Are you still looking for that perfect Christmas gift? Our response to odour is as individual as our own fingerprint so I know perfume can be a tough one to get right, but it is such a wonderful present to receive and so well worth the effort.
I'm no perfume expert but am really passionate about the subject and the more I learn the more fascinating I find it (much more to come on this in 2017!). For some truly expert advice I sought out the fabulously knowledgeable Maggie Mangan of Cloon Keen Atelier, (my favourite Aladdin's Cave on Galway's Wild Atlantic Way). Maggie really knows her scents! To pick out the perfect scent she says that you really need to know the person quite well. Failing that, shop only when armed with answers to the following questions, so a wise fragrance advisor can steer you in the right direction:
- Do they like fresh citrus fragrances, moody orientals or delicate florals?
- Do they like a classic fragrance, like Chanel No. 5 or something more individualistic?
- Do they gravitate towards fashion brands that may say something about their personal style?
- Do they like being outdoors or would they prefer to be sitting by the fire?
- How old are they?
The best of the web
If web browsing is more your style there are plenty of resources and the UK-based The Perfume Society tops the list for me. They really know their smells and are happy to share their vast apothecary of knowledge. The FR.eD (short for ‘Fragrance Editor’) is their ‘virtual fragrance advisor’ or online tool to help you choose that perfect gift and indeed help you discover new fragrances that you’re likely to love, based on scent preferences. So even if you already know what that special person likes and uses, you could attempt to broaden their horizons by choosing another perfume with similar ingredients to their favourite. All you need to do is log on (obviously!), input a fragrance into the form and FR.eD will offer suggestions for new fragrances to try, across a range of price-points, from high street to luxury.
Some of Kate's favourites
Other choices include Revlon's legendary 1973 Charlie that appears to be having a bit of a revival (a.k.a. Charlie Blue) and would be a fun stocking filler (about €10/100ml) for middle years folk who remember spritzing on their younger selves! Again, I'm no expert, but you won't go wrong with ANYTHING (well almost!) from Cloon Keen Atelier (naturally), Jo Loves (as in Jo Malone), Guerlain (L'heure Bleue is my absolute favourite), Hermes (I adore 24 Faubourg), Tom Ford, Escentric Molecules (Molecule 01 still my fav), Irish-based Roads range (Harmattan tops my list) and of course the iconic Chanel No 5.
Happy scent hunting!