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8 perfumes that smell as good as their bottles look

Deciding on which perfumes to buy is no different from buying an art. Because these perfume bottles will continue dressing up your vanity long after their scent fades from whichever pulse point your spritz lands on.

Social niceties go: You don’t gift perfume because unless you’re very close to said perfume-gift receiver, someone’s scent preferences are unknowable. Too personal to risk a bad present. Too intimate to risk a “Well, I guess you don’t really know me” conversation.

And yes, those are, technically, good thoughts. Thoughtful thoughts. But there are two components to a perfume: one, the scent and, two, the bottle it comes in. Now, there’s a time and place for no-frills minimalism, but if you’re not quite so sure about the scent, then you must be sure about the bottle the scent comes housed in. Get one with personality. Get one that says, “Hey! I’m really good looking!” Get one that would look incredible on any vanity, smelling great — or, alas, smelling a little stinky.

The article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Hong Kong.

8 perfumes that look as good as they smell

Now, who can forget those Charlize Theron Dior ads from a decade ago where she’s dripping in gold and catwalk-strutting alongside the likes of (AI-generated) Marilyn Monroe, Marlene Dietrich and Grace Kelly? Dior has a stunning portfolio of fragrances for both men and women — if you’re a guy, Dior’s Sauvage is extremely hot — but J’adore’s amber, hourglass-shaped coffret, for which Theron is the face of, is really something to behold. It looks like it’s wearing fifty gold necklaces! Which means: a perfect jewellery box complement.

THB 5,450 (50ml)

Maybe your Pinterest moodboard leans more twee; more ditsy florals and antiqued wallpaper and the Oscar-nominated art direction of Pride and Prejudice (2005). To each their own! This Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia relaunch — demonstrably, a scent built around the gardenia — frames artist and illustrator Vittorio Accornero’s OG Gucci florals from the ’60s within an arched window so the new, elongated bottle looks like canvas to a framed picture. Pretty!

THB 4,900 (50ml)

Diptyque’s line of solid perfumes make the business of smelling good much more mobile and much less messy in-transit, for one, but the compacts the product comes in are also something special. From sailboats to flower arrangements to swimming swans, Diptyque’s solid perfumes set the scene for smell-goods that look incredible. And even better: they’re refillable. So if the scent your preferred compact comes in isn’t quite for you, you can exchange it for something that is.

Approx. THB 3,253 (3g)

There’s nowhere that screams “summertime escapism” more than the sandy shores of Ibiza (or, realistically, the EDM raves you’d be stumbling home from). A heady combination of both scenic locales, LOEWE’s Eau de Toilette for Paula’s Ibiza bottles up summer with a coconut water base decorated with bright green galbanum and Madagascan mandarin oils alongside heart notes of driftwood, sand lily and frangipani flowers, in a glass bottle that bleeds from green to yellow to red. That very same traffic-light progression you felt from your first drink to your last the previous evening.

Approx. THB 3,080 (50ml)

A Chloé girl is a horse girl. I’m sorry, but I don’t make the rules. If you perpetually have a copy of Black Beauty in every bedroom you occupy, Chloé’s Nomade Eau de Parfum Naturelle — a 100% natural-origin fragrance headlining on Egyptian jasmine absolute notes — falls into the crescent shape of a saddle complete with a braided suede strap swinging from the cap to really tie in the equestrian theme. Finish the mise-en-scène with cowboy boots, something paisley-printed and a heartfelt “Giddy-up!”

THB 4,250 (50ml)

It’s a red pump! A Betty Boop stiletto! A shoe you see and think “Hot!” and, then, think “Ouch!” Carolina Herrera’s Very Good Girl Eau De Parfum — an update to CH’s signature Good Girl scent — seduces with curvy lines, red-hot glass and fruity, red currant-lychee top notes that settle and land on heart notes of rose. Because this Carolina Herrera EdP isn’t shy about being very, very hot. So stand it where it belongs: centre-stage, in-between your Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances that’s all body.

THB 6,050 (80ml)

“I wanted to have such a sensual contact with this perfume, that you almost want to eat the person you love,” said Thierry Mugler about Angel, his debut fragrance that turns thirty this year. Upon Angel’s launch in 1992, it was a scent that shifted the perfumery universe’s axis; shoved it several inches off-kilter, in fact. First, Angel is blue. Coloured perfumes might not seem surprising now, but at the time, it was revolutionary; a first. Second, Angel pioneered the modern “gourmand” scent family, which means what it’s named — that the olfactive notes are primarily derived from edible components. Think chocolate, vanilla. Whatever they have blowing through K11 MUSEA. Third, it has always been refillable. Because you wouldn’t want to throw away a bottle as beautiful as this.

THB 3,800 (50ml)

Chancing upon sea daffodils is an event that should come accompanied with wonder; it’s a rare thing indeed to happen across these small, white, hawkmoth-pollinated seafarers that flower late in summer, by salt-blown dunes framing the Mediterranean Sea. Jo Malone’s Sea Daffodil cologne — sun-kissed, too, with ylang ylang, vanilla and creamy sandalwood — tops off a summery solar fragrance with a special grained cap inspired by sea-washed pebbles. And, no, those aren’t imperfections; each cap comes as unique as the rock formations they’re shaped in the form of.

THB 5,900 (100ml)

[Header and featured images courtesy of Vyrao and Skora Skuggan]

Joey Wong
Retired Tumblr girl Joey has written her way through fashion trends, youth culture and luxury retail in New York and Hong Kong. Beyond internet adventures tracking down the perfect vintage find, you can probably catch her tufting rugs, swigging back Bloody Marys — her third, probably — and making fastidious spreadsheets about her Animal Crossing island.
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