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beauty, scent & style scrutinized for pleasure

Friday, December 2, 2011

Holiday Gift Guide 2011: The Most Covetable Fragrant Gifts

All year long I've been gathering intel on what I consider to be the most tantalizing, squeal-inducing gifts, jotting down notes on everything that gives me a thrill. What follows is a list of my favorites paired with the type of person that might enjoy each gift the most.

For your favorite xenophile luxury junkie:
Amouage Jubilation 25 Candle with holder (available at Amouage.com for 165 euros, candle by itself also available for 120 euros. Available in the US at Lady Ruth Perfumes for $220)
Arguably the finest incense-y candle you will ever come across. It looks every bit as beautiful as it smells.
For the boyfriend or husband who really needs to toss that bottle of cologne you hate (or you'll toss it for him):
Soivohle Transcendental Musc Pour Homme ($135 for 35ml spray at LizZornPerfumes.com)
Welcome to the 21st century, honey! This fragrance is a modern take on musk. It's fresh, addictive and will increase snuggleability by about 1000%.

For the frustrated city-bound nature worshipper:
Juniper Ridge Steep Ravine Natural Room Spray $15, Soap $8, Yuba solid perfume $65 (at juniperridge.com)
Place these three things together in a pretty gift bag and give to the nearest wistful city slicker you can find. There's no substitute for the beauty of the Pacific Northwest, but all of Juniper Ridge's products are created from that environment. They also donate a part of their proceeds to environmental conservation for the region. It's a win-win for everyone- stunning, resinous, woody natural fragrances for you, and much needed help for the environment. Juniper Ridge is one of my best discoveries of the year.

Juniper Ridge Steep Ravine Room Spray
Juniper Ridge Steep Ravine Soap
Juniper Ridge solid perfume

For someone who works with their hands a lot (and unfortunately, it shows):
Becca & Mars 3 Piece Holiday Hand Candy set ($25, scents are: Orange Clove, Peppermint Vanilla, Winter Night)
Becca & Mars make the most amazing all-natural sugar hand scrubs, and this set of three jars will make anyone happy who needs some serious hand-smoothing action and would like to smell festive while doing it. You can also split up the set for smaller (yet still fantastic) gifts.

For the lady who was most certainly a flapper in a past life:
Opus Oils Les Bohemes deluxe coffret (10) 1 dram roll-on  bottles (in oil or alcohol base, your choice. $300 available through Opus Oils Etsy site)
I thought about choosing only a few of Kedra Hart's Les Bohemes line to feature, but I am inclined to feel that would be a crime. This is a set of all ten fragrances in dram roll-on bottles, and they are designed to be layered together or worn alone. The whole line is brilliant and executed with a sense of fun that is infectious.

For the dedicated but persnickety perfume enthusiast:
Aftelier Oud Luban solid perfume ($210 for 1/4 oz at Aftelier.com)
Yes, I can name a dozen people I know who are like this, all of whom I adore (and okay, I might be one of them too). In truth, any of Aftelier's perfume solids make stunning gifts, but Oud Luban has stolen my heart. Its woody, smoky spiciness with a mouthwatering orange topnote makes it particularly wonderful for the season. A connoisseur's delight.

For family, teachers, your veterinarian, hairstylist... yes, anyone!
NEST Sir Elton John Holiday candle ($38 at CandlesOffMain.com, 8.1 oz, 50 hrs burn time)
This candle has a gorgeous balsam fir and citrus fragrance and spot-on presentation with its deep aubergine glass vessel and wax to match. This is how you get major bang for your holiday buck.

For the vintage villainess:
Ayala Moriel Bon Voyage Purse Roll-on Trio 5ml each- Sabotage, Espionage, Film Noir ($175.50 at AyalaMoriel.com).
With this trio, you can choose any of a number of different perfumes, but I love these three together. It sets the scene for a particular type of character- the 1940s Film Noir Villainess. She's got perfectly waved hair, kohl-rimmed eyes and deep red lips. She's smoking a cigarette and packing heat, and she looks damn good doing it.

For someone who wants to bone up on their perfume history:
Francois Coty: Fragrance, Power, Money ($25.55 at Amazon)
Francois Coty's life story is a fascinating one and is intertwined with the history of perfume as we know it. This book captures the good, the bad and the odoriferous.

For your friend who has a growing curiosity about perfume:
Ormonde Jayne Discovery Set, 12 x 2ml spray sample vials (44 GBP at OrmondeJayne.com)
Ormonde Jayne's entire range of scents is available in this gorgeous discovery set, and it's such a pleasure to explore. Just about everyone I know loves at least one Ormonde Jayne fragrance- there are delicate tropical florals and rich, woody chypres and everything in between. A brief word of caution: this set has been known to turn a person with a harmless affinity for perfume into a bona-fide, sample-hoarding scent-obsessive.

For a much-adored femme:
Guerlain L'Art et la Matiere Iris Ganache 75ml ($235, available at Bergdorf Goodman in store and now online)
Iris Ganache is my holy grail gourmand perfume. It has a very sexy elegance about it and the creamy sweetness bounces off of the cool iris in the most bewitching way. It comes in a lovely presentation box along with a bulb atomizer and a regular one, and the bottle itself is a feast for the eyes. Iris Ganache (or any of the L'Art et la Matiere line) would be a luxurious gift for the most cherished girly-girl in your life.


  1. ooh what a bunch of lovelies in that list!

  2. Fantastic list! I would like one of each please :)

  3. Carrie, thank you so much, I’m thrilled to have Oud Luban in your wonderful Gift Guide! You have terrific suggestions and I’m honored to be included with your ideas for special treats.
    xo Mandy

  4. Hi Carrie! Thanks so much for including our Les Bohemes set in your fabulous Holiday Gift Guide!;-) This is a drool-inducing collection of lovelies!!

  5. Thank you for including our Becca & Mars sugar scrubs with such outstanding selections!

  6. I'm spinning in circles trying to decide which of these is the loveliest! Answer: all of 'em. :)

  7. What Julie said. :)