Smells like Christmas spirit: the best scented gifts

Everyone loves getting perfume as a present – and these are sure to please

 

Fragrance is always a safe option as a gift at this time of year. If you’re a little uncertain, try one of these. If you’re very uncertain, choose a candle. They’re a more general but no less personal way to enjoy good fragrance.

L’Occitane Arlésienne (€65/75ml)

 L’Occitane’s latest fragrance is unusual in that it offers something for all ages. Violet, which I love but associate with mature women, is enveloped in a hug of Grasse roses and offset with a warm spark of ambery saffron. The result is a fragrance that is simultaneously refreshing and substantial.

Max Benjamin Personalised Candle (exclusively from Arnotts)

 Wicklow candle brand Max Benjamin are offering personalised candles this Christmas in four of their most popular fragrances, including French Linen Water. For a candle lover, there is no more thrilling gift.

Marc Jacobs Divine Decadence (€62.20/100ml)

 The original Decadence was a glorious heavy evening fragrance favoured by the brave and extroverted. Divine Decadence is a meeker, but no less lovely, alternative. With champagne extract, orange blossom, hydrangea and a base of saffron, vanilla and liquid amber, it still makes a definite statement and is very comforting.

Chloé Fleur de Parfum (€59.70/30ml)

 Rose, crisp verbena, freesia and warm wood make this a light fragrance ideal for daytime and youthful dalliances (at any age). If you’re looking for a gift, it is difficult to go wrong with this as only those who favour heavier musky scents will find it inadequate.

Jo Malone London Pomegranate Noir (€114)

 Pomegranate Noir dances along a razor edge between masculine and feminine, and suits everyone. If unsure, opt for this.

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming (€88.50/50ml)

 Make no mistake – this is a young fragrance. You don’t need to be young to wear it, but red berries are offset by three different rose notes, making this an effervescent floral that makes up in sparkle what it lacks in sophistication.

Tom Ford Private Blend Candle in Tobacco Vanille (€210)

 These may be the most expensive candles I’ve ever encountered, but the fragrance is unbelievable. There are six fragrances available, and each comes with a hefty cover to protect your candle. Tobacco Vanille is exquisitely rich and warm.

Chanel No 5 L’Eau (€89/50ml)

 The original No 5 can sometimes leave me feeling overdressed for everyday life, and so I wear it rarely and on special occasions. This newer iteration is infinitely fresher and more modern but still familiar. With notes of green jasmine, ylang ylang, citrus and rose, it really is exquisite.

Cloon Keen Noble Fir Candle (€40 from Brown Thomas and Cloon Keen Atelier, Galway)

 I am a Christmas candle hobbyist, and have collected and enjoyed them greatly for years. No candle tops this one from Cloon Keen Atelier. It is as crisp and resinous as stepping on a tuft of pine needles; warm and slightly prickled with cinnamon and clove. Pine can veer from acrid to toilet duck, but when done correctly, is an enchanting fragrance. This is the Christmas candle.

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