Need some last-minute gift inspiration? Try one of my new fragrance favourites…
We have just five days until Christmas Day which means it’s time for that traditional festive dash to your nearest fragrance counter (real or virtual). Of course, there are the classic sure fire winners you can reach for such as Chanel No 5 (what I’ll be getting for my mother) or Dior J’Adore. But you don’t need me to tell you about those. Instead here are eight less famous but highly desirable options.
1. To send some pure spritzable joy, look to Sol de Janeiro Sol Cheirosa ’62 (£78, spacenk.com). It’s essentially the same aroma as its popular Bum Bum Body Cream with notes of salted caramel, jasmine, vanilla, sandalwood and pistachio. It is sweet but not sickly. A playful, happy, bright disco ball of perfume.
2. Goutal’s newest creation Le Temps des Rêves (£75, harveynichols.com) is totally charming. It’s a reverie of orange blossom – with sandalwood for depth – and reminds me of sun-filled days in the South of France. It’s bright, filled with warmth and ease. Perfect for someone who loves perfume but doesn’t want it to do all their talking for them.
3. Yves Saint Laurent Beauty has given an added oomph to Libre (as if it needed any given that when it launched last year I described it as ‘a hip gyration in a bottle’). But the Eau de Parfum Intense version (£30, yslbeauty.co.uk) has an orchid accord added to the orange blossom and lavender. Modern and super-sexy.
4. Also top of my new perfume pops is the Christian Louboutin Loubiworld Fragrance Collection. There are seven in the range; my favourite is Loubirouge (£225, harrods.com), inspired by Paris, with notes of iris, vanilla and cardamom. The result is a spicy sweetness that’s sophisticated, sexy and pure class. They all come housed in elegant glass bottles, lacquered inside in the same red as those famous shoe soles. They’re also reassuringly weighty – a throwback to the days of dressing tables and glamour.
5. The latest creation in the gem-inspired Omnia Collection from Bulgari is Golden Citrine (£69, bulgari.com), a stone that represents light and positivity. The result is fresh and a little sweet, like an uplifting breeze on a summer’s day by the sea. Notes include ylang ylang, Sicilian mandarin, jasmine and white peach. And the mix feels grown up but lighthearted.
6. Giorgio Armani My Way (£55, armanibeauty.co.uk) is a definite crowd-pleaser.A feminine rhapsody of florals – tuberose, jasmine, orange blossom – with notes of cedarwood and vanilla. Plus it’s refillable so the glass bottle can be reused endlessly.
7. Jo Malone London’s new cologne creation is Midnight Musk & Amber (£105, jomalone.co.uk). It’s inspired by the Bright Young Things, 1920s parties and flapper dresses. There’s definitely a sparkle to it, an uplifting bubble of cheery freshness, so although it has strong amber notes this fragrance wears its elegance lightly and doesn’t overpower.
8 For an alternative choice try Vanderohe No 1 Enhancing Perfume Oil in a refillable rollerball bottle (£36, vanderohe.com). It’s aromatherapy based with organic lavender, vetiver and neroli oils that ground yet also uplift. A wonderfully outdoorsy English garden smell.
Beauty assistant: Alice Robertson