Hand in hand with the holidays come many a limited-edition candle. Usually, it’s scented like some overly saccharine sugar cookie, toothpaste-like peppermint stick, or pine tree reminiscent of those that dangle from cab drivers’ rearview mirrors—none of which sound enticing now, or post-December 25. Enter Diptyque, a brand that never fails to add some nondenominational and sophisticated delights to the mix. This year, the French fragrance house partnered with Tsé & Tsé (a Parisian duo that designs everything from table lamps to jewelry) for its latest candle collection, which explores more exotic aromas, like Orange Chaya—a blend of quince, cinnamon and ginger reminiscent of the South Asian tea. The lustrous green jar, Écorce de Pin, mixes the scent of snow-covered firs with that of hinoki (a Japanese cypress), along with cedar and patchouli, to create a warm, smoky eau. Encens des Indes recalls the gifts of the Magi—incorporating notes of rose, cornflower and myrrh. These seasonal treats for the senses are guaranteed to please long after the presents have been unwrapped (and returned).
$68 each, diptyqueparis.com
I do not have a Christmas tree in my home (too much of a mess, no time to water, and let’s not even get started on my cat possibly scaling the branches), but Dr. Hauschka’s Limited-Edition Spruce Warming Bath Essence makes it smell like there is one. Although the notion of bathing in pine needles doesn’t sound appealing, at the end of a day during this frantic yet festive season, this woody-scented blend is a divine way to de-stress. Give this green fluid to the Grinches in your life, send it to the Ebenezer Scrooge of the family—a luxurious soak steeped with tension-relieving spruce essential oil (along with hydrating jojoba) will boost their mood, warm their frostbitten toes, and possibly even melt their hearts. Plus, it’s guaranteed to keep them in the holiday spirit long after the Fraser fir is put curbside.
The clock is ticking and the weeklong countdown to Christmas has officially begun. If you’re still on the hunt for a gift guaranteed to impress the woman that has everything (like, say, Rihanna, whose designer cache required a closet expansion), look no further than Lancôme’s La Vie Est Belle Féerie de Noël. The beauty brand teamed up with Reuge (a Swiss music-box maker) and Baccarat (a French crystal company) to create a unique combination of sound, scent, and sparkle.
Taking more than 120 hours to complete, each music box features the iconic La Vie Est Belle fragrance housed inside two glass bell jars—a miniature Baccarat chandelier (composed of 133 crystal drops and forty-eight tubes) dangling above it. The luxe scene is set to “Beautiful Days” by Venus, the same tune that plays in the eau’s ad campaign. With only fifteen in existence—and at $35,000 each—this sophisticated sound machine is certainly a chart topper in more ways than one. Plus it’s guaranteed to never be out of tune. Beat that, Beyoncé.
VFiles, an all-encompassing digital destination that encourages its users to curate without inhibition, has blended three distinct eaux of its own: Femme, Homme, and Sport. All are unisex, and the descriptions are as cheeky and entertaining as the company’s community platform. Femme uses notes of carnation, lily, and mahogany to entice—leaving anyone who smells it (guy or girl) in a “flurry of unquenched ardor.” Sport, with a hint of eucalyptus, is meant to recall the “abiding aroma of a sensual steamroom,” rather than zingy, citrus-infused spritzes marketed by men surfing or doing some other “sexy” activity. Homme isn’t just for the boys either—this combo of salty carbonated water and sweet white rose swings both ways. In the digital era of oversharing, perhaps this trio is right on point.
Of all the sensory experiences that define the holidays (seeing the falling snow, feeling the heat emit from a crackling fire, and hearing those tireless Christmas jingles), it’s the smells of December that are perhaps the most lasting. Just in time for the season of giving (and getting), fragrance icon Frédéric Malle launched his Joyeux Noël candle last night with a dinner at Wolfgang Puck’s Sidebar in Beverly Hills. Puck’s wife, Gelila Puck, assumed hosting duties alongside Barneys New York (with whom he’s partnered with for thirteen years)—drawing the likes of China Chow, artist Tierney Gearon, Co’s Stephanie Danan and Justin Kern, and Parabellum’s Jason Jones and Gabriela Artigas.
Working together with nose Dominique Ropion, whom Malle calls “the greatest living perfumer today,” the candle’s fragrance originated from a scent he created many years ago for a charity at the Centre Pompidou. Inspired by Ingmar Bergman’s Fanny & Alexander, a film that also resonated with Ropion, the festive blend features notes of pine, cinnamon, and cotton candy for an unexpected boost. The limited-edition bougie is presented in a box designed by artist Konstantin Kakanias, a longtime collaborator with Malle. “All of the illustrations are really down to earth—exact renditions of the way we see the atmosphere,” he explained of Kakanias’ contemporary caricatures.
And for those of us who barely have time to shop, let alone wrap, consider eighteen of Malle’s classic scents—all boxed up in Liberty of London prints (marking the five-year relationship between the brand and the British retailer). If these limited-edition launches are any indication, this perfumer is quite the team player.