So much of Christmas inspires the senses, so I thought I would have the joy of putting together for you a wonderful selection of the must-have fragrances this Christmas for those you love or maybe just to spoil yourself.
Bentley Fragrances have brought out three new scents for women as part of their exclusive Bentley Beyond Collection. Inspired by scents matching peerless ingredients from far-flung destinations: Radiant Osmanthus from Kyoto, Japan; Mellow Heliotrope from Lima, Peru; and Vibrant Hibiscus from Seoul, South Korea; the floral world opens a new, more feminine realm of colours and emotions to explore. My favourite is Radiant Osmanthus, joyful, lively and floral with notes of peach, neroli, wild jasmine, white amber and sandalwood. It feels like the caress of a silk kimono on your skin.
All of them come in a majestic, faceted flacon inspired by the signature cut-crystal glass headlights of the Continental GT. The stability of the heavy 400-gramme bottle is ensured by a thick glass base. The legendary emblem is engraved on the silver metal shoulders of the flacon.
I wouldn’t leave the boys out of my recommendations, especially after discovering that Lalique has brought out three divine fragrances for the man in your life. Not only do they smell heavenly, but as you would expect, the bottles are beautiful. Art Deco in design, they are inspired by the iconic “Duncan” collection from 1931. Dressed in the rich green, gold and indigo palette of the three new scents, the streamlined form of Les Compositions Parfumées’s iconic bottle expresses a vibrantly modern masculine style.
The three fragrances are all quite different. Imperial Green carries warm notes of orange blossom and patchouli; Woody Gold focuses on warm notes of amber and wood, and Glorious Indigo is rich in fresh spice and bold precious woods. My favourite is Woody Gold, with its sensuous base of tonka bean and vanilla that recalls the warm glow of the precious metal that gives name to the fragrance.
No Christmas stocking is complete without a bit of Guerlain. Since 1828, the French perfumers have been leaving their mark on the history of modern fragrances with a series of unforgettable creations that tell tales both real and imagined, inspired by romantic encounters, literary classics and journeys to distant lands. Examples include Shalimar, Habit Rouge and more recently, La Petite Robe Noire. My pick for this Christmas is Spiritueuse Double Vanille, part of the L’Art & la Matière range, which pays homage to star ingredients in the history of perfume. This fragrance is sophisticated and sexy, with tones of pink peppercorn, Bulgarian Rose, bergamot and cedar.
The stylish bottle recalls the historical link between Guerlain and vanilla.
The label sparks off nostalgia for distant treasures and tells the full story of the spice. As a finishing touch, the bee – Guerlain’s symbol since 1853 with Eau de Cologne Impériale- embodies the transformation from the flower of the orchid into its fruit: the vanilla pod.
This HIS & HER set of stunning fragrances is most definitely for lovers. I adore the idea of these two stylish bottles together on the dressing table; a magnificent pairing adorned with green iridescent shells as a tribute to the stones that inspired them: Green Agate and Snake Jasper, two gems that are traditionally known for their powers of regenerative energy. The collector’s duo is the result of a spectacular and exceptional collaboration between two renowned Master Perfumers: Jacques Cavallier and Alberto Morillas.
Le Gemme Erea (signed by Alberto Morillas) is an oriental woody fragrance with top notes of lemony green cardamom and heart of vanilla. Le Gemme Kobraa (signed by Jacques Cavallier) stands out for its sensual masculinity brought out by smoky oriental resins such as black incense and heart essence, blended with the gentle freshness of geranium leaf.
RRP £255 each or £510 for the duo
With most of us binging on The Crown, Crab Apple Blossom is a darling little fragrance, a total pleasure to wear and brilliantly timely. The first of the British perfume house’s new Crown Collection is inspirited by the archives of The Crown Perfumery Company. This delicate perfume was first created in 1886, inspired by the crab apple tree that grew outside the Crown Perfumery’s founder’s house in Kensington. Its scent reminds me of a beautiful young queen to be who lived in Kensington and a princess who sadly never became queen.
Crab Apple Blossom was first created in 1886.
Crab Apple Blossom contains this signature spring flower as a top note combined with exotic marine bergamot, a heart of green rhubarb and fresh mojito fusion enhanced by creamy sandalwood and aromatic driftwood in the base for a fresh, energising citrusy yet soft scent that trails on the skin like blossoming branches in the sunshine.
This delicate perfume is housed in a striking ruby red bottle with signature crown stopper nestled within a presentation case showcasing its history and archive images.
Words: Lavinia Dickson-Robinson