Gift Guide 2015: Happy Holiday Scents

I know that shopping for scent for someone else is tricky, but I think these are the best bets if you’ve got a fragrance junkie on your list.

MICHAEL KORS
White Luminous Gold, Radiant Gold, Brilliant Gold 30 ml, €55 / 50 ml, €79 / 100 ml, €109
MICHAEL KORS
When I first received these to test, I immediately chose the the spicy, musky, deep floral Rose Radiant Gold, and wrote off the the other two. And then I thought, ah, sure, in the interest of fairness, give the White Luminous Gold a go — and it’s lovely, with a really sexy jasmine/amber dry down. And then when I was taking the photo, I gave the 24K Brilliant Gold a spritz — I like it toooooo: this one smells the most ‘expensive’, like the limo is going to pulling up at the door as I swing on my fabulously expensive car coat and slip elegantly into the back. Or whatever. The packaging is pure contemporary luxe, and the variety in the scents on offer is sure to suit someone you want to splurge on.

JO MALONE
Candle €52, Diffuser €74, Limited Edition Pomegranate Noir €105
JO MALONE
I sigh. The range has changed and expanded, but the essence of the Jo Malone brand remains the same: delicious combinations of scents that you’d never imagine would work as well as they do. I’ve got a candle on the go at the moment, and it’s been going and going, with a fragrance that lingers delightfully long after the flame has been extinguished. I’ve also got a diffuser that I’m hoarding until I come back from hols, but expect to get a good six months out of it {74 ÷ 6 = 12.33/month! Cheap as chips!} And what can I say about Pomegranate Noir except that it is legendary, and this year’s LE bottle is just beautiful. If I had to choose a scent for the candle, I’d go with the White Jasmine & Mint; for the home diffuser, I’d be thinking ahead to spring and suggest the Lime Basil & Mandarin. I am totally dreaming of a fragrant Christmas…

NEOM ORGANICS LONDON
Limited Edition Christmas Wishes Scented Candle €42/One Wick Christmas Wish Home Collection €54
NEOM candle and gift setGlorious scented with mandarin, cinnamon & tonka bean, NEOM’s Christmas Wish candle makes the home smell like the inside of a holiday bakery, without any of the fuss or mess {hate baking, me}. If you’d prefer something zingy, then the Perfect Peace candle will do the trick as it is loaded with pine, myrrh and lime peel. I’m new to this brand, and it’s been one of my highlights of the year: I enjoyed a Happiness Wellbeing Treatment at Akina Beauty and Laser Clinic in their new premises in Leeson Street, and it was spectac, and of course used products from the line — more about that later! I’ve also had help Zzzz-catching with Perfect Night’s Sleep Pillow Mist, a blend of English lavender, sweet basil and jasmine {27.45}. The box on the left is a generous gift of a candle and a bottle of Home Mist, not only because of the quality of the products, but also because you’ll be introducing someone to an excellent brand.

L’OCCITANE
Pierre Hermé Paris Limited Edition: Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli €68
LOCCITANE NEROLI box
I’ve been keeping this in mind since the press launch way back before we all started wondering where we could find an ark-building course. With a value of €89, this blend of jasmine, the essence of the immortelle flower and the ever-popular orangey neroli results in a girly yet sexy scent. The set includes a 75ml Eau de Toilette, 250ml Body Milk, 50ml Shower Gel and 50g Scented Soap — perfect for the lady who likes to layer her fragrance. There’s also a Pamplemousse Rhubarbe collection, which is more towards the cedary, vetiver-y end of the spectrum.

GHOST GirlGhost_Girl
Eau de Toillette €34.50 / 30ml
I flagged this back in the summer and I still can’t imagine anything more appropriate for a teen or tween on your list than this little number. The classic fragrance brand have added this youthful scent to their line, and this is as young as it gets: it’s got a sharp, bright, fruity initial tone that only reluctantly deepens into something richer. The dry down is like watching an adolescent who has been told to go upstairs to do her homework take… each… step… one… at… a… time. This is entirely appropriate for such a youthful fragrance. My inner teen thinks she’d probably wear this, so it’s all good. Tiny bit pricey for girls on a budget, though, so be a good grown up and treat a niece/babysister/young cousin.

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Dude Week: Things That Make Me Go Ooh! In the Shower

Alas, not this, unfortch.
B CUMBERBATCH DUDE WEEK SHOWER
A tenuous connection to Dude Week, indeed. Anyway! Shower! Ooh!

I don’t know how many body scrubs I’ve tried. I could figure it out, but how tedious would that be? I bet, though, that I could safely guess… between 30 — 50? Seven a year for the past seven years? Let’s just say 45. So when I dispensed some of Elemis’ Sp@ Home Skin Nourishing Body Scrub on my shower pouf and was inspired to exclaim, ‘Ooh!’ as I applied it — well, that’s a professional opinion, dontcha know. It is spectac.

It’s mainly about the scent, I reckon. Everything that Elemis produce smells divine, and the scent off this is so luxurious, it really does live up to its spa-at-home promise. Is it the macadamia oil? It is the sweet almond? I doubt it’s the wheat germ, but who knows?

‘Tis spendy, at €39/£28.50/$53*, but this does the pricey-product thing of lasting a long time, since you need to use so little. Also: the effect of the scrub — it’s the bora bora sand, I am sure of it — is comprehensive, and you won’t have to exfoliate as often as you would. Srsly, I was shiny and new for a week. Love it.

SHOWER OOH!

When a face scrub tells me to keep away from the eye area, I pretty much ignore it. Not that I am scrubbing that sensitive area directly! I am not that foolish! I don’t really mind the proximity of scrub to eye, though, and perhaps get a little too close for comfort.

I can confirm that that is the case, as the use of freeze 24/7 IceCrystals Anti-aging Prep and Polish {€54/£46/$65**} has converted me to caution.

This is the perfect facial scrub for those among us who sleepwalk into the shower every morning. It is fiercely frosty, the result of specially calibrated pure magnesium oxide crystals encapsulated in Advanced Silicone Emulsion << now, you know I so rarely just spout product info, but I really had no idea what it was that made this literally make my skin freeze. Smelled like menthol eucalyptus? I think I may have been trained over the years to think that everything briskly resin-y is eucalyptus. I don’t know that I feel at all enlightened by words like ‘magnesium oxide crystals’ and am particularly intimidated by ‘Advance Silicone Emulsion’ but this was invigorating, thoroughly exfoliating, and it made my eyes sting. It made them sting intensely. So, mind your eyes, like the directions say. Listen to the tube.

Like that, I didn’t bother to read all about how to use Nivea‘s new In-Shower Body Moisturiser {€3.99/£3.65/not in USA?}, which is: use your regular soap or gel, rinse, then apply this. Then rinse. It saves you the post-shower moisturising step, which I usually quite enjoy, but when I’ve had the need for speed, this product has proven to be a good thing. When I used it correctly. When I didn’t, I couldn’t figure out why I was smelling not-so-fresh? When you do it right, it is as nice as, but much more efficient than, applying oil to the damp bod and then towelling off. It’s the same principle though, which is to trap moisture so your skin will be refreshed during the rest of the day.

I think that’s it… I’ve got some hair care products in the queue — what a surprise! – so stayed tuned for more ‘ooh’!

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*Whoops: price point differential!
** Whoa: only 70gs in the tube!
*** Whew: that’s great value!

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Screen grab via the entire flippin’ internet, in fairness.

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Soz, Mr B Cumberbatch, for, you know, objectification and all that, but srsly: ooh!

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