By Ashley Kowalewski Unless you don’t have cable, any social-media…
Perfumed body creams, rich fragrances and gloriously scented candles: These are balms for our winter-weary souls.
The calendar says March—almost April—but the white stuff is still flying. Seriously flying. Snow flurries. Minus-zero temperatures.
This is when I wonder why I live in this hemisphere.
My solution: plenty of good food and wine, regular trips to the gym to keep the serotonin flowing, extra lunch dates with friends, and a serious approach to all things pampering and perfumed.
On that last note, I’m suggesting an intentional and focused step-by-step fragrance loving approach:
Step 1. Take a shower or bath using a beautifully scented body wash or bubble bath.
I love the fantasy of bubble baths: the glamorous foam, the sultry jazz in the background, the lights on dim. But the truth is, I find it hard to steal away and laze in the tub—the to-do list is too long and my brain is too busy.
On those Sunday afternoons when I manage it, it’s amazing. Research does tell us that it’s worth the effort since baths are scientifically proven to be comforting, soothing, mood-boosting wonders. It’s about the warmth, the water—and just being horizontal.
But when time is tight and you know a bath won’t happen, but you still crave that warm-water comfort, there’s always a shower. Seriously. It’s more do-able for most of us. But, we stress, take advantage of that shower! It’s a stolen moment made healing by upping the experience with your favourite fragrance in body–wash form.
Yeah, I know, sometimes this means a more expensive, designer-label price tag, but it’s worth it. It’s about living with style and grace. About enjoying the little things in life, About soothing the soul. Whether your budget is Body Shop or Weleda, Chanel or Tom Ford, we’re advocating an investment in your definition of luxe. Feel better, already, right?
Step 2. Slather on scented body cream in your favourite fragrance.
In the same mindset as the superlatively scented body wash, we advocate the liberal application of deliciously scented body cream.
I know this isn’t a radical notion, but sometimes we just need to be reminded to stop, and well, smell the roses—or oud, or lavender, or whatever aromatic combination that is our favourite.
It’s winter after all even if we’re officially into spring. At least our skin thinks it’s winter. And if you’re like the rest of us, your skin will appreciate the extra dose of moisture. Soft smooth skin—who doesn’t want that, no matter the season? And when it’s scented and sultry cream that we’re smoothing on. Wow, you will feel better. Guaranteed.
We chatted recently with the always elegant and articulate Laura Slatkin, founder of Nest Fragrances, about how she weathers the winter using fragrance strategically, and she spoke about her love of layering a favourite perfume with its matching scented body cream or lotion. “In the wintertime, when your skin is dry, it’s important to nourish it and feed it,” she says.
“I start every day with scented body cream on my arms and my legs and my decollété; and then I put the perfume on. And the combination of the perfume and the body cream creates a very complex rich aroma that you don’t really achieve with just the perfume, so I’m a big fan of that in the wintertime—and the summertime too, when your legs are bare and you get the glisten and glow that a really great moisture cream [delivers]. No one wants to look at dry skin. So I’m big on scented body cream.”
Step 3. Switch to a deeper, sexier scent to suit your cocooning mindset.
Slatkin also spoke about switching up your perfume for the darker, colder season. “Sometimes in the winter, we turn to a richer, more seductive, cozier scent too,” she adds. She mentions one of her recently launched scents, Coco Woods, “which is the essence of bittersweet chocolate combined with Thai ginger and Tiaré flower. And then it’s wrapped in Sequoia wood and sandalwood, so it’s very warm on the inside and very strong on the outside. It kind of reminds me of how women are today,” Slatkin muses, “they’re very warm and caring and sensitive on the inside and very strong on the outside, and very empower[ed].”
So instead of crisp, bright sparkling florals and citrus spritzes, why not try something deeper, darker or gourmand?
You can also go richer with your formula too, swapping in a perfumed oil or eau de parfum for your everyday, lighter-concentration eau de toilette. Again, it will linger longer if you’re layering it atop a body lotion.
Step 4. Create a feel-good, delicious-smelling space.
When the snowflakes are flying and you’re tucked in with Netflix or entertaining with good friends and comfort food, there truly is nothing like a great smelling space to take the edge off the bitter wind chill factor.
A scented candle does the trick. Or reed diffusers. Just get that scent out there. Try something with lavender or these warm cozy woods to help you relax and aid in de-stressing, or conversely, something bright, sparkling or citrusy to help buoy your winter-weary mood. And if you haven’t got a good book, pick one up. Or two. And enjoy the quiet moments, because in the end, we all know Spring will eventually arrive. It does every year.
So run a bath, luxuriate in body balms, dab on perfumed oil and light a room with scented candles and enjoy these cocooning days and nights.
Nest Fragrance Coco Woods Eau de Parfum, $98 (50 mL), www.sephora.com
Nest Fragrances Scented Candle in Sparkling Cassis, $42, www.nestfragrances.com
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