Monday, December 14, 2020

Best Fragrances for Men and Women | 2020 Holiday Gift Guide

Back in 2017 I published a fragrance gift guide to help you choose the trendiest scents of the season. Since perfume is still one of the most popular luxury gifts, I thought it was time for a new list featuring the best fragrances of 2020 (you’ll probably want to add a few of these to your own wish-list).
Valentino Voce Viva (50 ml - $123.00) 
Voce Viva is one of my new favorites! This addictive scent is feminine, romantic, sexy and elegant. The top notes are sparkling Italian bergamot softened by sweet juicy mandarin, opulent orange blossom and golden gardenia. The citrus and floral accords are perfectly balanced with cool crystal moss and creamy vanilla. If you like bold, scintillating fragrances that last all day, this one is for you.
Voce Viva is available at Shoppers Drug Mart and online at

 Azzaro Wanted Tonic (100 ml $102.00) 
Azzaro Wanted Girl Tonic (50 ml - $97.00) 

Azzaro makes amazing fragrances and Wanted (the original scent for men) is absolutely irresistible! The guys in my family are obsessed. 

Just in time for the holiday season, the brand has released two new scents. Wanted Tonic for men is invigorating, explosive, daring and refreshing with cooler notes than the original formula and a desirable woody-aquatic spice. The top notes are lime, ginger and patchouli which create a warm, citrus aroma – similar to clean, sweet aftershave (it’s incredible). The sleek gun chamber bottle is very James Bond and debonair.
Azzaro Wanted Girl is explosive, sweet and energizing. The delicate flower shaped bottle also resembles a hand grenade which looks good next to the Azzarro cologne. If you like fragrances that are adventurous, playful and tropical, this scent is fantastic! The composition contains a delicious blast of acai berries, ginger, kiwi, bamboo and tonka bean blended into a cold, sweet refreshing scent. 

 Azzaro is available at Sephora, Shoppers Drug Mart, department stores and

 YSL Fragrances for Her 
Yves Saint Laurent also has some great fragrances but it can be difficult to decide between them. The brand frequently releases new scents with the same name and slightly different compositions. To help you out I am going to rate 3 of their most recent perfumes and tell you which I prefer. 

1. Coming in at #1 is the newest version of Libre Eau de Parfum Intense (50 ml - $138.00). As the name suggests, it is more intense than the original formula with warm floral accords, vanilla and honeyed facets of burnt orange blossom and glowing amber. It has everything you’d want in a good perfume - the aroma is creamy, slightly spicy, mildly sweet, sexy and intoxicating. It is perfect for date night, autumn and winter.
2. YSL Libre Eau de Parfum (50 ml - $125) is classic (although I still prefer the intense version). The predominant notes are smoldering vanilla, orange blossom, lavender and amber with a hint of neroli and juicy mandarin. This fragrance is light, elegant, and cool with the perfect hint of sweetness whereas the intense version is smooth, velvety, deep and rich. 

3. In third place you have YSL Mon Paris Intensement (50 ml - $128.00). The ingredient list includes elegant rose, black currant and white musk which combine to form a passionate fruity-floral aroma. This is one of those perfumes that smell better after the alcohol fades and the ingredients blend with your body chemistry. After it mellows out, the notes come through beautifully and the deep pink bottle is gorgeous! 

YSL is available at Shoppers Drug Mart, Sephora and department store counters (including Hudson’s Bay) and

 Giorgio Armani Si Passione (50 ml - $122.00 

If you prefer light, clean, modern scents, Si Passione is great for everyday wear. The key notes are blackcurrant, vanilla, rose, heliotrope and jasmine balanced with the radiance of pear and the sensuality of cedar wood. The floral fruitiness is mild and uplifting with a hint of sweetness. It reminds me of a refreshing high-end shampoo – the kind that wafts through the air and attracts attention. I can’t stop smelling it!
You can find this fragrance at Sephora, department store counters and 

 Pure Music by Narciso Rodriguez (50 ml - $123.00) 

This is my first perfume by Narciso Rodriguez and I am quite impressed. The scent is described as “powdery and floral” with calming notes of orange blossom, musc and cashmeran. Although I don’t see any spice accords in the ingredient list, I detect a lingering hint of it – something musky with a hint of incense and clean laundry/dryer sheet. It is definitely unique.
This fragrance is available at Sephora, and The Bay. 

Lancome La Vie Est Belle Intensement (50 ml - $121.00) 

Lancome has recently launched the intense version of their popular La Vie Est Belle Perfume so if you like that one, this should probably be on your wish-list. The first words that came to mind were - sweet, playful, feminine, bold, powdery and vanilla. It is powerful, and sensual - composed of bergamot, pink pepper, raspberry, jasmine, orange flower and a base of patchouli, iris and vanilla bean. 

Lancome is available at department store counters, Shoppers Drug Mart, The Bay, Holt Renfrew, Sephora and
Mary Kay Illuminea (50 ml - $80.00) 

Mary Kay’s perfume is another fabulous scent that is perfect for every occasion. It is light, luminous, fruity, floral, woodsy, rich and warm – pretty much everything you’d want in a classic, sophisticated perfume. Mom, grandma, and your favorite aunt will love this aroma - it isn’t too sweet or pungent and it exudes maturity with an elegant flare. Pair it with the Illumina Body Souffle ($34) to create the perfect gift set.
Mary Kay is available at and through independent consultants. You can check out the MK 2020 holiday gift guide by clicking HERE

 Avon Artisan Fragrances (for him or her) - $75.00 each 

Avon’s new Artisan Perfumes are crafted with the finest ingredients and they make a great couples gift! 

Santal Musk is warm and exotic. 
*The top notes are: Asian pear, peony, peach nectar and bamboo.
*Middle notes: matcha tea, dewy violet, raspberry blossom and rose santal. 
*Base notes: Australian sandalwood and white musk. It smells clean, refreshing and light (I definitely smell the bamboo).
Cherry Vetiver is rich, captivating and delicious. 
*Top notes: wild cherry, raspberry and crisp pear. 
*Middle notes: heliotrope, violet and marshmallow. 
*Base: vetiver, cedarwood, ambrox and fluffy musk. The predominate note here is black cherry and it smells amazing! 

Both fragrances are unisex (for men and women) and they’ve done a fabulous job blending the ingredients into appealing aromas for all. The opening scent is sexy and feminine but the base is masculine and cologne-like. They change with your body chemistry and become even more appealing as the day wears on. 

Personally, I prefer Cherry Vetiver but they are both really good. You can order them online at 

Atelier Cologne Clementine California (100 ml - $185.00)  

Atelier is well known for creating unisex fragrances and this scent is exceptional! To me it smells a lot more like men’s cologne but the idea that anyone can wear it is a great concept.
Ladies, this is the type of aroma you want wafting off your man. It smells earthy, fresh, citrusy, irresistible and sexy with key notes of Haitian vetiver, clementine, juniper berry, basil, star anise, pepper and sandalwood. It reminds me of summer and sunshine with a hint of sweetness and a touch of aftershave. It is a bit expensive but totally worth it! 

Atelier is available at Sephora, Nordstrom, and

 ~Happy Holiday

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