If you’re scrambling around for a gift for your other half, don’t resort to Spar’s finest just yet – if you’re quick you can still order some scent (and if it’s delayed, it’s worth waiting for). Think beyond the obvious hearts and roses – other options include striking citrus, a smell that’s particularly cheering and uplifting now (just what we need for February). Here are seven to suit all budgets.
1 I have to put Chanel’s most recent Les Exclusifs launch, Le Lion de Chanel, top of this list as it’s the one I’d most love to be given. It’s deeply memorable and sensual, from the bright citrus opening – perfumer Olivier Polge is brilliant at capturing a sunny mood with “solar” notes – to the luxurious leather and patchouli base that lingers (it’s one of those perfumes that smells gorgeous on your clothes the next day). Utterly grown-up and sophisticated, it leaves the year’s other launches standing. €175, 75ml. Call and post service via Brown Thomas Dublin 01 605 6666; delivery €3.50.
2 If you have a big budget, you could look to Tom Ford: the scents are undeniably pricey, and yet they do leave a lasting impression, whether you go feisty Rose Prick or cheeky Lost Cherry, which has a somewhat nostalgic whiff of childhood sweets. The classiest option is the newest Private Blend, Tubereuse Nuit, a creamy white floral that’s perfect for jasmine lovers. Redolent of long summer nights, it’s presented in a chic white bottle. €258, 50ml, at www.Arnotts.ie.
3 For guys, the new L’Occitane Homme line is cool, clean and high quality. There are three distinct moods – marine, earthy green and warm and woody. Personally I’d go for the latter, Karite Corse, with clary sage, orris and a roasted shea almond accord – it’s really warm and atmospheric. And actually, it’s too good to leave solely to the boys … €75, at www.loccitane.ie.
4 If you’re going to go rose – whether for him or her – make it a special one. The Burren Perfumery Wild Rose eau de parfum is entirely natural and entirely beautiful. Several readers have said they tried it after reading about it in The Gloss, and absolutely love it. Ageless, timeless, elegant and Irish. €130, www.theburrenperfumery.com.
5 I feel that citrus is spot on for spring. When life gives you lemons, and all that … A citrus scent reminds us of happy sunshine and bright days ahead, and Atelier Cologne do these kind of scents beautifully – they’re not the longest-lasting scents, but you want to just keep spraying them. And they’re transportive. Clementine California, for example, sings of road trips and orange groves. A description of the newest arrival, Lemon Island, makes us long to be elsewhere: Indian lemon from the Indian ocean area, Indian jasmine and Madagascan vanilla. It’s fresh and light with an underlying warmth. From €60 for 30ml. If you love someone, but not quite that much, consider instead a hand cream for €25 (Bergamote Soleil is my favourite) – the packaging and scents are lovely.
6 Margiela Replica fragrances have many devotees, so it’s worth knowing that a new one just landed, Matcha Meditation; I haven’t tried it yet but it’s a combination of green tea, bergamot, orange flower and jasmine, which sounds fresh and elegant. It combines green notes with delicious white chocolate ones. Perfumer Maurice Roucel (who’s behind so many great scents, from Gucci Envy to the outrageously sexy Musc Ravageur for Frederic Malle and Le Labo Jasmin 17, another favourite) notes that matcha tea has “soothing virtues. It reduces stress levels and promotes serenity.” Which we can get behind. The good news is that there’s now a smaller 30ml size at €56 for the entire Replica line – the 100ml is now up to €113. I’ll be buying Jazz Club for my other half, and also recommend Under the Lemon Trees, a gorgeous citrus. At Brown Thomas and Arnotts online.
7 Finally, another citrus entry – The Body Shop have a new lemon-centred range, from hand wash to shower gel, and the lemon essential oil gives it antibacterial properties, as well as being uplifting. So we’re including the Caring & Purifying Hair Mist (€16.50) as something fragrant with a practical purpose (and under €20). www.thebodyshop.ie