We’ve been waiting for Wednesday for ages – Wednesday Addams, that is – and now the Netflix show has proved to be even better than the anticipation and trailers had promised, topping the prime spots for streaming around the world!
So, because I believe fragrance to be an art form as deserving of cultural comparisons as any other (indeed, ideally suited to character explorations); of course I immediately set about pairing some of the main characters to perfumes they might match with.
It truly gladdens my ex-goth heart to see the original Addams Family cartoons (and previous adaptations) honoured in such a way. First published in 1938, Charles Addams work was regularly featured in The New Yorker, and he went on to draw over 1,300 cartoons during his career. In 1964 the first TV show starring the delightfully ghoulish family aired in America, with a series of successful films starting in 1991, and an animated movie premiering in 2019 (with a sequel expected in 2023).
Netflix’s Wednesday differs from the others in the genre because they allow Wednesday to grow up. We’re used to seeing the character as a little girl – albeit a scarily sarcastic, spookily adept and sword-fighting child – but here, she’s a fifteen-year old begrudgingly starting a new boarding school, and very much the central character rather than a cutesy little smart-ass sidekick. The students of Nevermore mostly fall into four categories: ‘Fangs (vampires), Furs, (werewolves), Scales (sirens) and Stoners (gorgons)’ as Enid succinctly describes them while showing Wednesday around on her first day. Wednesday doesn’t really fit any of these groups, and is glad of it.
For those who already love the show, I hope this will tempt you to try some scents you may never have heard of; for those who don’t know the series or, perhaps care (quelle horreur!) about the characters, let this be your guide to peruse some fragrances that may be out of your comfort zone, but are frighteningly good anyway…
Wednesday Addams (Jenna Ortega) – Zoologist Bat
Startlingly intelligent and a loner by heart, she’d really like to be left alone to write her novel or work on her ghoulish inventions. Difficult when there’s a monstrous murder spree to investigate, and even more challenging when the scariest things of all she must face are socialising with other teens, and dealing with her feelings.
This is the perfect perfume for Wednesday because not only would she delight in telling people what she was wearing, it has an enigmatic sparkle to the darkness it evokes. Shadowy vetiver smears velvet skies, a ripple of piquant exotic fruits surprising the damp earthiness, drifts of incense curling through glimmering jasmine and mossy forest floors to the pitch black leather base.
£175 for 60ml extrait de parfum bloomperfume.co.uk
Morticia Addams (Catherine Zeta-Jones) – Dior Hypnotic Poison
The epitome of va-va-voom goth glamour, withering put-downs (delivered with a disarming smile) and loyal to a fault, her overt passion for her partner causes the kids many cringe-y moments, but she always puts family first. While at Nevermore, Morticia was Queen of the social scene (quite the opposite of Wednesday) but during her time there, perhaps she harboured sinister secrets of her own?
Did you know cyanide smells like almond? Cleverly cloaked in clouds of apricot, luscious plum and waxy white flowers, narcotic tendencies are softly smothered by creamy sandalwood and a fluffy base flecked with wildly addictive vanilla. Revisit this, and I defy you not to spend the entire day being enraptured by your own smell, and capturing the hearts of everyone who encounters you, darrrrling.
£45.90 for 30ml eau de toilette escentual.com
Gomez Addams (Luis Guzmán) – Eight & Bob Nuit de Megève
Always dapper, ever-stylish and cheekily charming, the exuberant Patriarch of the Addams clan met his beloved Morticia in their Nevermore Academy days. Their ardour still burns bright, and there’s no doubting his love for his family; but darker secrets will always out, and a disturbing discovery casts doubts. Could Gomez be hiding a dubious past behind his playful present self…?
Resonating with a smoky grandeur of days gone by, this is a fragrance that simmers with passion and exudes the kind of charm to fall instantly in love with. One to be worn while waltzing scandalously as vetiver, tobacco and coffee are shot through with grapefruit zest and the bitterness of petit grain. Pop the corks and pull out all stops, it’s party-central and non-stop fun with this fragrance!
£161 for 100ml eau de parfum harveynichols.com
Enid Sinclair (Emma Myers) – Contradictions in ILK Sincere
Colourful, friendly, optimistic and bubbling over with school spirit, Enid is the rainbow to Wednesday’s storm cloud. Romantic, rather too trusting, Enid is the friend we all need to to stand by us, even when we’re grouchy. But don’t underestimate her cheerful joie de vivre for weakness; she’s a werewolf after all, so she has a force of spirit that, when pushed, means the claws will come out.
Sincere is the scent to wear when you need a reassuring hug. It wraps you in a fuzzy nuzzle of peach and swathes with a fluffy blanket of iris and ambrette seed. Ylang ylang grants an instant hit of happiness, while creamy coconut and white musk softly cosset. This house suggest layering scents to reveal the true you. Might I suggest Enid reaches for their ‘Devious‘ for feeding the wolf within?
[P.S. Try a sample of Sincere in the Exquisite Essences Discovery Box £23 / £19 for VIPs]
£125 for 50ml extrait de parfum Full sizes now in our shop
Larissa Weems (Gwendoline Christie) – Robert Piguet Fracas
Forced to confront her past failures via the offspring of her most deadly nemesis, Larissa’s cool, calm icy exterior is truly put to the test when Wednesday appears and causes havoc. The backbone of the school, her position of Principal has been hard-earned, and Larissa relishes the respect all the more for having been overlooked all her life. The centre of attention, now, she’s not letting go without a fight.
For Christie’s portrayal of Lucifer in my Scenting The Sandman feature I chose another Piguet perfume, but here, she is pure Fracas. A scene-stealing, room-filling fragrance which can never be ignored, Fracas glistens like an eerily perfect spear of tuberose captured in a block of ice. Exuding the carnality of a steel-boned white silk gown, only those latently aware of their own magnificence dare wear it.
£105 for 50ml eau de parfum harrods.com
Thing (Victor Dorobantu) – Juliette Has a Gun NOT a Hand Cream
A ‘hand-servant’ whose lineage apparently dates back several generations for their family serving the Addams Family (nope, I’ve no idea either, let’s go with it), Thing comes in very handy (sorry) as a spy for Wednesday. Communicating by tapping, pointing and typing, don’t let appearances deceive: Wednesday reveals early on that Thing is incredibly vain and has a penchant for perfumed hand lotions.
This niche French brand love cheekily playing with expectations, and this hand cream matches the ‘NOT a Perfume’ – so named because it contains the single synthetic aroma molecule of Cetalox. Often used in the base of a scent to add longevity and a clean but musky warmth, it lingers for ages on skin, is allergen-free and so hands feel luxuriously pampered while being beautifully perfumed.
£23 for 30ml selfridges.com
Tyler Galpin (Hunter Doohan) – AKRO Awake
One of the ‘Normies’ (people without special powers) who live in town, Tyler nonetheless makes a magic brew. Working as a barista in the local coffee bar, he meets Wednesday and becomes utterly intrigued by her. As the sheriff’s son, he has access to criminal case files, which proves more useful (and unsettling) on more than one occasion. And he’s yet another harbouring deep secrets of his own…
Reminiscent of that bewitching allure that fills a cosy coffee shop on a dull day, it’s all lemon-washed steamy windows, a bitter richness balanced by the intriguingly cool and aromatic spice of cardamom. Meanwhile, the inkiness of newsprint thrums in the beautifully grounded base, a dark swathe hinting at deep-seated feelings that cannot be contained. Inspired by addictions, marvellously more-ish.
£70 for 30ml eau de parfum fenwick.co.uk
Bianca Barclay (Joy Sunday) – edeniste Vanille Irresistible
While she may seem like the stereotypical ‘mean girl’ of the school when we first meet her, Bianca’s been through some stuff which, while it doesn’t forgive her hostility toward Wednesday, at least explains it. As a siren, Bianca has the power to persuade people with her words (and must wear an amulet at all times to weaken this ability), though tends to bury her struggles beneath barbed observations.
This fragrance was specially developed by neuroscientists in collaboration with the perfumer Aurelian Guichard, an addictive duo of what is often found to be the most universally adored note of vanilla is used in both absolute and C02 extracted form. Rippled with rum and golden rivulets of resinous olibanum and Haitian vetiver, it’s one you’ll come back to time and again – once sniffed, never forgotten.
£190 for 100ml eau de parfum full size now available in our shop
Xavier Thorpe (Percy Hynes White) – D’Otto 2+6
A ‘psychic painter’ who can make his drawings come to life, Xavier’s an irritation for Wednesday when she first meets him, though the feeling isn’t mutual. The ex paramour of Bianca, he’s a bit of an enigma, but whatever his motives (and his many secrets) there’s no doubting those feelings cause him heartache. Intrigued with Xavier despite herself, of course Wednesday would be drawn to mysteries.
Championing the concept of fragrance as an art form, D’Otto bring famous paintings to life through their compositions, this one echoing Kazimir Severinovič Malevič’s revolutionary Black Square via the simmering warmth of black pepper and carnation, red sandalwood and Bulgarian rose plunging to the plush, velvety darkness draped with Indian oudh and a sweetness that cuts through the shadows.
£225 for 100ml extrait de parfum selfridges.com
Eugene Otinger (Moosa Mostafa) – Floris Honey Oud
Oh poor Eugene – he’s a trier. Hopelessly in love with Enid, he consistently fails to catch her eye, but never stops hoping, bless his heart. Although he’s far more comfortable tending to his bees, Eugene’s quest for adventure comes to the fore as his friendship with Wednesday builds, to the point he’s determined to prove himself no matter what. If only he knew it, he’s incredibly loveable already.
A really good introduction to how oudh can be used almost as a seasoning instead of the main flavour – here, it darkens the sweetness to add great depth, such as can be found the wild honey gathered from forest bees who’ve also feasted on whole meadows. Amidst the deliciousness, incense smoke drifts dreamily. Completely cuddly, warm and welcoming, it’s the sort of sweetness Enid deserves.
£160 for 100ml eau de parfum florislondon.com
Ajax Petropolis (Georgie Farmer) – Comme des Garçons Concrete
Being one of the ‘stoners’ isn’t quite the usual connotation for this student, as Ajax is a gorgon who can turn people to stone with a glance. Rather embarrassingly, that includes himself on occasion, which doesn’t exactly help his romantic chances with Enid. Sweetly insecure but desperately wanting to be braver, when he ventures outside of his comfort zone it doesn’t always go to plan.
An olfactory ode to ‘a versatile material [in] unpredictable form’, this surprisingly approachable fragrance fuses a mineral-like waft of chalkiness to the rich, soothingly creamy essence of sandalwood and the most transparent rose, created by synthetic rose oxide – a molecule that turns the flower on its head and adds acres of luminescent lightness, a breath of fresh air. Time to get stoned!
£120 for 80ml eau de parfum johnlewis.com
Written by Suzy Nightingale