What to Wear For the Day(s) of the Dead
Dia de los Muertos, a holiday that celebrates the dead and reunites their spirits temporarily with their living family members and friends, is celebrated throughout Mexico and the southwestern United States from October 31 through November 2. It’s a joyful holiday that’s meant to honor the ancestors, and get together as a family in order to celebrate all generations at once. It’s music, dancing, and parades. Tables of lovely presents called “ofrendas” are set up at home and at gravesites; they display portraits of the deceased, their favorite things, foods, and flowers. Most people outside the celebration areas recognize the fabulously decorated sugar skulls of this holiday. The Grateful Dead used a lot of symbolism and imagery from Dia de los Muertos; they really liked La Catrina, I think.
So what kind of perfume should you wear?? Well, the flower of the dead is the marigold, or tagetes, and if you’ve never been to Mexico for the first days of November, then you’ve never seen marigolds in such saffron profusion! Tagetes, or genda as it’s called in India, has a sharp, compelling green scent. It’s strong so it’s not used often in perfumery; it’s got a reputation as a tough note to handle. Sophia Grojsman loves it though, and has used tagetes/marigold in Estee Lauder’s Beautiful, and Prescriptives Calyx. Niki de St. Phalle perfume uses lots of tagetes in all its concentrations, and its herbal, green piquancy really works well in this chypre. For purists, genda attar is still available from India; it’s just marigold distilled with sandalwood, and it’s a green lover’s dream. From the men’s department comes Paco Rabanne’s Black XS by Olivier Cresp. And, for a subtler tagetes experience, the original Dolce & Gabbana might be a good choice.
But OK, what if marigold is not your thing? Well, I’d say anything with sweet notes, especially a caramel or chocolate gourmand, would be a perfect choice. Dulces/sweets are a huge part of this tasty holiday. Mugler’s Mirror of Desires has a lovely nutty caramel heart, and there’s Prada Candy, too! Or perhaps a bread scent reminiscent of the traditional “Pan de los Muertos”- Bois Farine or Jeux de Peau might work. Naranjas are also common on the ofrendas, so any orange-based cologne would be lovely. Orange Sanguine by Atelier Cologne would be perfect.
So what do you plan to wear for the Day of the Dead?