I want to take you somewhere I’ve just been. It’s a bit damp, so wellies would be sensible. Wrap a scarf around your neck before you head out – the early morning frost is chilly and bites at skin. Bundled up and prepared to brave the garden? Good. It’s early in spring, and we’re going to slice through branches bearing barely any leaves right to the back of an English country garden, where roses dwell. Once there, stop and inhale deeply. Bursts of fresh green will meet your nose, then whispers of the budding roses. Keep sniffing: you’ll find deeper greenery mingles with those two: moss, peat, grass.
How did I transport myself there from the depths of winter? I took a sniff of Annick Goutal Rose Pompon, that’s how. It is for this reason that I persist in buying scents for others as a gift – nothing else you can give someone will be so evocative, nor become embedded in their emotional memories during the year ahead.
When choosing scent for another, I’d always suggest snooping a little first. Ask their significant others if they have a signature scent – and if they do, don’t deviate. If not, consider their style – are they zany? Do they delight in being a bit different? Are they a traditionalist? Below are some suggestions – find more here, too //
The Eccentrics //
For the person who doesn’t like to smell like anyone else, get Escentric Molecules Molecule 01 – it develops differently on everyone. On me, this is fizzy, exploding under my nose like champagne.
Etat Libre D’Orange Attaquer le Soleil Marquis de Sade is unlike anything I’ve smelled before – in a good way. If I had to summarise it, I’d say it’s a dash woody, a pinch leathery, a puff smoky. The sum result is undeniably masculine and quirky. I love it.
Another good buy for someone who’d hate your average floral is Excentrique Moi by Art de Parfum. Though this is a little sweet courtesy of the notes of hibiscus and red berries, there’s a spicy woodiness dancing at the centre that grounds it nicely.
The Sweet Scents //
L’Artisan Parfumeur Premier Figuier is a true fig that I’ve previously reviewed here. This one’s L’Artisan’s most loved scent, and I’d say it’s a safe bet for anyone who likes juicy, feminine scents with a touch of citrussy freshness in the mix.
For the lover of rose, opt for the Annick Goutal mentioned above or for the Aerin perfume I’ve reviewed here.
The Fancy One //
Amouage Myths is about the most decadent scent I’ve come across in a long time, with everything about it from the heady blend of violet and patchouli to the sumptuous bottle whispering luxury. Buy this for someone who wouldn’t feel out of place sitting in a stately home draped in silks and pearls.
The One For All //
If you’re still stuck, go for one of Maison Margiela’s clever Replica Filters. Two perfume oils designed to influence a scent as a filter does an instagram photo, this offers the opportunity to alter any scent slightly without changing its essence.