5 fragrance recommendations for December 2021 - calendar

Good to see you joining me for the latest editions of my fragrance recommendations. This time I’m gonna do 5 fragrance recommendations for December 2021.

The best time of the year is upon us, and it means it is time to bring out the big boys. Beast mode fragrances as we frag heads like to call them are released from the long slumber.

This time, my choices will focus on the scents that remind us about everything good about this time of the year – family, friends, good food, Christmas, New Year, and happy times.

2021 was kind to me if we talk about expanding my perfume collection, and is undoubtedly the best one, fragrance-wise.

My biggest and the most positive discovery was Tom Ford’s Costa Azzura, the latest edition from the signature line which I’ll include on some other lists in Spring and Summer.

What is your biggest fragrance discovery of 2021? Let me know in the comment section at the end of the article.

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Let’s officially open the fragrance holiday season with Scent Grail, and smell exquisite.

How I Picked 5 Fragrance Recommendations For December 2021

Spices, gourmand notes, resins, pasty, and woods are what are associated with cold-weather perfumes. Fragrances that lift our mood, and keep us warm in the coldest days of Winter.

Of everything I have recommended so far, this list is going to be the easiest one. Specifically, I have focused on three things while choosing the fragrances mentioned here:

  1. High-quality winter perfumes
  2. Long-lasting and well-performing scents
  3. Fragrances that will leave a positive impression and create a lasting scent memory

Since my reading audience has now expanded, and during the last couple of months, I have started to notice an increase in female readers, I’ll also include scents that can be worn by both sexes.

I’m gonna start the list with one quote from one of my favorite perfumers of all time, Jean-Claude Ellena – “Smell is a word, perfume is literature.”

1. Serge Lutens Chergui

A note from the brand: A fire fanned by the wind, a desert in flames. As if bursting from the earth, Chergui, a desert wind, creates an effect that involves suction more than blowing, carrying plants, insects and twigs along in an inescapable ascent.

Its full, persistent gusts crystallize shrubs, bushes and berries, which proceed to scorch, shrivel up and pay a final ransom in saps, resins and juices. Night falls on a still-smoldering memory, making way for the fragrant, ambery and candied aromas by the alchemist that is Chergui.

Who would like Chergui: In the last decade, I have often seen fragrance enthusiasts saying that Chergui is the one fragrance you should try when entering the niche game like it is a starter niche or something.

When in reality, the more you try all the bells and whistles of the niche world, you realize how so little of them come anywhere close to Chergui.

The hot desert wind of Morocco is what is the story of Chergui is. Does it achieve that? Maybe, and maybe not.

What I get is the delicious composition of thick tobaccoish honey, with supreme amber and grassy hay accord. One of the fragrances I rather have you experience through your own nose rather than with words. Many compare amber accord here with the one in Grand Soir, just to get an idea of quality.

Wearability is also good with the inclusion of a modern take on tonka beans and doesn’t feel old at all, considering it is a 2001 release. A masterpiece.

  • Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Woody Oriental
  • Release Date: 2001
  • Most dominant notes: Tobacco, Hay, and Amber
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 25+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Night Out
  • Longevity and Sillage: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Compliments: Low – Medium
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Oriental, Tobacco, Sweet

2. CoSTUME NATIONAL Homme Eau de Parfum

A note from the brand: Timeless elegance meets the avant-garde, minimalist and metropolitan style of the Costume National man in Homme; reflecting the dynamism of urban life, combining it with the refinement of exquisite and unexpected ingredients. An original and charming fragrance where timeless citrus notes, unusual spices and mysterious woods blend together giving life to an equilibrium that breaks the boundaries between classicism and modernity.

The bottle is an iconic design object: it is the reproduction in glass of Ennio Capasa’s sculpture that was inspired by the solidity of the male body, exuding strength, character and majesty.

Who would like Costume National Homme: I’m proud to premiere Homme in my 5 fragrance recommendations for December 2021 article.

Once upon a time, when the fragcom wasn’t as big as today, Homme got a little hype that died down quickly. Why? I guess that Costume National rarely does big marketing promotions for their perfume releases, but what a fragrance.

Done by fragrance superstar Dominique Ropion, and blend to perfection, Homme is everything but bland. The scent screams winter holidays with cloves and cinnamon, and I’m actually surprised that it could easily pass as a spring perfume as well with grapefruit and sandalwood in the top, and base notes.

It reminds me of a fresher take on Frederic Malle’s Musc Ravageur and Viktor&Rolf Spicebomb. The scent is marketed to men, but I feel ladies could easily pull off this one as well. Do not let this Christmas miracle slips through your fingers.

  • Perfumer: Dominique Ropion
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Spicy, Woody
  • Release Date: 2009
  • Most dominant notes: Cinnamon, Cloves, and Sandalwood
  • Target Audience: Men
  • Age Group: 25+
  • Seasons: Spring, Fall, and Winter
  • Occasions: Business, Leisure and Night Out
  • Longevity and Sillage: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Compliments: Low – Medium
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 4/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Spicy, Woody, Oriental

3. Tom Ford Tobacco Vanille

A note from the brand: Tom Ford reinvents classic tobacco with creamy tonka bean, vanilla, cocoa, dry fruit accords and sweet wood sap – for a modern, opulent and heady impression of confidence and power.

“Tobacco Vanille is opulent, warm and iconic. Reminiscent of an English gentleman’s club and blended with rich spices, vanilla and tobacco flower, it leaves a powerful impression.” –Tom Ford

Who would like Tobacco Vanille: This is what I said about Tobacco Vanille in my Best Tom Ford Perfumes article: “A unique and revolutionary vanilla fragrance, unlike anything you have smelled before.

The rich bourbon vanilla will leave you breathless. Warm with just the right amount of sweetness. Tobacco is not your typical green or cigarette smoke type, but rather pipe tobacco that gives vibes of the rich and full-bodied scent of a sweet and cured type of smell.

A number one Christmas and winter holiday perfume with out-of-this-world performance. What struck me the most is the scent’s ability to teleport me to Christmas Fairs and all associated with them. Vanilla-rich pastries, hot wine, and that general feeling of warmth.”

  • Perfumer: Olivier Gillotin
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Spicy Oriental
  • Release Date: 2007
  • Most dominant notes: Tobacco, Vanilla, and Spices
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 20+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Romantic, Clubbing, Night Outs
  • Longevity and Sillage: 10 – 12 hours with great projection
  • Compliments: High
  • Likeability: High
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Oriental, Sweet, Woody

4. Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan

A note from the brand: Evoking a fragment of amber resin picked up by Serge Lutens during a wander through the souks of Marrakech, which lay forgotten for years inside a thuja wood box, this perfume marks a return to a focus on the identity and authenticity of unique ingredients.
1968: the year Serge Lutens discovers Morocco. A milestone date, and for him, a time of incredible revelation.

During one of his wanderings in the Marrakech souks, caught up in the crowd and the scents of the old city, Serge by chance falls upon a piece of amber wax which he purchases on impulse.

In 1993 the wax is retrieved, having been neglected for many years in a thuja wood box, to have its memory revived. “Ambre sultan” was unveiled to the Western world as a new olfactive style: a restoration of the authenticity of perfume through its raw materials.

Three decades later, “Ambre Sultan” has lost none of its elegance, splendor, and power and it remains a truly beautiful tribute to Arab history and culture.

Who would like Ambre Sultan: Ambre Sultan is not a usual amber fragrance. Ambre Sultan is certainly not a bland amber fragrance. What Ambre Sultan is, that’s a whole other story.

Inspired by Lutens’ travels to Morocco, and his impulse buy of amber wax, Ambre Sultan smells straight like an old wooden box filled with Mediteran herbs and an Amber accord found in fragrances like Grand Soir and L’Air du Desert Marocain that clearly took inspiration from Ambre Sultan.

This Serge Lutens is not an easy scent to understand at first, but once you get it and what is trying to convey, you’ll understand why is often claimed as the best amber fragrance on the market.

  • Perfumer: Christopher Sheldrake
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Oriental Aromatic
  • Release Date: 1993
  • Most dominant notes: Incense, Amber and Bay Leaf
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 30+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Leisure and Night Out
  • Longevity and Sillage: 8 – 10 hours with moderate projection
  • Compliments: Low
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Oriental, Aromatic, Balsamic

5. Jovoy Incident Diplomatique

A note from the brand: We brush by it, we risk it, without ever thinking about the consequences… Incident Diplomatique clearly possesses its share of superb provocation – bold, owned, and entirely inevitable when desire exudes from our every pore. As unexpected as it is audacious, the fragrance refuses convention and knowingly parades itself. Just as we might give into a staggering impulse too strong to resist, it declares its urges, teasing tension to the breaking point…

Who would like Incident Diplomatique: A real masculine take on patchouli – vetiver combo that in my opinion, is the best in the genre.

Opens up with tart mandarin and quickly shifts to the three-dimensional chocolate patchouli heart with burning vetiver hiding in the base.

Ideal for office and colder months walks, Incident is one of the few patchouli perfumes I like to wear.

Due to the chocolate nature of patchouli, ladies can wear it as well.

The performance is out of this world, so be careful with the number of sprays. Otherwise, get your nose on this masterpiece as soon as possible.

  • Perfumer: Vanina Muracciole
  • Perfume Oil Concentration: Eau de Parfum
  • Fragrance Type: Woody Spicy
  • Release Date: 2017
  • Most dominant notes: Patchouli and Vetiver
  • Target Audience: Unisex
  • Age Group: 30+
  • Seasons: Fall and Winter
  • Occasions: Business and Leisure
  • Longevity and Sillage: 10 – 12 with great projection
  • Compliments: Medium
  • Likeability: Medium
  • Uniqueness: 5/5
  • Value for money: 10/10
  • Accords: Woody, Earthy, Spicy


5 fragrance recommendations for December 2021 - merry Christmas

Hopefully, you have enjoyed my 5 fragrance recommendations for December 2021 article and found something new for yourself, or someone dearest to gift in the upcoming holidays.

All of the mentioned fragrances have worked like a charm to me during the winter season, and are of higher quality than a lot of designer fragrances.

To another great smelling year, I wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

In case you are in doubt whether you should consider buying a particular fragrance, it’s always good to take a look at Scent Grail’s S.P.A. Signature Factor Guide.

It is easy to use and the most relevant perfume buying guide on the web. This way, you can check out if a particular fragrance is worth checking out, and potentially find your signature perfume.

Scent Grail content is free for anyone to use without anything hiding behind the paywall. If you would like to help me do more great articles like this, you can donate via PayPal. Much appreciated.

Find out more Scent Grail articles about perfumery, check out top lists, and other helpful reviews via links below:




Until next time, have a great time and keep smelling like a million bucks!

Best, Marin!
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