It’s little surprise that internet searches for perfume skyrocket this time of year, and it’s also highly likely if you’re reading this that you’re on the lookout for a new scent, whether you’ll be adding it to your holiday wish list or gifting a loved one with it come December 25. But with perfume being such a personal thing, where do you start? It’s hard enough finding a fragrance for yourself, let alone someone else.
Master perfumer Alberto Morillas suggests narrowing down your search: “Do you prefer fresh, spicy, floral or warm? Choosing one of these categories will help edit your search.” Not sure what you like? Fragrance expert Nick Gilbert of Love to Smell recommends thinking of a perfume you love already and then finding out what its base notes are on BaseNotes.net’s fragrance directory. This same tactic will help you when shopping for a present, too—you find out what their current favourite perfume is and use that as your starting point.
If you’re trying to decide on a new scent, spritz some onto your skin when you’re out shopping. “Apply the fragrance to your wrist, which is one of your pulse points,” Morillas says. “The heat from this point of your body helps to develop the fragrance. You should let fragrances develop for 30 minutes on your skin so you can smell all levels of the fragrance—top note, heart of the fragrance and dry-down.”
Of course, you can’t do this for your recipient, so consider buying them a discovery set. Plenty of brands do them, and that way they can have fun trying the different perfumes to find their favourite. Now that you know how to shop for new fragrances, you need to know the best scents around.
Keep scrolling for our roundup of the best new, classic and cult scents that anyone would want to find under their tree this Christmas.
Need more fragrance advice? See the five fragrance trends everyone’s going to be wearing this winter.