Monday Question – Do You Have A Crazy Comfort Scent?

By Tara

Do you have a comfort scent that others might be surprised by?

Is there a perfume that makes you feel cosseted but isn’t the usual fluffy gourmand or oriental cashmere wrap?

Why is that particular perfume comforting to you?

Does your crazy comfort scent have a special association for you that makes it reassuring?


My Answer:

I was surprised recently when someone at Perfume Lovers London said their comfort scent was Chanel No.19. Although a great perfume, I find it the opposite of comforting! However, it works for her and that’s all that matters. Any perfume can be a comfort scent if it’s comforting to you. That’s the great thing about fragrance; it’s so individual it doesn’t have to conform to any rules.

My unexpected comfort scents are Ormonde Woman and Guerlain’s Vol de Nuit edt. I find something very calming about the deep dappled forest of Ormonde Woman, maybe because I have fond memories of childhood woodland walks. For some unknown reason, Vol de Nuit makes me feel centred and therefore comforted.

Please share your own contradictory comfort scents!


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82 Responses to Monday Question – Do You Have A Crazy Comfort Scent?

  1. Coty L’ORIGAN…. as simple and homely as it is… is fast becoming a comfort scent for me… Love it.

  2. behemot says:

    A very good question. I always enjoyed Coromandel, Mona di Orio Vanilla, and various ambers as comfort scents, while recently I found a lot of comfort in SL Tubereuse Criminelle. And normally I don’t wear tuberose. I have no idea what to think about it. So strange!

    • Tara says:

      Wow behemot, Tubereuse Criminelle as a comfort scent! That’s wonderful considering so people find it so very challenging. After hearing so much about it I was surprised to find it wasn’t intimidating as I feared when I finally tried it (albeit on a dipped paper -strip).

      I think sometimes those strange, utterly distinctive, fragrances can become addictive and therefore soothing in their own way.

  3. Tatiana says:

    My two favorite comfort scents are Chanel No.19 and Guerlain Mitsouko. Those two have the power to make me feel strong, confident, beautiful. They soothe my nerves when I’m rattled and brighten my day when I’m sad. I could snuffle my wrists all day wearing either of those two scents.

    • Tara says:

      Tatiana, I am starting to think that perhaps Chanel No.19 is a much more popular as a comfort scent than I had imagined.

  4. Alice says:

    Gourmands and rich orientals have never been comfort scents to me, I treat these with caution! I feel much more reassured in my favourite woods and soft leathers. Chanel 19 is a comfort to me in that is both dry and so familiar (as I’ve worn it for over 20 years, and its been a companion on many a difficult day). A recent discovery is Dior Leather Oud, which I wafted round in all weekend. To me it had elegance and depth – to those around me…. goodness knows what they thought!

    • Tara says:

      Ha ha, Leather Oud sure makes its presence known! I know not everyone gets the skank from it that I do, and I can imagine it being very elegant in that case.

      Another endorsement of Chanel No. 19 as a comfort scnet.

  5. Madeleine says:

    Hi Tara,

    Fracas would you believe? It’s not a tuberose diva on my skin, but just lovely soft buttery tuberose. When it seemed like everyone in the world was wearing it, I stopped wearing it out and reserved it for after work and bedtime and it has been a comfort scent ever since.


    • Alice says:

      Oh I agree on Fracas! I find it strange that 99% seem to get diva/voluptuous/extrovert/uber-feminine… etc, to me its just soft and cozy. But Iike you only wear it at home (and just a dab), as with many perfumes where my perception seems to differ so much from the general view.

      • Tara says:

        Alice, I wonder if that “diva” view is because most of us spray Fracas when testing the way we normally would with other perfumes. I think dabbing the way you do is probably the key.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Madeleine,
      How a perfume wears on your skin definitely affects your perception of it. I never thought tuberose could be called comforting but of course it can be – especially if it’s soft and buttery the way Fracas is on you.

  6. Nana says:

    Hi Tara,
    Coromandel is the one for me, it really embodies comfort and protection. I have recently found a gourmand Aqua Di Parma (Mandorlo) and that in a very small dosis works well when I feel sad. I think after the initial sweet burst, it gets quite warm and rich but on my skin, I get more orange like in the dry down and I love that. Reminds me of baked croissants in an orchard’s farm.

    • Tara says:

      Hi Nana,
      I don’t know Mandorlo, but I’m glad it cheers you up when you’re feeling down.

      I think Coromandel is a pretty classic and classy comfort scent for a lot of people.

  7. Mahesh says:

    hermes lambre des m. has been my comfort scent for the last few months. it makes me feel bright even on dull cloudy days in london and the ambergris note surrounds me in happiness!

    • Tara says:

      Mahesh, considering the number of cloudy days we’ve been having in London of late, I bet your bottle of L’Ambre des Merveilles has been getting a lot of use!

      Olfactoria would definitely agree with you regarding its comforting nature.

  8. Dear Olfactoria
    The Dandy promises that he isn’t being contrary our ‘trying to be different’ but actually it’s… M/Mink by Byredo.
    That opening that others find offensive is pure artists’ ink to me and reminds me of the precious few hours each week that I am able to spend in the print studio.
    A place of concentration, calm and creativity in equal measure.
    And therefore a place of comfort.
    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

    • Tara says:

      Morning Dandy!
      Crazy comfort scents are contrary by definition so M/Mink is perfect. I agree with you though, as I also find the smell of ink to be comforting.

      • Dear Tara
        Isn’t it? And the warm very animalic honey that this scent then melds into is like damp over-heated Summer meadows to my imagination.
        Yours ever
        The Perfumed Dandy

        • Tara says:

          “Damp over-heated meadows” sounds good to me!

        • Alice says:

          ‘warm very animalic honey’ sounds so appealing – will try this at the very first chance I get!

          • Tara says:

            Hope it works for you, Alice.

          • Dear Alice
            To be warned the fierce ink smell at the start is enough to have people running away from this scent if their not to used to that particularly bitter aroma.
            Only after waiting does the honey come through… if you can stand to hang around that long!
            Yours ever
            The Perfumed Dandy

          • Alice says:

            Thank your for your concern, Mr Dandy, but I like the weird and wonderful, and shall certainly persevere. There was another perfume that had an ink note, one of the Comme de Garcons (perhaps no 2?) that I wore for a while.

  9. poodle says:

    Normally I reach to incense scents for comfort but once in a while I immerse myself in a cloud of Womanity. It’s an odd choice because I hated it the first time I sniffed it but it’s grown on me and now there’s something about it that I find comforting.

    • Tara says:

      Hey poodle,
      Womanity is a perfect fit for a crazy comfort scent. A lot of people can’t abide it, but a lot of people also find it grows on them over time, as it did with you.

  10. annemariec says:

    Like Alice (above), I too have used Chanel No 19 as a comfort scent. I’ve worn it for years, and when you know a scent well and have great associations with it, it can work as a comfort scent. Or, if not for comfort, then at least for focus and re-connecting with your sense of self.

    That said, my comfort scent usually run on more traditional lines – recently Kenzo Flower and (especially) Narciso Rodriguez for Her. I’m wearing NR now, after a very long day at work.

    Great question! I’m enjoying everyone’s replies.

  11. Figuier says:

    Good question – & v impressed by those for whom no 19 is comfortable! My comfort scents include a high percentage of Goutals: Songes and Mon Parfum Cheri. They seem like opposite ends of the perfume spectrum – billowy tropical femininity v. feral patchouli plushness – but they both make me feel safe and strong.

    • Tara says:

      Figuier, a perfume that makes you feel “safe and strong” completely sums up the ideal comfort scent.

      It’s lovely that a billowy, tropical, feminine fragrance can make you feel comforted as well as a plush patchouli.

  12. Alexandra says:

    My comfort scents do tend to be warm orientals (and today I am wearing PG Cadjmere to combat yet another day of grey skies). But my most comforting scent is SL Chergui, there is just something in the slight medicinal edge of the coal tar that speaks of safety and security…

    • Tara says:

      Alex, this weather is getting me down so much. It’s so oppressive today it’s given me a headache.

      You are such an oriental girl, I wouldn’t expect your comfort scents to be anything else!

  13. Parfumista says:

    Dries van Noten (Frederic Malle) and Rima XI (Carner Barcelona) are booth smooth, light spicy, a bit creamy soft woody comfortscents perfect for cheering-up during grey days year around.

    • Tara says:

      I am dying to try FM’s Dries Van Noten. It’s on my possibilities list for my next full bottle, even though I haven’t tested it yet. You make it sound even more dreamy.

  14. Nadja says:

    My mum is a smoker so anything with a tobacco note reminds me of her and is very comforting!. Right now my favorite tobacco scent is Jeke by Slumberhouse.

    • Tara says:

      I’m yet to find a tobacco perfume that works for me but Jeke sounds like a good one.

      You know, you make a good point – a fragrance that reminds you of a loved one can be very comforting.

      • Nadja says:

        There are so many different tobacco notes and, admittedly, only some of them work on me… Usually the very dry loose tobacco sort of notes. Jeke is one of those. Jekes dry tobacco combined with leather brings to mind my mum’s leather tobacco pouch! A very bold and demanding scent, but if you can handle that it is awesome!

        • Tara says:

          Hmm, not sure I am up to “bold and demanding” but I bet that leather tobacco pouch had a lovely aroma. Chergui and Fumerie Turque were both too much for me, but I’m sure I’ll come across the tabacco scent for me one day.

  15. Olfactoria says:

    My comfort scent these days is NVC Ashoka, but I don’t have a lot of it obviously.
    So my go-to comforter normally is L’Eau d’Hiver by JCE for Malle. It never fails to calm me and feels just so cosy…

    • Tara says:

      B, it’s so hard when you find that special perfume and you can’t buy it straight away! At least you have L’Eau d’Hiver on stand-by if you run out before it’s available.

  16. Dubaiscents says:

    I don’t know if it is so unusual but, I think my ultimate comfort scent is Interlude Man. The heavy smokiness reminds me so much of home (my childhood one) because of the wood stove we always had burning in the winters. Also, I really find Muscs Koublai Khan to be really cozy even though I might be one of the few.

    • Tara says:

      No need for a wood stove in Dubai I’m sure, but at least you have Interlude Man to recreate that aroma for you.

      Actually I can imagine MKK being a comfort scent because it’s like snuggling up to a warm, furry beast 🙂

  17. Darilyn says:

    My favorite comfort scent is Guerlain Gourmand Coquin.
    I like to wear it in the evening when I am getting ready
    for bed. It is cozy and yummy!

  18. brie says:

    SSS Cocoa Sandalwood (the sandalwood essential oil in this all natural beauty is so grounding), Pacifica’s Tibetan Mountain Temple (the name says it all!) and Ume (an all natural oil gifted to me by one of my fragrant fairies that I wear to bed from time to time and comforts me into slumber as I sniff my wrist).

    • Tara says:

      Brie, I’ve always heard of Tibetan Mountian Temple but never tried it. I know what you mean, the name alone is comforting!

  19. Suzanne says:

    Great question, Tara. Similar to what Dubaiscents said, my favorite comfort scent is Serge Lutens Muscs Koublai Khan – to me it’s both cozy and sensual and, to quote an old Lionel Ritchie song, “easy like Sunday morning.” Another one that seems more crazy is Caron Yatagan: its extremely masculine smell makes me feel protected.

    • Tara says:

      Another vote for the sleeping furry beast!

      Suzanne, I can totally understand how a very masculine fragrance can be comforting.

  20. ringthing says:

    Interesting about Chanel 19; it’s a perfume I feel most like “me” in, since I’ve worn it since my senior year of high school, in the 70s. Not sure it’s a true comfort scent, though. Shalimar is a comfort scent for me and on bad days I like to come home and waft huge clouds of it around the house. Gris Clair is another one; I’ve said before that it’s like listening to a long Pink Floyd album but sometimes that’s exactly what I need for diversion and calm. Great question, I’ve really enjoyed reading everyone’s answers 🙂

    • Tara says:

      Thanks ringthing. I’m enjoying everyone’s answers too.

      A perfume that feels like yourself is always going to be reassuring, whether it’s a traditional comfort scent or not. I think a lot people, like you, have a long-term association with Chanel No.19 which makes it comforting for them.

      I really need to get round to trying Gris Clair one of these days.

  21. A comforting scent for me is one that my husband wears – Sebastian. It wafts out of his bathroom and practically puts me to sleep. For myself wearing an early love, Calèche by Hermès, makes me feel like I’m twenty again and all of life is ahead..For actual bedtime, Vol de Nuit leads to good dreams..

    • Tara says:

      Anita, it’s great that your husband’s fragrance has such a calming affect on you. As for Caleche, I can totally see how a perfume worn at such a pivotal time can re-capture those feelings again.

      It’s perfect that Vol de Nuit takes you on a night flight to the land of good dreams 🙂

  22. Nina Z says:

    My craziest comfort scent is probably Eau Lente by Diptyque. It’s super spicy, which cheers me up when it’s grey and foggy out or when I’m feeling slightly depressed, and then there is just something super comforting about about the base–I think it’s the opoponax.

    • Tara says:

      Nina, I can see how a very spicy fragrance can enliven you when you are feeling down. Opoponax is a great note and one of the things I love most about Shalimar.

  23. JennyJo says:

    Vol de Nuit. I own the EdT, it’s lovely but oh so fleeting, so I’m saving up for the extrait. And Shalimar, Lyric, Chanel Eau de Cologne.

  24. JennyJo says:

    Oh, I forgot, L’Heure Bleue. It always calmed and comforted me when I went through my breast cancer treatment and is still my ultimate comfort scent. It reminds me of summer gardens after rain, waxed wooden floors, old books, warm custard and it makes me feel like everything miraculously is as it should be.

    • Tara says:

      i’m sorry to hear that you went through breast cancer. At least L’Heure Bleue gave you some comfort and i’m glad that you continue to love it even though you wore it at such a difficult time. Luckily, you’ve managed to hold on to good associations, which is great.

  25. Farouche says:

    For comfort I like fig scents such as Philosykos, Le Premier Figuier, and Ninfeo Mio. I find them refreshing as well as comforting.

    • Tara says:

      I find that people who love a fig note tend to find a number of fig based fragrances to fall in love with. I think you’re spot on when you say it’s both refreshing and comforting.

    • JennyJo says:

      Ninfeo Mio… what a lovely name, like a little song. I could buy it for its name only.

      • Tara says:

        Give it a try if you ever get the chance. It has a lot of fans.

        • JennyJo says:

          I will, I just read some reviews and understand it’s a rather green scent, which I love.

          My crazy comfort scent is Maja. I still have two boxes (vintage), each with two pieces of soap and a bottle of perfume in the middle. And the lady with the wonderful black dress on it, which always makes me think of Miss Diver in The Eye of Love by Margery Sharp.

          • JennyJo says:

            I meant to say the lady in the wonderful black and red dress.

          • Tara says:

            I can’t say I know Maja, but it’s always good to have a back-up when it comes to vintage or rare perfumes, whenever possible.

  26. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Hm, dear Tara, I guess, my comfort scent is not crazy at all, it’s soft and fluffy and I can wear it whenever and always, even when I’m sick, or with a headache.
    It’s Nabucco Aymtis Parfum Fin… In fact, it couldn’t be less crazy.

  27. chamekke says:

    Put me down as another person who’s partial to Coromandel. It reminds me of spicy-sweet Japanese incense, one of my other olfactory snuggles! (I haven’t worked out which specific incense it echoes, though… some day I’ll have to do a burn test to work out which one, if any, it particularly resembles.)

    And Bois des Iles is also soft and warm enough to qualify as a comfort scent too. The sandalwood is so soothing and heavenly 😀

  28. Undina says:

    The only time (so far) I need a comfort from my perfume would be when I’m sick but on those occasions I do not venture into any uncharted territories – simple vanilla-centered perfumes are the best. And for quietly beautiful (kind of “works every time”) I do go for Chanel No 19 (though in extrait), the EdT (that I like even more) is more demanding.

    • Tara says:

      Undina, I know you don’t use perfume for emotional reasons but I’m glad you do find comfort in vanilla-centric fragrances when you are poorly.

      I wonder if I would get on better with No 19 in extrait. After what you’ve said about it being beautiful and less demanding than the edt I should give it a go.

  29. Eva S says:

    My crazy comfort scents are Mitsouko and Bandit (no suprise I guess!), they’re like a pair of old well-worn comfortable shoes. Also they’re among the few I can wear when I have a migraine.
    And like Darilyn I think Gourmand Coquin is really cozy and yummy!

    • Tara says:

      Nice to see you Eva.

      I don’t think most people would see Bandit as a comfort scent but it’s never been a conventional perfume in any kind of way. It’s praise indeed that you can wear both it and Mitsouko when you have a migraine, I know how horrific those can be.

  30. Sugandaraja says:

    Scents that remind me of places tend to draw me most when I’m down – nostalgia and introspection is my favorite form of escapism. With that mind, the somewhat melancholic and clammy – don’t get me wrong, I adore it – En Passant is my epitome of comfort, taking me to a spring day. Similarly, Diptyque L’Eau Trois despite its unsweet and unsentimental naturalism always relaxes me, as do most things myrrh, though it’s a bitter note all in all.

    Conversely some of my cheeriest favorites – SL’s Rahat Loukoum – tend to annoy me when feeling moody. It’s like someone walking in and going “put on a happy face!” when you want to be left alone – their heart’s in the right place, but…

    • Tara says:

      I enjoyed reading about your comfort scents and the reasoning behind them, Sugandaraja. Beautifully put too.

      I know what you mean about not wanting anything too intrusive when you’re feeling moody.

  31. FeralJasmine says:

    When anxious, nothing calms me like a spray of vintage Organza Indecence. The soft vanillic wood is like being in a well-kept teak-paneled study, in heaven. Recently, when sad and grieving over a major loss, Fracas has been my comfort. It’s reminder of the rich, living beauty of “funeral flowers” reminds me to let grief and beauty coexist.

    • Tara says:

      I’m so sorry to hear of your loss. It’s tempting to want to banish all beauty when you are grieving but it can be a comfort if you let it be, as you have managed with a little help from Fracas.

  32. Typically a comfort scent to me is something like Prada Infusion d’Homme. Soapy, clean, fresh, and relaxing, A surprising comfort scent to me is Le Labo Oud 27. It took me so long to appreciate this fragrance, but it was totally worth the trouble.

  33. Great question, Tara! I’m afraid that my answer isn’t much fun: I think all my fragrances are comfort scents, even the challenging ones. I love them all and they never fail to lift my mood no matter what.

    Now if you’re asking what scent I would wear while eating comfort food, that’s a whole other question! 🙂

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