Gift guide, gift guide, we all love a gift guide! Dear readers, I’m definitely working my way into this Christmas spirit quite heavily this year and I have been scouring the wondrous expanse that is the world wide web to identify some delightfully scented gifts that can; a) make excellent presents for your loved ones; or b) sit quite happily on your Christmas lists for aforementioned love ones to review, and hopefully take note. So far, we’ve had a look at some pretty awesome scented candles but we haven’t finished traversing the world of perfume gifts just yet, and we have more gift guides to go.
In this instalment I’m taking a look at some brilliant perfume gifts ranging from the cheerily affordable to the distinctly expensive, or as I like to call them the ‘Stocking Stuffers’ and the ‘Wallet Wreckers’. Hopefully there is something for every person and every budget here, whether you be tempted by an inexpensive novelty, a mid-range marvel or even if you intend to blow your budget completely to treat that special loved one to something out of this world. Failing all of that, you may just want to treat yourself. Why not, eh?
[Oh and P.S., do swing by for another gift guide in this week’s Escentual column in a few days time and again next week for our final guide, which will be focusing on quirky perfume gifts…]
Delightful little treats to stuff a stocking (minds out of the gutter, please) from £0-£75. Cheap (and not-so-cheap) thrills, as it were:
Have you ever wanted to sit by a fire with an old book, whilst sipping a cup of violet tea, but can’t be bothered to go to the effort of investing in any of the above? Well, The Library of Fragrance offers all of this in spray form for £15 per scent. If you don’t fancy any of the ones I’ve mentioned, you’re sure to find something in their extensive collections that fits. Sushi perhaps? No, maybe Eggnog? Wait, what about Cinnamon Bun. Oh man, I can’t choose!
A perfect gift for: Kids and grown-ups and anyone who likes a novel fragrance treat.
Buy it for: £15 for 30ml Cologne in Boots or online at thelibraryoffragrance.com.
Sarah McCartney’s Acton-based Micro Perfumery, ‘4160 Tuesdays’ is a marvellous thing. Through it, McCartney offers seriously good scents that are fun, whimsical, moving and beautiful. The line is extensive and its often difficult to choose which one to go for, with highlights including the jam sandwiches on the summer breeze of Tokyo Spring Blossom and the fuzzy vanilla skin-scent of The Sexiest Scent on the Planet. Ever. (IMHO). There are, of course, a dozen or so other scents in the line worth sniffing and my stocking stuffer pick, ‘Commitment Phobia’, is the perfect gift because it offers up four 9ml sprays for an affordable price. It makes choosing that tiny bit easier!
A perfect gift for: Those who have trouble making decisions, don’t take perfume too seriously, and enjoy witty fragrances made with high quality ingredients.
Buy it for: £49.50 for 4 x 9ml Eau de Parfum from 4160tuesdays.com.
I couldn’t really write a gift guide without a splash of Mugler, could I? A Mugler gift is a special gift, and the gift of Angel is the most special the brand has to offer. I am particularly drawn to the limited ‘Passion’ edition of Angel, which sees the iconic olfactory drag queen housed within a flacon of deep, fire-like red, rather than its usual celestial blue. If I found this in my stocking on Christmas day, well, I’d be a very happy boy indeed. Let’s just hope that the husband is reading this…
A perfect gift for: Candy Perfume Boys, members of the Muglerati, lovers of Angel and anyone who adores the colour red.
Buy it for: £51.50 (25ml) or £65 (50ml) in a refillable Eau de Parfum from mugler.co.uk.
Penhaligon’s know how to bottle British eccentricity unlike anyone else and their fragrances always bring something unique to the table. My Penhaligon’s stocking stuffer, which sits at the high end of this category, isn’t actually perfume, it’s something a little bit more suave: a bow tie. Well, to call this a bow tie isn’t doing it justice. This is a wooden bow tie created by the Parisian brand Oncle Pape and inspired by Sartorial, the brand’s legendary fragrance that captures the scent of the workroom in a Saville Row tailor. Suave, sophisticated and a little bit quirky, this bow tie is a must have for debonair gents this Christmas.
A perfect gift for: Suave, Sartorial-boasting gentleman.
Buy it for: £70 from penhaligons.com. Bow ties inspired by Blenheim Bouquet, Juniper Sling, English Fern and Hammam Bouquet are also available.
Gorgeous gifts that are neither bank breaking nor frivolous. Also known as: serious perfume gifts for serious perfume lovers:
I love Acqua di Parma and possibly my favourite fragrance in their illustrious collection is Rosa Nobile. This dewy and fresh scent not only miraculously conjures up the photorealistic fragrance of ripe, blush pink roses, but it also has a wonderfully gem-like quality to it that feels opalescent and quartz-like. For a truly luxurious Rosa Nobile gift, I’d opt for the leather purse spray, which comes shaded in the most beautiful baby pink. If you’re feeling particularly spendy, you could also throw in a set of refills too!
A perfect gift for: The special lady in your life or any lover of the colour pink, or roses.
Buy it for: £84, which will get you the purse spray and one 20ml refill of Eau de Parfum. A set of 3 x 20ml refill sprays is also available for £58. Both from escentual.com.
Pomegranate Noir is one of my staple autumn/winter fragrances. It’s a gorgeously sumptuous blend of ruby red fruits that are simultaneously tart and spiky, mulled spices and a metric ton of patchouli. Despite its bold blend, Pomegranate Noir is remarkably transparent (as many Jo Malone London fragrances are) and diffusive, fusing delicacy with immense volume. For a truly special winter treat, I can’t help but be drawn to this limited edition bottle that sees the classic fragrance from 2005 redressed in festive green stripes and a delightfully big bow.
The perfect gift for: Ladies in red, gents with style and those that love the Jo Malone London lifestyle.
Buy it for: £89 for 100ml Cologne at Jo Malone London stores and jomalone.co.uk.
Regular readers will know that I have somewhat of a soft spot for all things Maison Francis Kurkdjian. The perfumes in this line, mastered by none other than the enfant terrible of perfume, Francis Kurkdjian, all have a luminous and couture-like craftsmanship to them that takes the very best of the perfumer’s work for mainstream brands and extends it to something even more special. The Fragrance Wardrobe, which is available in a masculine and a feminine collection, provides the opportunity to sniff a generous number of fragrances within the lineup, all at once. What could make a better gift than that?
A perfect gift for: Any perfume lover. There’s something for everyone in this wardrobe.
Buy it for: £130 for 8 x 11ml, available in masculine and feminine collections at franciskurkdjian.com.
One of the most truly luxurious gifts you can go for at Christmas is a bottle of pure perfume from the house of Guerlain. I’m not talking about a small, 7.5ml bottle though (although they are wonderful), I mean a great big stonking one containing 30 whole millilitres of pure pleasure. These bottles are not only beautiful with their glass stoppers and in their iconic Guerlain shapes, but they always contain a timeless fragrance in its most pure form. I’ll be putting Jicky Extrait on my Christmas list this year, and I hope to wake up wearing its hot and breathy tones of bergamot, lavender and civet. Here’s hoping!
A perfect gift for: True perfume lovers, Guerlain addicts and someone really, really special.
Buy it for: Jicky Extrait is £196.20 for 30ml from escentual.com. Other Guerlain Extraits are available in 30ml at a similar price.
Hey, big spender! Below are the gifts for you. They are showy, startling and seriously pricy. Get these for those that you love the most and if they don’t want them, I’ll have them:
When I was a kid, my mother had a solid perfume compact from Estée Lauder containing her signature scent ‘Beautiful’. The compact was in the shape of a regal elephant dressed up in ruby red enamel and I remember opening it up, and smelling it long after the solid perfume had been used, still being able to get strong traces of the scent that was ‘my mother’. There is nothing more luxurious than an Estée Lauder compact, especially this intricate Tuberose Gardenia bird cage and quirky Beautiful pineapple, and either would make an utterly resplendent gift.
A perfect gift for: Anyone who has an Estée Lauder scent as their signature or something to make mother smile.
Buy it for: £280 for 1.2g/1.7g (Tuberose Gardenia/Beautiful) from harrods.com.
Sometimes you cannot beat a traditional gift set when it comes to perfume buying at Christmas. It’s always nice to offer up a beautifully presented fragrance with an accompanying body product and what could be nicer than a gift set from the house of Amouage? Nothing, that’s what! I’d recommend the silvery floral blooms of Honour Woman for the ladies and the smoky vanilla-scented leather of Interlude Man for the gents. Both are accompanied by a scented body product (a body lotion for Honour Woman and a shower gel for Interlude Man) that will make the experience of wearing these Amouage fragrances that little bit more luxurious.
A perfect gift for: Niche fragrance lovers and those that appreciate luxury.
Buy it for: £225-£240 for 100ml Eau de Parfum and 300ml Body Lotion/Shower Gel from selfridges.com.
We can certainly trust good old Freddy Malle to put together a truly wonderful gift and the Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle 15th Anniversary Coffret certainly is rather magical. Out of all of the extensive niche lines in the world, Editions de Parfums is one of the few where I would say that there isn’t a single dud and I would, unlimited budget-depending, happily own a full-sized bottle of each fragrance in the collection. This coffret gives you the opportunity to do almost that and includes 20 x 10ml sprays (the entire line excluding Dries van Noten and Cologne Bigarade), a red travel spray case and a retrospective book. I’d hold Santa to ransom for this #JustSaying.
A perfect gift for: True perfumistas.
Buy it for: €420 for 20 x 10ml, a travel spray case and retrospective book from fredericmalle.com.
OK, OK, I know I’m possibly pushing it with two Mugler entries in this gift guide and I definitely know that I’m being cheeky making both of them Angel-related, but c’mon, look at all of that Angel-y goodness. This set contains (are you ready for this?): Eau de Parfum Refillable 50ml, Eau de Parfum Angel Glamorama Refillable 50ml, Eau de Parfum Refillable (Star Collection) 75ml, Eau de Toilette Refillable 80ml, Perfuming Body Cream 200ml, Perfuming Exfoliant Cream 200ml, Perfuming Shower Gel 200ml, Perfuming Hand Cream 100ml, Perfuming Body Lotion 200ml, Perfuming Body Oil 200ml, Perfuming Hair Mist 30ml, and Perfuming Deodorant Spray 100ml. Phew, that’s a lot of Angel – more Angel than you can shake a stick at, in fact. I want it.
A perfect gift for: Someone who REALLY likes Angel.
Buy it for: £700 from selfridges.com.
I have received no payment or requests from brands to include these gifts within this guide. Samples of The Library of Fragrance via the brand. Samples of The Fragrance Wardrobe via Maison Francis Kurkdjian.