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10 romantic fragrances that are better than bouquets this Valentine’s Day

Disproving Juliet’s time-honoured lament, “a rose by any other name would smell as sweet,” these fragrances, perhaps by nature of their brand, creed and craft themselves, are olfactive bouquets that are sure to wow your Valentine this February. Chuck the 99 roses cliché and check out these romantic perfumes to put on your wishlist instead.

Le Labo’s sensational scents will make any perfume-loving girl (or guy) swoon with just the customised labeling and freshly bottled fragrance alone. But for something that suits the conventions of the February holiday? Pick the Rose 31, an intriguing, unisex rendition of rose for the assertive personality. Using the unconventional note of Centifolia rose combined with warm and spicy cedar, vetiver, musks and sacred guaiac wood, the result is truly addictive.


K11 Musea, Shop 023, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui Hong Kong, +852 2759 8322

Frédéric Malle’s Editions de Parfums curates five signature roses from its collection for the ultimate bouquet: From the bestselling Portrait of a Lady by Dominique Ropion to the latest release Rose & Cuir, authored by legendary perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena, you’ll find every facet and shade of rose there is — from powdery, delicate hues to scents demonstrating the robust strength of rose, including a Middle East exclusive available here for the first time.


K11 Musea, LA 110, 1/F, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong, +852 3468 2700

Like with Alessandro Michele’s obsession with memory in this latest perfume edition, your Valentine’s Day gift can celebrate all the memories of intense love, sadness and joy that you and your other half share. Unique and unexpected, the Mémoire D’Une Odeur is its own new olfactive family, the Mineral Aromatic, defined by the delicate floral note of Roman chamomile. Structured with tender Indian Coral Jasmine, precious musks and noble woods, it’s at once warm and airy — soft and lovely yet with the strength of deeply rooted forests. It’s encased in a retro-styled green bottle, packaged with a motif of the starry night sky. If that’s not romantic, we don’t know what is.


Harvey Nichols, The Landmark, 15 Queen’s Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2831 8422

Inspired by the pleasure and pain of any rose — and of any great love — Tom Ford’s latest fragrance is an intoxicating hybrid of Rose de Mai, Turkish and Bulgarian roses, spiced up with the gentle sear and narcotic mouthfeel of Sichuan pepper and gingery turmeric. Indonesian patchouli, roasted tonka and addictive notes of caramel and vanilla sweeten the scent up before ending on a warm and fleshy drydown of Tolu basalm and musk. It’s all encased in a stylish matte Private Blend flacon in dusty pink.


Tom Ford Beauty, Gateway Arcade, Tsim Sha Tsui, 3-27 Canton Road, Hong Kong, +852 2115 9346

Harking back to the shy, innocent rite-of-passage for young girls and boys sharing their first dance, Byredo’s 2019 fall release captures a bittersweet blush of youthful awkwardness mixed with the purity of romantic emotion — back when we didn’t know any better. A creamy, soft scent with a heart of labdanum and a sparkling edge thanks to geranium, it’s a gentle fragrance just laced with a touch of darkness and mystery thanks to sensuous patchouli. For that special someone you’ve been crushing on? This is the one you’ll want to pick.


Lane Crawford, IFC Mall, 8 Finance Street, Central, +852 2118 2288

Translating to “The Devil’s Lair”, Serge Lutens’ 2019 perfume is what fans call a return to form for the renowned photographer and artist when it comes to fragrances. It’s a seductive, diabolically delicious oud and rose perfume characterised by an indulgent accord of labdanum and amber. It’s woody, smokey and animalistic in the most sumptuous and elegant ways. Thinking to impress the irresistibly attractive person on your mind? This should do the trick.


Serge Lutens, Shop B130, B1/F, K11 Musea, Victoria Dockside, 18 Salisbury Road, Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong

Got a jetsetting Valentine who adores exploring the world? Jog their memory to some of the most beautiful locales around the globe with UK fragrance house Olfaction N’s latest collection. Inspired by the thrills of travel, the ‘N’ stands for the true north of the compass, as if wherever you take this bottle, it will lead you to where you want to be. For this season of love in particular, we are enamoured by the Desert Rose, which encapsulates the romance of the Sahara Desert, where the King Solomon was once infatuated with the Queen of Sheba. Characterised by Damascus Rose, which some say is ‘more expensive than gold’, Olfaction N’s Desert Rose carries the double meaning of a persevering and self-respecting personality, while also being a sexy, charming floral scent.


Kapok Sun Street, 8 Sun Street, Wan Chai, Hong Kong, +852 2549 9254

Newly launched in Hong Kong, Floraïku is a French brand created in 2017 by Frank and Clara Molloy that places poetic beauty at the heart of its perfumes — as you can tell from its portmanteau name. Looking for something sultry and unconventional for your gorgeous special someone? My Love Has the Color of the Night, inspired by ancient kodo rituals of incense appreciation in Japan, is a sweet, dark and woody fragrance anchored by patchouli, vetiver, and prized guaiac oil. What we love most about this is the intricate design of the set itself: Encased in a spellbinding ‘bento’ box packaging which includes a 50ml bottle, a 10ml refill, and a purse spray, which acts as the bottle cap.


Joyce Beauty, G/F, New World Tower, 16-18 Queen's Road Central, Hong Kong, +852 2810 1120

Tiffany’s effervescent signature hue is what arguably created the modern notion of enduring romance, so it’s only natural that its fragrance for the season come in a happy pair for Him and Her. It’s the first foray into the dual fragrance category — and indeed men’s fragrance — under the direction of Reed Krakoff. Both share blue sequoia, a vibrant woody note that anchors both scents as a couple: Tiffany & Love for Her is a floral woody scent with a burst of sparkle as uplifting as its diamonds thanks to blue basil, grapefruit, neroli, on top of a base of vetiver and cedarwood. Tiffany & Love for Him is crisp, citrusey, aromatic with a juniper-based heart touched with a tinge of cypress before rounding with sandalwood and vetiver. Together, both scents are a homage to the iconic Tiffany Blue, and you won’t want to get one without the other.

Tiffany & Love for Her, HK$900/50ml; Tiffany & Love for Him, HK$690/50ml

Lane Crawford, Times Square, 1 Matheson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2118 2288

The last perfume created by the late legendary perfumer Annick Goutal, the name of this momentous perfume (“tonight, or never” in French) succinctly captures the passion that the founder put into creating the perfect rose perfume. She spent 15 years painstakingly working on this masterpiece, which is shrouded in an enigmatic mystery as delicious as the perfume itself: the fragrance is made up of luscious, rare Turkish roses, ambrette seeds, and 160 secret ingredients. Complex, seductive, natural and wild, this is the ultimate perfume for the woman of your dreams.


Goutal Paris, Shop 20, G/F, Fashion Walk, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, +852 2613 1303
10 romantic fragrances that are better than bouquets this Valentine’s Day

Evelyn Lok

Managing Editor

When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. At Lifestyle Asia she covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.


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