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Instead of a Christmas gift guide this year, I’m switching out my regular Candy Crush posts for just as regular Christmas Crushes instead. In these posts over the coming weeks you’ll find some wonderfully scented gifts just in time for the holiday season, with products that I am crushing on. So get ready for some marvellous Christmas gift inspiration!

The theme at Penhaligon’s this season is ‘Christmas is in the Air’ and with this Christmassy concept they are mixing the two things that make their identity so unique: tradition and eccentricity. Their golden packaging is accented by beautiful red ribbons, with what appears to be a rather traditional, Victorian scene as the illustration. Look closer though, and the signature quirk of Penhaligon’s is revealed! Carriages driven by birds and flying clocks lead one to remember that the world of Penhaligon’s is a topsy turvy one, and that’s what makes it so wonderful to explore!

This Christmas, Penhaligon’s have curated a fine selection of gifts for any of those eccentric beauties in your life. There’s perfume aplenty, with gorgeous sets and mini-collections amongst their expansive collection of scent. There’s even a special home fragrance for this year, not to mention many other quirky things to love. So in this extravaganza of a Christmas Crush post I’m brining you a veritable feast of Penhaligon’s gifts to hopefully inspire your present-buying this holiday season. With any luck we’ll have ticked some people off your gift list by the end of the post no problem.

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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…]

Dapper
Looking Good and Smelling Fine [Image of Me at My Father’s Wedding via Peter Buncombe]
Awards Season is set to end this Sunday with the 86th Academy Awards (a.k.a. ‘The Oscars’) and the stars will be out in full force, donning their finest garb having spent hours preening their faces and coiffing their hair. Of course, us mere mortals will simply be watching the ceremony at home in our pyjamas, possibly scoffing on some popcorn in a nod to the wonders of the silver screen. Still, we can live vicariously through the glamour of the winners and losers, can’t we?

Thinking about the Oscars and the upcoming Jasmine Awards (for which I need to pick myself an outfit) led me to ponder over which perfumes are best suited to formal occasions. Most of the time I’m of the belief that one should wear whatever they heck they want when they want, but in situations where dress codes are enforced and one has to be smart, it can be beneficial to pick out a scent that is suitably dapper to match.

For this post I’ve put together some of my favourite ‘smart’ perfumes for black tie or formal occasions. They range from the smart casual to the well-tailored and the dramatic, and between them they serve as a mini-guide to picking that perfect scent for a special occasion. Most are unisex so are suitable regardless of whether you’re a guy or a girl and can be paired with a suit, tux or fancy dress to ensure that you’re looking good and smelling fine.

The Mo as of Day 10
The Mo as of Day 10

It’s week 2 of Movember and the mo growing appears to be in full-swing. We seem to be moving out of the ‘awkward itchy phas’e into the slightly less uncomfortable ‘bushy, slug-like phase’. One shouldn’t complain though, it’s not an easy challenge to sport decent facial furniture and one has to work through the pain, discomfort and hideousness in the hunt for true mo-awesomeness.

As it stands my current Movember total is a respectable is £85, however I think we can do better! #TeamPenhaligon’s is doing rather spectacularly and has currently raised a rather spiffy £475! A massive well done to my fellow mo bros and mo sisters for their extraordinary moustache-related efforts so far, lets keep up the hard work and take it over the £500 mark asap!

Loving the Stripes...
The Candy Perfume Boy’s Movember Barbershop Quartet

Movember Madness has struck me this month and as well as attempting to cultivate a handsome portion of facial hair upon my top lip things have been a bit more man-focused on The Candy Perfume Boy. Sometimes one must remember that it’s important not to forget the boys and this month I am honouring my fellow Mobros in true Candy Perfume Boy style.

Those of you who read The Candy Perfume Boy regularly will know that I wear a mixture of feminine and masculine scents, with the ratio skewed much more to the former rather than the latter. That’s not to say I don’t like masculine fragrances at all, quite the opposite in fact, it just so happens that my favourite style of fragrances (earth shattering florals) tend to lurk on the feminine side of the perfume shelves.

When I wear a masculine fragrance I tend to go for something classic with a modern twist. I often find myself drawn to the floral-sweet yet dandified style of fragrances that can be classified as barbershop. For me there’s just something attractive about smelling well-groomed and well-oiled.

In this post I would like to showcase my top four barbershop scents, presented in the form of my Movember Barbershop Quartet. So without further adieu I present you The Lead, The Tenor, The Bass and The Baritone.

Gentleman
A Scent for The Modern Gent (Mo Not Included)

“Sartorial – sar-tor-ial adj. [attrib] of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress: sartorial elegance”

[Seeing as I’ve gone a bit mad for Movember I thought I would share a review of one of my favourite modern masculines from The Candy Perfume Boy Archives. Sartorial is a scent that not only evokes the smell of a tailor’s workroom, but also conjures up the image of a well groomed, modern gent with an incredibly stylish mo. Enjoy.]

I chose not to write a post on my fragrant new years resolutions simply because I have only made three. They are; to keep producing interesting and informative content for The Candy Perfume Boy, to review more fragrances from as many brands as possible and finally, to review more masculine fragrances.

Those who read this blog on a regular basis will know that I wear a lot of feminine fragrances and my reviews reflect this. I don’t have anything against masculines at all, they just tend not to be within my bracket of taste, whereas as feminine and niche ‘unisex’ (or sexless) fragrances tend to be right up my street. So, in the interest of balance I will ensure that I review more masculine fragrances and I will start with one of my recent favourites.

Sartorial (2010) is the latest masculine release from the über-British perfume house Penhaligon’s and is inspired by the workroom of a Saville Row Tailor. Created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (who is also responsible for other Penhaligon’s fragrances such as Amaranthine and their Anthology Series) Sartorial is described as “a contemporary interpretation of a classic Fougère” [1]

Gentleman

“Sartorial – sar-tor-ial adj. [attrib] of or relating to tailoring, clothes, or style of dress: sartorial elegance”

I chose not to write a post on my fragrant new years resolutions simply because I have only made three. They are; to keep producing interesting and informative content for The Candy Perfume Boy, to review more fragrances from as many brands as possible and finally, to review more masculine fragrances.

Those who read this blog on a regular basis will know that I wear a lot of feminine fragrances and my reviews reflect this. I don’t have anything against masculines at all, they just tend not to be within my bracket of taste, whereas as feminine and niche ‘unisex’ (or sexless) fragrances tend to be right up my street. So, in the interest of balance I will ensure that I review more masculine fragrances and I will start with one of my recent favourites.

Sartorial (2010) is the latest masculine release from the über-British perfume house Penhaligon’s and is inspired by the workroom of a Saville Row Tailor. Created by perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour (who is also responsible for other Penhaligon’s fragrances such as Amaranthine and their Anthology Series) Sartorial is described as “a contemporary interpretation of a classic Fougère” [1]