Ten Niche Scented Gifts for Christmas
Hello APJ friends! Hope you are all well and looking forward to the festive season.
When Portia suggested I compile a list of niche perfume Christmas picks, I was filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excited because I could get really creative and think outside the square and scared because, well, let’s face it, buying perfume for loved ones, let alone niche, is fraught with difficulties.
So, I have taken a deep breath and hopefully risen to the challenge. For ease, I’ve chosen more approachable scents and assumed price is no object. Enjoy!
1. Dad: Bigarade Concentree by Frederic Malle
Jean Claude Ellena’s modern take on eau de cologne, Bigarade Concentree starts with piquant, zesty blood orange and aromatic cardamom notes before settling into soft orange and hay. This is as refreshing as a dip in an ice cold pool, but still a refined classic scent.
Notes: bitter orange, rose, cedar, grass and hay
2. Mum: Antonia by Puredistance
Possibly the most beautiful and sublime release of 2012, Antonia is an intricately weaved green floral with galbanum, ivy and jasmine. The Antonia woman is intelligent, graceful, self assured and wise – the best qualities of Mums everywhere,
Notes: jasmine, rose essence, ylang ylang, orris, ivy greens, galbanum, vanilla and vetiver.
3. Brother: Sunday Cologne by Byredo
A slightly balmy and spicy scent, Sunday Cologne combines the freshness of bergamot with star anise, incense and lavender. Clean, cool and utterly debonair, this can be worn equally with a sharp suit or t-shirt and jeans.
Notes: cardamom, bergamot, star anise, lavender, geranium, incense, vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss.
4. Sister: Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens
A refined take on the standard fruity floral, Nuit de Cellophane combines osmanthus and jasmine to create a gorgeously translucent scent. Nuit de Cellophane is demure and pretty with just a hint of coquettishness.
Notes: mandarin, osmanthus, jasmine
5. Significant other (Male): Amyris Pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Sex in a bottle. A blend of aromatic rosemary and mandarin tempered by cool iris and warm woody notes, Amyris is the tall, dark handsome stranger at a swanky bar who buys you an ice-cold martini before saying sotto voce: ’Come hither’.
Notes: rosemary, mandarin orange, amyris, coconut, coffee, iris, milk chocolate, tonka bean and agarwood.
6. Significant other (Female): Flor Y Canto by Arquiste
A bewitching white floral, Flor Y Canto tempers the heady notes of tuberose and frangipani with bright marigold. Sunny and carefree, but still devastatingly sexy, this is for a confident woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Notes: Mexican tuberose, magnolia, frangipani and marigold
7. For the budding perfumista friend: Frederic Malle’s Coffrets
In my opinion, Frederic Malle offers the best variety of all niche brands. These coffrets offer small vials of the brand’s scents: men’s, women’s or a 2012 selection. Your friend is sure to find new love, whether it’s the mint barbershop vibe of Geranium Pour Monsieur or the brooding oriental of Portrait of a Lady.
8. For the friend that hates perfume: Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
An impressive, weighty candle without an oppressive scent, Aqua Universalis is a fresh and delicate blend of green notes, orange blossom and jasmine.
Notes: bergamot, sicilian lemon, lily of the valley, sweet mock orange, light and musky woods
9. For kids: Les Bulles d’Agathe by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
These blowing bubbles are lightly scented with pear, violet, mint or cut herbs – fun for the little ones or just for the kid in all of us.
10. Top niche Christmas pick: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
In one of those coveted bell jars, Serge Lutens and his partner in crime Christopher Sheldrake have created a luminous rendition of myrrh – the essential oil and resin carried by the Three Wise Men. Warm aldehydes suggest the twinkle of Christmas lights on powdered snow while gentle spices and almond evoke the last bite of Christmas pud washed down with a glass of warm Amaretto.
Notes: mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento
Pictures sourced from Fragrantica, Basenotes, Polyvore and Wantist.
Where to Buy:
Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks. What are your top niche Christmas choices?