Pocket-Friendly Perfume Gifts

It can be rather daunting trying to buy gifts that show you care but don’t break the bank, so we’ve a line-up of perfect perfumed present ideas that showcase fabulous fragrances but happen to be brilliantly priced. In fact, these are pocket-friendly enough to even consider treating yourself, too, don’t you think…?

 

 

Florals, but absolutely not as you know them – this was the driving passion that launched British niche house Floral Street in to the perfume world, and has since seen them become a global, award-winning scented success story. Find out why with this brilliant set, which offers a whole wardrobe of contemporary eaux de parfums, all ‘powered by flowers’.

Chypre Sublime An utterly modern take on this sophisticated fragrance family, blending incense with Damask rose absolute, midnight violet, pink pepper and geranium, on a stunning base of benzoin, labdanum and olibanum.

Black Lotus The classic English-Rose dressed in a black leather jacket. Intoxicating, spirited, bohemian and alive. Complex and multi-faceted, the sweet honeyed scent of centifolia rose adds depth to lighter, spicy nuances by way of red peppercorn and saffron.

Arizona  Bloom A dry floral amber. A sense of freedom and happiness — scented and bottled.

Electric Rhubarb White florals and powdery sandalwood are combined with the scent of English Rhubarb and an unexpected blast of salty sea air.

Neon Rose You will never have smelt flowers like these. Freshly chopped jasmine draped around your neck. Roses around your wrist. And yet no roses were harmed in the making of this showpiece – these buds were cooked up in a lab for extra punch. Crisp, green Angelica leaves bring a botanical dimension, while fresh Bergamot floats overhead.

Wild Vanilla Orchid It’s vanilla, but not as you know it. A raw-edged confection of creamy vanilla beans, blossom, cassis and citrus, dressed in a bunch of just-plucked jasmine. Offsetting the lingering sweetness; bamboo and sandalwood bend and fold underneath.

Ylang Ylang Espresso  A strikingly modern blend of red rose, ylang ylang and jasmine cross paths with a soothing cloud of just-brewed coffee, fresh cream and Sichuan pepper – sustainably harvested from the foothills of the Himalayas. A fragrance to get lost in.

Floral Street Discovery Set £16 

 

 

A cult house, created by maverick duo Matthew Malin and Andrew Goetz in New York, back in 2004; their easy-to-use, easy-to-understand skincare rapidly became a word-of-mouth favourite, and now their incredible, ground-breaking perfumes revolving around a central ingredient (surprisingly explored), are absolutely a fragrant force to be reckoned with.

Bergamot – a citrus orchard in bloom, with the spice of bitter fruit, bell pepper and ginger, with undertones of earthy musk and woody notes.

Cannabis – rich and herbaceous, with soft, floral notes of muguet and magnolia, on a base of earthy cedarwood, patchouli and sandalwood.

Dark Rum – a refreshing dark and spicy aroma, sweetened with plum and bergamot, with notes of leather, rum and creamy milk.

Leather – a formula of muted florals with smooth leather while rustic wood notes call to mind the softness of a well-worn vintage find.

Stem – luscious notes of green hyacinth, muguet, mandarin leaves, and green elements from wild freesia, all softened by a trio of modern musk molecules.

Vetiver – a combination of fresh citrus peel twists that are warmed by savoury celery seed, amber and guaiacwood.

Malin + Goetz £22 

 

 

Annicke Fragrance Discovery Set

 

Albert Fouquet was the young Parisian aristocrat, who founded beloved NICHE house, Eight & Bob. His life was turned upside down one evening in the French Alps, where he attended a high society soirée and was introduced to the strikingly beautiful Annicke. This collection was created as a contemporary fragrant tribute to Fouquet’s love – and you’ll be bound to fall…

Annicke 1 – an ode to the extraordinary beauty and elegance of a woman with feminine floral aromas of lily of the valley, peony and jasmine

Annicke 2 – deliberately sensual and irresistible with harmonious notes of fruity fig and mandarin that uplift the senses, and hazelnut that brings a delicate touch of sugar

Annicke 3 – inspired by the sophisticated and glamorous charm of the early 1920s as white rose unfurls an air of vintage femininity across a dancefloor

Annicke 4 – inspired by an enchanted forest with woody and earthy undertones of Cashmeran and oakmoss, with spring-like floral notes of rose, ylang ylang and jasmine

Annicke 5 – discover the art of seduction via rich notes of full-bodied plum, golden honey with a dash of spicy rum and a base of sensual patchouli

Annicke 6 – personifying the complex dimensions of a woman, through juxtaposing notes of Sichuan pepper, bergamot and carnation

Annicke £20

 

Having launched new iterations of their best-selling Molecule 01, a fragrance that showcases the artistry and depth of synthetic molecules and has become a global superstar, the first three of the M+ collection showcases the iconic original boosted with the most beautiful accompanying notes. Truly original, utterly addictive, they’re all-day compliment-getters for sure.

Molecule 01 + Patchouli – has a cool, rather aloof woodiness to it.

Molecule 01 + Iris – iris is luxury, with a creamy powderiness.

Molecule 01 + Mandarin – radiates off the skin, with a citrus zing.

Escentric Molecules M+ £20

 

 

 

Contemporary artist Sarah Baker’s photography, sculpture and films are inspired by ‘fashion, luxury and celebrity’, but little did she know that when she created a fictional fragrance house as part of her artwork, her passion for the project (and the public’s reaction to it) would result in a real-life fragrance house. Vibrant, evocative, powerfully playful yet totally wearable, these are luxe for less!

Bascule: Horses, hay and leather. The sun-ripened notes of succulent fruit, woods and prominent green notes. Equestrian.

Far from the Madding Crowd: A picnic in the countryside. Botanics, deciduous fruits, wild flowers and woods. Meadows.

Flame & Fortune: White flowers, spice and citrus heated until it catches fire in the dryness of the fragrant desert. Dramatic.

G Clef: Jazz-inspired. Coastal, citrus and woody and notes of a fougére. Californian or Mediterranean? Savoire Faire.

Symmerty: The fragrance hub of the Ancient World. Combines oud, with the freshness of a cologne tradition. Classical.

Sarah Baker £25

Fragrant gift ideas for friends

While looking for fragrant gift ideas for friends, consider this Christmas as an opportunity to say thank you in scented form – for the shared memories, hope-filled future plans and laughter-filled Zoom catch-ups that got you through the last couple of years!

The best thing about these gifts is, you don’t have to plump for one perfume and hope its ‘the one’ – these gift sets include a range of fragrances with something to tempt everyone. So, instead of getting them the same old thing (which can come across as not really having put any thought in), or randomly picking a scent you’re not sure they’d like (which seems a bit impersonal); choose a set based on the type of friendship you have, and on their unique character – you probably know them best in the whole world, after all!

This Christmas looks set to be better than last year, when so many of us were estranged from loved ones; but if you’re unable to see some of your friends in-person again this year, why not send them one of these boxes of joy, gift one to yourself, too, and arrange another Zoom call (possibly with a cocktail on-hand, why not?!) and enjoy some time smelling through the scents together.

That way you’ll really get to know what they love, and it will give you gift ideas for many years to come as a bonus: genius! For friends near or far – give them one of these to say…

 

 

“Thank you for always having my back, no matter what!”

For friends that have stayed with you through good times AND bad – the ones you could call at 2am crying, and they’d listen / come and get you / can always trust. This socially-conscious, luxury fragrance house have bottles created entirely from recycled glass, along with a sustainability program to help the Moroccan women who pick the orange blossoms used in several of perfumer Carlos Benaïm‘s stunning creations. A magic carpet-ride for the senses.

Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30

 

 

“Thank you for being as ‘strange’ as me, I love you!”

For the friends you share secret in-jokes (perhaps even brains) with, and are just as wonderfully unique as you – the ones you only have to look at to know what they’re thinking, who can make you laugh across a crowded room. The quirky flair of perfumer Christophe Laudamiel is only matched by his genius skills and superior ingredients. Together with raw ingredient pioneer (Elizabeth Gaynes), and a fragrantly-obsessed supermodel (Helena Christensen!), this ultra-luxe niche collection is addictively fabulous.

Strangelove Discovery Set: £60

 

 

“Thank you for creating precious memories, and allowing me to dream!”

 

For the friends that have travelled with you: around the world, and emotionally, too – they’re by your side no matter how far apart you happen to live, and in even the darkest times you can smile at the shared memories you have. All these fragrances capture snapshots of happy memories in scent, crafted with such sophistication, a sense of refinement, true love and great attention to detail by this brilliant British perfumer and former president of The British Society of Perfumers.

Ruth Mastenbroek Discovery Set: £27.50

 

 

“Thank you for inspiring me with your love of myths / art / history / culture!”

 

 

For the friends who always recommend amazing books / art / places & films – you’re always inspired by what they’ve read or seen, places they’ve been or want to take you to. Here’s a house that takes founder Manos Gerakinis‘ family Istanbul heritage and childhood memories of Greece, and intertwines his love of art, history, classical mythology and philosophy. Scents that simmer with spices and precious ingredients, radiating diversity and passion, like friends who have you writing lists of wonderful new things to explore.

Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set: £35

 

 

“Thank you for understanding the REAL me!”


For friends that see right through to your soul, somehow, and always know when you’re upset or need some extra hugs – these ones just ‘get’ you (the real you) and you never have to explain: they just know. Personality types are integral to choosing the perfect perfume because it’s such an emotional connection. So, each of these fragrances is formed around a distinct character profile, allowing the person choosing to have a strong idea of where to begin. A beautifully thoughtful collection, brilliantly explained.

Olfactive O Discovery Set: £30

Stocking fillers – mini scented sets!

Stocking fillers used to be novelty gifts, somewhat lacklustre confectionery goods and perhaps a satsuma – lovely to open as a child, of course, but now we’re finding adults are massively in to the nostalgia of exchanging Christmas stockings. And we require the fillers to be a little more… fabulous, let’s say.

Because let’s face it, the stocking presents were the highlight of Christmas – encapsulating the excitement of waking up and ripping off the wrapping paper with wild abandon. You may wish to rise at a rather more dignified hour, now, and perhaps begin the day with a cup of tea (or a long glass of Mimosa – well it is Christmas!)

But why not consider putting together a stocking stuffed with lovely little gifts to give a partner – or send a friend you can’t be with this year, and face time them as they open it?!

Here’s some mini sets and exciting fragrant finds we’d love to find in our stockings this year… Give them the whole box, break up a set to gift several friends (or keep some for yourself? We won’t tell…)

 

Banana Republic ICON Discovery Set £8 for four fragrances
This pocket-friendly set showcases four of the Banana Republic fragrances – scents that have fast gained a cult status among fragrance afficionados, who were wowed by their originality, longevity and and diversity. From sun-soaked orange blossom to smoky rose, a cashmere soft hug to vibrant forest-y freshness – you’ll definitely know someone who’d adore exploring these.

Sous Le Manteau Collection: £19 for five fragrances
Olivia Bransbourg discovered a 19th Century book of actual French love potions in a Parisian flea market. Fascinated by the centuries-old recipes and with the help of perfumer Nathalie Feisthauer, these potions were reincarnated into FIVE divine fragrances, in a dinky parcel that fits in the palm of your hand. You’ll be enraptured by honeyed sensuality, wrapped in a cloud, grounded in the moment, embraced by powdery kisses and tempted by feverish naughtiness…

 

Maison Matine Discovery Set £15 for six fragrances
This quirky French niche house urges everyone, no matter our ages, to be ‘a bit more daring every day.’ With free-spirited, immediately uplifting fragrances, each one has been created by emerging ‘noses’ and possesses its own unique charm. They believe – as we do – that perfume has the power to help you overthrow a bad morning and actively choose to change your day. Tropical odysseys, calming cocoons, zesty adventures and the whole world awaits!

 

Rook Perfumes Discovery Set £15 for three fragrances
Here’s a perfume house with infinite layers – rule-breaking and innovative as well as beautiful. Described as ‘a diplomat dressed as a punk rocker’, Rook was created by founder, Nadeem Crowe, as his signature scent, while Forest conjures damp earth, wet moss and cedar and Undergrowth exactly evokes ‘pulling fresh garden mint from the earth.’ Crowe happens to be an NHS frontline doctor AND actor (yes, really!) and uses the power of perfume to transport himself. Where, we wonder, will his creations transport you…?

 

L’Orchestre Parfum Mix Tape Vol.1 £25 for six fragrances
A mix tape? It genuinely is – you simply scan the QR code to listen to tracks inspired by the fragrances (which are, in turn, inspired by musical instruments). And oh, the fragrances are stunning: carnal florals to soothing sandalwood; a fizz of electro-pop to the smoky rose throbbing with deep vibrations of a trombone. There’s something for everyone to fall for, here (particularly great for music lovers!) and we’re sure a number will strike a chord with you.

 

Experimental Perfume Club Discovery Set £25 for six fragrances
This fun set features fragrances to layer, explore and learn with – a brilliant gift for those wanting to become a perfumer, or hungry to explore their sense of smell. Each eau de parfum is either a TOP LAYER, MID LAYER or BASE LAYER. Wear alone, or mix them up – cards within each box offer inspirations to start to your scented experiments. Dive into the fun of discovering your own favourite combination – a unique fragrant blend that’s as close to bespoke as you can get!

By Suzy Nightingale