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

Our Valentine's Day Essentials
Gift Giving

Valentine’s Day Gift Guide: For You or a Loved One

Valentines Day is a time to indulge in a luxurious night in by yourself or with your partner. It's been a tough year, you deserve to treat yourself with some of Etiket's most romantic products. Let's discover our Valentine's Day must-haves!

Valentines Day is a time to indulge in a luxurious night in by yourself or with your partner. It’s been a tough year, you deserve to treat yourself with some of Etiket’s most romantic products. From enchanting perfumes, facial massage tools and body oils, to flavorful toothpastes and lip products for kissable lips, discover our Valentine’s Day must-haves to celebrate self-love or your love for your partner. 

AGENT NATEUR

In the spirit of celebrating love, discover Agent Nateur’s Holi (Sex) oil. We all deserve pleasure, whether with or without a partner. This oil-based, quick-absorbing formula (think Organic Coconut and Sweet Almond oil) is Agent Nateur’s solution to the chemical-filled lubricants on the market. But Holi (Sex) is not just for your intimate area. Use it all over to hydrate the body and leave behind a lingering scent of Jasmine, Coconut, Rose, and Vanilla.

LEBON

Make it a fresh kiss this Valentine’s Day with an all-natural LeBon Toothpaste. LeBon toothpastes are formulated with ethical and natural ingredients combined with delicious and exclusively perfumed natural notes from Grasse, France. They all contain Certified Organic Aloe Vera and Green Tea to naturally help protect gums and prevent tooth decay. LEBON Toothpastes are vegan and naturally sweetened with Stevia Rebaudiana. They also have a non-ending “free of” list: cruelty-free, paraben-free, sulfates, fluoride, titanium dioxide, … Stay fresh with complete peace of mind.

Parfums de Marly

Fragrance is super important when celebrating Valentine’s Day. If you’re celebrating self-love this year, fragrance is an instant confidence booster. Spray some on and enjoy a night-in for yourself. If you’re celebrating with a partner, an enticing floral smell like Delina will bring out the romantic in you. Trust us, your partner won’t be able to keep his or her hands off you…

Sara Happ

Get your lips ready for the occasion with the queen of all lip products: Sara Happ. The Pink Grapefruit Lip Scrub eliminates dry, flaky skin, leaving your lips ridiculously soft and supple. Perfect for Valentine’s Day! You’ll wonder how you ever lived without it.

RMS BEAUTY

Now that your lips are soft and supple from using Sara Happ’s lip scrub, apply RMS Beauty’s Tinted Daily Lip Balm for hydrated lips with a tint! Packed with all the good stuff lips crave, RMS tinted balms simultaneously pamper, protect, nourish and flood your lips with flavourless, fragrance-free, healthy hydration. Pucker up!

In need of more inspiration? Discover our full Valentine’s Day Gift Guide!

Gift Giving

Our 2020 Gift Guide: A Gift For Everyone On Your Shopping List

Holiday shopping can get very overwhelming. What to buy for the ones you cherish most? ...

Read More →

Holiday shopping can get very overwhelming. What to buy for the ones you cherish most? If you’re lucky enough to get a wishlist on a silver platter, count your blessings. For the rest of us, coming up with clever gift ideas year after year can be a real head-scratcher. To help simplify this year’s holiday shopping, we’ve scoured our shelves to come up with the best gift ideas for every persona in your life. Let’s discover them together!

THE TRENDSETTER

We all know them. Our friends and family members that know everything before anyone else does. They’ve tried every new product, new treatment, seen every new movie. They’re ahead of the curve! For them, we recommend our most trendy products. The ones we believe will catch on in the next few months. Ever heard of the ZIIP device? We’re pretty sure your trendsetter friend has. Why not treat them with this hyped product? How about adaptogens? The beauty industry is starting to look at skin health from the inside out. The trendy Agent Nateur brand has paired up with Goop approved Dr. Will Cole to create an adaptogen that promotes healthy skin from the inside out. Discover our wide list of gift ideas for the trendsetter!

THE GREEN GODDESS

Clean beauty has taken over the industry by storm. You definitely have a green goddess on your holiday shopping list. If you’re not familiar with clean beauty yourself, buying for this person can be challenging. Some people believe that products with nothing but natural ingredients like essential oils are not as effective as non-natural products. We’re here to debunk that myth. Discover our natural range of products designed to deliver effective and long-term results for the Green Goddess in your life!

THE DISCOVERER

The discoverer is someone who looooves to try new things. This person is constantly switching out new products in their routine, on the hunt for the best thing! The discoverer may be the easiest person to shop for because they’re open to trying anything! With that in mind, we’ve curated a list of our most fun and adventurous products! From Consonant’s Sculpting Globes to the new Plume Science Lash Serum. We’re certain you’ll find the perfect gift for the discoverer in your life!

THE BEAUTY MAVEN

The Beauty Maven is all about products that enhance their natural beauty. From luxurious body oils and illuminating makeup products, to volumizing hair products and glow-enhancing skincare products. They have them all! This gift guide features products that the Beauty Maven in your life will love from the top beauty brands in the industry! Discover the full list today!

FOR THE HOME

Some of you may find yourselves holiday shopping for someone you’re not close enough with to buy the previous products mentioned. If that’s the case, might we suggest you turn your attention to home gift ideas? They’re guaranteed to please and are easy to shop! We’ve curated a list of our favourite home gifts, from candles, fragranced hand soaps and room sprays! Discover the full list home gift ideas here!

FOR THE MAN IN YOUR LIFE

Shopping for a man can be tough. If you’re lucky, the man in your life has left hints for you to pick up on. Most of us, however, are left with no clues and racking our brains for ideas. If you’re part of the latter group, let us help! Holiday shopping for a man doesn’t have to be difficult. Focus on fragrances, beard accessories, strong scented candles and other home accessories like olfactive magazines, for example! Discover the full list of gift ideas for the man in your life!

STOCKING STUFFERS

Before hanging up the holiday stockings on the mantel, you first need to decide what you’ll be putting in them this year. Stocking stuffers are a fun way to add cute bonus gifts to unwrap! Every year, brands come out with perfectly sized products that make great stocking stuffers! From lip balms and hand creams, to travel sized skincare and haircare products, we’ve got something for everyone! Discover our stocking stuffer gift ideas for your loved ones!

Looking for more gift ideas? Discover the rest of the personas on our website!

Stay in the Know
Sign up for our newsletter and enjoy 10% off your first purchase from the Etiket Shop
Stay in the Know
Sign up for our newsletter and enjoy 10% off your first purchase from the Etiket Shop
Gardons le contact!
Inscrivez-vous à l'infolettre d'Etiket et obtenez 10% sur votre premier achat sur Etiket.ca.
Gardons le contact!
Inscrivez-vous à l'infolettre d'Etiket et obtenez 10% sur votre premier achat sur Etiket.ca.