Fragrance for her: Christmas Gift Guide 2020
It's time to avoid the hustle and bustle and be prepared amongst the madness of Christmas shopping and the many challenges faced when trying to select the perfect fragrance for your loved one.
Our Editors have been hard at work over the last few months carefully selecting and testing the most unique luxury fragrances, to get you and your loved ones ready over the festive period. Editor star selections include Tiziana Terenzi’s sumptuous Adhil Assoluto for collectors, Ex Nihilo for a light fruity and floral fragrance during the day, and Diana Vreeland for those daringly fabulous.
For those of you preferring a bewitching aroma, Atelier Flou and Xerjoff, present their splendid offerings. Here's our selection of the finest scents for her.
Maison Francis Kurkdjian Paris Gentle Fluidity, £310 available at Harvey Nichols
Gentle Fluidity is a favourite here amongst the editorial team, the packaging is delicate yet elegant. The Parisian fragrance house continues to balance notes that are perfect for both men and women.
This particular scent launched last year following the popular Baccarat Rouge so there were high expectations for Gentle Fluidity and we were just as impressed.
This is a warm spicy yet mellow fragrance, the juniper and vanilla notes blend perfectly to balance the musk and fresh woodsy notes. The vanilla notes are subtle and not sickly and there is longevity of the aroma (we managed 12 hours).
This is a genuinely stunning unisex fragrance, perfect throughout seasons and from day to night.
Xerjoff Elle, £530 available at Harvey Nichols
When it comes to luxury look no further than Italian perfumers, Xerjoff. Their fragrance collection arrives beautifully encased and serialised in a leather casket and each bottle has a jewel or precious stone encrusted within.
Elle is a beautiful floral offering from the house, with top notes of rare African Orange Flower, middle notes of iris and birch that work brilliantly with the base notes that include amber and opoponax.
This is an editorial team favourite; the subtle floral notes make this perfect for the day and the amber has a light tobacco aroma perfect for the evening.
Tiziana Terenzi Adhil Assoluto, £650 available at Harvey Nichols
A collector’s item from luxury Italian artisans and perfumers. A Tiziana Terenzi fragrance is a piece of art perfect for any collector and creative as it exudes opulence. Adhil Assoluto arrives in the most beautiful packaging and enclosed in a suede dressing box with gold detail. The bottle continues to encapsulate splendour with finely detailed gold in a baroque design wrapped around the bottle like ivy.
When it comes to the scent it is clear that the ingredients are carefully selected, and it does indeed smell divine. Top notes include anise, along with ozonic notes and jasmine intertwined with Australian sandalwood and vanilla; it’s a truly evocative fragrance, a clear winner amongst the editorial team.
Amouroud Oud du Jour, £166 available at Harvey Nichols
A provocative fragrance perfect for bringing out your sensuality. Oud du Jour is a dark scent from the Amouroud house who pride themselves on eclectic and distinct perfumes that evoke memories and are made to last. Each ingredient is carefully selected to make its fragrance line unique.
Oud du Jour includes top notes of saffron, middle and base notes of lily of the valley and agarwood (oud) for a rich intense scent. It does indeed last very long, we tested it at 12 hours, and is perfect for any loved one to wear throughout the seasons, day or night.
Atelier Flou Hora Fugit, £220 available at Harvey Nichols
Hora Fugit is Latin and translates to ‘time flies’ and the Parisian Maison reminds us of the moments in passing from continent to continent. Hora Fugit is a very alluring fragrance designed to align us with nature; the bergamot and lavender top notes transport us to the countryside and the smokiness of the leather base notes remind us of the time spent relaxing on vacation.
This is a unisex scent, however, the smokiness leans to a confident woman who knows themselves, perfect for the evening and a great reminder of our travels.
Ex Nihilo Lust in Paradise, £240 available at Harrods
The new Parisian house focuses on personalisation and the Lust in Paradise fragrance continues this theme. As always Ex Nihilo has not failed to impress us at HQ, with their consistent minimalist design and packaging to not distract you from the essence within the bottle.
Lust in Paradise evokes memories of happiness in the sun; the floral hints from the peony and petalia middle notes, intertwined with the pink pepper and white cedar top and base notes, make this fragrance popular amongst the editorial team.
The house has truly nailed it with this scent, and we are fans. Perfect for any occasion or season, this will be a favourite for those who enjoy a fresh aroma with naturistic ingredients.
Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady, £245 available at Selfridges
Released almost 10 years ago, Portrait of a Lady is a floral yet iridescent offering from the house of Frederic Malle. Encapsulated in their classic design the fragrance house collections are said to be developed by the top ten noses in the world.
Portrait of a Lady is sensual, fruity, yet intelligent. The top notes comprise of blackcurrant, rose and raspberry, blended perfectly with the base notes of amber and benzoin; this is the Jessica Rabbit of our fragrance selections.
Penhaligon’s The Favourite, £144 available at Selfridges
A pretty and light offering from the British fragrance house, we adore Luna so were thrilled to try The Favourite. As always this was splendidly presented in their signature packaging and bottle that includes a delightful velvet bow, this is a ‘favourite’ at HQ.
In terms of scent expect a light, sweet, powdery yet floral aroma, it’s a delicate fragrance that works perfectly for the day and all seasons.
L’Artisan Parfumeur Mandarina Corsica, £124 available at Harrods
A delightful fragrance from the L’Artisan Parfumeur house, Mandarina Corsica takes us to the French coast with its citrus and jasmine notes. The caramel, vanilla and tonka bean base notes really do bring this together perfectly to evoke memories of being by the sea.
Although an odd combination of ingredients it truly does work well and is very popular, a fresh scent perfect for any loved one and any occasion.
Sisley Soir d'Orient, £194 available at Selfridges
Sisley continuously impress us with their beauty and fragrance lines and Soir d’Orient really did capture the essence of the Orient. As always, the bottle is alluring and mysterious and the fragrance itself is utterly irresistible, transporting you to distant lands within Asia.
We were most impressed by the Turkish rose and Iranian galbanum middle notes that are blended fantastically with the woody essence of the sandalwood. A great alternative for those who like oud but wanting a light floral scent. This is a great gift for anyone, worn day or night and is seasonless.
Diana Vreeland Outrageous Daringly Different, £280 available at e-scents.co.uk
Perfect for the fashionista in your life, the former editor of Harpers Baazar and Vogue’s legacy lives through her collection of artisan fragrances.
Outrageous Daringly Different is both tantalising and seductive. Although for women, it can be worn unisex due to the leather and agarwood notes intelligently hidden underneath the iris and rose notes. This is best for the confident daredevil in your life.
Acqua di Parma Colonia, £110 available at John Lewis
An experiential offering from the house is Colonia, a unisex fragrance that continues to capture the Italian sun and is one of our romantic selections. As always Acqua di Parma presents their scent in their trademark bespoke and recognisable packaging, simplistic yet elegant.
Colonia truly is exquisite and manages to marry the gentle Bulgarian rose and Sicilian citruses well with the warm notes of woody vetiver and sanda bringing us back to the serenity of Lake Como. Perfect for a special occasion and the special lady in your life.
Maison Margiela Replica Coffee Break, £98 available at Selfridges
Coffee Break is a unisex offering from Maison Margiela perfectly balancing lavender with coffee and milk notes. The coffee is not overpowering and brings a lovely smokiness to the scent and is a confident fragrance from the Margiela house. The scent reminds us of sitting in a New York cafe peacefully whilst watching the hustle and bustle of the city go by.
Great for the younger woman but also wearable for Mum, the brand has managed to find the perfect balance between the hectic lifestyles we live with the reminder to be present and take a moment to reflect.
Tom Ford Bitter Peach, £228 available at Selfridges
A boozy fragrance from Tom Ford weaved with light fruity notes including peach and blood orange.
Perfect for any point of the day, we love the subtle masculine aroma that pushes through the vanilla and jasmine.
Le Labo AnOther 13, £130 available at Liberty
The brand who state that they themselves are the “future of luxury” has cemented their fragrances amongst perfume lovers since 2005. AnOther 13 is an iconic scent from Le Labo commissioned in 2010 by AnOther Magazine and contains 13 key ingredients. Expect an alluring yet smoky scent perfect for an evening out when the pandemic is over.
Lancôme Idôle L'Intense, £90 available at John Lewis
A rose perfume perfect for any occasion and setting, Idôle L'Intense, a gentle chypre floral fragrance, is a nostalgic and feminine offering from Lancôme. The bottle is beautiful, and the shape and versatility allow it to fit perfectly into your weekend bag. Perfect for those seeking a gentle aroma of jasmine and other floral notes.
Cartier Carat, £124 available at Selfridges
The house of Cartier presents a bottle designed to look like a diamond, paired with several fresh floral notes, which can be worn day and night.
Giorgio Armani My Way, £55 available at Armani Beauty
A new feminine offering from Armani Beauty is My Way and it is totally delicious. The raspberry mixed with the cigarette smoke makes this a sweet yet not sickly scent; the brand has managed to find the perfect balance. The light musk also provides an inviting aroma perfect for the evening but can be worn throughout the day.
Chloé Signature Eau de Parfum, £89 available at Boots
A light floral offering from Chloé perfect for any occasion and any age – the perfect gift for anyone and beautifully presented in their signature bottle with a feminine bow. The peony and litchi notes blend perfectly with the base notes of Virginia cedar and amber, creating a subtle dewy aroma when worn throughout the day.
Tiffany & Co EDP, £110 available at Tiffany & Co
A classic floral fragrance that never loses its timeless charm. This is a sophisticated scent with patchouli and citrus notes, presented in the trademark Tiffany blue box, with the bottle carved into the shape of a gemstone. Unique, flawless and perfect for any point of the day or season.
Bvlgari Splendida Tubereuse Mystique, £78 available at Selfridges
Bvlgari Tubereuse Mystique forms part of the wider Splendida collection. Top notes are blackcurrant and davana, the middle note is tuberose, and the base notes are vanilla absolute and myrrh.
Decorté Kimono Kihin, £70 available at Decorté
A light feminine and airy offering from Decorté is Kimono Kihin, one of their 4 signature fragrances. Kimono Kihin is feminine and fresh with notes of jasmine, bergamot and patchouli seeping through. The sandalwood balances this out so well, this is the perfect scent for someone who exudes femininity.
Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, £100 available at YSL Beauty
A fragrance that is edgy and dazzling is Black Opium, YSL Beauty’s most distinguished scent yet. The bottle is eyecatching encrusted with glitter and has been designed to bring out your most adventurous side. The fresh, spicy, pink pepper and liquorice notes work well with the jasmine and vanilla middle and base notes, perfect for the winter months and a great scent for partying when things settle in the world.