Tis’ the season to smell gorgeous! Giving and recieving the gift of fragrance has long been an elegant and decadent gesture. Often associated with Romance, one can sometimes be a little unsure if giving or asking for the gift of fragrance is the right thing to do at Christmas time. For the sake of clarity, let me assure you, the answer is 100% yes. Don’t be afraid to pop a bottle of the good stuff on your wish list this year and certainly don’t hesitate to buy a bottle for anyone on your ‘nice’ list.
Mum, dad, brother, sister, hubby, mister, whoever is on your christmas gifting list this year, whatever your relationship to them, the gift of fragrance is always a good idea. One that is sure to be received with delight and thanks.
Now buying fragrance, as well as choosing a new fragrance for yourself, can sometimes feel a little overwhelming. How does one choose a fragrance? Well, here are a few tips to help you along your way. Before you venture online or to your nearest beauty counter, consider the following:
- Who are you buying for? Their age as well as a few key facts about your giftee will help you here. For example, Britney Spears latest fragrance endorsement probably isn’t going to be the best choice for your Grandma. Classics such as Chanel, Dior, Bella Belissima, Floris and established perfume powerhouses are going to be a good starting point. Equally if she is younger, vibrant and vivacious, on trend brands such a Marc Jacobs, Le Labo and Byredo are great starting places.
- What is their personality? Are they quiet and reserved or bold and outgoing. This may help you narrow down your fragrance choices more. Something rich with warm undertones will likely suite your party animal little sister, whilst a lighter musk or delicate floral may be better suited to you demure cousin.
- What is their style? Do they like strong fabrics like denim and leather? They’re more likely to enjoy a deeper fragrance with notes such as rosy oud. More a cashmere and pearls kinda’ gal? Keep it light, crisp florals or citrus is likely to be better for this person.
Also bear in mind when choosing, that a fragrance is made up of notes; the top note is the first hit of scent, the heart notes make up the main body, and the base notes add depth to the fragrance. The base notes don’t actually fully release until thirty minutes after application, so don’t make any snap decisions on a perfume, it may smell completely different from first spritz. Have a wander about, enjoy a mince pie or two. Then make your mind up.
You might want to consider also the strength of the fragrance and that the notes can change depending on which type it is. The strength refers to the amount of oil in a fragrance composition and this also dictates how long lasting a fragrance will be on the wearer. Here’s a quick run down of the different types of fragrance you will encounter:
Extract/extrait/solid perfume – 20-30%
Perfume – 15-25 %
Eau de Parfum (EDP) – 8-15%
Eau de Toilette (EDT) – 4-8%
Cologne (EDC) – 2-4%
Body cream/lotion – 3-4%
After Shave/Splash – 2-4%
Soap – 2-4%
In general the higher the percentage the longer the fragrance will last. It also usually positively correlates with price! Again, be aware that the notes may differ between an Eau De Perfume and a Perfume.
Buying fragrance is such a lovely gift, It says, ‘I thought of you and this is what I imagined’. It is more then the sum of it’s parts and so it is always received with a grateful heart. Just be sure to put a little thought into it. If in doubt I’d suggest a great starting place is to go to the oracle of fragrance; FragranceDirect. This is a blissfully easy website to navigate and has a fragrance to suit every one on your christmas list, you included.
Alternatively you can ask the experienced fragrance counter staff in your local department store or use the many online guides available, taking into account the points above to help you narrow down your choices.
Don’t worry, it’s not at all as hard as you think!
Have a fabulous smelling festive time.