Giving perfume as a gift can easily be seen as generic – and yet it’s also an intensely personal offering. The difference in perception all lies in the thought process behind the selection. We’ve highlighted a few of the hottest global trends in fragrance to help make sure your gift hits all the right notes.
Gender-neutral fragrances still employ many ingredients traditionally associated with a single sex, but that brings an edgy appeal when marketed as being free from boundaries: think rosy notes for men and tobacco for women. This approach is epitomised by Tom Ford’s Lost Cherry, from the acclaimed Private Blend collection, with gender-bending notes including cherries and almond, Turkish rose and Arabian jasmine, cedar and vetiver, all packaged in a bottle dressed in opulent cerise.
We all love the classics, but try to avoid picking up the first fragrance you encounter with a pretty bottle. (In fact, minimal bottles are also all the rage now.) New and independent labels are in demand these days, and bonus points if the maison indulges in creating scents inspired by interesting experiences, nostalgic memories or fantasy lands. Think Eleventh Hour by Byredo (which imagines itself as the last perfume in the world), Iiuvo’s Fonteyn (exploring the tension between Stanley Kubrick and the eponymous prima ballerina) or Serge Lutens’ Muscs Koublaï Khan (paying tribute to the leader of the Mongol empire).
Despite the abundance of options out there, there’s only one way to ensure you smell truly unique – and that’s to customise your scent by layering several fragrances. To do this successfully, it’s advised to stick to mixing and matching cleaner scents based on fewer notes. Remember, there are many ways to layer – you can spritz scents on different parts of the body or put one on top of another. A great starter kit for this is Jo Malone’s London Cologne Collection, whose scents are designed to be combined with each other, and also with the rest of the brand’s fragrance collection.