When we smell a scent it sends signals to our body’s limbic system. This is the part of the brain that processes emotions, feelings and memory. It’s no secret that the festive season is filled with different fragrances, whether it be perfumes or logs burning on an open fire. Many of these will transport us to happy times associated with family, friends and celebrations. Here, the region’s fragrance lovers share their notes of the season. 

Amina Mohamed

Director of Communications at Farfetch 

Fragrance is so personal to me, and the cooler weather means I can bring out my warmer, bolder scents. Now is the perfect time to play up notes of wood, saffron, and ginger. Growing up in an Afro-Arab home, my relationship with scent has always been so culturally significant. The warm spice and woody notes of cinnamon, cardamom and oud make me think of gatherings at home and celebrations, which in essence, is the spirit of the festive season. My current rotation includes Soie Malaquais by Dries Van Noten, Crystal Saffron by Matiere Premiere, Vanilla Antique by Byredo and Ojar’s Eagle-Eyed Stranger and Red Redemption.

Natalia Shustova

Entrepreneur and Founder of Goshá Flowers

My scent for the season is Mixed Emotions by Byredo. It was created and released by the brand during the pandemic in 2021. It reflected the feelings we all went through at that time. I use it together with my partner, and it gives us exactly that, mixed emotions. It’s the most intriguing scent ever made. It features notes like blackcurrant, tea, violet leaf, birch and papyrus.

Abdulaziz Alkhamis

Fashion & Lifestyle Creator

Clove is one of the notes that almost immediately takes me back to winter moments from my memory. It triggers me to want to snuggle next to a fireplace with a cup of hot chocolate. In my house, I have a ritual of boiling a pot with cloves, oranges and cinnamon sticks. This allows the aroma to spread around my home to create a warming and relaxing feeling that I innately associate with the holiday season. I like to take this feeling with me in winter, so I handpick fragrances with notes of clove to wear. Spicy yet sweet, clove marries well with many winter scents, such as sandalwood and musk, as well as warmer scents, like amber and frankincense. A few notable fragrances in my collection with cloves are By the Fireplace by Maison Margiela, Velvet Rose & Oud by Jo Malone and Aesop’s Marrakech Intense.

Zeynab El-Helw

Entrepreneur and Founder of Reborn Society

My favorite festive notes for the season are a combination of woody, cinnamon spices and peony marshmallow powders. These remind me of winter warmth in front of the fireplace in London with the family. Oh, how I sincerely miss that! When I choose my fragrance, it depends on my mood and the time of day. I’m currently loving Soleil Brûlant (Timeless Sun) by Tom Ford. The base notes feature honey and amber, which are really warm and cozy. I love Miss Dior. Its’ sweet, spicy, musky, floral and powdery and is timeless to me. I also always have Byrdeo perfumes and candles on rotation.

Haneen Odeh

Founder of Snob Salon

To me, holiday fragrances are all about indulgence! I love perfumes with warm, spicy and woody notes. It is also the perfect time to break out the heavier scents because the weather has cooled down, and the sparkly ensembles are out! Some of my favorites are Encens Suave by Matiere Premiere. This is a gorgeous warm spicy scent with notes of coffee, incense and vanilla. It feels like wearing a cashmere sweater, but pairing it with a leather jacket. Classy, but with a kick. Vert D’encens by Tom Ford is a woody, balsamic scent that’s the best representation of the holidays. It has notes of pine, balsam fir, incense and wood resin that opens up with a beautiful green and dries down to a warm resin-y sweetness. Beautiful and unisex. Then Cuir Beluga by Guerlain is an absolute classic. It is a beautiful powdery leather and has notes of patchouli, vanilla, suede and amber.

Lailli Mirazi

Entrepreneur and Founder of Petite

My current favorite festive fragrance, without a doubt, is Angels’ Share by Kilian. The scent features notes of cognac, oak wood, sandalwood, praline and vanilla, which makes it a very deep, gourmand, sweet and slightly spicy fragrance. It reminds me of a warm cinnamon and apple crumble. It lasts all night, smells delicious and comes in a beautiful crystal carafe, too.