Messe de Minuit (Etro)

This fragrance is as close as I've ever gotten to midnight Mass-- which is to say nowhere near. Roman Catholicism was to my adolescent self what a steel cage is to a wild timber wolf; once I reached the age of independence, I left the church to go howl deliriously at the moon. But I still vicariously enjoy the scent of the incense smoke that settles on the coats, scarves, and hats of more devout friends at Christmastime. It blends so beautifully with the scents of wool and frigid, crystalline December night air. Borrow one of those garments, and that cozy, intimate aroma enfolds you in such a friendly way. No rambling sermons, no clumsy hymns, just beauty-- enough to soften the blow of having to give the scarf back.

ADDENDUM: I found Messe de Minuit very muted, but my coworker and friend Rachel did not. Though anosmic as the result of an allergic condition, she can detect the faintest aromachemicals in the air by taste alone; stronger chemicals cause her to have allergic/asthmatic reactions. Now, Rachel has never had a problem with any other perfume I've worn to work-- she used be a fragrance SA herself before anosmia struck, and she's always extremely supportive of others' fragrant adventures. But literally minutes after I applied Messe de Minuit, from clear across the office she reported that her lips and tongue were swelling! Contrite, I immediately scrubbed and went to plug in the portable electric fan. From now on, out of respect and fondness for my office mates, I'm going to refrain from open spritzing at work. At least if I do it from home before leaving, my sillage will have calmed down by the time I arrive!

Scent Elements: Bergamot, lemon, orange, citron, petitgrain, incense, myrrh, labdanum, galbanum, patchouli, musk, spices