Monday 19 December 2016

The Christmas Panic

Hands up anyone who's now started to panic that Christmas is on Sunday? You've had fifty-one weeks to get ready for the big day, but I appreciate that real life can often get in the way. So, unless you're going to plump for next day delivery on internet purchases, and risk them not arriving, then your best bet is to brace yourself for some old fashioned high street shopping. There are three things to remember; try to stay calm, queue politely and don't be swayed by desperate shop assistants. To help you along I've chosen four fragrances that can be found in any department store that are guaranteed to impress on Christmas Day.

First off we're going to a great release from Marks and Spencer. In 2015 they launched ROSIE for Autograph, which was created by perfumer Ralf Schwieger with input from British model Rosie Huntington-Whiteley. Within a bottle inspired by the Jean Patou Joy flacon, a fresh rose literally blooms with the support of magnolia and jasmine. What you also get with this fragrance though is the unexpected edge of black pepper mixing playfully with a sandalwood and vanilla pairing. I appreciate that Marks and Spencer might not be your usual destination for fragrance shopping but I advise you to give this one a go.

Another classic now, this time from 2006, and a true guilty pleasure for me. Maurice Roucel created the legendary INSOLENCE for Guerlain under the direction of Sylvaine Delacourte. It is an unashamed overdose of violet and lilac, with a hint of red fruits and orange blossom. When the iris appears it gives a wonderfully powdery quality and seems to drag a heavenly sandalwood with it. Unrelenting we then get rose peeping through along with a smooth tonka bean creaminess. This fragrance truly took the market by storm when it launched, and it shows no signs of letting up.

Okay, here goes, I've finally given in and made peace with the High Street powerhouse. The choice of so many teenagers, AVENTUS by Creed has to be the easiest emergency gift for any man. When this fragrance was launched in 2010 it seemed to become the modern day Poison by Dior. It was everywhere, and was always over-sprayed. However, a fantastic combination of pineapple, smokey notes, a woody birch effect and vanilla/tonka bean creaminess just makes you feel happy. As much as people can be negative about this fragrance I think that if they were "gifted" a bottle they would definitely find themselves reaching for it.

My final suggestion is FAHRENHEIT by Dior. I grew up with this fragrance, so it has lots of memories associated with it, and the fragrance is still remarkably popular. I always loved it because it has an almost petrol like quality which, when mixed with the violet, I have always found to be excitingly sexual. Created by Jean-Louis Sieuzac and Maurice Roger in 1988, this "floral woody" fragrance also has a waxy leather quality which adds a masculinity to the floral heart. It may not be as strong as when it first launched but it's still a winner.

Whatever you end up buying this year just remember to get a gift receipt and check the returns policy when you're at the cash desk. Have a great Christmas and happing sniffing.

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