the boozy, citrus notes whispering in the background. Over time, the conversation shifts and the woods retreat a bit while a sweet, amber vanilla joins the party. The name suggests it’s more of a masculine scent but I think anyone could wear it. It certainly has some scruff, and a peppery, skin musk in the base that is reminiscent of an arm lined with a little sweat and wood shavings, but like all Malle scents, there’s an elegance to its composition that goes beyond any boundaries. The patchouli and cedar really shine in the base as well. Perfectly scratchy.

This is a soft, approachable nod to both chypres and the sometimes challenging note of civet that can at times intimidate or turn away those with more sensitive sensibilities. Everything is made agreeable here though with citrus and amber dialing down the powdery floral pow of rose and oakmoss found in most chypres and also removing the teeth from the beastly bite of civet. It’s all there, just sweeter, and brighter, and neroli-er, making it far more enjoyable for all types of sensibilities.

Velvety leather scent that never goes too Hermes bag or brand new Mercedes. It’s more like the dark leather Chesterfield sofa, tempered by time, placed just in front of a burning fireplace. The cashmaren works its soft woods magic here giving powdery sandalwood vibes with some tobacco leaves and oak moss to add some earthy green. It’s a stunner and it will last for hours. Pour yourself a nice glass of fine bourbon and just enjoy the luxury of it all.

Not your standard patchouli featuring notes of chocolate or wet mossy earth. This focuses more on the green, leafier side of fresh field patchouli and then leaves all the sweet, amber notes up to Tonka Bean giving it a milky, vanilla breath that reads almost waxy at times. After an hour or so, a nice bed of soft woods and resin in the base brings everything together and you are left with this pleasantly balanced, yet atypical expression of patchouli. One might even call it delicious.

This is a tonka bean fragrance, first and foremost, and it’s a runaway horse that’s kept within the fence-lines by all the other notes within. All of which are working together tirelessly in tandem with everything they have to keep this bucking bronco from getting out and going wild. Tip your hat to the beautiful soft woods and smoky incense staying on the saddle as it jumps and kicks. Nod in appreciation to the subtle sweet berries keeping hold of the rope as it darts from side to side. They will all play their part in making this steely steed a champion and you will be there to reap the rewards of it.