It’s time for a new signature scent.
While the classics are cult favourites for a reason, there’s more to life than Pomegranate Noir.
Not only is a delicious new scent a pleasing, one-size-fits-all self-gift, it’s also the gift that keeps on giving; buy a bottle for someone else and your lucky giftee will be spritzing daily well into the New Year and beyond.
It is, however, a uniquely personal present so you’ll need to do your homework.
The trick to surprising someone with perfume is to stay within the scent profile of perfumes they already love. For instance, if you usually plump for a sweet, vanilla scent, then a woody, earthy fragrance might be too much of a departure.
Here’s another trick; when purchasing your chosen perfume at the counter, ask for a sample size so your giftee can try it before opening the box and exchange it for something more suitable if it’s not for them.
With those tips in mind, here are seven of our favourite fragrant picks for Christmas 2021:
1. YSL BLACK OPIUM EAU DE PARFUM EXTREME
A waft of the original Opium will take you right back to your mum’s dressing table in the 1980s.
Now fans of the retro fragrance can enjoy a radical new intensity for 2021; Black Opium EDP Extreme. Powered by an ultra-black coffee note and boosted by a bold new, ultra-long-lasting overdose of patchouli, this is a glam, ultra-feminine olfactory treat.
Oh, and the bottle is beyond sexy; all dressed up in black glitter, like a sequinned Saint Laurent evening dress.
Buy it: Black Opium EDP Extreme starts at €68 (30mls) and is available exclusively from Brown Thomas Cork and online at brownthomas.com.
2. CHLOÉ EAU DE PARFUM NATURELLE
A new rose in the Chloé garden, perfumer Michel Almairac has chosen roses grown on an organic farm in Bulgaria as the heart of Chloé’s Eau de Parfum Naturelle.
The maison is working to reduce its environmental impact across all Chloé’s designs and this new fragrance is 100% natural origin, vegan, and developed with ethically sourced ingredients and lower-impact packaging.
Rose joins neroli (produced on sustainable plantations in Morocco and Italy) to form a velvety bouquet with the vivid freshness of citron and blackcurrant buds. There’s mimosa in there too and cedar base notes make this a refined woody signature that lingers for hours.
Buy it: Chloé Eau de Parfum Naturelle is €105 (50ml) from McCauleys, Lloyds, Mc Cabes, and other stockists nationwide.
3. MAISON MARGIELA REPLICA BUBBLE BATH
We didn’t quite know what to expect from this unisex scent, but Replica Bubble Bath Eau De Toilette does what it says on the bottle, evoking the memory of a luxurious bubble bath and the feeling of unwinding after a long day.
The latest in Belgian designer Martin Margiela’s fun collection of unexpected olfactory experiences, this baby blue bottle brings delicate florals, soap bubble and coconut accords and white musks, making for an interesting everyday fragrance inspired by Beverly Hills in 2005.
Buy it: Maison Margiela Bubble Bath starts at €56 (30ml) at Brown Thomas Cork.
4. JUDITH LEIBER COUTURE MORE IS MORE!
Ever wished you could add an extra hit of citrus or a wash of floral to your favourite scent? Judith Leiber More Is More! offers a choice of seven scents in one bottle to cater to your every mood.
Created by French perfumer Jérôme Di Marino the outrageously OTT bottle contains three base perfumes, More Gourmand, More Zest and More Floral, that can be worn independently or mixed together in your own favourite combinations.
Thanks to its world-first refillable bottle design, you can select one, two, or all three scents by toggling the crystal sliders.
Buy it: More is More!, by Judith Leiber Couture, comes in a striking 75ml bottle, €145. Corresponding 25ml refills are €35 each from allcareppharmacy.ie.
5. ARMANI PRIVÉ SABLE NUIT
Sharing is caring, right? And when it comes to luxury unisex fragrances, Armani’s latest launch is a win/win for gifters and giftees.
Designed to whisk you away “on an oriental olfactory journey through a mysterious night in the desert”, the spicy fragrance is inspired by hot sand and fresh and majestic clear nights.
House perfumer Nicolas Beaulieu has combined notes of olibanum, pink pepper and labdanum for a balmy, ambery warmth and cedar and patchouli woods for a deep aura. The base is mineral and smoky, making for a scent that gets better as the day progresses.
Buy it: Armani Privé Sable Nuit is €260 (100ml) at Brown Thomas Cork.
6. STORIES PARFUMS
Another fragrance brand leading the way in gender-inclusive scents is Northern Ireland-based Stories Parfums. Belfast native Tonya Kidd-Beggs uses the best raw materials and time-honoured traditional methods to create fragrances that capture a moment and unlock a memory significant to her.
If you’re new to the brand, treat yourself and someone you love to this 15ml duo, perfectly sized for travel, fitting neatly into a handbag or briefcase side pocket.
The set includes STORIES N°.01, with citrus notes of bergamot, grapefruit and orange blossom, warm cedarwood and a delicate touch of jasmine and STORIES N°.02, “an invitation to walk through the garden, shed your shoes at the river and recover that which has been lost” featuring Bulgarian Rose, spiced with ginger, cardamom, and green tea.
Decadent and deep, these will have you sneaking a sniff of your wrist all day long.
Buy it: The Stories Discovery Duo is €78.95 at storiesparfums.com
7. 2021 ATELIER COLOGNE ADVENT CALENDAR
If you can’t choose just one scent for your beloved, then why not gift them a selection?
Atelier Cologne’s magical new ‘Follow The Path Of The Stars’ Advent Calendar is designed by artist Daria Hlazatova. Inside, 24 stunning surprises await, from 30ml fragrances and hand creams in Orange Sanguine, Clementine California and Oolang Infini, to shower gels and body lotions, pure perfumes in Pacific Lime, Lemon Island and Vanilla Insenseé and mystical candles scented with Orange Toscana and Bois Montmartre.
The ultimate way to spoil a fragrance fan.
Buy it: Atelier Cologne Advent Calendar 2021, €340 from Brown Thomas and Arnotts.