I often hear people say that buying perfume for others is difficult. “It’s so personal”, they say, and whilst I agree that perfume is definitely subjective, we all have our own tastes, after all, I don’t accept that it’s a difficult thing to gift. Firstly, most people enjoy perfume (who doesn’t want to smell good?!) and everyone has a favourite scent at the very least. So a gift can be as easy as a top-up of their favourite fragrance – job done. Buying something new can be a little bit harder, due to the fear or picking out the wrong thing, but in my experience, when one puts thought and care into a fragrance gift, the results can bring so much joy.
At some point in our lives, we’ve received a truly wonderful perfume gift. It may have been the gift of our new signature fragrance, one we’ve stayed faithful to for years to follow, or it may have been a sentimental gift from someone we love or loved dearly. To celebrate the art of perfume gift giving, I’ve asked Team Escentual to share their most poignant perfume gifts, and I’ve thrown in mine too for good measure. So if you’re stuck for a fragrance gift to buy a loved one, or if you can’t think of what perfume to ask for this Christmas, perhaps we can give you some inspiration with the best perfume gifts we’ve ever received.
Thomas, Escentual Fragrance Expert
I don’t know why, but I always wear Guerlain on Christmas Day. For many years my festive Guerlain of choice has been Shalimar – its cosy, powder vibes bringing glamour and comfort on the big day. More recently I’ve switched to Habit Rouge, and this year I plan to wear Habit Rouge Dress Code because it’s my latest Guerlain obsession. Anyway, I tell you this because the house of Guerlain feels as Christmassy to me as tacky tree decorations and family fallouts over the Monopoly board. I also tell you because my best ever perfume gift at Christmas was a bottle of something remarkable from this esteemed and historical bastion of French perfumery.
The best ever perfume gift I’ve received at Christmas was a complete surprise. It was not a fragrance I asked for, nor was it one that I was particularly familiar with. It did turn out to be one that I’d treasure though, even to this day. My gift came ten whole years ago and it was from my boyfriend who has since become my husband (proving that, if anything, a good perfume gift can perhaps lead to marriage if you play your cards right!) He knew I loved perfume and he took the time to ask my sister what sort of perfumes I liked. Having been informed I was getting to know Guerlain fragrances he took a trip into a department store and sniffed every Guerlain he could get his hands and nose on until he settled on the one that he thought was perfect.
So what was that fragrance? I know I’ve kept you in suspense long enough! On Christmas Day, our first together, he gifted me with a gift set of Guerlain’s suave and sophisticated Vetiver. This classic from 1961 plays up the fresh, citrus facets of vetiver, turning the material into a vibrant masculine that feels clean and crisp. I loved that bottle of Vetiver. I wore it incessantly all through the winter, pairing it with smart work attire and casual t-shirts. I showered in the shower gel that came in the gift set until there was nothing left – until every drop of scent was used up.
My Guerlain Vetiver gift set was a wonderful present because it was gifted with thought. I appreciated the time and care put into it. I also loved how it wasn’t something I’d have picked out for myself. So it was a lovely surprise and even though my bottle has since been used up, and I’ve bought many more since and I still have that first bottle of Vetiver tucked away. For me it’s more than just an empty bottle – it’s a symbol of kindness, generosity and love. After all, isn’t that what Christmas is all about?
Jade, Merchandising Assistant
Carolina Herrera Good Girl is absolutely stunning to look at and is by far the most gorgeous item on my dressing table.
This sky-high stiletto bottle first caught my eye whilst shopping for my birthday and I immediately had to try it. Once I did, it instantly made its way to the top of my birthday wish list. This fragrance is the ultimate statement for a woman; it represents power, beauty and sophistication and I just had to have it. When my birthday came and I was given this amazing fragrance by my mum, I later found out that she’d also bought it for herself and my sister too. Needless to say, it was love at first sight….for all of us!
“Give a girl the right shoes, and she can conquer the world”, said Marilyn Monroe. This quote is what I love most about this ultra-feminine fragrance, which Carolina Herrera got her inspiration from. Who wouldn’t love a fragrance inspired by Marilyn Monroe?
Cast your mind back to 2006. iPods were very much still a thing, poor Pluto was downgraded from a planet to a dwarf planet – and Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb was the ‘it’ fragrance of the year. I had just landed a job at my local perfume store and my burgeoning passion for fragrance was really starting to spark, so I used to visit local department stores every weekend to sample all of the scents I could get my hands on (yep, I was that classic hovering teen at the perfume counter!).
When I first saw Flowerbomb in the window of my regular weekend haunt, I knew that I had to have it. Its bottle was unlike anything I’d ever seen and its big, bombastic blend of floral notes and tea smelled, to me, just like the grown up and sophisticated woman I longed to be. I couldn’t stop talking about the scent once I got home and treasured my little scent strip. When my birthday came along a month later, my gorgeous family and friends bought me not one, not two, but three bottles of Flowerbomb – they were all completely unaware that the others were going to buy it! I think I might have talked about the scent a little too much…
My fragrance journey has taken me all over the place in the 12 years since then, but I’ve come full circle for my upcoming 30th birthday and I’ve asked for a little bottle of Flowerbomb as a reminder of the sheer excitement I felt seeing that faceted bottle for the first time.
Lis, Copywriter & Recruitment Coordinator
I have an obsession with the scent of cherries and almonds combined and if I could replicate the smell of a cherry bakewell tart and wear it I probably would (seriously!).
As you can probably imagine, working at Escentual, it’s no surprise that we spend a lot of time talking about fragrance and Emma, our Editor, suggested that I try Guerlain La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum because it has notes of cherry and almond incorporated into it. Well, she was right. It was love at first sniff and I knew it was a scent I simply had to have in my collection!
I’m a big believer in self-gifting based on achievements and always think it’s nice to reward yourself if you feel like you’ve accomplished something significant. I’ve recently switched careers and decided that I would buy myself a bottle of La Petite Robe Noire Eau de Parfum when I passed my three-month probation at work. That happened recently and I haven’t stopped wearing this gorgeous scent since. I guess you could say it’s the smell of success!