Searching for the perfect perfume to gift this Christmas? Rachel Marie Walsh picks the best.
Perfume is perhaps the simplest product to gift this season— available in multiples sets, sizes and formulas wherever you shop— but it can be challenging to get it right. Buying a new perfume for oneself is so normal now that it can be a bit ‘coals to Newcastle’ to hand a woman another bottle, while some aficionados develop such a connection with a particular family—orientals, florals, etc— that your commercially popular choice is greeted with grousing.
Here is the thing: perfumes are also so well branded now that you can also express a sentiment even the pickiest aromaphile can appreciate, especially if it’s something she’s not experienced.
These are some ideas for scents to gift the women in your life based on some of this year’s finest launches…
Best for any woman
You probably can’t go wrong with Chanel but it is pretty tough, as even if your giftee associates No 5 with her fabulous granny before her own style she has someone close to her who is a fan and will appreciate the bottle.
Any of Chanel’s fragrances is a solid choice for the lady you do not know well but feel obligated to please, impress or indeed one-up where gifting is concerned.
The brand has come out with darling purse-friendly atomisers for its classic No 5 Eau de Parfum and the more modern No 5 L’Eau Eau de Parfum this season.
The Mini Twist and Spray, €78 at Brown Thomas, come with three refills and chic black and white packaging.
The travel-friendly 7ml design opens with a simple twist of the hand for perfuming in one discreet puff.
Best for mum: Rose & Magnolia Cologne,€144 for 100ml
Jo Malone London is another brand that seems to appeal to all womankind, there is just something about those little off-white bags that cheers us like Tiffany’s does Holly Golightly.
I am recommending their new Rose & Magnolia Cologne for mums not because I think mums are a homogenous type but because breathing it in is like inhaling luxury and peace.
And who doesn’t want to give their mum a little of each? Warm and feminine, the fragrance opens with luminous notes of magnolia and has a rich rosa Damascena and rose de Mai heart. Amber and patchouli make for a lasting base. The limited-edition blue atomiser even looks like a wrapped Christmas gift.
[h2]Best for clean beauty lovers: Clean Reserve [Reserve Blend] Warm Cotton Eau de Parfum, about €98 for 100ml[/h2]
‘Clean’ is a word long used to describe smells but sustainable perfumes are a trend that only really took off this year, with brands like Floral Street, Kierin NYC, and Laboratory Perfumes Gorse among its most appealing pioneers.
The USA is still the world’s biggest perfume market so it is no surprise that sustainable scents have been around for a while there and the best of any fad does linger. Clean Reserve, now available in Ireland at spacenk.com, is my favourite as I really love the scent of the fresh sheets bottled in Warm Cotton.
The is a light floral with vetiver and benzoin, as well as ozonic, and hints of ginger and musk.
The Clean Beauty Collective, the brand’s New York-based parent company, works with responsibly sourced ingredients and eco-conscious manufacturing and packaging.
Their Reserve Blend line is a collaboration with three of the world’s top fragrance houses chosen because of their commitment to sustainability and philanthropy.
Best for little sister: Yves Saint laurent Libre Eau De parfum, from €65 for 30ml
Libre is one of this year’s most successful fragrance launches and predicted to be the second most gifted this Christmas (after Chanel’s Coco Mademoiselle) by luxury beauty platform Escentual.com.
The ideal gift for your fashion-obsessed little sister, it has the confidence and chutzpah of Dua Lipa (its campaign face) and a bottle that looks like a glassy, gilded YSL clutch.
The formula fuses ingredients from Marrakesh and Paris, Monsieur Saint Laurent’s favourite places on earth.
Vibrant Moroccan orange blossom and a bold strain of French lavender that is traditionally used in men’s fragrance are the outstanding notes.
Best for your best female friend: JOY by Dior Eau de Parfum Intense, from €95.50 for 50ml
You have so much less time for female friendship as you get older and the real thing is like gold dust no matter your age. Joy is joie de vivre in a bottle and a lovely way to express how much lighter you feel after catching up with your BFF. It is as sweet and fruity as a holiday cocktail.
Top notes of citrus and neroli give way to a girly bouquet of rose centifolia and jasmine grandiflorum, while the base is a warm hug of sandalwood, patchouli and sweet vanilla.
Best for your girlfriend:Acqua di Parma Osmanthus Eaude Parfum, from €85 for 20ml atacquadiparma.com
Osmanthus is a small yet precious flower with a very romantic scent. Its tiny corollas are less than a centimetre in size and blossom for a single day in the luxuriant forests of south-east Asia.
In China, the osmanthus is called “flower of happiness” and is given by the bride to her new family as a wish for prosperity.
According to an ancient eastern legend, the seeds of this flower were thrown down from paradise at the wish of a god who wished to spread harmony on earth. Acqua di Parma distils the most valuable essence of the osmanthus and enhances it with green mandarin, neroli, peony, patchouli, and the animal scents of ambrette.