Eight New Holiday Scents That Make Great Gifts – For Yourself or Someone Else
It’s starting to smell like Christmas. We suggest leaving the cinnamon and ginger to the baking in favor of vaping – and gifting – one of these new bottles.
Moncler For Men
The French luxury winterwear brand’s first two fragrances (there’s also Pour Femme) evoke snowy adventure with woody notes. Here, the alpine spirit is conveyed by a predictable blend of fresh pine, tangy vetiver and invigorating clary sage. It’s housed in a textured metal casing reminiscent of a vintage shipping flask that also mimics the horizontal channel stitch of Moncler’s down jackets. The perfume’s largest bottle features a rechargeable scrolling LED display that can be personalized. Messages can be scheduled using a smartphone app – although this year the “Meet me in Gstaad” ticker still seems like wishful thinking.
$254 for a 150 ml LED bottle, exclusively at Hudson Bay.
Ambre Sultan Confit de Parfum by Serge Lutens
Inspired by the North African approach to perfume layering, Serge Lutens has created a remarkable new texture for three of his famous Collection Noire perfumes: La Fille de Berlin, Chergui and Ambre Sultan, which was originally created in 1993. The objective of the unctuous Confit de Parfum – literally, “perfume syrup” – is to provide a sensual and tactile gesture when dotting the neck and pulse points, but also to highlight the notes background. In this variant, the medicinal aspect of the original is gone and it’s all about smooth beeswax, vanilla and dry smoky labdanum, similar to the beloved but discontinued Tom Ford Amber Absolute. It’s soft and golden, like a lingering liturgical incense – and tenacious.
$195 for 25 ml at Holt Renfrew.
Paradise Moon by Estee Lauder
For Estée Lauder’s new luxury fragrance collection, eight renowned perfumers have each created a fragrance inspired by a moment in nature, using the unglamorously named ScentCapture fragrance extender – a new technology that claims to ensure that each spray lasts 12 hours. They range from citrus to spice and are packaged in fluted glass bottles reminiscent of the packaging of Mrs. Lauder’s revolutionary Youth-Dew bath oil from 1953. Paradise Moon is the collection’s retro-classic hit, formulated by the Mexican perfumer. Rodrigo Flores-Roux (the nose behind Clinique Happy and Tom Ford Neroli Portofino). The lush fruity floral facet of three flowering Osmanthus varietals dominates what is billed as a leathery floral, but is more of a velvety apricot.
$238 for 100 ml at some Hudson’s Bay Estee Lauder counters
Butterfly Ball by Goutal Paris
A pioneer of French perfumery, Maison Goutal celebrates its 40th anniversary with a collector’s bottle (sold empty) topped with the house’s emblematic golden butterfly. The elaborate atomizer encapsulates founder Annick Goutal’s taste for opulence. Fill it with favorites like Petite Chérie, Mon Parfum Chéri and Eau d’Hadrien, which come in the brand’s original ribbed bottle. Don’t sleep on the reissue of Goutal’s sunny Eau du Ciel from 1985. It’s as airy as a languid summer day and the kind of signature (and accomplished French) perfume agency head Sylvie on Emily in Paris would wear on holiday.
$135 to Holt Renfrew Montreal and Hudson’s Bay.
House Crivelli’s Molecular Papyrus
This emerging brand founded by industry insider Thibaud Crivelli has finally arrived in Canada. The niche Parisian range has stealthily built an audience by wringing out the unexpected effects and facets of the ingredients. Each scent in the collection shares the same unisex, understated aesthetic and, as its name suggests, Papyrus Moléculaire is a study in deconstruction. Normally, powdery papyrus textures with freshness: the tobacco leaf adds a vegetal undertone and stays a crisp green with lemon-balsamic amyris for sweet cigar notes. It ends with an unflappable milky sandalwood, much like a smart, next-level Santal 33.
$312 for 100 ml, exclusively at Label.
Sunflower Pop by Floral Street
The Art Institute of Chicago once commissioned a real-world recreation of the bedroom in Arles, France, depicted in several works by Vincent van Gogh, creating an immersive experience that allowed you to climb into a painting. In the new collaboration between the own beauty brand Floral Street and the Van Gogh Museum, the idea is to bottle this essence. The changing scents and the passage of time in the south of France are traced in olfactory nuances as “sunny and optimistic” as the famous sunflowers of the Dutch post-impressionist. The sparkling citrus floral scent contains long-lasting components such as bergamot and mandarin orange, as well as a nature-identical synthetic vegan blend that mimics the aroma of fresh honey.
$101 for 50ml at Sephora.
Santal Pao Rosa by Guerlain
Two new compositions join L’Art et la Matière, the Guerlain collection high perfumery range that combines the supply of noble raw materials with innovative blends. Both focus on aspects of rose, with the floral-spicy interplay of Santal Pao Rosa opening with cardamom and light vanilla agarwood before intensifying with myrrh and sandalwood. . It is then enveloped in a graceful blend of three roses – essential oil from Bulgaria, rose absolute from Turkey and centifoglia from Grasse from France – which together bring out creamy notes of fig and hazelnut. The additions also mark the total overhaul of the range. The French perfume house has turned to the heritage glassmaker of its classic 1870 faceted bottle for an updated, refillable version. They are meant to be personalized at the time of purchase, with your choice of baldness (the cord around the neck) seals and personalized engraving.
$431 for 100 ml of eau de parfum at Guerlain and Holt Renfrew.
Orange Bitters by Jo Malone London
A sign that the holiday season has arrived is this tangy winter citrus cologne that was supposed to be a one-off for the holidays, but now returns every year as a limited edition. It’s a bright, ripe, juicy-sweet tangerine that quickly turns very green and tangy, a sharp aromatic undertone that’s reminiscent of the bitter Angostura that’s essential in a good old-fashioned cocktail. Personally, I’d rather burn the homemade candle version of Jo Malone than wear the cologne, but both spark the happy anticipation of the holidays.
$98 for 30 ml of eau de cologne at Jo Malone counters.