I always ask for perfume for Christmas – there’s something delicious about unwrapping an extravagant box to find a full bottle of your favourite scent within the torn papers. It is such a fitting item for a gift – and it is rarely something I’d buy for myself. While I have my staple ‘off-the-shelf’ favourites (Tom Ford’s Black Orchid, Thierry Mugler’s Angel and the now sadly discontinued Venezia by Laura Biagiotti), I’m not overly fond of big name perfumes and instead have a penchant for niche scents – an area of perfumery that is growing in popularity with artisan perfumers making their mark on the industry.
This, of course, poses a problem for those thinking of buying people like me a perfume! While Le Labo’s Jasmine 17, Salt Air by Demeter and E Coudray’s Ambre et Vanille would go down very nicely on Christmas morning – it is a veritable minefield for those who have never heard of these names (i.e. most men).
Enter stage left, then, the perfect gift for beauty buffs. The Perfume Studio’s Design Your Own Fragrance collections, £40, come in Romantic, Sensual or Natural themes and contain everything you need to concoct your own scent suited to your own preferences.
Shown here is the Sensual Collection which contains six perfume blends (Citrus, Exotic Floral, Spicy, Woody, Musky, Amber), selected by the brand’s in-house master perfumer Francois Robert. The procedure is throughly satisfying – you can add a drop of this and a touch of that with the pipettes and come up with your own unique blend, tailor-made by you, and then housed in the pretty perfume bottle atomiser. There are even scent strips for you to spritz away as you begin your creations. One of the best gifts I’ve seen this year.