Stocking Stuffers to Wallet Wreckers
Stocking Stuffers to Wallet Wreckers

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…]

Super Scent: Estée Lauder
Super Scent: Estée Lauder

Super Scent is here! In case you missed my little teaser on Friday, Super Scent is a new, list-based series run in conjunction with my blogging comrade, Persolaise. In each instalment we will each be giving a run down of what we consider to be the very best scents available from a particular, well-known brand. The idea is to individually rank our top offerings and marvel at how similar or different they are. We also hope that you will chime in with your top fragrances from each brand in these posts too!

We are kicking off the series with one of the biggest players in the perfume world – Estée Lauder. Now, Lauder’s name has been on the lips of a many perfume lover of late, mainly due to the fact that they have famously bought out the venerable houses of Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle, but we’re not here to talk about that ¹. No, we’re here to take a look at just a small selection of some of the brand’s very own fragrances. So, sit back, relax and enjoy the Estée Lauder edition of Super Scent – a run down of my five favourite Lauder scents from five to one. Oh and click here, to check out Persolaise’s list too.

Yep, That's Me, Rocking a #SantaSelfie
Yep, That’s Me, Rocking a #SantaSelfie

In the hit song ‘Who Do You Think you Are?’, the wise prophet, Gerri Halliwell, once said “giving is good, as long as you’re getting”, and whilst this may not be entirely true, as it is always lovely to give gifts too (Christmas is all about giving, apparently), it would be a lie to say that receiving presents isn’t pretty awesome. In fact, I’m happy to admit that I’m a bit of a monster at Christmas and have been known to supply lists to my family, of things I would, much to their dismay, even though I have eased off over the last few years, in a vain attempt to be less of a brat. But still, one must think of themselves every now and then and it doesn’t hurt to have a strong idea of what it is that you want in life.

Anyway, I digress. Everyone is doing gift guides at the moment and I find them difficult because there is just so much out there to choose, and so many people to choose for, that putting together a comprehensive selection of what to buy for whom, is pretty much mind boggling for me. So, in lieu of an actual gift guide, and seeing as my favourite subject is myself (I kid, of course, kinda…), I present to you my personal wish list of fragrant treats for Christmas. Perhaps this will serve as inspiration for gifts you’re buying, or maybe it’ll just be an insight into just how much of a demanding little sod I am. Either way, I hope you enjoy my joyful gathering of scented gifts.

The Simpsons
The Simpsons – The world’s favourite family.

The Scent a Celebrity Series is my vain attempt at picking perfumes for those who don’t know any better, yes I mean celebrities. Let’s face it, most celebrities are incapable of choosing decent clothing/boyfriends/girlfriends/movies/insert-celebrity-mistake-here let alone having the ability to make decisions about something as important as their scent – that’s where I come in. Never fear my dear schlebs, I will ensure that you are appropriately scented, all you need to do is listen.

So far the series has touched upon a variety of famous names including; those fuzzy-wuzzy comics The Muppets, the Icelandic super-talent that is Björk, schizophrenic female (but kinda-male due to her alter ego) rapper Nicki Minaj, the maniacal monarchs that make up the Royal Family and super-glam pop tour de force Scissor Sisters. Joining this patchwork quilt of celebrities is everyone’s favourite dysfunctional TV family, The Simpsons.

I am a die-hard The Simpsons Fan and I confess to having seen nearly every single episode at least twice. The colourful inhabitants of Springfield, or predominately-yellow inhabitants should I say, each provide a large dash of humour to a town that you wouldn’t really want to live in but are quite happy to watch from the comfort and relative safety of your own sofa.

Beautiful

“The fragrance of a thousand flowers”

Beautiful by Estée Lauder is an incredibly special fragrance to me. For the majority of my childhood it was my mother’s signature scent, she wore it with abundance and despite the fact that she no longer wears it, I will always think of her when I smell it. In her Scented Life, my mother said of Beautiful; “It felt decadent to wear”. Decadent? Yes. Beautiful? Absolutely!

Launched in 1985 and created by Sophia Grojsman, Beautiful is described by Estée Lauder as “the fragrance of a thousand flowers” [1], and it is an exceptional example of a big floral bouquet, something that the Lauder brand seems to specialise in. I would classify Beautiful as a floral chypre, it’s a wonderful blend of heady florals and rich, mossy base notes.

Beautiful has always been marketed as Estée Lauder’s bridal perfume and I can see why, it is completely romantic and there is a young innocence to it that conjures up images of beautiful brides draped in white. Despite it’s obvious bridal connotations, it isn’t exclusively bridal, it is wonderful enough to be kept only for special occasions but also works perfectly well as an everyday perfume. Beautiful is one of those perfumes that would make a good signature scent, not that I’d EVER dream of having one of those, I’m too greedy!

I always find it hard to review the classics, it’s difficult to do them justice whilst attempting to showcase them in a new and interesting way. Beautiful is especially hard to write about because I can’t think of it objectively, I have too much of an emotional connection to it. That said, despite my emotional connection, it is a perfume that I also appreciate from an olfactory perspective, and I truly believe that it it is more than a classic, it is a legend. It it so legendary in fact that it is rumoured that Andy Warhol was buried with a bottle.

Ahh the 80’s, a time of excess where everything was big; the clothes, the music, the hair and of course the perfume.

The perfume in the 80’s was loud, proud and would announce it’s arrival a long time before you entered a room, and stay a long time after you left. There were big bouquets of aldehydic florals and massive oriental spice bombs. I shouldn’t forget the HUGE jammy roses and the loud syrupy tuberoses either.

These fragrances, affectionately known as ‘Perfumes with Shoulder Pads’ by the #fumechat Tweeters are representative of the era, and whilst they may not be entirely popular today I have a real soft spot for them.