Caron Nuit de Noel


77 reviews

71% would repurchase

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$

Package Quality: 4.2

Price: $$$


on 8/25/2015 6:41:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Very Oily, Fair, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Brown

I am fascinated by the art of fragrance and am trying to learn more. I went on a bit of a splurge, getting several vintage samples of Caron fragrances from Surrender to Chance. I tell you: they just don't make 'em like they used to! I did a little Internet research to learn about notes and so forth, and was very curious about Nuit de Noel. It seemed sort of polarizing, mainly because--to my way of thinking--it just didn't match many people's idea of what "Christmas" should smell like. I think the problem arose because of the modern, consumer version of Noel, and not from a sense of history/tradition, in this case, in France, and one person's unique fragrance vision of this.

I got a vintage bottle of Eau de Parfum on ebay--in the gorgeous opaque bottle. This is absolutely a unique fragrance and nothing like the insipid stuff churned out these days by every last celebrity and their dog. You know things have fallen to pieces when former grand fragrance houses churn out, oh, a dozen versions of a formerly unique scent, to keep up with the fickle aspirational market. Sigh.

Nuit de Noel is a lovely warm mix of smokiness, sweet toffee, subtle pine. I can see how this can evoke a winter evening in France many decades ago, as one might stroll in the evening, picking up fresh pastries as wood smoke drifts from chimneys. I spent a year in Finland as an exchange student many years ago, and on Christmas Eve, townspeople gathered in the town square in the oldest part of the town; a large Christmas tree was in the center, giving off the scent of pine. The cold winter air smelled of smoke, pipes, cardamom...

If you want vanilla cookies and eggnog, look elsewhere. This is far more sophisticated and subtle. Of the Caron scents I've tried, this, and vintage Poivre (oh, what a beauty!) are my favorites.

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

on 9/29/2014 1:05:00 PM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Olive, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

Bumping the vintage extrait NdN to 5 stars. I was also pleasantly surprised that the modern NdN EdT in the faux stingray covered bottle is easily worth four stars. Despite it's name and some of the gourmand references in some of the reviews below, this is nothing like a modern sweet gourmand. NdN does open relatively sharply but undergoes a substantial evolution into a spectacularly gorgeous warm and deep dry down. If you are new to vintage fragrances but wish to acquire a taste for them, give the fragrance time to soften.

Nuit de Noel EdT stands on its own merits. It's not merely a second string compromise until you can source NdN extrait. It comes in a 30 ml/one ounce cylindrical bottle encased in faux stingray. With all,the reformulations, I don't know if other bottle types or strengths of NdN are similar to what I have experienced. I am NOT generally a fan of any EdT formulations (except for Chanel 19, cristalle and some vintage diors which are totally different formulations from EdP or extrait). With respect to Caron, my preference is almost always extrait, preferably vintage. I have NdN in both modern EdT and vintage extrait, both of which are readily available on line for a far more reasonable price, relative to the more widely acclaimed Tabac Blond or Poivre. I think I read somewhere that NdN was the first Caron fragrance to use Mousse de Saxe. So, NdN would be an ideal intro to Caron.

For its modest price, the NdN EdT is relatively lush, well balanced, warm, smooth and well blended. It opens with a touch of citrus orange, then spiced rose, jasmine and ylang-ylang, and within a few minutes, a version of a caron dry down, a spiced, not sharp (no high in the nasal passage effect), almond/heliotrope effect (maybe it's the vanilla, anise and leather in the mousse de saxe base). NdN EdT is not throat parchingly powdery. It is in fact less powdery than some modern fragrances, such as, Lutens Fumerie Turque; modern Guerlain LHB extrait (that NdN seems to reference); or modern Chamade extrait (I adore Chamade and think of it as moistly pollinated, not powdery, but I know some reviewers think powder). NdN has Iris and coumarin, tonka or vanilla that might amplify the powdery effect. The powder is dry and does NOT reference old fashioned cosmetics, but rather spices, like clove, cinnamon and carnation. It is NOT sugary or gourmand in the modern sense.

A dab of vintage NdN extrait, is a much deeper, richer and even softer version of the EdT, less sweet and slightly more leather, incense and rose. The extrait makes me think of lush suede instead of the leather in Caron vintage tabac blond. I would not hesitate to wear either Edt or extrait on a cool spring or even a warm autumn day; it's not merely winter despite its name. There is nothing jarring or disturbing (nothing sharp like FM Noir Epices, musc Ravageur or a guerlain opening). NdN is neither animalic, indolic or overly phenolic on my skin. My chemistry works well with FM UFdC and with Guerlain Pamplemousse, which are problematic for others, but I cannot wear vintage narcisse noire extrait; vintage Schiaperelli Shocking; vintage Piguet Bandit; or, to a lesser extent, modern Caron acasciosa extrait). I think NdN is easily wearable. Don't buy vintage NdN that is too dark.

I am not sure why NdN or the spicier, relatively sharper Mitsouko (either modern extrait or vintage PdT) get old fashioned or musty comments. Both of them are warm, glowing, well-rounded complex, 'dry' chypres, or in NdN's case, floral wood chypre oriental. I can understand a musty comment regarding a traditional green leather birch tar oak moss chypre, but that is not the case here.

Note: I have tried two other caron EdT editions encased in faux stingray covered bottles: Parfum Sacre Intense and Pui Bellodgia. I cannot recommend either. Both EdT versions PSI and PB are nothing like vintage Parfum Sacre ( now discontinued) or vintage Bellodgia extrait.

on 1/31/2012 4:30:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Other, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brunette, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

I'm not sure how I went so long without reviewing this. It was my second Caron purchase years ago and a true classic chypre. This reminds me of Christmas eve mass, cold crisp air, the woodiness of evergreens, roses and incense. It dries down on my skin as a rich oakmoss and honey with a hint of rose. Surprisingly does well in cold winter weather or the heat of summer.

on 10/21/2011 9:59:00 AM

Age: 44-55

Skin: Combination, Other, Not Sure

Hair: Brown, Other, Other

Eyes: Brown

If NdN does get reformulated per IFRA regulations, then it'll be gutted. NdN has a massive hit of the classic Daltroff Mousse de Saxe accord -- geranium, licorice, leather, iodine, and vanillin according to some sources, Oakmoss, Licorice, Myrrh, Cedar moss according to Ayala Moriel. In any event, the oakmoss would go, as might the cedar moss.

If it's the classic formula, NdN, created in 1920(!!) is a dark, intense balancer, a much drier and darker version of the gently spicy vanillic ambres popular at the time like L'Origan. It is simultaneously a chypre, woody, spicy, ambre, incense, and floral, with a leathery feel. It goes on with few top notes, and hits its heartnote/basenote stride almost instantly. Then NdN unpeels for hours in curls of basenote combinations -- dry, wood, spice, smoke, balsamic, oakmoss bitter, vanillic sweet.

One of the most lyric reviews I ever read for it mentioned that the reviewer's mother and grandmother used to wear NdN with fur coats, and the scent instantly evoked a memory of rubbing her face in her mother's fur coat as she was on her way to a party.

NdN is really a fragrance for basenote junkies, just as 4711 and the classic Eau de Colognes are a festival of aromatic top notes. I love NdN when it's deep winter, especially if I'm going to be outside. It's a meditative fragrance, one of deep thought. The notes, per Ayala Moriel, are: Cedarwood, Rose, Orris, Mousse de Saxe accord (Oakmoss, Licorice, Myrrh, Cedar moss), Vetiver, Sandalwood, Castoreum, and per Caron, are accords of jasmine, Saxon moss, and amber. Some sources mention ylang-ylang, which I must admit is something I've thought, more than once, I was catching whiffs of in NdN; I will admit, however, that my ylang-ylang sniffer might easily confuse moss/smoke/licorice for ylang-ylang.

All in all, pretty delicious stuff!

5 out of 5 people found this review helpful.

on 10/9/2011 1:14:00 AM

Age: 25-29

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Neutral

Hair: Red, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

I am simply dying to try the parfum of Nuit de Noel, because the EDT that I have seems like a ghost of what it really could be. There's a richness that seems to have dropped out of it. It seems like it's just always barely out of reach. You think you've pinned down the fragrance, and then it just flits off and becomes an abstract smell again.

It is a glorious smell, however. Nuit de Noel, to me, is a very creamy nutty incense fragrance. It was once also wrapped up in a gorgeous, mossy, powdery frosty mousse de saxe accord, but the newer formulations (due to IFRA regulations) have been rendered a weak ghost of what it once was.

It's still just beautiful, however, reminiscent of the heady scents of Roman Catholic incense and roasting chestnuts wafting through the streets, settling in the furs on the shoulders of a young lady in an aldehydic rose perfume sipping on hot vanilla cream.

Nuit de Noel in EDT is truly charming, but I think I would hold out for a bottle of the parfum before I considered purchasing it again. It's just lacking something to ground it, and I just can't quite put my finger on it.

9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

Age: 25-29

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Not Sure

Hair: Black, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Hazel

Christmas Eve begins with nutty Christmas pudding, ends in church full of incence.

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

on 4/1/2011 8:55:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Very Oily, Medium, Warm

Hair: Black, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Brown

Dear Lord, this is one GORGEOUS fragrance! And I'm only talking about the EDT! If even the EDT is a thing of such breathtaking beauty, I can't begin to imagine just how mind blowing the Parfum must be! I really don't understand how some people find this difficult to wear, unpleasant, heck MEDIOCRE, even (?!), but then again, not everyone has the right skin chemistry &/or personality to be able to pull off a dark, classic Oriental like this. To my nose & on my skin, Nuit de Noel is one of the darkest, most sensual, most complex, most delicious & most wonderfully old-fashioned aromas I've ever had the pleasure of smelling. Not only that, it also boasts of a truly unique, one-of-a-kind, composition/structure. Instead of the usual volatile citruses at the top, there are jasmine, rose & ylang-ylang, notes which are commonly found in the heart/middle. So, instead of evaporating after 10-15 minutes like the top notes usually do, these florals pretty much remain throughout most of the duration of the scent, gloriously mingling with sandalwood, tuberose, musk, amber & the famous mousse-de-saxe/Saxon moss accord (which is said to be a special blend of geranium, licorice, leather, iodine and vanillin). And the overall effect on my skin (& clothes) is nothing short of stunning & mouthwatering, with a distinct gourmand feel. Imagine, if you will, a bowl of freshly roasted chestnuts, over which someone has drizzled sinfully rich vanilla cream topped with dried rose petals, incense, sandalwood & moss... mmmm... HEAVENLY. Makes me hungry just thinking about it... LOL.

If you love dark, sensual Orientals like Shalimar, Habanita (in fact, Nuit de Noel is the woodier, lighter, more elegant older sister... minus the pipe tobacco note, of course), Vol de Nuit, Samsara, Must de Cartier, Coco, Opium, Youth-Dew &/or Dune, sombre chypres like Mitsouko & 1000 (although formally classified as an Oriental, Nuit de Noel also has a strong earthy, semi-chypre feel to it), or even gourmand-y Floral Orientals like L'Heure Bleue & Tocade, then Nuit de Noel is another one to add to the collection. Oh, & speaking of the name, I also don't get the Christmas Eve reference either. LOVE the gorgeous vintage-style bottle, which matches the scent perfectly, in my opinion.

Fragrance family: Classical Woody Oriental

Fragrance notes:

Top: Jasmine, Ylang-ylang, May Rose
Heart: Sandalwood, Tuberose, Mousse de Saxe
Base: Musk, Amber

(*source: Michael Edwards)

15 out of 17 people found this review helpful.

on 12/26/2010 12:15:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Combination, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Brunette, Straight, Medium

Eyes: Hazel

(EDT) On xmas eve, I tried on Nuit de Noel and experienced a polite but quirky vintage floral. It seemed to me that there was a hint of strange violet in the notes, though there may or may not actually be. It faded all too quickly and I am left with a vague impression and a deep desire to sample the parfum. No sale for the EDT though.

1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

on 4/16/2010 1:02:00 PM

Age: 36-43

Skin: Sensitive, Fair, Warm

Hair: Blond, Wavy, Medium

Eyes: Green

This reiew is for the Edt. it took me a whole day of sniffing my wrist to understand Nuit de noel, as other reviewers have mentioned it is deep, rich, well blended woody powdery and spicy. it reminds me of NAHEMA, my husband loves it and my 12 y.o son sayd it smells like perfumed poo.

5 out of 8 people found this review helpful.

on 12/5/2009 12:58:00 AM

Age: 30-35

Skin: Sensitive, Fair-Medium, Warm

Hair: Other, Straight, Fine

Eyes: Other

Originally posted 7/23/05: I wanted to get this and was thankfully able to try it before I bought it. Oh my this fragrance,sadly,is horrible. It smelled like woods,powder and something EXTREMELY musty and horribly sharp. Awful,awful fragrance. EDIT 4/26/07 Tested this out again recently and I still don't like it. I tried to like it! I really tried! But I just couldn't. This smells very much like cat urine or something. Had to wash this off my arm soon after applying it as I couldn't suffer through to the complete dry down. I've been loving some of the older Caron's that I've been able to try out but alas, even though this is a great love of many,this is not one of them. EDIT: 12/4/09 Ok so I've been very good at giving some older fragrances a chance and faithfully give them a sniff every year to see if things have changed in liking them or not. I still am not a fan of no.5 but after recently being given a vintage bottle of Arpege I started to understand the love. Then today in honor of this Christmas month I decided to give NdN another sniff/chance and layered it on heavily today TWICE! I think I'm starting to get it but only a bit. There is a large chemical layer to this but I'm catching traces of powdery florals and for some crazy reason what smells like to me to be cinnamon and maybe some slight vintage rose? I'm sure if I wore this to a family Christmas event I'd get crinkly noses from the kids but I'm curious about NdN and where repeated wearings might take me. Also I noticed that as I'm getting older I'm starting to move more into territory I would have ran from 5 years ago. Yikes! That was scary to say. lol! I love Caron fragrances, Tabac Blond being my number 2 fave,so maybe that's why I kept trying. Glad I did. I can't make my mind up completely yet as I might hate it next week. We'll see. But for now I'll move it from a one to a three lippies for safe middle ground. And as a side note I noticed that I was able to get a better representation of the frag after applying it to my outer forearm instead of my inner wrist like I always do. Outer wrist allows for the floral aspect to come to the forefront whereas inner wrist causes the bleach/cat "odor" effect. Will update when/if things change.

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