I don’t like to play favorites, but I love this scent. I’ve always adored the smell of pine and the intense bite you get from it. As a kid, I loved the smell of the living room when it had a real tree in it. Even when you touched the trunk and got sap stuck to your fingers, it was a mess, but at least it smelled wonderful. There’s something very austere about it too, and a quality that lends itself very well to the idea of a somewhat fussy Santa. So when I was putting together this little holiday collection, and casting the role of Santa, thinking of Noël Coward as St. Nick brought a smile to my face.
As both Noël and Santa were worldly characters, the scent itself emerged as a mixture of intercontinental ingredients. We have the balsam fir from Canada, Pinõn from the southwest, cedar from the Atlas Mountains of Algeria, and immortelle from the Mediterranean. I had never smelled immortelle until a couple months ago. On it’s own, it’s a thick and sticky resin that when diluted has a rich balsamic muskiness to it. For a while, I didn’t have the faintest idea what to do with it. I went to stay with my family, and one night while lying in my bed from “the high school years”, it hit me. I wrote down a rough formula on the nightstand and when I came home the next day I started on the real thing.
The scent came together faster than anything else I had worked on. I couldn’t believe it and insisted on working out a few more drafts. In the end, it was take #1 we went with and I couldn’t be prouder. The immortelle rounds out the sharp edges of the pine. It gives liquidity to the cedar and pinõn. Père is smooth and suave, rich and elegant. It’s a scent truly befitting of Coward himself.