The Candy Perfume Boy’s Great Big Grandma Gift Dilemma

Granny and I

Posing runs in the family…

Things have been a bit hectic here at Candy Perfume Towers, last Saturday I became an uncle (OMGMYNEWNEPHEWISSOCUTE) and I have exams coming up in the next couple of weeks which means that posts will be sporadic, if at all (booooo to exams). Also, next week is my grandmother’s 80th birthday and we intend to celebrate in style, meaning that most of my time will be spent with party prep and the painstaking task of scanning hundreds of photos for a celebratory slideshow, not to mention the fact that I need to shop for a suitable present – this is where you come in.

After lengthy discussion with my mother it has been decided that Nigel and I will be buying my grandma a perfume for her birthday because she deserves something indulgent for such a landmark event and she does really enjoy her perfume. The problem is that I just cannot decide which one to get her! I want her to have a perfume that is special, something she can treasure but use with abundance, something ephemeral that she can enjoy whilst it lasts.

I’d like you to help me choose my grandma’s 80th birthday perfume. Here is some vital information that you need to know:

The Brief

I want a perfume that befits the occasion, something really special and for that reason I would be looking at the more niche end of the scale, but I’m not entirely averse to something designer. My grandma has a big personality and despite her age I would never say she is ‘old’, in fact she acts her shoe size most of the time as opposed to her actual age. I should also add that she is very stylish!

As for perfume, my grandma has worn a variety of perfumes including Guerlain’s Insolence, Clinique’s Aromatics Elixir and Amouage’s Reflection Woman, so it’s safe to say that she is fairly easy-going when it comes to the genre and style of her perfume. For full details on her perfumed past you can read her instalment in the Scented Lives series.

The perfume needs to be available online in the UK OR in a local department store such as Debenhams and John Lewis etc.

My Ideas

So far I have thought of the following:

Guerlain Shalimar Extrait
Amouage Honour Woman

Yep, I’m short on ideas…

The Budget

My absolute maximum spend is £140 but I’m not entirely driven by price and wouldn’t be concerned about buying something that was cheaper, just as long as it was special enough.

Join the Discussion!

Please leave any gift suggestions (or any questions for that matter) in the box below.

Many thanks in advance 😀


61 thoughts on “The Candy Perfume Boy’s Great Big Grandma Gift Dilemma

  1. Hey buddy,
    what about
    Ambre Russe by Parfum d’Empire
    Bellodgia Caron
    Un Matin d’Orange Annick Goutal
    None of them ridiculously pricey but all modern takes on vintage styles
    Best of luck and wish your Grandma Happy Birthday from Australia,
    Portia xx

  2. If it weren’t too pricey, I’d say Beloved by Amouage, but Honour would surely be wonderful for her too.
    And to make my not being very helpful even worse, I’ll second your idea of Shalimar as well, Your ideas might be scarce but excellent! 😉

  3. The price just disqualified my first choice. 🙂 I was going to suggest Antonia by Puredistance as you said your grandmother is stylish and that is the most stylish perfume that comes to my mind.
    Possibly Chanel 18 which smells diamondy to me. It kind of sparkles. 🙂

  4. Your beautiful grandmother did say that Insolence would be her “desert island” perfume AND that her bottle was running out so she was treasuring her last few drops. While it may not seem as special as an Amouage for her 80th, if this is her absolute favourite, then having another bottle would allow her to be generous with it — and continue to think always of you 🙂 ! She does also mention hoping that the Amouage Reflection Woman she has will last her, so another such true luxury as the Amouage Honour Woman may be more fitting for the way you wish to honour her “landmark” birthday.

    Hoping it is a joyous occasion and best wishes to you grandmother. Oh and congrats on becoming an uncle!

  5. As I was reading I was also thinking Amouage Honour or possibly Lyric. A bottle of Mona Di Orio would also fit into your budget and looks far more special than its price tag, Musc would be a good one if she leans more towards floral. Then of course there are the chanel exclusifs.
    Now why would you want us to to give you more choices?? I would be hard pushed to choose from all the suggestions but then I am a libran and known for being indecisive. 😉

  6. Thomas ,again congrats re Uncle dom.Presumming Nigel pretty chuffed too.Did you not decide that your grandma was hinting at Aromatics Elixer? A couple which have come to mind are Arpege or 24 Farbourg. tell Grandma another Aussie sends love and warm wishes on her 80th.

  7. Like others, I think Honour Woman is a lovely idea but it’s good to have options. I re-read your wonderful Scented Lives piece for more info (big mistake – lump in throat again) and came up with these:

    Bois des Iles extrait
    Iris Poudre
    Une Rose Chypree
    Dior Mitzah or New Look 1947
    OJ’s Tolu
    Chamade extrait
    AdP’s Iris Nobile

    Booo to exams!!!

    • Oh dear, apologies for the lump in throat again 🙂

      I love your suggestions, they all fit perfectly – especially Iris Poudre and the Diors!

      In other news, I tried Guerlain’s Idylle in extrait today and it’s wonderful, it’s on the list lol.

  8. How about Estée Lauder Private Collection Jasmine Moss? It’s a gorgeous AND readily available floral chypre that’s at one modern and vintage-y. (70s vintage-y I mean, in that way that chypres like Aromatics Elixir are).

  9. Your Grandmother looks very poised and elegant!

    I love the idea of wearing Insolence at 80. I think that, or another Guerlain, would be lovely. For some reason Carnal Flower is on my mind, I’ve always thought of it as a stunning one-off. I hope she has a wonderful birthday celebration.

    Congratulations on becoming Uncle Candy Perfume Boy! Good luck with the exams too.

  10. I would just buy her a nice bottle of Jicky. I have given that to people of all ages, and it is loved by all of them. It’s just perfect- clean, sophisticated, a bit mysterious, not too heavy, but doesn’t disappear in an hour or so. It’s not as heavy as Aromatics, and not terribly expensive. Neiman Marcus carries it here in America, but it is probably easier to find in Europe.

  11. Congratulations on being an uncle, that’s wonderful.
    If your grandma likes Aromatic Elixer, she might like Aedes de Venustas Eau de Parfum. I just tried a sample and now I’m saving for a bottle. It’s very distinctive, it doesn’t smell like anything else. It is also very uplifting.
    Maybe you could present your grand mother with samples and have a blind sniff selection at her party. It would be fun and involve other family members and you would be assured that you were buying her something she will wear.
    Good luck with studies.

    • Thank you, we’re all overjoyed!

      I have been meaning to try the new Aedes de Venustas, I love that bottle and will give it some thought.

      The idea of samples is great but I’m not entirely sure I’ll have time to source them now, I am very disorganised you see 😛

  12. Just saying : has this bottle of Insolence, her desert island perfume, that was running low, been replaced??

  13. I’m sorry but I don’t have any suggestions but I just wanted to say that this made me smile. Congrats on your nephew and I am sure Grammy will love what you buy her because it’s a gift from you! This made me miss my Grammy – it’s been over ten years since she passed and not a day goes by that I don’t think about her. Cherish these moments with her. Not saying you don’t but you know what I mean!

  14. Another vote for Amouage Woman and Bois des Iles also occurred to me or maybe Guerlain Chamade. If she likes iris – and I don’t think it has come up – Orris Noir is hard to beat for any occasion and has the gravitas your gran radiates in that lovely snap!

  15. Another vote for Orris Noir and I can’t help it, Iris Poudre. Love that! But for your Gram, I think the Orris Noir fits her past favorites better.

  16. Reading both this post and your earlier one about her, I’m wondering if you might consider Chanel Coco for your grandma. The eau de parfum version just strikes me as celebratory in a very golden way, it’s floral and rich, yet has aldehydes in the top and a bit of leather and resins in the amber-y base, and it’s an elegant classic (like Grandma).

    Whatever you choose, here’s hoping the celebration is grand and enjoyed by all!

  17. Like This ELdO would be a lovely option that she could wear every day, it seems to fit her well 🙂
    I understand its probably not “special” enough though.
    I’d say L’Heure Bleue if you’re going with a Guerlain, but that’s too predictable.
    It may seem a bit over the top but instead of paying for Amouage, I’d go for something like a Lutens belljar, Iris Silver Mist or La Myrrhe, they feel so unbelievably luxurious with the packaging and dabbing bottle and all, owning one feels as though you are the only person in the world with one…

    • Ooh, Like This is an interesting choice, but I’m not entirely sure it’s her thing, I think it may be a bit too foody for her.

      I totally get what you mean about the bell jars, they are incredibly luxurious. If only I’d have planned a bit more in advance, I could have got her one.

  18. I’m so delighted to read about your Grandma’s 80th! I hope you will send her all our good wishes, and the best thoughts to your family for the entire celebration. That’s a landmark day, and I hope it is as special as she deserves.

    As far as the perfumes, I admit I like the Insolence and Insolence Extraits ideas best. To give this an even more special feeling, you could consider buying her a nice atomizer and having it engraved (this site [] has several).

  19. I agree with previous commenters that if Insolence is her desert island choice then it really must be special to her.

  20. Wow! what a nice idea!
    As a huge Tauer fan may I suggest
    Une Rose chypree or Miriam as both are very elegant, poised and still youthfull… Just what I see on your pic 😉
    my best wishes to a grand birthday
    Fragrant greetings from Switzerland

  21. I hope I’m not too late.
    I like many of the suggestions but just to add one: how about Ormonde Jayne’s Woman?
    Congratulations to you on both festive occasions and my best wishes to your grandmother!

  22. Pingback: Consider The Candy Perfume Boy’s Great Big Grandma Gift Dilemma Solved | The Candy Perfume Boy

  23. It’s now March of 2013, but I’m dying to know what you decided for your lovely envy-inspiring grandma (because I wish that I had a grandma with her style). Please tell us your final decision and how the celebrations were.

    Since Aromatics Elixir came up… I bought some a couple of years ago because my man said that he loved it, but it was awful on me. What are its characteristics and what does it mean that I don’t like that scent? What does it mean that he does? I guess I’m speaking of its “notes.” I’m new to Perfume Land and wonder what direction to go in, since the family that AE belongs to seems to be wrong for me. Maybe? What is your opinion?

    Thank you,

    Massachusetts, USA

    • Hi Penelope!

      We ended going for a bottle of Guerlain Idylle Parfum in the end and she loved it.

      Aromatics Elixir is a floral-chypre so it’s quite rich and mossy. Perhaps you’d like something more typically floral without all of the darkness? Try an orange blossom such as Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s APOM Pour Femme.

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