Conceal the scent of Christmas carnage with this fragrance

 (Illustration by Lydia Silver )
(Illustration by Lydia Silver )

The festive season is a time of excess. A time of more, of don’t-mind-if-I-do-iness that reaches a stupefied crescendo during the enervated limbo between Boxing Day and New Year’s Eve — in which Christmas stockings and colons alike are stuffed with inflammatory nurdles.

Trolling the homeopathic approach, we seek to normalise the engorgement by ramping up our fix. My favoured holiday ritual typically includes: a Joan Crawford movie binge, a vodka Martini dance-off accompanied by a flight of luxury crisps, the illogically mournful A Charlie Brown Christmas soundtrack, leftover re-congealed baked brie for breakfast, goodwill to all men, an elasticated waistband. After such Neroic over-indulgence, the new year can’t come fast enough with rash promises to our inner monk to hereafter live simply and limply, renouncing our sordid gluttony. Fat chance.

You’ll need a perfume to smell-track this carnage, and now is not the time for a performative mea culpa akin to piously drinking Diet Coke with your triple-fried, aioli-smothered duck grease chips. Abandon yourself to all-consuming consumption by wearing a scent that throws its weight around: Evernia by Ormonde Jayne. Evernia is Latin for oakmoss, the earthy, bitter lichen that lent some of the first modern perfumes (Guerlain Mitsouko, Coty Chypre) their mystery. The dark, forest allure of oakmoss has been out of circulation for decades, owing to it being blacklisted for potential allergens. But recent jiggery-pokery in the lab means that the material has been cleared to play, which accounts for its lavish presence here.

Perfumer Geza Schön is the nose behind the bony blockbuster Molecule 01, and for Evernia, he recasts Molecule’s one ingredient — woody-sweet aromachemical Iso E Super — as merely the launch pad for an oakmoss Saturnalia. He lays it on thick with milky sandalwood and balsamic opoponax, along with velvety Cashmeran, to serve up the fragrance equivalent of eggnog: rich, creamy and spicy. Excessive, yes. Don’t mind if I do.

ORMOND JAYNE Evernia eau de parfum, £120 for 50ml (