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

Goldfield & Banks – the blissful Botanicals series of scents

Dimitri Weber launched his house of Goldfield & Banks in 2016, showcasing for the fist time in the fragrance world the stunning native ingredients of Australia. And WHAT a wonderful treat for all fragrance lovers this proved to be…

 

When he started, Dimitri explained to us, nobody was talking about Australian ingredients at the various trade shows he visited, but ‘…now I notice more people are showcasing and highlighting their provenance, and the big houses like Firmenich and Givaudan are now exploring those ingredients, and that’s so wonderful!’

It was a fragrantly fateful 25 years ago Dimitri first travelled to Australia for a fragrance launch. He’d worked on fragrances in France for over twenty years before that trip that was to blow his mind and shape the course of his scented life and career. A friend suggested extending his trip, seeing as he’d flown for 24 hours to get there, to explore the wilds of the Australian landscape. While there, Dimitri says he totally fell in love with both the place and a special person, eventually moving to Australia and completely immersing himself in the wonderful ingredients he found there.

 

 

 

With this idea of combining the refinement of French perfumery with a hitherto under-explored palette of fragrant ingredients, he was proud to start his own brand to highlight unique materials of incredibly high quality: ‘Some of the farmers we work with are growing their ingredients in such remote locations in Australia that there’s no pollution whatsoever – they are completely pure.’

There are so many scents to adore within their collection – which you can read about along with the full founding story and inspirations of the house – in our page dedicated to Goldfield & Banks; but here we’re going to the Botanicals Series (easily distinguishable with their gilded bottles), beginning with the most recent…

 

Goldfield & Banks Island Lush 

Perfumer: Amélie Jacquin

They say: ‘South Pacific Sandalwood; the epitome of wild tropical beauty. Carnal and bountiful, Island Lush is a sumptuous perfume with a heart of modern woods. A wind of exoticism transports you on a journey to islands beyond the horizon, where radiant spices, powdery orris, vegetal roots and luscious resins envelop smooth wood species.’

We say: This is beguilingly buttery from the get-go, a scents that seems to melt into skin, becoming one with you, as that unique quality of sandalwood – somehow green yet spicy – radiates throughout. The orris offers a powdery finish which melds the supple softness of the leather to the grassy cool of vetiver and richly unctuous resins in the base.

Botanicals & Essences in Island Lush:
Sandalwood South Pacific
Sandalwood Australia
Bergamot Italy
Pink Pepper
Nutmeg Indonesia
Agarwood
Ginger
Geranium Egypt
Guaiac Wood Paraguay
Cedar Wood Texas
Patchouli Indonesia
Vetiver Haiti
Benzoin Laos
Leather

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

 

 

Goldfield & Banks Purple Suede

Perfumer: Ilias Ermenidis

They say: ‘An olfactory imagination expressing the scent of aromatic fields of sunburnt lavender, where blossoms are crisped by the fierce heat of the sun. Paired with the scent of rust-coloured saddles, this sensual perfume reveals a distinctively rich and dry sillage. A contemporary and unexpected take on lavender and leather.’

We say: Intensely aromatic, this is a lavender so pure (flourishing in Tasmania’s unspoilt landscape) that we swear we feel better simply smelling it. Definitely not the dusty, fusty lavender you may have previously experienced, within Purple Suede it feels rich, luxurious, even decadent in its herbaceously surprising, oakmoss-swathed softness.

Botanicals & Essences in Purple Suede:
Lavender Tasmania
Pink Pepper Reunion Island
Hyssop Flowers France
Woodleather
Patchouli Indonesia
Oakmoss
Civet
Amber
Oud

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

 

Goldfield & Banks Silky Woods

Perfumer: Hamid Merati Kashani

They say: ‘The perfume is a more subtle, luxe and modern interpretation of agarwood (also called oud). One that is delightful to wear on any occasion and which offers a sensation of a distinctive gourmand and musky fragrance on a silky smooth skin.’

We say: If a fragrance can ever smell like liquid gold, this is it – a smooth, molten swoon of Australian sandalwood, harvested sustainably for the first time in the Daintree Rainforest in Tropical Queensland. Spiced with a tingle of saffron, swirled with smoked vanilla and the hug of tobacco leaves in the trail, it’s an all-day (and night) wrist-sniffer, for sure.

Botanicals & Essences in Silky Woods:
Agarwood Tropical Australia
Cinnamon Ceylon
Tobacco Leaves
Ylang Ylang Madagascar
Vanilla Tahiti
Sandalwood Australia
Incense

£180 for 100ml pure perfume harrods.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Making Scent Memories with Memoize

Memoize is a niche fragrance house that captures memories and bottles them for us to share – surely the very essence of that emotional connection we all for when wearing a fragrance? Which scent memories are we billowing forth this summer, and how did the founder’s own fragrant fanaticism begin? Read on to discover more…

 

You see, Memoize just get it – the scented significance of the personal connections we have with the perfumes we love most. Or, as they put it, ‘…the importance of creating a perfectly harmonious balance between fragrances and how they make people feel, incorporating notes that many would remember from their childhood, adolescence and beyond.’ Most importantly, they know that this fragrant memory bank is not locked away in an airtight safe – it’s something we live and breathe, and therefore can all add to, every day of our lives. So that ‘…these scents will become the basis of future memories, too.’

 

 

Holly Hutchinson

 

Sometimes it takes a lifetime to learn what seems this most simple of things – understanding and tapping in to our deepest selves – but although Holly Hutchinson founded Memoize in 2016, her fragrant memory lessons began far further back. On her seventh birthday, she was gifted her very first set of miniature perfumes. As her mother was ‘an avid collector of unusual scents’, perfumes were almost indelibly linked to scented snapshots of Holly’s childhood memories. ‘A French holiday in the sun, a ride across the waves by boat, venturing through trees in a garden of ferns and Laurels…’ The album of scent memories was filling up fast.

It was in 2011 that Holly could truly begin to follow her dream, joining a prestigious niche fragrance brand and pursuing a career in the industry. But after seven successful years, it was time to start thinking about reaching further, using her love of fragrance and design with the expert knowledge she’d gained, and finally launching her own brand. Holly says she ‘knew immediately’ what the concept should be: sharing the very memories that launched her own fragrant career, while helping perfume-lovers explore their own scented memory bank. So, shall we take a scented wallow in those memories…?

 

 

Losing yourself to the intoxication of seduction is the name of the game with the particular scent memories of Luxuria. Think of joyous summer picking wild berries with a loved one, of that moment when your mouth waters just prior to biting into a lusciously juicy blackberry – well, that’s what’s bottled here. Shot through with luminescent tuberose, muguet (lily of the valley) and ylang ylang, its dry-down dips you deeper to a base of vanilla-infused suede.

 

 

This best-selling scent became so beloved it was turned into an extended scent memory with Rose Luxuria – this time an airier, fresher caress of deliciously sparkling top notes of bergamot, lemon and orange that deepen to the juicy delights of tropical fruits. The heart proffers a bouquet of airy, almost soapy rose, the delicacy of lily of the valley, magnolia and orange flower dusted with orris on a throbbingly deeper base of amber, benzoin, moss, precious musk and woody undertones. So, so beautiful!

 

More recently we’ve been enamoured with the scented self-reflection of Ego as an olfactory wake-up call. The green freshness of fig leaf is followed by the piquancy of cassis. Together, these notes somehow feel like the familiarity of softly crushed tomato leaves, along with a mellowing lap of cool, coconut milkiness that caresses, silkily and cardamom speckled rose petals wrapped around ambered, tonka woodiness. Likening the development on your skin to the blooming of your soul, it’s a scented symbiosis.

Tempted to try more? If you’ve not had the pleasure of trying any yet, why not dive in to the joyously uplifting and soul-soothings scents in the Light Range Discovery Set; or explore the Dark Range Discovery Set to delve into your deepest desires? You can also shop the collection of Memoize London here, where we’re thrilled you can now buy full sizes from our shopAnd with extrait de parfum concentrations – these are scent memories that truly last…

 

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!

 

Dream Scents – unboxing fragrances for when love is in the air

Just-launched, this Dream Scents Discovery Box is SO perfect for right now. Not only because love is in the air, and this collection would make a wonderful gift for someone you adore; but because we’ve especially curated these scents to encourage you to escape via fragrant fantasies…

 

We know that times have been tough for so many, and continuing uncertainties make everything feel less than secure. We also know for a fact that fragrance can help. Smelling wonderful is not merely some frivolity – connecting to scent and allowing your imagination to take flight genuinely helps. There’s a reason that fragrance sales soared worldwide during lockdowns. Which of your loved ones would be most thrilled to receive this incredible collection of niche, new and hard-to-find scents, we wonder?

Intentions, resolutions, promises, fantasies — whichever form they come in, dreams and aspirations are never more achievable — not to mention more necessary — than now. So here at PSHQ we’re hoping to help you capitalise on this with our new Dream Scents collection of fragrances. From dreaming of new beginnings to far-flung destinations that house exotic ingredients to finding new levels of confidence, we hope these scents help to unlock the power of dreaming for each and every one of you.

Watch the unboxing on our IGTV channel, and revel in your own fragrant flights of fancy while wondering who to send this to… We suggest if you’re having it sent as a valentines gift, it’s best to order by February 10th to ensure it gets there on the big day.

 

 

 

The Dream Scents Discovery Box is priced £24 + p&p* to VIP Club Members & £27 + p&p to everyone else – be sure to log into your account to take advantage of the special VIP Club price. Inside, you’ll find this amazing line-up of niche scents we know your inteneded recipient will fall in love with.

In fact, don’t you deserve a box, too…?

 

 

Juliette Has A Gun Lipstick Fever 5ml eau de parfum
Juicy raspberry greets us, tempting us to take a bite, followed by an almost-edible violet note, whose powdery virtues are swiftly compounded by the arrival of softest iris. Patchouli and vanilla then finish the fragrance off with a voluptuous, gourmand quality that whispers of the woman who wears this fragrance – a seductive and worldly Parisienne who knows precisely what she wants.

Creed Spring Flower 2ml eau de parfum
Vibrant fresh green notes combined with succulent fruits including peach, apricot, melon and apple shimmer over an exquisite floral heart of jasmine and rose. A subtle musk base provides just the right note of playful sensuality.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Gold Edition 5ml eau de parfum
The dominant impression in this gender-fluid creation is of silky- smooth Chantilly cream, whipped with a sprinkling of spicy nutmeg to add a tingle of heat to the sublimely lingering amber of the dry-down.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Gentle Fluidity Silver Edition 5ml eau de parfum
Marrying nutmeg to amber in the top notes, a bitter berry aspect drifts from the heart, buoyed by a surprisingly floral coriander seed essence that smells of summer blossoms and sunshine, somehow. In the base we snuggle down to get musky tones – the amber smoothing the dry-down here, the vanilla delivering an irresistible sense of warm skin.

Atelier Materi Cacao Porcelana 2ml eau de toilette
White cacao yields sensuous notes of walnut and milk with hints of tonka bean. After opening on sweet, syrupy top notes, Atelier Materi’s Cacao Porcelana unpacks its bitterness, sustained by powdery and woody notes. Light tobacco, patchouli and sandalwood scents give Cacao Porcelana a sensual, even fleshy signature.

Maison Crivelli Iris Malikhân 1.5ml eau de parfum
This fragrance is a fusion of opposites and surprises. Resinous beginnings make us feel sure we’re going in a green direction – yes, a fresh, piney, green direction. Definitely. But what’s this? Soft-powdery orris and sweet-powdery mimosa, the green facets of mimosa making for a seamless handover. So, by the time we get to the amber-leather dry down, we’re no longer surprised at how tame the leathery note is under the mesmerising spell of perfume creator and Maison Crivelli founder, Thibaud Crivelli.
      
Maison Crivelli Rose Saltifolia 1.5ml eau de parfum
Inspired by a stroll by the sea, through a field of roses exposed to the salty sea air, Rose Saltifolia combines a delicate and very fresh Centifolia rose with silky seaweed to create a totally unprecedented gender-free perfume.

Maison Crivelli Santal Volcanique 5ml eau de parfum
Spicy and explosive ginger grabs our attention, piqued with a little effervescent lime, which together ensure we’re fully engaged. Why? So that we don’t miss a second of the charred sandalwood that then comes to the fore of course, in all its smoky, milky, evocative wonderfulness.

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…

 

Ultra luxe fragrance gifts for less

If you’re looking to really spoil a fragrance-lover this Christmas, you can’t go wrong with an ultra luxe fragrance gift. Perhaps they’ve hankered after a niche scent but haven’t allowed themselves to buy it yet, or they adore the finer things in life but haven’t known where to start with fragrance? Well, we’ve several suggestions for ways to treat them (or yourself!) without breaking the bank…

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).

 

La Maison J.U.S Discovery Set £30

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!

 

 

Ostens Discovery Set £30

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.’ And we surely do… At OSTENS they are ‘ripping up the rulebook’ – and we couldn’t be happier about it. Each creation from this dynamic fragrance house is inspired by a raw ingredient, each one developed by a master perfumer (think Dominique Ropion and Sophie Labbé, yup!), given absolute creative freedom with no budget or brief. This refreshing, and simple, approach to fragrance creation has left us in awe. Now you can try the ENTIRE COLLECTION at home, exclusive to The Perfume Society, with six creations ranging from fresh and delicious Rose Isparta to Cashmeran Velvet (based around the seductive molecule Cashmeran), and two different takes on patchouli. This is creativity unleashed – and now you can dive in for yourself…

 

 

 

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… From an early age, Manos Gerakinis knew that ‘…every bottle is more than a mere perfume; it is a living olfactory experience, unique and mysterious.’ This heady mix of knowledge and respect for cultural heritage would later become ‘the founding stones of the brand,’ but of course life experience is always a key ingredient, and Manos travelled from Greece to London for the prestigious role of managing Harrods luxury department. This gave him unparalleled access to designers such as Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana, and with London as his base for over a decade, he avidly explored the world as part of his job. ‘Creating my own fragrance was always in the back of my mind,’ he explains, ‘and once I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it.’ Delving further into researching and learning the technical side of the fragrance world, ‘My initial goal was to create a powerful scent that was able to captivate anyone in the room. I wanted an alluring scent, mysterious and poetic.’ He began curating a collection of exquisite essential oils and ingredients from around the world. The result? A collection as sumptuously beautiful as the artistic inspirations.

 

 

J.F. Schwarlose Discovery Set £35

Purveyors of fine perfumes since 1856, the history of heritage house J.F. Schwarzlose deserves to be captured in a movie.. From piano-maker to perfumer – selling scents beloved by the royal courts of Europe and Chinese Emperors alike – this always-innovative perfumery has survived war, inflation and changing tastes by always being one step ahead…When entrepreneurial piano-maker Johann Friedrich Schwarzlose established his own drug store at Markgrafenstrasse 29, beginning with production of perfumes, he quickly established himself. The company had been purveyor to the Court, and now the aristocracy flocked to the new fragrance shop. By 1897, Schwarzlose had taken on a business partner, Franz Köthner, and together they traded with the added title: ‘Purveyor to the Court of His Majesty the Emperor and King’. Indeed, a flacon found in a collection of Emperor Pu Yi confirms their formidable reputation had already reached as far as China. What a phoenix this fragrance house is, in 2012 enlisting brilliant perfumer Véronique Nyberg as the ‘nose’, they remain ‘in close contact with the last heir to Schwarzlose, Jutta Jank-Trabant, who is delighted to find the brand on display again. And how utterly joyous this important perfumery was saved once again! Now thriving afresh, the modern-day fragrances of J.F. Schwarzlose harness the grandeur of their heritage, and all they learned through history, but still stay true to leading the fashions rather than merely following them.

 

Clive Christian Around the World Discovery Set £150

Clive Christian Perfume creates the ‘world’s finest perfumes’ – timeless classics, made without compromise. Each perfume has an oil inclusion of 20% or above in every bottle, they are intense and complex fragrances for opulent, pure perfume pleasure. We can’t wait for you to discover these uniquely expressive, exquisite perfumes in the Around the World Discovery Set. Explore the heights of mountains, the depths of forests and the sunny warmth of tropical climates through this foray of fragrances – the ultimate globe-trotting perfume set. Here, you (or the very lucky recipient) can discover the exquisite fragrances below that will transport you around the world, via: Addictive Arts Jump up and Kiss Me Hedonistic  – an amber gourmand fragrance that opens with citrus notes of bergamot, grapefruit, neroli. Noble XXI Art Deco Cypress  – zesty bergamot and uplifting basil held by a surging heart of exotic yet warming spices. Original Collection 1872 Masculine – herbaceous and aromatic. Private Collection C Woody Leather  – a woody fragrance with a supple leather yet exotic twist. Considering each full-size fragrance is priced between £250 – £595 for 50ml eau de parfum, this beautifully packaged discovery collection is the perfect way to indulge in true luxury for far less.

Luxury fragrance gifts really are a fail-safe way of showing how much you care. Whichever of these you chose, they cannot fail to be utterly delighted – and perhaps discover a new fragrant love to explore further next year…

Gift Guide: choosing scents to suit people’s personalities

Can we say ‘the C word’ yet? No, no that one. The other one. Okay, we’ll whisper it: Christmas… Because even though we all grumble about it getting earlier each year; this one, in particular, people seem to be prepping WAY in advance for. Understandable given last year’s sadly curtailed festivities and people’s concerns about 2021’s Big Day.

The thing about gifting fragrance (at any time of year) is that it can be difficult to know where to begin when picking out a perfume for someone else. Especially if you’re not exactly sure of their tastes, and don’t want to spoil the surprise by asking. So, here’s some really handy tips to finding the right scent for the special someone you’re thinking of…

1: If you live with the person or are visiting them soon, have a quick shifty around where they keep their current fragrances if at all possible. You may notice a theme (they’re all rose-based scents or feature leather, for example. Maybe some of them are by the same fragrance house or perfumer?)

2: Make a note of the fragrance name they wear now, then look on our genius Fragrance Finder, which will suggest six other scents they’re likely to also love.

3: If you know what hobbies and personal passions they have, this is a great clue as to their innermost personalities – as are the way they like to dress or how they choose to decorate their home! See below for our scent-matching suggestions for personality types.

4: You’ve a far better chance of striking gold with a scent-match if you gift a Discovery Box or Sample Set – a curated collection of fragrances put together around a theme or showcasing the full range of styles a particular house has to offer.

Which of these character descriptions would suit them best…?

 

Spiritual = Scented Retreat Discovery Box £23 / VIP price £19. Are they in to yoga / meditation / need to relax? Or perhaps want to be more ‘mindful’ but are far too stressed? This scented collection soothes while turning their home into a much-longed for spa-like experience where they can calm, focus and b-r-e-a-t-h-e.

 

Eco-friendly & young at heart = Floral Street £14. If they’re trying to be more environmentally aware and have a fun, bubbly nature, the perfect gift would be these sustainable, vivacious and multi award-winning scents. Floral fragrances as you’ve never smelled them before, effortlessly wearable.  

Heritage lovers = Floris Classic Collection £35. Do they adore historical dramas and great literature, prefer traditional styles of furnishings and vintage clothes? This Floris set encompasses their heritage heroes – exqusite scents from crisp citrus to rich, woody creations.

 

 

Arty & modern = La Maison J.U.S. £30. Are they always off to see the latest contemporary exhibitions, love creative expression & unusual, cult names? Choose this collection of vibrant, beautifully artistic fragrances for impactful fragrant expressionism.

 

 

Characterful & unique = Olfactive O £30. If they’re in to learning more about themselves, love reading about psychology or check their horoscopes, we bet they’ll adore these from a niche house that invites people to explore their innermost soul through scents.

Really, whichever set you choose, there’s a whole range of fragrances in each to suit pretty much everyone, but we hope this gift guide has helped point you in the right perfumed direction! And fear not – in the coming weeks we’ll have even more specifically chosen guides to put you on the right perfumed present path…

Manos Gerakinis – the first Greek luxury niche perfume house

Manos Gerakinis is, quite incredibly, the first Greek luxury niche perfume house. With fragrances inspired by the history, art and mythology of the country, and radiating the poetry and passion of their founder – we think you’re going to love getting to know them…

Manos had an extremely prestigious career, managing the Harrods luxury department and working with designers such as Valentino, Alexander McQueen and Dolce & Gabbana. His job took him around the world, seeing (and staying in) some of the most opulent places and experiencing the best of the best. A dream come true, right? But something else was pulling at the strings of his heart. From an early age, Manos says he knew that fragrance was important, that ‘…every bottle is more than a mere perfume; it is a living olfactory experience, unique and mysterious.’

Growing up in Kavala, Greece, Manos’ childhood was already infused with the tales and traditions passed down through the generations of his family, who originated from Istanbul. He speaks of being surrounded by ‘the cultivation of saffron, tobacco, labdanum and honey’ and in an interview with the Greek City Times, divulged that his maternal grandmother played a huge role in his life. ‘She was a woman of high standards and aesthetics,’ he says. ‘She introduced me to the French “Savoir-Faire”, classical music and fine arts. I am blessed in a family that provided us with the stimulus to reach our full potential.’ This potential was further encouraged to develop through art – ‘a natural talent for painting together with history, philosophy and culture’.

 

 

Imbued with those fragrant memories and a respect for the ingredients grown and harvested in Greece, and the mythology surrounding many of them, Manos took a perfumed path by learning how to create fragrances – the very first being a signature scent for himself…

‘Creating my own fragrance was always in the back of my mind,’ he explains, ‘and once I was given the opportunity, I grabbed it.’  Delving further into researching and learning the technical side of the fragrance world, ‘My initial goal was to create a powerful scent that was able to captivate anyone in the room. I wanted an alluring scent, mysterious and poetic.’

He began curating a collection of exquisite essential oils and ingredients from around the world, and it took nine months to complete the first fragrance, Sillage Royal – a warm, woody, immediately evocative scent that, perhaps understandably, is the most personally resonant for Manos, being inspired by the picturesque city of Kavala he grew up in. Part of the Egyptian-Otoman Empire for hundreds of years, it became powerful through the production of tobacco, and the rose, saffron and spices further reflect his olfactory heritage, captured in a scented snapshot. Says Manos: ‘During this process I came to realise that I had a talent for creating beautiful scents,’ and buoyed by his success, the collection inevitably grew.

Rose Poetique is the first Manos Gerakinis fragrance I had the pleasure of experiencing myself. It’s a stunning evocation of the Damask rose, which the Greek poet Sappho described as ‘the pride of plants, and queen of flowers.’ This is a rose that drapes the skin as velvet does, relecting the texture of the petals themselves. It billows from the tart, fruitier aspect of the flower with rhubarb up top, to the resinous, romantic depths of the base – beautifully balanced with smooth labdanum, cashmere wood and vanilla. One for all rose-lovers to add their collection, for sure.

 

 

There are currently seven fragrances to explore in the collection – which you can read about on our new page dedicated to Manos Gerakinis Parfums – from delicate sophistication to swaggering sensuality, simplicity to extravagance. At every stage your senses will be enthralled, and as you explore, you’ll feel Manos’ ethos reverberating in each scent. Man’s greatest heritage is the pictures he collects and his memories,’ he says. ‘That doesn’t necessarily mean he has to travel, it means that he has to be open to collect beauty and then compose it into his own palette.’ And wearing a Manos Gerakinis fragrance, we’re sure you’ll agree, …allows the true beauty of the individual to emerge.’

By Suzy Nightingale