A Quick Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

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I don’t usually make a big thing of Valentine’s Day. In fact, you’d probably be hard-pressed to find much Valentine’s Day-related content here on this blog! There’s no particular reason for this, I guess I’m just for celebrating and sharing the love every single day, not just once per year. But Valentine’s Day is a good opportunity just to send a little bit of a reminder to someone, to let them know that you love them. We all get bogged down in the humdrum normativity of everyday life and we sometimes forget to take a moment to make our special person feel, well, special. So Valentine’s Day is here for that: to let someone know that you love them, and that can only be a good thing.

What better way can there be to say ‘I love you’ than with the gift of fragrance?  None, I tell you. None! Fragrance is such a generous gift. It’s thoughtful, luxurious and incredibly personal. Of course, you could always just get someone their favourite fragrance to top them up but isn’t that a little bit boring? Isn’t Valentine’s Day for being a little bit adventurous and treating your loved one to something new? Something freshly launched? I certainly think so! With that in mind I’ve put together a very quick gift guide (because it’s not long until 14 Feb now, let’s face it) of three fragrances you may want to consider for your loved ones, whether they be a guy, a gal or not fussy about gender labels on their fragrances. So read on for some scented Valentine’s Day gift inspiration!

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For Her

Jimmy Choo isn’t a go to brand for me, fragrance-wise, but I know that their scents are very popular and in the case of Blossom Special Edition, their latest feminine, I can see why. It may seem a little bit clichéd that I’m recommending a floral, for a girl, for Valentine’s Day, but at least I’m not doing a rose, right? Anyway, Blossom gets my vote because it’s just such an easy, affable floral, it’s difficult not to appreciate and this isn’t often the case with florals! Blossom manages to present all the loveliness of flowers and fruits, without dumbing them down or thinning them out into nothing. It’s just lovely.

So what does it actually smell like? Well, I’d describe it as a fresh floral, with some fruity sparkle up top, clean flowers in the heart, with sweet frangipani as the most prominent. There’s a crispness to it – a shimmer of greenery that matches the sparkle on the bottle, whilst the warm sandalwood and musk in the base brings to mind the beautiful ombre effect. Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition is a crowdpleaser, yes, but its not without intricacy and beauty. I think it’s the perfect gift for her this Valentine’s Day because it’s the kind of fragrance that is going to get a lot of wear – and that’s a really lovely thing to buy, something that the special lady in your life is going to wear day in, day out.

Jimmy Choo Blossom Special Edition is available in 60ml Eau de Parfum for £48.

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For Him

There haven’t been many launches this year yet (give it time – it’s only February) but one that has majorly stood out to me in terms of men’s launches is the new Déclaration Parfum from Cartier. Now, many of you will be familiar with Déclaration, Jean-Claude Ellena’s iconic creation for Cartier in 1998. It was, and still is, a marvel of cardamom tied closely to woods in Ellena’s signature effervescent, mineral style. The Parfum version created by Cartier’s in-house perfumer Mathilde Laurent is a delicate balancing act of the past and the present. It stays true to the signature of the original, with heaps of cardamom (albeit in a more vivid presentation) whilst placing it firmly in the oriental context of the moment. The result is a composition that is heady, exotic and sexy with a more prominent cedar note that has a delectable human spice to it. Déclaration Parfum is designed to explore the olfactory scope from fig to waxed wood and to me, it smells like a venn diagram of the crossover space between spice and woods, with a big sweaty cedar at the heart and luminous, juicy cardamom up to. Unph.

Seriously this stuff is sexy. Like sexy with a capital ‘S’ sexy. Sexy as in the temperature is rising up in here, sexy. Sexy as in I’m clutching my pearls right now, sexy. Sexy in the sense that it would give George Clooney a run for his money. In fact, if one was able to distil the essence of Mr Clooney (with his permission, of course) I’m pretty confident that Déclaration Parfum would be the result. So let’s just call it what it is: Clooney in a bottle. Let’s all agree that this makes the perfect gift for your man (or your prospective man) this Valentine’s Day because what man doesn’t want to smell like an even sexier version of George Clooney? Which actually makes it the perfect gift for you too when you think about. You get a happy man who smells as sexy as Clooney – I’ll let you do the math on that one…

Déclaration Parfum is available in 100ml Parfum for £105.

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For Both

If I asked you to pick a country associated with perfume, you would be most likely to think of France or maybe Italy. Perhaps you’d pick somewhere in the Middle East or maybe you’d even go for somewhere associated with perfumery ingredients, such as India or Haiti. Where you wouldn’t pick is Scotland, but that is where you would be wrong, because Scotland is home to Nidor Fine Fragrance – a small indie house that is making some lovely perfumes. My favourite from the collection is Ya Amar (‘my most beautiful’ in Arabic), a hedonistic blend of some of the most opulent materials in perfumery, resulting in a blend that smells intense and rich.

Ya Amar is a unisex fragrance that was created for Nidor founder Jordan Thomson’s personal collection and it contains a number of his favourite notes; cedarwood, oud, tonka bean, ambergris, leather, tolu balsam and styrax. It’s a cosy, smoky wonder that to me, smells as if someone has wrapped tonka beans in leather and set fire to them. It rolls and burns with soft, sweetened embers and hints ever so slightly at the beautiful, and sometimes unforgiving landscape of Scotland. I think Ya Amar makes the perfect unisex gift this Valentine’s Day because, it not only means my most beautiful, but it also invites one to snuggle into it, whether they are wearing it or smelling it on another person – and what could be better than a Valentine’s Day cuddle? Oh and Nidor offer lovely Valentine’s gift wrapping too.

Ya Amar is available in 50ml Extrait de Parfum for £110.


Disclaimer

Samples via Jimmy Choo, Cartier and Nidor.

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