Little Luxuries: Fragrant Gifts from Beloved Names

Have you been window-shopping yet this festive season? There are some utterly beautiful gifting options around,, and our eyes (and noses!) have fallen for these fragrant choices most recently…

 

 

Byredo Les Cheveux Bal D’Afrique Hair Mist & Hair Brush £85

If you know someone who adores Byredo (and believe us, you will), this wonderful set of hair brush and scented hair mist – available in four of their most beloved fragrances – is the perfect special present their will treasure for years to come. Turning a daily chore into a gorgeous ritual, the Bal D’Afrique choice will ensure wafts of citrus, marigold and tonka on a warming, woody base.

 

 

 

Dries Van Noten Modapaleis £53

Surely one of the most beautifully presented new perfume ranges of late, the Dries Van Noten Discovery Set certainly doesn’t disappoint – exquisitely designed mini vials give the lucky gift recipient the chance to explore the entire collection in this set, featuring fascinating combinations like chestnut and silk in Soie Malaquais, the mint and iris of Neon Garden, and rosemary and patchouli of Voodoo Chile.

 

 

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Collection £63

There’s just something about a miniature that’s instantly adorable, and this so-collectable set is completely covetable. Comprising five of their most iconic scents, it’s a mini dip into the world of this wondrous house, featuring: Mûre et Musc 5ml – Blackberry – Lemon – Musk / Passage d’Enfer 5ml – Cedarwood – Incense – White Lily / Un Air de Bretagne 5ml – Ambergris – Neroli – Seaweed Absolute / Fou d’Absinthe 5ml – Patchouli – Pine Needles – Vanilla / Voleur de Roses 5ml – Notes: Patchouli – Plum – Rose.

 

 

 

Prada Infusion de Cèdre Candle £55

Prada fragrance fans will have their hearts beat a little faster for this beautiful opaline evocation of the Infusion de Cèdre in scented candle form! This completely chic winter scent ‘expresses new facets of a powerful cedarwood mixed with an unexpected twist of mandarin. The base magnified by enigmatic incense and benzoin accords…’ One for your most stylish scented friends, for sure, we love the idea of repurposing the vessel for makeup brushes or pens, later on.

 

 

 

Lancome La Vie Est Belle Face Care Set £96

A fragrant pampering set of dreams for this year’s limited edition holiday set, it would be the ideal gift for a friend who’s had a hard time lately and deserves a little TLC. Offering ‘me time’ via their best-selling modern classic, this party-ready (or let’s face it, even better: early bed, new book and pyjamas ready!) gift set is beautifully packaged, and features the ‘fragrance of happiness’ via vanilla, iris and patchouli; plus the matching perfumed body lotion to layer, and their renewing Advanced Genifique Serum for a skin-soothing treat.

 

 

 

YSL Fragrance Icons Gift Set £65

A deluxe travel set will always be a welcome gift – the perfect way to try fragrances for longer before buying a full-size bottle, but most of all to pop in a bag and ensure on-the-go fragrant wafting at all times! This set is a five star scent line-up of beloved fragrances, featuring black coffee-enriched Black Opium Eau de Parfum, pear and musk mixed Mon Paris Eau de Parfum, and the lavender and orange blossom chutzpah of Libre. A loved one who already wears one will likely fall head over heels for another, here…

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Luxury fragrances for less? (The REAL deal, no ‘dupes’ allowed!)

Luxury and niche fragrances are always lusted after, but of course can become somewhat injurious to one’s wallet if you want to try several all at once (and we always, always do!)

The problem is, this often leads people to try ‘dupe‘ fragrances (a nice word for ‘copy’ or ‘rip off’) when we are bombarded by companies aggressively advertising these copies on social media, which promise to be ‘as good as the real thing’ or saying ‘you’ll never know the difference’. It’s understandable some are (literally) duped this way – it sounds too good to be true…

And it is.

 

 

 

Luxury copies are often completely unregulated, using untraceable, unsustainable and inferior materials they can be made in unsanitary, sweat shop conditions, in huge vats of copycat smell-alikes, which may not have been fully safety tested, or have been adulterated with rogue ingredients and then passed off as being a ‘bargain’. Presented in such a way these companies suggest they are somehow doing you a favour, in fact, it’s daylight robbery – a theft of artistic ideas (often pretending to be the real thing by copying names and labels). And we have never once, in our combined decades of professional experience, found anyone, with any knowledge of fragrance, who has smelled the real thing and a knock-off dupe and not IMMEDIATELY been able to tell the difference. Fact.

Those in the know have found the way forward when we’re on a smaller budget. Luxury Discovery Boxes are the chance to indulge in the fragrances of niche and designer houses, often giving you the opportunity to try the scented wares from cult brands you’ve not heard of, or not everyone knows about yet. And, of course, not everyone happens to live near a niche perfumery (or feels brave enough to go in, even if you do). Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try. Luxury boxes allow you to afford to wear every single one… and get to experience the real deal, made by perfumers, not thieves.

 

 

 

Where to Get Samples?

The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of luxury, niche and top-end designer fragrance houses. That way you can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of your own home, before you splash out on a full size. This way, you also get to try things you may never have picked up to try in store (indeed, may never have heard of previously!) and have proper time to try on your skin.

 

 

Want to Explore More…?

Luxury Brand Boxes are the way forward. You may know you like one scent from a particular house, and are ready to be a bit braver and see what else they do. It’s a fantastic leaping-off point, actually, as many houses offer differing styles of scents while still retaining a kind of olfactory handwriting – the same way an artist will have a certain look to their work you can recognise, or a clothing designer tends to work with shapes or tones that suit you. So, when you’ve found one you love, do explore the rest in their collection (and obvs samples are the best way to do this without breaking the bank).

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to smell boujee on a budget (get niche fragrances for less!)

How can you smell boujee on a budget is a question that’s more pressing now than ever, given the time of year and the fact we’re all watching our purses a little more. But you CAN still smell amazing, and try lots of luxury niche scents for less – it’s all about being clever and sampling before you save up and splash out, we find…

Cultivating a love for niche fragrances is a thrilling exploration of what those independent houses are creating – a bit like the catwalk shows in fashion, often showcasing exciting new trends years ahead of the mainstream. But, as many of us know all too well, it can become somewhat injurious to one’s wallet if you want to try several all at once (and we always, always do!)

The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving you the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands you’ve not heard of, or not everyone knows about yet. And, of course, not everyone happens to live near a niche perfumery (or feels brave enough to go in, even if you do).

Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury sets, you can afford to wear every single one!

 

 

Manos Gerakinis Discovery Set £35

Inspired by childhood memories of Kavala, Greece, embracing his family’s heritage in Istanbul, and the intertwining of art, history, and philosophy; Manos Gerakinis is the first niche luxury Greek perfume house, and the fragrances truly radiate the diversity and passion of their founder.

Discover the full Mano Gerakinis Parfums story here

Quintessence – A refined woody ambrée fragrance, with top notes of  saffron, clove and black pepper.

Sillage Royal – Manos Gerakinis’s first fragrance, which was originally created for himself a woody ambrée fragrance with top notes of smoke , cardamon, saffron and curcuma.

Rose Poetique – A soft woody ambrée fragrance combining damask Rose and labdanum to create a floral ambrée scent with an addictive opening and an uplifting body.

Pivoine – A soft floral fragrance, with a heart note of peony taken after the name Paeon, the physician of Greek gods who angered Asclepius with top notes of red apple.

Immortelle – Immortelle is a yellow flower found in Greek nature and its story dates back to the Trojan war, with top notes of clove and cinnamon.

Omen  – Omen is a fruity-spicy-ambrée fragrance that is sweet and juicy, deep yet fun.

 

Maya Njie Discovery Set £34

Born in Västerås Sweden, with a West African heritage, and moving to London in her teens where she went in to study at the University of the Arts, Maya Njie experiments with smell along with colour and photography. The box also holds a beautiful booklet containing the 6 photos that inspired these scents.

Read more about Maya’s incredible artistic journey here

Nordic Cedar – inspired by a Swedish forest of cedars with earthy patchouli

Vanilj – comforting vanilla, spiced with cardamom and swirled in musk

Tobak – honeyed tobacco leaf, musks and leather, so addictive

Les Fleurs – bergamot, magnolia and fig, a celebration of life, love and creation

Tropica – tropical fruits layered with sandalwood and coconut for an idyllic escape

Voyeur Verde – verdant cypress trees entwined through leather seats of an abandoned car

 

 

 

 

Prosody London Cologne Collection £32

Perfumer and founder Keshen Teo worked tirelessly to ensure his 100% natural scents have an aesthetic quality as well as the ethical purity they strive for. As he explains: ‘The intrinsic complexity of naturals means you have to work hard to keep things well structured and balanced’, to ensure that the fragrances delight the nose and beguile the emotions from first sniff. ‘I like the challenge of this’.

Discover the full Prosody London story here

A Capella Ray – a chorus of desire

Bebop Allure – divine revolution fills the air: a scent to conquer empires

Berry Blitz – sublime and bewitching

Moiré Mimosa – defined by magic and mystery

Ocean Commotion – seriously stirring

Pizzicato Bliss – boundless optimism and energy

 

And that’s not all, as we’ve lots more luxury and niche fragrance discovery sets and sample packs to tempt you with on our dedicated Brand Boxes page, here!

 

Issey Miyake – a fragrant tribute

It was with great sadness that we learned Issey Miyake had died today, August 9th, 2022, at the age of 84. The word ‘iconic’ is often attributed to designers and fragrances alike, but rarely have we seen such a designer who seemed to effortlessly span both worlds, becoming legendary in his own lifetime while greatly contributing to the innovation of each.

Known for his masterclasses in ‘simplicity’ (in fact, so intricately designed fabric seemed to want to naturally fall in the shapes he sculpted from them), the fragrances from the house of course followed suit – these are scents that seem to drape the skin in softness, nature tamed to match his purity of vision within each perfume.

 

 

 

The most beloved of these has to be L’Eau d’Issey, first launched in 1992, with Jaques Cavallier composing a seamless silkiness via a silvery ripple of aquatic notes – Miyake’s inspiration being a scent that smelled ‘as pure as a waterfall’ – atop delicate, dew-dappled blossoms such as lotus flowers and powdery peonies.

Even the bottle has become iconic in its own right, for the design of which, say Issey Miyake Parfums, ‘he imagined a sharp and slender silhouette, whose lines recall a suspended drop. The metal cap, topped by a ball, evokes a personal memory: a night in Paris where the moon was shining at the top of the Eiffel Tower.’

 

 

For L’Eau d’Issey Homme, meanwhile, which launched in 1994, Cavallier crafted an herbaceous breath of fresh air that floated freshly crushed leaves of lemon verbena, tarragon and sage within a wave of juicy citrus; notes of water lilly melding with a misty woodiness that married this more masculine version with that of the original fragrance. Again, a scent that wasn’t just ahead of its time but feels timeless to wear.

Juxtaposed with the tail-end of those shoulder-pads-in-a-bottle fragrances that had swaggered their way through the 1980s, it was clear (as a waterfall) that Miyake had drawn a line under excess, marking a new era of paired-back perfumes that still resonates and feels fresh to this day.

Our Co-Founder Lorna Mckay spoke about his innovation, and more than this, the importance of Issey Miyake’s vision of truly entwining the worlds of fragrance and fashion:

‘Issey Miyake was an icon of cool and creativity in fashion AND fragrance. L’Eau d’Issey was groundbreaking in 1992 for its fresh aquatic smell in a simple and stunning bottle, reflecting water and waterdrops as well as being a “uniscent” fragrance loved by so many. His fine Japanese culture resonated with so many people looking for something different from the hedonistic culture of the 80’s. So many happy memories… and I am still a fan of wearing the fragrance and clothing today! Thank you Issey Miyake for your stylistic contribution to the world of fragrance and fashion.’

Fellow Co-Founder Jo Fairley had the honour of being present at the press launch of L’Eau d’Issey, meanwhile, and recalls:

‘It was a pinch-me moment as a fragrance writer to be at the very launch of L’Eau d’Issey, at a breakfast event hosted in the basement of Issey Miyake’s store in Brompton Cross. Perfumer Jacques Cavallier was there, as was the hugely inspiring Mr. Miyake himself, and what we smelled was like nothing that had gone before. Airy, liquid, seemingly ephemeral, it lasted on the skin: cool, woody, truly gender-neutral – and in the most exquisite bottle. Issey Miyake proved that less really can be more…’

 

 

 

 

As for tributes, we can think of none more fitting than to wear one of the Issey Miyake fragrances you love most, or perhaps to seek one out and try it for yourself if you’re yet to discover them. We’re certain they will still be talked about, worn and treasured for many years to come.

Written by Suzy Nightingale

How to buy a fragrance for someone you love…

Valentines Day – love it or loathe it – is just around the corner, and here at The Perfume Society, we believe it should be about treating someone you love with a scent that’s perfect for them (and that can be anyone you care about, not only someone you’re romantically involved with!)

Have you got a friend who could do with some kindness coming their way, or a loved one you’ve not been able to see in person for some time? Follow our guide, and we’ve several suggestions to help you find some truly fabulous fragrances that will truly suit them, and which they’re bound to fall for…

 

 

 

If you already know what they love

Well you’re off to a good start! Now all you need to do is type the name of that scent into our genius Find-A-Fragrance, and the clever algorithm – based on information we source directly from the fragrance houses and perfumers themselves – will suggest six new fragrances that, while different from the original you typed, share a similar mood, character or key ingredients. It really works!

 

 

Or, why not have a look at matching products available for their favourite fragrance, such as a gorgeously decadent bath oil, rich body cream or even a fragranced hair mist. It’s often possible to find travel-size versions of perfumes at this time of year, or, if you really wanted to push the boat out, many fragrance houses offer engraving or other forms of personalisation for a full-size bottle.

 

 

 

If you have no idea what they like (or they want to try something new)

The best idea is to get a Discovery Box of fabulous mini sizes and samples from a wide range of luxury, niche and top-end designer fragrance houses. That way they can start exploring and trying them all in the comfort of their own home, and most importantly, in their own time. Each box is carefully curated to include something for all tastes, and once they’ve found ‘the one’ (or perhaps several) you can then buy a full size, safe in the knowledge they’ve already tried it on their skin. It’s a particularly brilliant way to get people trying fragrances they’ve perhaps never heard of, or wouldn’t have thought about spraying in a shop. We know SO many people who’ve discovered their all-time scent loves this way!

 

 

 

 

How to know if a fragrance will suit them?

Think about how they dress, or the way they decorate their home – this is an excellent indication as to their character, and therefore the style of scent they probably prefer. Are there particular materials they’re drawn towards, or colours they normally go for? Fragrance, texture and colour and have many qualities in common.

Look for scents packaged in those colours – huge amounts of time and money are spent ‘matching’ the juice to the mood evoked by those hues – or described with those words, such as ‘velvety’, ‘suede’ or ‘crisp cotton’ in the notes. Or consider their interests: sporty gym types might prefer fresher scents, artistic types might prefer a more opulent aesthetic.

Once you’ve narrowed it down – either by using Find-A-Fragrance or perhaps finding them a new scent from a house they’re already drawn to – the best solution is to buy them a Brand Set: these showcase a wide selection of scents from the same house, and chances are if they already like one, they could swoon for another in that range.

Remember – scent selection isn’t always a matter of joining the dots, some people like fragrances you’d never guess at! They may even surprise themselves with their favourite. And really the best thing is that thrill of exploration while discovering their new scent love is a gift that keeps on giving (and showing how much you love them) for years to come…

 

Fragrant gift ideas for men this Christmas

Looking for fragrant gift ideas for men but don’t know where to start? Follow our handy guide to find the perfect one…

The days are long gone when chaps wore one scent for life (possibly something sold on TV by an ex sportsman) which they were urged to ‘splash all over’, and those in their immediate vicinity likely wished they hadn’t.

Indeed, we know many of our readers and subscribers are men who love exploring the wider world of fragrances available to them now. But if you’re scent shopping for the special guy in your life – perhaps someone who’s interested but hasn’t quite figured out his personal scent style yet – it can be a tricky business thinking of something that shows you’ve been thoughtful and considered their character, but also pushes them (gently!) out of their comfort zone a little.

So, where to begin?

If you happen to know some names of fragrances they’ve loved wearing, type one in to our simple Find a Fragrance tool: the so-clever algorithm suggests six new scents with similar characters to try. Narrow down the selection by asking yourself…

What type of a chap are you buying for?

Age, character, hobbies and career are all pointers to fragrant gift ideas for men, but can never be an absolute guarantee of what he’ll prefer – he might just surprise you (and himself!) Masculine fragrances have moved on somewhat since the one-size-fits-all sporty-fresh-or-nothing days. Now there are ‘gender fluid’ fragrances categories, and men are offered a fragrant feast along with sophisticated fougéres; addictive gourmands, bigger, bolder Colognes, opulent ambers and even floral-forward scents that smell utterly incredible on a man’s skin.

However, we know not all chaps will be as open to more experiemental scents styles, so we’ve put together the ideal starting point with a selection of Discovery Boxes, specially curated with a range of fragrances to suit all tastes – from more classic and designer names to cult, niche houses they’ll love to explore.

Have a look at our current top picks of fragrant gift ideas for men, below…

 

 

Contemporary scents putting a modern twist on a local apothecary approach to luxury, MALIN+GOETZ have excelled with this NEW Discovery Set of SIX invigorating fragrance delights. £22

 

 

 

Music-lovers will adore these stunningly packaged, musical genre-inspired fragrances. Each of the 14 JUSBOX scents pays homage to an icon or era in music, with their own playlists on Spotify! £35

 

Paring fine fragrance with fashion-leading (cruelty free) pampering treats since 1973, iconic British brand Molton Brown built a global reputation on modern classics, with scents suit all tastes. £33

 

 

Founded in 1730, Floris create beautiful contemporary-style fragrances, as well as true classics. Still run by members of the family, heritage is taken to new levels with this niche-led collection. £35

 

 

The perfect gift for scent lovers to create their own bespoke fragrance, Emmanuelle Moeglin started Experimental Perfume Club in 2016. Now you can share & compare your layer combos! £32

Fragrances For… spectacular sunsets

The skies this time of year are ablaze with colour as the sun sets – the heavens awash with purples, reds and pinks that melt into the darkness like nature’s fireworks. And fragrances are often inspired by this spectacular display, too – perfumers creating scents that light us up even on the dullest days. Here’s five we feel so colourful wearing right now…

 

COACH
Dreams Sunset
Inspired by ‘golden hours and one-of-a-kind journeys with friends’ – which we are indeed dreaming of – this ombré bottle, echoing the colours of sunset, perfectly shows off a floriental composition crafted by the brilliant Nathalie Lorson. Refreshing pear sorbet and bergamot playfully tease the wearer, before jasmine sambac and magnolia dial up the intrigue. But what keeps this beach party rocking is the smoochy, sultry base of tonka and vanilla. We’re so there.
From £34.50 for 40ml eau de parfum
johnlewis.com

 

GHOST
Orb of Night
Setting a darker, moodier tone to the pantheon of Ghost perfumes, Night Orb glimmers with a dark cherry almond accord, kissed with mandarin before plunging deeper into a heady orange blossom, ylang ylang and freesia heart. The sandalwood base has rivulets of caramel running through it, but being rippled with a salty, slightly animalic ambergris, is rendered salty and moreish. From the rose gold bottle to the vegan certification, it impresses.
£22.95 for 30ml eau de parfum
escentual.com

 

 

BVLGARI
Omnia by Mary Katrantzou
The most glorious, iridescent sunset-esque bottle acts as a vase for Alberto Morrilas’s beautifully composed ‘maximalist bouquet’, as Bulgari describe it. A green rustle of fig leaf unfurls to billowing orange blossom and gardenia before settling to underpinnings of fluffy musk and a deeper, woody base. An exclusive collaboration with fashion designer Mary Katrantzou, this vibrant scent reflects her designs, and we can almost feel the fabric flowing around us as we wear this.
£87 for 65ml eau de parfum
bulgari.com

 

MAISON CRIVELLI
Osmanthe Kōdoshān
A sublime portrait of the apricot-y bloom, this is inspired by a trip to ‘a tropical mountain shrouded in mist.’ We sense sunsets, height and grandeur in a scent that slowly unfurls itself as it warms. Curls of fog clear to reveal a forest far below, the resinous scent of verdant vegetation and grounding woodiness rising to meet you, the osmanthus swathing your skin in a leathery embrace. Calming, mysterious, transcendentally beautiful.
From £170 for 100ml eau de parfum
harveynichols.com

 

 

PENHALIGON’S
Constantinople
On spraying this, we were immediately greeted with a highly refined, almost leathery iris – the image of an intricately carved wooden shutter suddenly flung open to welcome evening air and blazing skies, a tang of salty shores nearby carrying waves of delicate, powdered spices on the breeze. Beneath an earthy, mossy layer nestles seams of liquid vanilla, milky ripples later reflect moonlight, harbouring the expectation and tingling anticipation of tomorrow’s exotic adventures…
£178 for 100ml eau de parfum
penhaligons.com

 

Luxe for less – pocket-friendly perfumes

Luxe for less can be done – there’s a plethora of pocket-friendly perfumes out there, that smell like a million dollars but don’t make a huge dent in your bank account.

Because let’s face it, we all know January can be hard on the pocket (and the soul!) but we’re now craving occasional treats to self like never before, and a little luxury arriving through the post can go a long way to cheering yourself up on a grim day – or simply letting someone else know you’re thinking of them, giving them something to smile about.

This is the third of our curated selection of affordable scents, having already shared some that were Thrifty but Nifty, and Indie but Not Spendy. Now we’re going Luxe for Less, and encourage you to seek these out for a fragrant hit of happiness that needn’t have you living on instant noodles to fund your perfume habits…

 

Lancôme Ô De Lancôme £41 for 75ml eau de toilette
A sparkling icon since 1969, spritz scented sunbeams with this whoosh of effervescent exhilaration. ‘Green’ and fresh fragrances are predicted to be a huge trend year-round, and the clean floral notes of jasmine, honeysuckle and lily of the valley are radiantly projected against a backdrop of mossy, herbaceously bracing breath of fresh air.
lancome.co.uk

 

 

Kayali ELIXIR | 11 £18 for 10ml eau de parfum
May rose combined with crisply sweet red apple, rose and dreamy, decadent jasmine makes for a fragrance to spray when we want to be whisked to happier times and untainted dreams. The creamy swirl of vanillia as it warms on the skin helps to restore a sense of safety and assurance. Decadently dreamy.
hudabeauty.com

 

Yves Saint Laurent Kouros £49 for 100ml aftershave
Another absolute classic many are reaching for right now, this aromatic ‘fougere’ (fern-like) fragrance begins aldehydic with freshly cut grass tempered with jasmine, rose, clary sage and coriander, then snuggles down to a smooth, honeyed leather on a warm, amber-rich base. A scented splash to soothe razor-burn and frazzled nerves at any time.
yslbeauty.co.uk

 

Potion Paris Amber, Praline & Wood Seduction £35 for 2 x 10ml eau de parfum
Seductive doesn’t have to mean attracting others: you can seduce your own senses with this delicious duo. Meant as refills for the so-glam Potion Paris perfume necklace, succulent plum swoons to a heart of toffee as vanilla swirls to a warm, musky and comfortingly soft dry down. Opulence served with a reassuring hug.
potionparis.com

 

 

Cacharel Noa £16.99 for 30ml eau de toilette
Created by Olivier Cresp, this is a timeless masterpiece of understated loveliness. Who doesn’t want to be wrapped in a whisper of white, soft cotton and powdery peonies? Effortless and soothingly nuanced, freesia nuzzles fuzzy peach skin, ylang ylang and a shower of sheer rose petals to a creamy incense-swathed base.
theperfumeshop.com

 

Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (£32 for VIP Club Members) for 14 fragrances + candle
Indulge in a whole box of luxury from home with the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION, a trio of newness from Lalique, generous minis from Vines House Parfums Love Story, Floral Street Chypre Sublime, Tocca Giulietta and Versace Crystal Noir. PLUS perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek new candle – either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County.
The Perfume Society Shop

 

By Suzy Nightingale

Luxury fragrance gifts to indulge with this Christmas – at pocket-friendly prices!

Luxury fragrance gifts needn’t break the bankDiscovery Sets are the way forward! Stunningly presented, ordered at the click of a button, easy to wrap at home or have sent straight to the lucky recipient: these boxes are the perfect presents for perfume-lovers

The joy of a luxury Discovery Set is the chance to indulge in the fragrances of ultra-luxe niche and designer houses, often giving your lucky gift recipient (or yourself, let’s face it) the opportunity to try the entire collection of a particular perfume house. Or, perhaps, allowing the luxury of sampling the scented wares from cult brands not everyone knows about yet.

Very few of us could go out and purchase full-size bottles of every brand we want to try – with these luxury gift sets, you can afford to wear every single one!

If you have someone who’s difficult to buy for, or you’re not quite sure exactly what kind of scents they like – gifting a whole range ensures they’ll fall immediately for at least one of the fragrances (and, in our experience, will come to love them all or enjoy sharing with a partner or friends).

To send to loved ones you can’t be with this year, or to treat yourself after a year of woe? Not going to lie, we shamelessly do the ‘one for you, one for me’ rule of Christmas shopping, and most especially this year. Think of the hours of bliss you’ll have! Trying all the fragrances for the first time, reading about the notes, the perfumers and history of the house (all the information you can find right here on this website, with our in-depth brand pages).

Luxury fragrance gifts are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted…

Harvey Nichols & The Perfume Society Discovery Box £45
Your personal perfume shopping experince – without having to leave your sofa!

Harvey Nichols boasts one of the best fragrance halls in the world, and in the last few years have tirelessly worked to bring in many more niche and exciting artisanal houses. We were thrilled to be asked again to curate a box of some of our favourites with them! Twelve luxury fragrances from six houses in this one, showcasing the hotly anticipated UK launch of Atelier Materi and Maison Crivelli, alongside classically adored fragrances from Creed, you can explore THREE fragrances from EACH of these beautiful perfume houses. We’ve added generous MINIATURES with just-launched Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever (5ml) AND Maison Francis Kurkdjian L’Homme À La Rose (5ml)! And lest we forget, the pièce de resistance is Ramon Monegal Flamenco (10ml) swathed in a golden fabric pouch for an extra hit of luxe.

 

The Indulgence Discovery Box £36 (or £32 if you become a VIP!)
Squeal-worthy miniature bottles & indulgence, bottled – for someone who deserves a treat.

Don’t you think you deserve to indulge in this gorgeous box of delights? It’s simply brimming with fragrant fabulousness, from the ENTIRE CARINE ROITFELD COLLECTION (former editor-in-chief of Paris Vogue, dontcha know, based on seven cities and seven imaginary lovers), to a trio of newness from Lalique, inspired by precious metals, we’re going crazy for. We’ve also included generous MINIATURES – inhale DEEP! – from our latest perfume house crush, Vines House Parfums Love Story (7.5ml), together with the so-modern beauty editor’s fave, Floral Street Chypre Sublime (10ml), the dinkiest darling bottle of the delightful Tocca Giulietta (5ml) and for some seasonal va-va-voom, the perfumista’s favourite: Versace Crystal Noir (5ml). PLUS new home fragrance from perfumer Ruth Mastenbroek, whose new candles we’re showcasing – you’ll receive either Ancient Frankincense OR Rebel County, and trust us, you won’t even WANT to leave the house…

 

Amouage Secret Garden Discovery Set £35
Say ‘I love you’ to a floral-lover, with a truly beautiful gift from one of the world’s top luxury fragrance houses…

AMOUAGE have been drawing on the ancient, alchemistic traditions of perfume-making, creating perfumes that are loved all over the world for over 35 years. This is a luxury perfume house with its finger on the pulse-point of what modern men and women want, so we are delighted to introduce the truly magical SECRET GARDEN DISCOVERY SET featuring FOUR NICHE FRAGRANCES inspired by the floral haze of secret gardens. Spray away the darkness with a joyful leap in to Spring (oh, yes please!) with every spray from Blossom Love, Lilac Love, Love Mimosa and Love Tuberose – each fragrance crafted using the finest oils and essences sourced from around the world. Dare we say: it’s better than a real bouquet and therefore makes a truly WONDERFUL GIFT either for yourself, or someone special. If they like glorious gardens, gasp at flowers and adore floral fragrances – they’ll love you forever.

 

La Maison J.U.S Discovery Set £30
Stylish, cool and so-unique: THE gift for artistic, eco-conscious fashion-lovers in your life!

Taking their name from their motto: ‘Joyau, Unique and Sensoriel’  (a ‘unique sensory jewel’), this ultra-cool niche French house delight in doing things differently. Using vintage bottles in bold, neon colours, allowing their perfumers free-reign and with everything eco-conscious – the fragrances are just are vibrant, but oh so beautifully wearable. Appealing to artistic types who like to tread their own path, the scents are seductively unique (genuinely, we love ALL ELEVEN!) From the salted amber of Ambraser, coffee and oudh of Coffeeze, Cuirissime‘s leather, violet and iris; zesty ginger and absinthe in Gingerlise and darkly daring leathery floral of Noiressence. There’s the whole rose (petals, thorns, humid air) of Rosamonda, sensual rose oudh and vanilla in SexyCrush or powdery soft rose in Sopoudrage to explore. SpringPop is green shoots, fresh cut grass and sea air, while Superfusion‘s silvery musk shimmers intriguingly, and UltraHot crackles with sensual saffron and incense. Oh wow, it’s a fragrant journey alright – and we’re re-using our pots for makeup brushes and pens!

 

Atelier des Ors Discovery Set £25
All that glimmers IS gold with this oppulent olfactory gift, exploring ‘haute parfumerie with poetry…’

This one’s a Perfume Society EXCLUSIVE (so you can guarantee they wont have this!) Atelier des Ors Discovery Set is truly a majestic perfume house: think decadent scents for perfume-loving grown-ups, created from the best quality ingredients the world can offer. (And the full-size bottles are like snow globes for grown-ups, a-sparkle with flecks of real gold.) Atelier des Ors will fan the flames of your fragrant desires, as Jean-Phillipe Clermont, founder of Atelier des Ors, explains: ‘In every civilisation, gold symbolises the pursuit of perfection and the quest of absolute.’ Get spraying for yourself and explore FIVE NICHE fragrances in this divine set, which you won’t find anywhere else. Aube Rubis is crisp, woody, inspired by the dawn, while Lune Féline captures the brilliance of the night sky and the moon in the most creamy, dreamy vanilla. Musc Immortel sparkles with grapefruit, iris and clary sage and Nuda Veritas swathes the skin in an airy, fresh and pure floral creation. Rose Omeyyade, meanwhile, is a breath-takingly sensual rose and oudh perfume that will make you sigh. We’ve swooned, many times, over all of these…

 

Ostens Discovery Set £30
The créme de la créme of ingredients + the world’s top perfumers = a luxury niche house of refined elegance.

Friends and business partners Christopher Yu and Laurent Delafon have been in the fragrance industry for over 20 years, founding United Perfumes (a prestigious fragrance distribution and development company) which afforded them unrivalled access to the finest ingredients and perfumers in the world, including extraordinary new extractions from LRM Naturals of ‘vetiver, rose, patchouli and more. We realised that if we loved those smells, then there were surely other people who’d feel the same way.’ Everyone in the fragrance world raves about these scents, and your recipient definitely will fall for…. Cashmeran Velvet cocooning with smoky woodiness, Cedarwood Heart grounding, while unexpectedly creamy and Jasmine Absolute – addictively heady, just-bloomed jasmine on a sultry day. Two patchoulis explore the note’s diversity: Patchouli Heart No.I a softer, warmer, and a more modern interpretation of the classic, while Patchouli Heart No.II  is fresher, aromatic and timelessly elegant. And, oh! Rose Oil Isparta – A rose is a rose…or so we thought until we smelt the unique scent of the Rosa Damascena from Turkey. Love at first sniff…

Why not buy the same box for you and a best friend you’re missing terribly? That way, you can schedule a Zoom meeting, get the wine in and some snacks on the go, and have a live smell-along together!

By Suzy Nightingale

 

 

The Fragrance Room – Harvey Nichols new perfume place to be!

Harvey Nichols Knightsbridge have just opened a fabulous NEW fragrant hang-out: Exclusives and boutiques and workshops, oh my! We got the low-down on this exciting new scent space within the department store, now with a whole host of new houses to explore in DOUBLE the room…

Harvey Nichols have long had a passion for perfume – often showcasing niche brands that never dreamed of being stocked in such a world-famous store, finding the most unique names that are hard to find anywhere else along with their curated selection of the finest fragrance houses this planet has to offer perfumistas. With innovative art installations and all manner of fragrant events already under their belt, and an array of gorgeous shop-in-shop boutiques queing up to join in the fragrant fun – it was time to expand the space and really commit to a larger integral fragrant experience. Behold: The Fragrance Room

 

 

Bigger, better, bolder than ever before, this new department has now been unveiled and includes over 100 fragrance houses, including in-store boutiques from Creed, Maison Francis Kurkdjian, Serge Lutens and Kilian. With a roll-out of inclusive, immersive experiences for customers, the new concept will include a sensory fragrance discovery wall – to help customers navigate the often tricky fragrance families – boutique activations, including fragrance workshops with the Fragrance Foundation to celebrate National Fragrance Week and opportunities to meet brand founders and perfumers through interactive events and partnerships.

 

 

Jo Osborne, Director of Beauty and Concessions at Harvey Nichols, said that because fragrance has been such a significant part of their business, since the 2016, they’ve taken the decision to massively expand their fragrance offering.

‘…we have outgrown the current area but are fortunate enough to move to a space double the size. The new department allows us to offer some of our bestselling brands an opportunity to create their own boutique space and the rest of the department to curate unique and fine fragrances from across the world, which we know our customers will love. We are excited to work with new and existing brands to offer exclusive activities, such as expert consultations and welcome various brand founders such as Francis Kurkdjian and Geza Schoen.’

The first phase is already open, and when fully complete at the end of this month (March 2020), the space will be a whopping 1,600 sq ft – showing exactly how important fragrance is to Harvey Nichols. And that’s great news for all of us who love perfume, don’t you think?

Harvey Nichols say: ‘With a portfolio of UK exclusive brands including Maison Crivelli, 28 87 Barcelona, V Canta by Terenzi, Ormaie Paris and Ella K, the deapartment will be home to a library of fragrance brands from across the world.’

Additional fragrance houses joining Harvey Nichols for the first time include Hermessance, Nassomatto, Parfums de Marly, D.S. & Durga and Initio, among others.

We don’t know about you, but our shopping (and must-sniff) list just got a LOT longer…

By Suzy Nightingale