By Chelsea Nusbaum, 28, California
Chelsea grew up in Los Osos, California, which is a small coastal town. She completed her undergraduate degree in Literature/Writing at University of California, San Diego. She recently completed her master’s degree in Rhetoric and Professional and Technical Writing. Chelsea currently works as a proposal editor for a local defense company. She loves to freelance and edit, but between her full-time job and awesome pets, what little time she has left she devotes to fragrance!
Five Fragrances to Complete Your Halloween Costume
Round out your costume and up the authenticity ante with perfume! You wouldn’t dress as Marilyn Monroe and forgo red lipstick. And why round up a blond wig and a white halter dress only to ignore her favorite thing to wear: Chanel No. 5? Though No. 5 was a publicized favorite, Marilyn also wore Jean Patou Joy and Robert Piguet Fracas, a gorgeous tuberose and gardenia fragrance you can spritz on at Sephora before hitting the trick-or-treat circuit. For less widely available fragrances, The Perfumed Court, The Posh Peasant, and Lucky Scent are three reliable sources for decants—sample-sized glass vials of perfumes that cost about $4 a pop.
Here are five common costumes and the perfumes that go with them:
Flapper: These iconic party girls used to scent their cigarettes with Habanita, a fragrance from Molinard, who brewed it in 1921 for exactly that purpose. It came in scented satchels that slipped into a cigarette pack, or in liquid form with a glass rod that slid it along the cigarette. Fortunately, there’s no longer any need to light up to get that flapper flair: in 2005 Molinard re-released Habanita as an eau de toilette. Old-fashioned in the best possible way, Habanita smells like a plush oriental cocktail lounge and is as romantic as the time it came from and playful as the women it was made for.
Priest/Nun: Give your naughty nun costume some gravitas with Avignon. One of five fragrances from Comme des Garçons’ lauded Incense series, Avignon smells like the inside of a cathedral. It’s cool, airy, and dry, with frankincense and wisps of dust. It’s also unisex, so priests can spritz this one on their robes, too.
Vampire: Whether you’re Team Edward, Team Eric, or still swooning over Lestat, femmes and fellas rocking the undead look this year should accessorize their fangs with Caron Narcisse Noir. Rich and luscious but still clean, this inky floral is begging to be dabbed onto a pale throat. Bonus: Chanel maestro Karl Lagerfield wears Narcisse Noir, so if too many vampires show up to the party you can just say you’re him. The costume—and the look—are the same!
Witch: Dark, peppery, and teetering on the edge of decay, Eau d’Italie Paestum Rose evokes rose petals drying on black velvet deep in a medieval castle—the perfect scent for a witch. Paestum Rose leans feminine, but for Halloween wizards can wear it, too. If you’re leaning toward a witch of the Potter variety, Hermione Granger (Emma Watson to you and me) fronts Lancôme Trèsor Midnight Rose and swears up and down that’s what she really wears. Just beware that in spite of its beguiling name, purple bottle, and noir-tinged ads, Trèsor Midnight Rose is a jammy fruit cocktail of a fragrance, so would-be witches angling for gothic or scary need not apply.
Mermaid: Before Ariel there was The Little Mermaid, Hans Christian Anderson’s titular heroine. Rejected by her prince, The Little Mermaid dissolved into foam rather than kill him and returned to her underwater home. Les Parfums de Rosine gem Ecume de Rose (Rose Foam, en anglais) features dune roses as a note and smells like a warm spring day at the beach. And when you wake up from your candy coma wondering why you’re wearing a fin, Ecume de Rose pairs beautifully with a sundress and espadrilles.