Everyone is on the hunt for the perfect presents so don’t be surprised if you’re walking through the mall and get spritzed with a random mist of perfume (someone needs to stop those people). The fragrance sales reps tucked into every nook and cranny of department stores are annoying but perfume is still one of the most popular gifts during the holiday season. It may seem personal and a bit risky since the perception of aroma is very subjective but some brands are experts at crafting amazing blends that satisfy even the pickiest recipients on your list.
I have an extensive fragrance collection (seriously, it’s bursting out of cabinets and buckling drawers) but smelling as good as you look is important. To help narrow your search this Christmas I’ve rounded-up some of my top picks of the year with a vast range of ingredients and intensities. This guide is for women (sorry guys, I’ll get to you later) and the list I’ve compiled can also be used for birthdays, anniversaries, Valentine’s Day and any other special occasion since many of these perfumes will be available for years.
Giorgio Armani Because It’s You ($115.00 for 50 ml)
Whenever I wear this perfume I get a lot of compliments (that's how you know it's good) and the scent is absolutely intoxicating with notes of warm vanilla, musk, ripe raspberry, sensual rose and neroli. The sophisticated sweetness of juicy fruit contrasts nicely with the deep, scintillating musk to create an amazing combination that I can’t get enough of! (Available at Sephora, Hudson’s Bay, department store counters and online at beautyboutique.ca)
Clean Warm Cashmere ($54.00) and Cool Cotton ($95.00)
I love the soft, simple ingredients in Clean fragrances and Warm Cashmere reminds me of cozy fall days and eggnog by the tree. The spicy aroma is laden with bergamot, orris, ceadarwood and musk creating a sweet nostalgic scent that is simple yet modern. If you love the freshness of sun-dried linens, clear blue skies and sunshine, then Cool Cotton may be more your style. This invigorating perfume is bursting with bergamot, sparking mandarin, crisp green apple, lemon zest, mint and peach - very airy, pure and soothing.
Miss Dior Eau De Parfum ($165.00 for 100 ml)
Miss Dior is described as “the scent of love” – a mix of seduction, style, high-fashion and refinement. Honeyed damask rose, sparking blood orange, mandarin and bergamot contrast beautifully with pink peppercorn and Guyanese rosewood creating complexity and intrigue. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and Dior Counters nationwide)
Dior Poison Girl ($72.00 for 30 ml)
I'm willing to bet that Poison Girl will be an instant hit with all the ladies on your holiday list. The luxurious scent is a bit more playful than Miss Dior with bitter-sweet ambiance that tantalizes the senses. Notes include: sweet Sicilian orange, neroli, rose and vanilla for a creamy, delicious composition that is perfect for an evening out. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and Dior Counters nationwide)
Lancome La Vie Est Belle L’Eclat ($85.00 for 50 ml)
This elegant bottle is a masterpiece in itself featuring 221 twinkling facets designed by the best French glass maker. The liquid seems to be encased in crystal and the scent is radiant, bold and feminine with notes of delicate rose iris, sweet pear, ripe blackberry, luminous orange blossom, fresh jasmine and patchouli essence. (Available at The Bay, Sephora , Shoppers Drug Mart, Lancome Counters and online at beautyboutique.ca)
Jason Wu Eau De Parfum Spray ($145.00 for 90 ml)
Beautifully crafted from the inside out this heavy glass bottle is simple and sleek while the perfume is infused with rare jasmine, sensual woods, pink pepper, fig and iris for an extravagant floral bouquet. The fragrance is sexy, robust and light with a subtle fade – perfect for daily wear. (Available at The Bay)
Alien Eau Sublime by Mulger ($82.00 for 60 ml)
Usually fragrances have familiar accords that are quickly distinguishable but this composition rises to a higher level of complexity. Eau Sublime is a new interpretation of the original, inspired by the solar Goddess and infused with mandarin, bitter orange, jasmine, tiare flower and heliotrope. The powerful scent is very similar to its predecessor with a sweet, luminous aroma and perhaps a little more zest.
Mugler Angel Étoile Des Reves Eau De Parfum ($146.00 for 100 ml) and Angel Perfuming Body Cream ($120.00) by Mulger
This year Mugler celebrated its 25th anniversary and released a collectible new fragrance and body cream to commemorate the occasion. This intimate blend is a night time representation of Angel – delicious, tender, captivating and silky. The facets include: bergamot, praline, hedione, patchouli, vanilla and musk which form a sweet, intriguing essence that is long lasting and powerful.
The body cream comes in a magical, interstellar glass jar that resembles a space ship surrounded in dazzling glitter. The formula is enriched with shea butter and smells exactly like the perfume with the same intensity. It is very strong for a cream so I wouldn’t layer it with fragrance. (Avialable at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart, Jean Coutu, Sephora and Nordstrom)
You might also want to check out Angel Eau Sucrée ($82.00) – another deliciously sweet twist.
Roger & Gallet Extrait De Cologne – Cassis Frénésie ($40.00)
This fresh fragrance reminds me of a French garden in spring with notes of honeyed blackcurrant, pepper essence and rose. If you like energetic, floral scents, this blend is very mature, crisp and natural. The classic cologne bottle is representative of the Victorian era to complement the pure, sophisticated ingredients within. (Available at The Bay and online at roger-gallet.com)
My Burberry Blush ($130.00 for 90 ml)
The original My Burberry and its predecessors are my favorite perfumes (along with Azzaro Pour Elle of course). I reach for Burberry when I have a big event to attend because the fragrances smell distinctive, expensive and vibrant. The Blush version is composed of geranium, glazed pomegranate, crisp apple, rose petal, jasmine and wisteria for a softer, lighter rendition. It is perfect for day wear or date night with a sparkling fruity-floral essence that is feminine and flirty. (Available at The Bay, Sephora and department store counters)
La Femme Prada ($165.00 for 100 ml)
Prada is another brand that has a great track record with fragrances. This glamorous scent is classic, bold, summery and bright with a dreamy floral base and sweet nuisances. The notes include: spices, beeswax, frangipani flower, tuberose, iris, ylang-ylang, vanilla and vetvier while the curve of the bottle is wrapped in white Saffiano Leather for a luxurious look.
(Available at The Bay and online at beautyboutique.ca)
Viva La Juicy Glace ($110.00 for 100 ml)
Just in time for winter Viva La Juicy has launched an icy new scent that combines sparkling freshness bursting with mandarin, sweet pear, white jasmine petals, sumptuous vanilla and milky sandalwood for a little warmth. I’ve never encountered a Juicy perfume that I didn’t like – they are very appealing to women of all ages and the sweet, youthful notes are suitable for daily wear. Glace is enchanting, fruity and covered in glitter! When you rotate the bottle, the pearly snowflake shade transforms to iridescent pink and the playful princess bow is adorable. (Available at Sephora, Jean Coutu, beautyboutique.ca, London Drugs and department store counters)
L’Occitane Terre De Lumiere – the gold edition ($89.00 for 50 ml)
L’Occitane never ceases to amaze me with their use of luxurious ingredients that capture the beauty of France. Terre De Lumiere – meaning “land of light” is inspired by the golden hour – the peaceful moment at dusk when the sun sets and the sky fills with spectacular light. This elegant gourmand is fresh, warm and sweet, showcasing robust notes of lavender, honey and almond – suitable for both casual and formal occasions. (Available at L’Occitane boutiques and online at loccitane.ca)
Givenchy Dahlia Divin ($112.00 for 50 ml)
Dahlia Divin launched last year but the classic notes of sweet mimosa, creamy vanilla, jasmine, rose and woody sandalwood is still one of my favorite blends. The warm, comforting ingredients are perfect for fall/winter and you only need 1-2 spritzes since the facets are potent and long lasting. (Available at Sephora, The Bay and beautyboutique.ca)
Jimmy Choo L’eau Eau De Toilette ($107.00 for 90 ml)
Jimmy Choo is a master when it comes to creating incredible fragrances and L’eau is elegant, adventurous and alluring – great for date night or an evening out with the girls. The harmonized notes are whimsical, sweet and youthful featuring bergamot, hibiscus, peony, nectarine, musk and cedarwood for a delectable balance of woody sweetness. (Available at The Bay, Shoppers Drug Mart and Nordstrom)
Lancome La Nuit Tresor ($108.00)
This has to be one of the most beautiful fragrances Lancome has ever released and each time I spray it there are delicious waves of dreamy passion fruit and warm vanilla-caramel. This magical elixir also brings forth the seductive side of the rose to embellish provocative power and femininity. Patchouli, lychee, praline and strawberry are also present without being too sugary.(Available at department store counters and lancome.ca)
Admittedly, these are just a few of the fragrances I’ve received and tested over the last year or so. There are many other wonderful scents that would have made the list if I hadn’t condensed this article into something more readable. If you have any suggestions or faves please comment below and have a wonderful holiday season!