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Fragrance finder: how to pick scents for others

December 3rd 2014 / Anna Hunter

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You know what they love already, but how do you choose them something new? First step, get yourself to Boots…

There’s something decadent about unwrapping a beautifully wrapped box of scent on Christmas morning; perfume is something we rarely indulge in ourselves, so receiving a well chosen scent feels extra ‘treaty’. A bottle of our signature go-to is always appreciated, but if said scent is something a little fresh, new or unexpected, the thrill of the first spritz is heightened. We’ll forevermore associate your present with happy festive memories for years to come and it could very well become our new trademark fragrance. No pressure. Here’s a handy guide on picking a perfume based on what they already wear. You’re welcome.

If she likes Elie Saab Le Parfum, she’ll love My Burberry

Both woody, earthy florals composed by master perfumer Francis Kurkdjian, these fragrances ooze femininity, but with an edge. Elie Saab’s fashion girl credentials are notable- it’s the first fragrance from the Lebanese design house and it has a very ‘couture’ aura (it really is ‘just so’- apparently there were 279 trial versions). A top note of orange blossom mingles with a heart of jasmine and turkish rose, with base notes of white musk and tonka bean adding a spicy element. It’s elegant, ethereal and captures the uniqueness and opulence of a Saab gown.

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From gown to trench, My Burberry, from £40.50, on the other hand is inspired by the British fashion house’s most iconic design. Expand her fragrance wardrobe and give her a bit of classic Brit heritage- with Cara D and Kate Moss as the faces of the fragrance it’s sure to reach cult status. The nude packaging is suggestive of a time-honoured Burberry trench, while the scent itself is intended, according to Kurkdjian, to evoke ‘the feeling of the light of London: clouds, wetness, rain, flowers’. The roses in this one may be rain-soaked rather than honeyed, but the notes of green, aromatic patchouli linger as they do in Elie Saab, from £37.50. If she’s got the gown, then surely she needs the trench to go with it? Wrap her in scent with the My Burberry gift set, £95, containing an eau de parfum 50ml and moisturising mist 100ml.

If she likes Cacharel Noa, she’ll love Chloé Eau de Parfum

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If angels wear fragrance (rather than smelling naturally heavenly), chances are it’s delicate, powdery Cacharel Noa, from £14.99. It’s light as a cloud, but base notes of coffee and sandalwood give this 1998 creation depth and lasting power. If you know a committed fan, she’ll likely recognise the familiar easy breezy notes of peony and freesia in Chloé Eau de Parfum, from £44.50. Launched ten years after Noa, Chloé’s fresh bouquet is clean, crisp and perfect for daytime wear. Bring it beyond the everyday by choosing an exclusive to Boots version with the message ‘because you’re special’, £61.50. They’ll certainly consider you very special indeed for the effort; this is no supermarket sweep style dash around duty free. A considered bottle of Chloé is sure to win you friend, boyfriend or parent points.

If she likes Thierry Mugler Angel, she’ll love Lancôme La Vie Est Belle

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Ironically less angelic than Cacharel Noa, Angel, from £45.50, from is the heady scent of many a school disco to my nose. A rich, iconic oriental, this smooth operator is warm and luscious, thanks to the base notes of vanilla, chocolate and caramel. With Georgia May Jagger as the fragrance’s new face, following her mother Jerry Hall’s lead as a Mugler muse, Angel is as popular as ever. If you can tempt her to stray, Lancôme La Vie Est Belle, from £39.15, will tickle her fancy for something sweet (that’ll be the spun sugar basenote). Like Angel, it has top notes of bergamot and base notes of vanilla and patchouli, blended with sensual tonka bean and cut with refreshing blackcurrant and orange blossom. It’s like a chocolatey festive fruit bowl- dig in I say, but choose the exclusive gift set, £57.50. A body lotion, 50ml eau de parfum and 4ml eau de parfum will mean that la vie est belle wherever she goes.

If he likes Davidoff Cool Water, he’ll love Bleu de Chanel

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Tables are turning. Cologne under the tree for a brother, dad, husband or man friend is far superior to a multipack of socks or novelty tie, and will likely last longer than his favourite tipple of choice. If he’s a Davidoff devotee, up the luxe factor with a bottle of Bleu. Classic Cool water, from £24.99, is simple and fresh, spiked with peppermint and aromatic coriander, while Bleu de Chanel, from £57.50, is a deeper, more complex concoction. Its citrus notes will appeal to lovers of zingy Cool Water, and the heavier cedarwood base is also detectable in Davidoff’s fragrance. What Bleu adds to the mix is a more intense ‘je ne sais quoi’. Perhaps it’s the splash of pink pepper, ginger or frankincense, but it’s mysterious, intriguing and just a tad spicy. I say Cool Water for Day, Bleu at night.

If she likes Y by Yves Saint Laurent, She’ll love Dior J’Adore

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Launched in 1964, Y, £73, is akin to a warm sixties summertime- think peach and honeysuckle blowing on a crisp, grassy wind. It can be difficult to find these days, so if you can convince her to meander from olfactory favourite of old, modern classic Dior J’adore, from £46.50, will capture equally sunsoaked days and balmy nights. Both are fruity with top notes of plum and hearts of rose, but Y has a more masculine edge, while a dab of J’adore is the pure essence of glamour and opulence. Up the ante with a pebbled Dior gift box, £74.50, (she won’t be recycling it, that’s for sure). A beautifying body milk and 50ml Dior J’adore eau de parfum will make her smell like a movie star. Don’t blame us if she starts acting like one.

Sponsored feature produced in partnership with Boots

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