Editors' Picks: 15 Perfumes for Your Christmas Wish List
It’s little surprise that searches for perfume on the internet skyrocket at this time of year. It’s highly likely, if you’re reading this, that you’re on the lookout for a new scent, whether to add to your holiday wish list or to gift a loved one, come December 25. But with perfume being such a personal thing, where do you start? It’s hard enough finding a fragrance for yourself, let alone someone else.
Master perfumer Alberto Morillas suggests narrowing down your search: “Do you prefer fresh, spicy, floral, or warm? Choosing one of these categories will help edit your search.” Not sure what you love? Fragrance expert Nick Gilbert of Love to Smell recommends you “think of a perfume you love already, and then find out what its base notes are on BaseNotes.net’s fragrance directory. This will give you notes for the fragrance you like and things you should be sniffing.” This same tactic will help you when shopping for a present too, you find out what their current favourite perfume is and use that as your starting point.
If you’re trying to decide on a new scent, when you’re out shopping, spritz some onto your skin. “Apply the fragrance to your wrist, which is one of your pulse points,” Morillas says. “The heat from this point of your body helps to develop the fragrance. You should let fragrances develop for 30 minutes on your skin, so you can smell all levels of the fragrance—top note, heart of the fragrance, and dry-down.”
Of course, you can’t do this for your recipient, so consider buying them a discovery set. Plenty of brands do them, and that way they can have fun trying the different perfumes to find their favourite. Now that you know how to shop for new fragrances, you need to know the best scents around.
Keep scrolling for our round-up of the best new, classic and cult scents that anyone would want to find under their tree this Christmas.
Editors' Picks: 15 Perfumes for Your Christmas Wish List
Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream 50ml (£68)
Best for: Anyone who loves exotic, heady scents.
Not for the shrinking violets among us, the debut fragrance from makeup artist Charlotte Tilbury (of which Kate Moss is the face) is intoxicating. With tuberose, frankincense and ambroxan (a molecule that magnifies the natural scent of your pheromones), this is a bold choice that smells quite incredible.
Maison Martin Margiela Replica Jazz Club 100ml (£85)
Best for: Women who enjoy more masculine fragrances.
Originally created for men, this is now regarded as a good unisex choice. Inspired by a jazz club, there is zesty citrus, sweet hints of rum and vanilla as well as tobacco to conjure the hazy, heady vibes of an old-school jazz club.
Penhaligon's Mini Her Set 5 x 5ml (£41)
Best for: Traditionalists
You can’t get more traditional than Penhaligon’s, a perfume brand that was established in 1870. This discovery set is ideal as a gift and includes five of the company’s best-selling fragrances: Artemisia, Vaara, Empressa, Iris Prima and Halfeti.
Moschino Fresh 35ml (£35)
Best for: A kid at heart
If you didn’t find this under your tree last Christmas, then no doubt it’s still on your list this year. The packaging makes it too covetable for words. This fruity, floral scent has zesty bergamot and sweet raspberry, softened with wood notes and white patchouli. In short, it definitely doesn’t smell like toilet cleaner.
Memo Marfa 75ml (£175)
Best for: Fragrance fanatics
Okay, so Marfa by Memo has been on our wish list since it launched. Each fragrance from Memo is a scent memory from a place this scent conjures up the bewitching small town of Marfa in the heart of Texas. Tuberose is the star of this show, but orange blossom and sandalwood feature too. But in all honesty, we’d buy it just for that bottle.
Azzi Glasser Old Books (£95)
Best for: Subtle fragrance wearers
This perfume is described as a scent that “whispers,” and it contains traditionally heady aromas such as patchouli, myrrh and amber that have been expertly blended by Glasser. She describes the scent’s inspiration as “the memory of picking up that old book in grandma’s attic, and watching it fall apart holds memories of heritage and intelligence that is profound and a rare perfection.”
Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 100ml (£67)
Best for: Purists
This cult classic perfume contains just one molecule: Iso E Super. Despite being just one ingredient, this perfume has a complex aroma that is subtle and woodsy. It mingles with your pheromones and vanishes, resurfacing to smell completely unique to you. You won’t notice it, but it can be quite captivating for people around you.
Estee Lauder Modern Muse Nuit 50ml (£50)
Best for: A glamorous recipient.
Modern Muse Nuit explores a more intoxicating and addictive side of the original scent. The new incarnation blends jasmine absolute with creamy woods and musk. A great crowd-pleaser, it’s a combination of floral, exotic and woody.
Diptyque Eau de Parfum Holiday Collection 2016 (£75)
Best for: The indecisive
Packaged in a gorgeous gift box are five atomisers, including Diptyque's cult classic Philosykos. It includes a great spectrum of perfume types from Oud Palao, an intoxicating woody incense scent, to L’Ombre Dans L’Eau, inspired by a stroll through a sunny English garden.
Tom Ford Black Orchid Perfume Lalique Edition (£630)
Best for: Fragrance collectors
If your attitude to Christmas gifting (or indeed receiving) is to go big or go home, this is for you. The highest concentration of Tom Ford Black Orchid has been bottled in a collector's edition bottle by Lalique, the world-famous crystal purveyors.