Fragrant gifts for fussy ‘hard to buy for’ relatives and friends are even trickier to navigate this year – with perfume testers not available, and more of us opting to shop from home than ever. Fear not! These fabulous fragrant sets ensure even the fussiest person will have loads to choose from…
Every family has one. An aunt whose lips curl disdainfully like Emu’s on receiving your carefully-chosen present, or a parent who helpfully says they have no idea what they want – ‘I don’t need anything, really…’ – but you know if you actually got them nothing, there’d be hell to pay for months to come.
Even if the person you’re buying for isn’t fussy, exactly, but just doesn’t feel confident about buying themselves a new scent; or perhaps you’re not sure where to start when suggesting something new: ready-curated sets are your scented saviours!
Basically, you’re spreading your bet – not putting all your eggs in one basket. Given as gifts, these look super thoughtful and deluxe, but are far more cost-effective than splurging all on one bottle. We can’t think of anyone who wouldn’t love these fragrance choices, frankly…
Ruth Mastenbroek Perfumer London Discovery Set: £27.50
Each scent from this collection – which was a sell-out on this site and has now been smartly re-packaged with lovely, high-quality 2ml sprays – is deeply inspired by Ruth’s memories and experiences. All of the fragrances are incredibly personal, crafted with great attention and care by this master perfumer and former president of The British Society of Perfumers. Here’s what you’ll enjoy…
Firedance (2ml) – a story of celebration… rejoicing in each moment of contentment in life. A modern interpretation of the classic rose perfume, with exotic leather and Damask rose, set against a warming backdrop of oudh and patchouli.
Signature (2ml) – Inspired by the ‘scents of my life’s journey’, as Ruth describes it. Featuring an eclectic mix of bergamot, blackcurrant, pineapple and mandarin, with rose, lily and jasmine making up the heart, oakmoss and patchouli creating the sublime Chypre base.
Oxford (2ml) – captures the essence of discovery – being exposed to things you have never come across before. Featuring an inspiring mix of bergamot, galbanum, basil and rosemary and jasmine, on a heady base of amber, vanilla, vetiver and oudh.
Amorosa (2ml) – the inspiration for Amorosa is falling in love – and this fragrance opens with a stunning, fresh watermelon note surrounded by green leaves. A powerful woody-ambery accord brings strength and depth to the gorgeous white flowers at the heart of Amorosa.
Dagian (2ml) – Dagian is the feeling of optimism that breaks at dawn, the exhilarating hope of a fresh start. As the sun rises, a breeze of lime and mint shimmers over notes of orange blossom and rum.
Sana Jardin Discovery Set: £30
Founder Amy Christiansen Si-Ahmed has created a stunning portfolio of perfumes that reflect her life-long love of fragrance – nurtured on travels through the Middle East with her inspirational grandmother. As she told The Perfume Society: ‘The scents I’d encountered on my travels over the years were enchanting to me: the pure and golden shimmer of orange blossom, the mystical, enveloping depth of sandalwood, the seduction of jasmine blooming at night. I felt I could never find that captured anywhere on a department store shelf.’ Created by renowned perfumer Carlos Benaïm, Amy’s collection – Sana Jardin – offers that and more, with sustainability (currently a ‘buzzword’ in perfumery) at the heart of everything they do.
Savage Jasmine Night-blooming jasmine, wrapped around intoxicating musk.
Sandalwood Temple Moroccan neroli oil, enveloped it in Atlas cedarwood, Haitian vetiver, creamy vanilla and East Indian sandalwood.
Tiger By Her Side Showcases Moroccan rose alongside Somalian incense and Indonesian patchouli.
Berber Blonde Filled with the light of Sana Jardin’s signature orange blossom, alongside Moroccan neroli oil and musk.
Celestial Patchouli Exotic aromas of patchouli, leather, cinnamon bark and Australian Sandalwood give way to the abundant warmth of rose, jasmine, osmanthus and Moroccan orris.
Nubian Musk A sensuously inviting blend of musk and vanilla, rose, jasmine, Moroccan grapefruit flower, Haitian vetiver and Australian sandalwood.
Revolution de la Fleur This is a sultry, sun-filled melody of Madagascan ylang ylang, Moroccan jasmine, frangipani, rose, vanilla and sandalwood.
Jaipur Chant Heady & Seductive Tuberose. Indian tuberose, the goddess of flowers, blooms in the still of night.
Strangelove Discovery Set: £60
Built around a subtle base of precious oudh [also spelled ‘oud‘], carefully blended with other precious ingredients gathered from all over the world, this is a house that refuses to compromise on quality, and with the very best (meticulously, sustainably sourced) materials at their fingertips. Christophe Laudamiel, punk rock star of the scent world, has created all the fragrances – so read on to delve deeper into each beguiling scent (which are £105 for full-size bottles of 15ml eau de parfum)
deadofnight – empowers its devotees to take risks and dive into their desires.
fallintostars – propels a mystical experience of boundless wonder, as lovers transcend time and space to journey into a parallel universe.
lostinflowers – evokes the thrill of new love, capturing that electric moment of discovery when two destined wanderers finally collide: lost in time, lost in romance, lostinflowers.
meltmyheart – inspires romance and indulgence for devoted lovers.
silencethesea – captures the intimacy of the lover’s gaze: soundless, eternal, profound.
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box: £27 (or £23 for VIPs)
For those who are missing browsing, spraying and smelling, The NICHE COLLECTION V Discovery Box is one of our BIGGEST collections EVER, showcasing 19 NICHE FRAGRANCES (plus two divine ‘extras’). In this scent-packed line-up, first explore a box-within-a-box with the ENTIRE COLLECTION from Maison Matine – modern French perfumery we are besotted with. Then swoon over more niche from Trudon, Ostens, Moresque, Mihan Aromatics, Molton Brown and DSQUARED2. Plus, three luscious creations from Bentley The Beyond Collection, and one from each of the opulent Storie Veneziane by Valmont collections. Gift true fragrance exploration to someone you love – or simply get spraying to your heart’s content…
Bentley Beyond The Collection Mellow Heliotrope 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
Bentley Beyond The Collection Radiant Osmanthus 1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
Bentley Beyond The Collection Vibrant Hibiscus1.8ml eau de parfum (£165 for 100ml)
DSQUARED2 Green Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml)
DSQUARED2 Red Wood 1ml eau de toilette (£44 for 30ml)
Maison Matine Avant l’Orage 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Bain de Midi 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Esprit de Contradiction 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Hasard Bazar 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Into The Wild 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Maison Matine Warni Warni 2ml eau de parfum (£55 for 50ml)
Mihan Aromatics Guilty Story 3ml extrait de parfum(AUD $90 for 30ml)
Molton Brown Juniper Jazz 1.5ml eau de toilette (£60 for 50ml)
Moresque Lady Tubereuse 2ml eau de parfum (€130 for 75ml)
Ostens Cashmeran Velvet 2ml eau de parfum (£105 for 50ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Collezione Privata Collection Lady Code 2ml eau de parfum (£230 for 100ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Palazzo Nobile Collection Casanova 2161 2ml eau de toilette (£136 for 100ml)
Storie Veneziane by Valmont Verde Erba I 2ml extrait de parfum (£173 for 8.5ml)
Trudon Elae 2ml eau de parfum (£180 for 100ml)
The Niche Collection V Discovery Box also features these divinely fragranced luxury extras…
OLVERUM Bath Oil 15ml (£36.50 for 125ml)
Weleda Pomegranate Firming Day Cream 7ml (£28.95 for 30ml)
If you’re still not sure what to get, may we humbly suggest this book? It’s perfect for perfume-lovers of any age and experience, and may help them choose with confidence for next year!
The Perfume Bible: £25 (VIP price £16.25)
Co-written by The Perfume Society‘s Founders, Jo Fairley and Lorna McKay, The Perfume Bible is must for every fragrance-lover (and a fabulous gift). It’s an encyclopaedia of all things fragrant – from how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ to a line-up of the 100 perfumes to try before you die.
You’ll discover the journey of ingredients from field to flacon, a run-down of the best perfume shops in the world, the history of scent, how to build a perfume ‘wardrobe’ and the all-important line-up of ‘100 Perfumes To Try Before You Die’ – 192 pages, in all…
By Suzy Nightingale