The holiday season is filled with the most delicious smells of cinnamon, apple spice, peppermint, gingerbread, and more. These holiday smells have the ability to bring us comfort, peace, and joy the second they hit our noses. After all of the gingerbread houses and candy cane dreams fade away with the brink of the new year, hints of your favorite seasonal scents can be found in these 12 Scents of Christmas. When looking for the right fragrance for you, it may not be as easy as a click to an online purchase. Going in person to a department store or fragrance shop such as Sephora can be a huge help to someone who is looking for a signature scent.

Fragrances in general have three different types of notes. The top notes in a fragrance are the first impression your nose gets from a scent when applied to the skin. Top notes are typically blended with soft aromas with a tendency to evaporate quickly, lasting on average between 5 and 30 minutes.  Middle notes of a fragrance can always be referred to as “heart notes”, are usually not evident on the skin immediately, taking up to 30 minutes to fully develop. The middle notes are classified in fragrances as being warm or soft and can include such oils as chamomile, lavendar, and tea tree. Base notes usually are more heavy than the other notes of a fragrance, giving lasting intensity after the other notes fade away. Common base notes include more wood-based oils including Musk, Vanilla, and Sandalwood. The most important reason to try on a fragrance in stores is to get a glimpse of how your body’s chemistry will react to each note within a scent.  Generally taking up to two hours for a fragrance to fully develop through all the notes on the skin, you may want to sleep on your decision before making the purchase. If not, I have compiled the top 12 scents of 2011 that can keep anyone smelly fresh as a daisy this Christmas, and well into the new year!

1. Chanel No. 5  $105.00

Top Notes: Ylang-Ylang, Neroli, Aldehydes

Middle Notes: Jasmine, Mayrose

Base Notes:  Sandalwood, Vetiver


2. Gucci Gucci by Gucci  $63.00

Top Notes: Guava, Pear

Middle Notes: Tiare

Base Notes: Patchouli, Musk, Honey

3.  Vera Wang Anniversary$92 for 3.4oz

Top Notes: BergamotApple leavesMandarin 

Middle Notes: Dew drop accord, Gardenia, Rose, Orange blossom

Base Notes: Musk, Orris, Amber, Cedar


4. Bond No. 9 – Washington Square  – $230 for 100ml; $170 for 50ml

Top Notes:  Geranium, tarragon, purple rose

Middle Notes: Bergamot, honey, vintage amber

Base Notes:  Leather accord, vetiver and musk



5. Very Hollywood by Michael Kors$72 for 3.4oz

Top Notes: Mandarin, Iced bergamot, Wet jasmine, Ylang-ylang

Middle Notes:  Raspberry, Gardenia, Orris

Base Notes: Creamy amber, Soft white moss, Vetiver

 6. Pink Sugar by Aquolina  – $59 for 3.4 oz

Top Notes: Bergamot, Sicilian orange, Raspberry, Fig leaves, Lily of the valley

Middle Notes: Licorice, Strawberry, Red fruit, Cotton candy

Base Notes: Barbe-a-Papa, Vanilla, Caramel, Musk, Wood, Powder

7. Chloé ‘Love, Chloé 

Top Notes: Orange blossom, Pink pepper

Middle Notes: Iris absolute, Lilac, Hyacinth, Wisteria blossom, Heliotropine

Base Notes: Powdery musks, Talc, Rice powder



 8. Dolce & Gabbana  The One (Lace Edition) 

Top Notes: Sicilian lemon, tangerine, açaí

Middle Notes:  sugared magnolia, sheer honeysuckle, peach nectar

Base Notes: caramel, warm amber, cypress

* Only Available Until December 2011 (Special Edition)

9.  Daisy by Marc Jacobs 

Top Notes: StrawberryViolet LeavesRuby Red Grapefruit 

Middle Notes: Gardenia, Violet Petals, Jasmine

Base Notes: Musk, White Woods, Vanilla

10.Miss Dior Cherie by Dior – $98 for 3.4oz

Top Notes: Italian Mandarin

Middle Notes: Egyptian Jasmine

Base Notes: Patchouli

11. Fresh Brown Sugar Eau de Parfum$75 for 3.4oz

Top Notes: Sicilian lemon, tangerine, and Açaí

Middle Notes: Sheer Caramel

Base Notes: Sugared magnolia


12. Prada Amber Parfum

Top Notes: MandarinBergamotCardamom 

Middle Notes: PatchouliTonka BeanVanilla 

Base Notes: Vetiver, Neroli, Orange Blossom, Saffron, Suede