A Scented Advent, December 1

I know some of you have been drooling, as have I, over the luxurious Advent calendars several cosmetic and fragrance brands sell as this time of year. Some of us were chatting back and forth about this on our blogs, and lo! a plan was born. I have a refillable Advent calendar, and I have placed in it some of the surprise samples sent by a kind perfumista — the remnants of a “traveling box” of perfumes that circulated among a group of enthusiasts, each adding some to send on the the next recipient. So I won’t know what I’m going to get on any given day, since I won’t look (I promise!) other than to make sure it will fit.

Refillable wooden Advent calendar
My fragrance Advent calendar

I’m going to try to write an Advent blog entry every day of December until Christmas, about the surprise fragrance of the day from the calendar. Wish me luck! They will be short posts, out of necessity. I love the Advent season, when the Christian world awaits the arrival of Baby Jesus and the renewal of hope. I love everything about it: the floral and evergreen decorations wafting their scents through the air; the special foods; the outdoor lights; the glorious music; Christmas trees! Now I have one more reason to enjoy the season.

Day 1’s scent is Nice Bergamote, from Essential Parfums. Created by Antoine Maisondieu and launched in 2018, it is classified by Fragrantica as a “citrus aromatic.” Notes listed there include bergamot, jasmine, ylang-ylang, cedar and tonka bean; the brand website also mentions rose petals.

Bottle of Nice Bergamote eau de parfum with ingredients
Nice Bergamote, by Essential Parfums; image from brand website.

At first sniff on my skin, this is a very pleasing bergamot-centered fragrance. I think it would appeal equally to women and men, on themselves and on each other. I wouldn’t call it highly distinctive, though. As soon as I sniffed, I thought “I’ve smelled this before — where?” Alas, I haven’t been able to dredge up a specific scent that this resembles, but it might be Commodity’s Bergamot. Be that as it may, Nice Bergamote is clearly a high-quality fragrance with a terrific juicy opening and a pleasant dry-down.

The fresh bergamot note lasts a surprisingly long time on my skin; those citrus top notes usually leap out of the gate, make their presence known, and gallop off in a froth of lightness after as little as ten minutes. I think there’s an herbal note in this structure, not listed, that has the effect of extending the longevity of the bergamot top note, with its green astringency. It’s a bit like basil, but it’s not basil.

Advent Day 1 summary: Nice Bergamote is nice, but I don’t feel the need to rush out and buy a bottle. I’m very glad to have this sample to try, though! And if I did yearn for a full bottle, the price is very reasonable: 72 euros for 100 ml, which includes a 20% VAT. The brand also sells 10 ml travel sprays, which I always appreciate. Nice work, Essential Parfums!

20 thoughts on “A Scented Advent, December 1

  1. Beautiful calendar! I found a 12 day calendar box from a couple of years ago (I thought i might give it away to someone with little kids for creative use, but never did) and filled mine with 24 perfumes, with my son’s help. Since I have my 365 project, I had to pick the 24 but no idea what will come up on what day. I figure on Christmas I’ll have a perfume present under the tree to open (even if I have to buy it for myself for my family to gift me!)

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    • Yay! And I’m totally in favor of self-directed perfume gifts, lol! My husband actually has an excellent batting average when he has chosen something for me himself — in fact, I can’t even think of any I haven’t liked — but he would rather have me prioritize what I really want. I’m happy to oblige!

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  2. I love that Advent calendar. It’s so nice! I’m opening my Mariage Freres tea advent calendar. The tea of the day is a The Verte and it’s divine. I’m so glad I purchased the tea calendar. I’ll be trying my perfume sample later today I have to wait until after my Zoom perfume training class with Victoria Fodorovna of Bois de Jasmin. This one is on woody scents. The first one was on spices. Must go get ready for it now.

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    • A tea calendar sounds divine! Enjoy your class, I’d love to do those some time! Victoria is one of the only perfume bloggers whose videos I have also enjoyed, and she’s definitely the most knowledgeable.
      Right now the only teas I’m drinking are things like Gypsy Cold Care and Echinacea Plus, as I developed a bad cold in the last day or so. I felt bad enough yesterday that I took a home COVID test; luckily, it was negative, but I’m staying away from other people today anyway, and working from home.

      Come back after class and tell us about your perfume sample!

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    • Thank you! No, I don’t know what’s behind each door; I eyeballed this group of samples, picked out the small ones that will fit in the little drawers, and dropped them in! It’s more fun to have a little surprise, I think.

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  3. That looks proper! I enjoyed Nice Bergamote too. It might have reminded me of something by Atelier Cologne. I ended up buying a travel spray of Mon Vetiver from Essential Parfums and may get one of Rose Magnetic as well.

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  4. I spent several minutes looking for each number on your calendar 🙂 Since I never had any Advent calendars before, I didn’t realize until today that the numbering wasn’t necessarily sequential! Very nice calendar. I like that it can be re-used.

    I don’t expect much from perfume with that name, so I’ll give it a try if I ever get a chance but it doesn’t seem like something to seek out.

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    • Yes, part of the fun of Advent calendars for kids is to find the next number. The paper ones like those we had as children (where you pull open a flap to see a picture behind it) are densely illustrated, to make it more of a puzzle.

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    • I need to find one like yours that is re-useable. I’m using my Mariage Freres tea advent calendar for perfume. I love the tea so much I’m on Day 6 already and it’s only Dec. 2 IRL. LOL So I’m putting random perfume samples in the little empty box slots and I’m using that for my perfume DIY advent calendar,. We non-crafty people are good at easy fixes, at least I am.
      Yesterday I sampled Good Girl Gone Bad by Kilian again and it opens beautifully with orange blossom, jasmine and peach. Then it fails in the drydown (in my opinion of course) because the structure just isn’t there. It needs more woods and maybe some spices in the basenotes I think.

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      • I was looking at that Mariage Freres calendar, but I just couldn’t bring myself to pay that much for 25 bags of tea… Am I wrong in thinking that those bags are for a single cup of tea? Or are they larger, so that one could put it in a 32 oz teapot?

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        • It’s a small tea bag, but I get 2 large mugs of tea from each one, and all the teas have been amazing. My favorites thus far have been a white tea with rose hips (divine!) and a wonderful green tea with jasmine. I love the Mariage Freres blue tea, also. I bought a box of their Noel blue tea a while ago and I’m still enjoying it. I know it was a lot to pay for 25 bags of tea, but it seemed cheap in comparison to the Guerlain, YSL and Dior calendars that tempted me. Economists call this ‘bracketing.’ Apparently if consumers see something for, say, $200 and then something similar is available for $100, consumers generally think the $100 item is a bargain, even when it’s actually still not a bargain at all.

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