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Frederic Malle Perfume

The Ultimate Perfume Gift Guide

We deconstruct four fragrance icons to help you find a perfume gift that fits
By: Kate Przybyla

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By: Kate Przybyla
The Ultimate Perfume Gift Guide
Fragrance Matchmaker

The Ultimate Perfume Gift Guide

We deconstruct four fragrance icons to help you find a perfume gift that fits

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Naturally, we’re all drawn to certain fragrance families. In real terms, this means note-for-note similarities can connect us with our must-try perfumes, simply by considering those we’re already smitten with. But, when it comes to fragrance gifts, which perfume is the best give? Take inspiration from the cult classics they might already be wearing. Whether they’re looking to break up with their fragrance or throw perfume imitators off the scent, take this as your personal roll-call of love-at-first-spritz alternatives.

LE LABO | Santal 33

TOP NOTES | Violet Accord, Cardamom
HEART NOTES | Iris, Papyrus, Ambrox
BASE NOTES | Cedarwood, Leather, Sandalwood

Fragrance doesn’t get more ‘cult’ than Santal 33. It’s the smokey ode to sandalwood that’s started countless conversations, layering its namesake wood with aromatic cedar, spices, and floral notes of violet and iris. The switch? Seek out cedar or sandalwood-based scents which look to violet and other florals for lift, like Serge Lutens Féminité du Bois or D.S. & Durga Bowmakers.

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FRÉDÉRIC MALLE | Portrait of a Lady

TOP NOTES | Turkish rose, Blackcurrant, Raspberry
HEART NOTES | Patchouli, Sandalwood, Frankincense
BASE NOTES | Musk, Amber, Benzoin, Clove, Cinnamon

A sensuous oriental known for its trail, Portrait of a Lady’s heady dose of rose unfolds among resin, sandalwood, patchouli and musk, for a complex character that’s long had us hooked. Move on to Laboratory Olfattivo Kashnoir or lighten up with Le Galion Sortilége, each kindred spirits in scent, matching rose with aromatic woods and the incense-like glow of benzoin or amber.

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CREED | Aventus

TOP NOTES | Bergamot, Blackcurrant, Apple, Pineapple
HEART NOTES | Juniper Berries, Birch, Patchouli, Jasmine
BASE NOTES | Musk, Oak Moss, Ambergris, Vanilla

Creed Aventus’ magnetic allure is in no small part due to its rich, multi-faceted finish, rounding off sharp fruit and juniper with tarry woods and oak moss. Distinctive and spirited, fans will find much to love about Laboratory Parfums No.004 Tonka’s pink peppercorn fire or the unisex modernity of Comme des Garçons Serpentine, with its asphalt-infused twist of juniper and gaïac wood.

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BYREDO | Gypsy Water

Top Notes | Bergamot, Lemon, Pepper, Juniper Berries
Heart Notes | Incense, Pine Needles, Orris
Base Notes | Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood

As enthralling as the scent itself, Byredo Gypsy Water’s infinite charm lies in the free-spirited nature it evokes: the essence of the outdoors with citrus, juniper, pine and licks of smoke. Similarly, bergamot-based with green freshness and a milky finish, try D.S. & Durga Debaser or Tom Daxon Sicilian Wood for its union of bright citrus with the smooth, smokiness of sandalwood and amber.

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