Is Fragrance Giftable?
Fragrance

Is Fragrance Really Giftable?

As the holiday season rolls around, we’re often asked about the best way to select a fragrance as a gift. Here are some steps to help you achieve a fragrance gifting triumph.

As the holiday season rolls around, we’re often asked about the best way to select a fragrance as a gift. Many people like the idea of gifting fragrance, especially for a loved one who’s often within smelling distance. But the wide variety of fragrances available and the personal nature of scent make it a particular challenge, especially if you’re not a diehard fragrance lover yourself. However, contrary to popular belief, it is possible to get them a fragrance they’ll love! In a perfect world, you could just buy them another bottle of their favourite, in which case, you’ll be done before you know it. Assuming that’s not an option, here are some steps to help you achieve a fragrance gifting triumph.

1. Don’t think so much about ”notes” or ingredients; think about personality

Perfumes are often described by what fragrance “families” they belong to. Are they sweet? Floral? Woody? Animalic? And while knowing your recipient’s taste in ingredients can help, often fragrances can vary just as much within families as between them. Instead, we suggest thinking first about the personality or style of the person you’re buying for. Are they bold? Reserved? Dramatic? Fun? Distinctions like fancy or casual, and for work or for play, can often help narrow the field better than deciding between cedar and vanilla.

To this end, we’ve compiled a Fragrance Gift Guide with nine categories of fragrance lovers (or the fragrance curious). Look for ones that feel like they describe your recipient’s disposition, taste in clothes, or the way they greet the world.

2. Stick to the safe bets (and beware some tricky ingredients)

There are two reasons that ingredients do matter a little for gift giving: skin chemistry and scent associations. Scent is closely tied to memory, which can make the exact same smell feel different to different people. Additionally, perfume changes subtly once it hits skin, making it harder to estimate how certain perfumes will smell on any particular person. To maximize your chances of success, we recommend sticking to more versatile scents with crowd-pleasing ingredients and styles.

Try: Escentric Molecules

This brand is a hit for a reason. Without getting too technical, many of their most-loved perfumes aren’t really “perfumes” in the sense that vanilla isn’t really a cake. Instead, their line of “Molecule” scents (numbered 01-05) are suspensions of a single versatile base note in alcohol. Translation? They’re the frame, not the painting. This means that they adapt to anyone’s skin and amplify the best qualities of their natural scent. The result is a wear-it-anywhere automatic jaw dropper that can also layer beautifully with any other scents in their collection.

Try: Malin + Goetz

These fun, modern fragrances are a nice bridge between “nice smell” and “proper perfume” (and we mean that in the best way possible). They’re inspired by easily-identifiable smells, and evoke them in an accessible way. They’re already well loved for their addictive body products, and their packaging is effortlessly chic. And worst comes to worst, buying someone a fragrance named “Cannabis” is sure to at least make them smile (but it would also smell great on almost anyone anyway).

Be careful with: buying something ”fresh”

“Fresh” is a concept in perfume that’s become such a cliché it hardly means anything. If they’ve told you they like “fresh” fragrances, or you have a memory of them smelling “clean”, this could be helpful, or could be a trap. Because of the way scent is tied to memory, “fresh” could mean anything from citrus to mint, light flowers to aquatic, and even white musk. Try to narrow your search by thinking of their personality, or if “fresh” is all you have to go on, consider any Heeley fragrance with a white label.

Be careful with: Floral for the sake of floral

Flowers are foundational to the history of perfume. They also could be the most polarizing ingredient of them all. Not only can people have strong reactions to heavily floral scents, but the way that flowers show up in a composition ranges from “shrieking” to “invisible”. This doesn’t mean you should stay away from any fragrance which lists flowers among the notes; most will have some somewhere. However, if a fragrance is described as both rich/intense and predominantly floral, you might want to get them to try a sample first (unless you or they are experienced fragrance buyers).

One exception to this rule is if you know they have a favourite flower. If so, find a fragrance that doesn’t just include it, but is overwhelmingly and exclusively inspired by it. Lilac lovers will likely love A Lilac a Day, orange blossom enthusiasts will likely swoon over Histoire d’Orangers, and if they grow real roses in their garden, Lustre should remind them of home. 

3. Smell for yourself, and even get a second opinion

It will not surprise you to hear that smells cannot be fully experienced through the internet (at least not yet). While many of our clients have learned enough about their personal taste to shop our fragrance selection online, buying a fragrance gift can put many of us back at square one. An excellent way to complete your holiday shopping would be to visit our Montréal boutique and sniff a shortlist of options. If this is a possibility for you, the same advice from #1 applies; when smelling each fragrance, try to think of the person’s energy, personality and style more than decide whether they’d like the actual ingredients.

For those who aren’t lucky enough to live nearby, we also offer the option to purchase samples online of almost any fragrance we sell. If you plan ahead, investing a small amount in an assortment of samples can help you seal the deal, or even sneak an option onto the skin of the actual person you’re buying for. And if the element of surprise is too important to give up, bring the samples around to someone who knows your recipient just as well (or even better) than you do. When seeking a second opinion, the question we’d recommend asking isn’t “would they like this?” as much as “do you think this smells like them?” Lastly, if you’re their significant other, remember to consider what scents you’d enjoy smelling on them as well!

4. Don’t forget the home!

If you’re still not ready to make a judgement call on a fragrance for skin, try a fragrance for space! Any room is enlivened by the invisible colour of a home fraIf you’re still too scared to make a judgement call about a fragrance for skin, try a fragrance for space! Any room is enlivened by the invisible colour of a home fragrance, and we carry a beautiful array of scents in various formats. Home scents are the perfect gifting sweet spot: something almost everybody loves, but many people often don’t buy for themselves.  

The range of diffusers from Culti Milano have been extremely popular, as well as their car sachets – a unique gift for anybody who drives to work. Local Montréal brands Les Citadines and T. Lees create artisanal, elevated scents for every taste, and Arquiste’s candles are vibrant, transportive and unique. Finally, for the ultimate luxury experience, the world-renowned house of Fornasetti makes candles which rise to the level of art objects – taking home scent from invisible accent to dazzling decor.

Finally, gifting fragrance with Etiket has one distinct advantage – free samples! Like most retailers, we can’t accept returns of used fragrance, even if it’s only been sprayed once. However, Etiket offers complimentary fragrance samples with every purchase. Simply request a sample of the scents you’re buying and we’ll happily include them so your recipient can try the sample on before they open the full-sized bottle. If it turns out it’s not for them, they can easily return the unused fragrance and get something for themselves. This also means that every bottle of fragrance you buy for someone else lets you try some free samples for yourself, and if that isn’t a reason to be generous, I don’t know what is!

Image source: @penhaligons_london

Holiday 2015: The Art Of Elegant Gift Giving

As the Holiday season approaches, we start our list of who we will give to ...

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As the Holiday season approaches, we start our list of who we will give to and what we will give. It’s an opportunity to express care and gratitude to our loved ones, family, friends and colleagues. We all want to master the art of elegant gift giving so that these celebratory moments are memorable. As our gift to you, here are some of our do’s and don’ts for gift giving.

6 Do’s 

  1. Express joy in your gift and always give with kindness.
  2. Select a gift with imagination and generosity.
  3. A successful gift speaks to the interests and hobbies of the recipient.
  4. When in doubt, seek advice from a relative, a friend or a colleague to help you.
  5. Wrap the gift with care, make it fun, exciting and appropriate.
  6. A gift is just that… a gift! The joy of giving is greater when no gift is expected in return.

6 Don’ts

  1. Praising the gift too much or discussing its price is a highly inappropriate gesture.
  2. Giving an ambiguous gift may lead to misinterpretation.
  3. Giving an awkwardly inappropriate gift may be hurtful: a bottle of wine to a recipient who does not drink is ill-advised for example.
  4. Offering a lavish gift unexpectedly may make someone feel uncomfortable or oblige them to feel they need to reciprocate.
  5. Arriving empty handed at a holiday event may offend your host – the gift doesn’t need to be extravagant, just thoughtful.
  6. Giving without care or consideration – believe it or not, people will know – take the time and effort to find a gift that has meaning for the recipient.

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The Best Fragrance Gifts To Give And Receive This Holiday Season

The gift of fragrance is timeless, luxurious and intimate. We usually buy perfume for someone ...

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The gift of fragrance is timeless, luxurious and intimate. We usually buy perfume for someone we feel very close to like family members and very close friends. What makes fragrance such a cherished gift is its ability to defines us by our individual style and influence our mood. For most people, fragrance is not an everyday purchase, so giving the perfect perfume gift can be a very lavish gesture. From our go-to perfumes and gift sets to solid perfumes and discovery sets, you are sure to find something special for any and everyone on your list!

Here are the fragrance gifts that are topping our list this holiday season:

blenheim bouquet gift set

Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Gift Set: Created in 1902 and taking its name from Blenheim Palace the seat of one of England’s most respected bloodlines, Blenheim Bouquet is a bracing mix of citrus oils, spices and woods. Set includes: Eau de Toilette 50ml, Shave Cream 50ml, Aftershave Balm 50ml.

l'artisan parfumeur gift set

 

L’Artisan Parfumeur Discovery Gift Set: Let him or her discover their next signature scent among these six fragrances from an iconic Parisian perfume house.

The discovery set (6x 5ml) includes:

Caligna: luminous and aromatic, this perfume evokes the fragrant landscapes of Grasse, the spiritual home of French perfumery, in the south of France.

La Chasse aux Papillons: imagine chasing butterflies in the French country side, surrounded by white flowers. A floral fragrance reminiscent of childhood memories, perfect for sunny days.

L’Eau d’Ambre Extrême: a mysterious oriental elixir. This rich and velvety fragrance, has delicate wafts of golden amber and spices.

Mûre et Musc Extrême: red fruit notes enfold themselves around the iconic blackberry and musk accord. Elegant and sophisticated, this fragrance embodies Parisian chic.

Rose Privée: sparkling and sophisticated, Rose Privée is a floral fragrance of unusual beauty. It captures the rare and iconic May Rose in a contemporary way.

Timbuktu: this fragrance is inspired by master perfumer Bertrand Duchaufour’s trip to Mali, where he witnessed a Wusulan ritual used by generations of West African women to scent their hair and skin. A mysterious fragrance that embodies the Sahara combined with French savoir faire.

Jasmin Angelique

Atelier Cologne Ecrin Voyage Jasmin Angelique (30ml + Soap + Leather Case): Genuine pure perfume, the Cologne Absolue is a cologne of character celebrating the magical freshness and elegance of citruses. Very high concentration of natural essential oils ensures an exceptional lasting power. With Collection “Matières”, Atelier Cologne reinvents the mythical essences of perfumery. Following vanilla, amber, rose, vetiver and patchouli, a new facet of jasmine from Egypt is revealed with the unexpected use of hesperides. Jasmin Angélique tells a new story, the one of a mysterious path to a secret garden where two lovers meet again surrounded by fresh, airy and sensual jasmine in bloom. Set includes: Handcrafted leather cap, refillable Cologne Absolue 30 ml (1 fl.oz) travel spray and vegetable-based hard-milled soap.

Amouage Memoir

Amouage Memoir Body Cream: Containing active ingredients such as algae, glycerin, aloe vera, shea butter and cacao butter, this luxurious body cream is an intensive treatment for the skin, promoting immediate firming. The Body Cream tones and hydrates the entire body and restores lost suppleness, leaving the skin soft , velvety and beautifully scented with the notes of Memoir.
Top notes: Mandarin, Cardamom, Absinth, Pink Pepper
Heart notes: Pepper, Clove Bud, Opulent White Blossoms, Rose, Jasmine, Precious Dark Wood, Frankincense
Base notes: Styrax, Oakmoss, Castoreum, Leather, Labdanum, Fenugreek, Musk

ARQUISTE

 

ARQUISTE Parfumeur Caroline’s Four Hundred Candle: Inspired by one of the most splendid balls held by Caroline Astor, the matriarch of the hotel’s founding family and doyenne of New York’s Gilded Age society, Caroline’s Four Hundred takes its name from the 400 notable guests that represented the highest echelons of New York society. The scent captures at once the actual flowers used around her residence, the exotic woods of the ballroom, the potted palms and apple blossoms that lined the hallways, and the light crisp essence of champagne wafting through the crowds. With notes of rich American Beauty roses – her favorite flower – green stems, white lilies and the delicate sweetness of quince, apple and cherry blossom, Caroline’s Four Hundred, embraces all of the blooms that actually adorned her ballroom on that unforgettable evening in 1900.

Caroline’s Four Hundred, the St. Regis fragrance, is featured at all St. Regis hotels and resorts around the world.

Notes include: American Beauty rosses, hyacinth, white lilies, green stems and delicate quince, apple and cherry blossom.

l'artisan parfumeur

L’Artisan Parfumeur La Boule de Provence: La Boule de Provence is a unique design object and is entirely handcrafted by artisans near to Paris. Fresh and aromatic, and inspired by the nature of Provence, this scent is carried by currents of air and magnified by heat in the room.

ANTICA

Antica Farmacista Black Label Champagne Home Diffuser: The Home Ambiance Fragrances utilize antique inspired apothecary bottles, filled with fragrance, to permeate the air through the bottles’ open neck and white birch reeds that are inserted to further diffuse the scent.

Fragrance: A crisp, citrus infused fragrance evoking sparkle and complexity. Top notes of Satsuma citrus balance with subtle floral notes of muguet. Apricot and passionfruit complement the sweetness of sugared black currant.

SHOP OUR HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE

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