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This Year's Holiday Party Fragrance Is Actually Body Cream

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Oh, is it the holidays? I hadn’t noticed. Seriously! I don’t know what it is about this year but I cannot say I am much in the spirit—and it's not for lack of trying. I got most of my holiday gifts sorted out back in November. I got the wreath and the stockings and I set up the New York apartment-appropriate fake tree that fits in a closet for the other 11 months of the year. I even watched ABC’s annual broadcast of A Charlie Brown Christmas and recited lines to my coworkers the next day. Still, no dice.

Maybe it’s the weather; NYC’s forecast is what I would call tolerable chilly but not nearly wintry enough to feel seasonal. Regardless, the first real holiday party spate starts this weekend (for me at least), so magical snow flurry or not: it’s showtime, folks. Gotta get festive. Commit to a look (probably sparkly) and really sell it. The exact details we’ll play it by ear, but there is one element I'm confident in this year. And that element is that I will be well moisturized and well fragranced—all at once! Thanks to the fanciest 2-in-1 products you’ve ever seen! Really good-smelling body butter. Happy holidays!

This idea came to me by way of a very good friend who slid me a jar of Dior's Balade Sauvage Body Cream during dinner a few weeks ago. I was skeptical—isn't Johnny Depp the face of Dior Sauvage? Pay no mind to that. The actual important part is that the friend can barely fend off the compliments when she wears the body cream as a fragrance in the evenings, paired with something strappy. The smell is perfect for the depths of December—floral and light, but interpreted through the prism of a musky wood. A little of this, a little of that. And it makes sense—with the moisture zapped out of the air for the foreseeable future, potentially skimpy holiday outfits call for plenty of hydration to go along with the festivities.

For a less moody take on the holidays, I suggest Susanne Kaufmann's Body Butter, my weekly indulgent moisturizer. It smells like a Fig Newton, if that Fig Newton was served on an antique platter that was once owned by the Romanovs. In a pinch, I reach for Body Hero. Neroli scent immediate, nearly imperceptible iridescence is a winning combo.

—Emily Ferber

Photographed by Tom Newton.