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.

White Luminous Gold, Radiant Gold, Brilliant Gold 30 ml, €55 / 50 ml, €79 / 100 ml, €109
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.

Candle €52, Diffuser €74, Limited Edition Pomegranate Noir €105
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…

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.

Pierre Hermé Paris Limited Edition: Jasmin-Immortelle-Neroli €68
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.


B&B! Q&A: Debbie Wild, Jo Malone London

Debbie Wild is Lifestyle Director 957 JMV 04G DV Jo_Malone_Debbie_Wild_284 RGB_1MB for Jo Malone London. Now, if I had to choose any lifestyle that I would like to fully embrace, it would be that of the Jo Malone brand. The range of scents have grown over the years, and with the addition of scented sachets and clothes hangers, as well as an expansion of the range of candles, it is a distinct, if spendy, possibility.

Me, I find it money well spent, as fragrance in general, and perfume in particular, is a big part of my lifestyle already. I asked Debbie to talk about the brand’s trademark Fragrance Combining ethos, some hints about how to set the perfect Jo Malone stage in your home, and the new ‘flavour’ that’s launching this year.

What’s your own personal fragrance preference, Debbie?
As far back as I can remember, I have always preferred more masculine and spicy scents.  For me, the most special scent from Jo Malone London is the clean freshness of Amber & Lavender as it reminds me of home. Topped with the warm notes of Nutmeg & Ginger, it is the perfect combination to wear every day.

Can you tell us a bit about Fragrance Combining™?
The idea of Fragrance Combining™ was introduced by Jo Malone London and has become renowned within the world of modern fragrance. It was originally born from the idea that your favourite fragrance can be tailored to embrace a mood or occasion, or as a simple expression of your individuality, by layering with another scent.

Can you give us an example of how Fragrance Combining™ might work?
We find interesting ways to layer scents playing with textures and ingredients, across our cologne, body and bath ranges. First, you could shower with a Body & Hand Wash from our fruity family, followed by lathering on a warm and spicy Body Crème. The moisturizing combination of products and scents layered on your skin creates a scented base for your favourite fragrance.

Each fragrance has been designed to be worn alone or combined with other fragrances and we use only the finest and purist ingredients to ensure that any two fragrances can be combined to dependent on your own individual preference. The choice is completely yours.

Peony & Blush Suede100mlWhat is an example of the unexpected ways in which one can layer — as in, what two fragrances might seem to the customer to be an odd couple, but once you put them together, it’s total Wow?
My latest discovery is Peony & Blush Suede topped with hints of Saffron from the Cologne Intense collection. It may seem an unlikely pairing but the result is superb: deep and voluptuous, a mingling of an opulent floral with a vivid spice. The more unusual the better!

As ever, when I get the chance to talk to fragrance experts, I mention my interest in the psychology of scent, and in its potentially emotional impact. How do perfumers take this into consideration?
You will find some scents are personal to you, that they will evoke memories and trigger emotional responses. The way you choose to wear your fragrance contributes to any first lasting memory and impression any you wish to create.

Christine Nagel, Master Perfumer for Jo Malone, remembers growing up in a house where her mother used an Italian powder called Borotalco on herself and her brother, creating a childhood memory with a lasting olfactive impression.

Amongst Christine’s creations for the brand is the new Peony & Blush Suede, which she believes captures the connection between the craft of fragrance and couture fashion. The scent evokes charm of the English ballroom in the mid-20th century. The heady glamour of the Cecil Beaton era. Women elegant in couture, with peonies brought in from the great country estates. It is a fragrance that embraces both the floral notes and atmospheric texture of this time in history.

As someone who loves Lime Basil & Mandarin and Pomegranate Noir, what would you recommend as complementary scents to bring throughout my environment?
Fragrance translates into our lifestyle in every way. A beautifully scented home not only makes you feel good, but will also influence how your guests feel when they enter your home. A Pomegranate Noir Scent Surround™ Diffuser will perk-up your entertaining spaces. By lighting a Peony & Blush Suede Home Candle in your entrance hall, the two fragrances — one peppery, the other floral with the contrast of suede — will heighten the mood and play on the senses. Through Scent Surround™ the ambience of your home can be as inviting as the fragrance on your skin.


My new lifestyle: bedecked and lounging round the mantlepiece.


The full Peony & Blush Suede collection will be launching Monday 2nd September 2013 and will include:

>Cologne 30ml: €48/£39
>Cologne 100ml: €96/£78
>Body & Hand Wash 250ml: €42/£32
>Body Crème 175ml: €62/£50
>Home Candle: €50/£39


Always worth a linkback: my paean to the body crème.