These were the fragrances that captivated us in 2020. Now you and your nearest and dearest can smell spectacular, all holiday season and beyond.
After last year’s brand new abstraction of the rose by Jean-Claude Ellena, Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle takes us back to the classics this year for their holiday gifting programme. Edouard Fléchier was the nose behind the exquisite Une Rose, an experiment that took six to 18 months of conceptualisation to create a new base — the garlicky aspect of a perigord truffle, crafted with vetiver, patchouli and castoreum. Married to the feminine rose, the paradoxical fragrance is equal parts animal and garden; petal and warm skin. It’s also available in a body butter format — you’ll want to bathe in it if you could.
HK$1,750/50ml; HK$2,500/100ml from Lane Crawford
Two diabolical scents from Annick Goutal are packaged together for the ultimate sweet-smelling gift: The founder’s final piece de resistance, Ce Soir Ou Jamais (Tonight or Never) is a complex creation that was famously 15 years in the making, marked by a Turkish rose overtone and a secret formula of a whopping 160 different components. Similarly, Tenue de Soirée (Evening Dress) envisions an elegant Parisian woman in a gown, full of mystique, aloof yet with a touch of sweetness and confidence. In this gift kit it’s priced at HK$2,592, but valued at HK$3,240.
HK$2,592/100ml for two bottles from Goutal
Tom Ford’s irreverent scent — with the expletive scratched out — now in candle form for you or your gift recipient to bask in its air at home, accompanied by a travel-sized atomizer to bring with you on the road. For the uninitiated, the leather scent features herbal top notes of clary sage and lavender, middle notes of bitter almond, leather, orris and vanilla, and base notes of leather, Tonka bean, cashmeran, white woods and amber. Warm, enticing and zingy, it’s simply intoxicating and, well, f*cking fabulous.
HK$1,380 from Tom Ford Beauty
If you have a hard time committing to perfumes (let’s hope it’s just that), this Le Labo discovery set allows you to explore the label’s six cult classics: Another 13, Baie 19, Bergamote 22, Rose 31, Santal 33 and Thé Noir 29. Each 6ml, they’re perfect for pocketing away for a weekend stay or rotating throughout a couple of weeks to find your favourite.
HK$1,000 from Le Labo
Reimagining Penhaligon’s time-honoured Halfeti this year, the new Halfeti Leather is a velvety, luscious scent that will show up wonderfully in the winter months: Intensified with leathery allure, a “brush of soft suede” as well as a burst of dried fruit — plum and citrus — it’s a spicy and exotic new potion introduced to Penhaligon’s Trade Routes collection.
HK$2,050/100ml from Penhaligon’s
One of seven stunning new scents in the Louboutin universe, the Loubicroc is recognised by the studded crocodile bottle cap design that clutches onto the deep red flaçon. An ideal gift for the holiday season, this iteration is a potent Spicy Oriental fragrance envisioning the mystique of Ancient Egypt — as captured by Daphné Bugey as the nose. Ancient scents of myrrh, cypriol (for the grassy notes of papyrus) and sandalwood meld together for an enigmatic and sultry perfume.
HK$2,450/90ml at Lane Crawford
While we certainly can’t resist slipping into the all-time classic of a few dabs of No.5 at night a la Marilyn — Coco Mademoiselle’s sultry new night perfume is the new addiction du jour. Designed by Olivier Polge, it’s a sensual oriental fragrance characterised by mandarin orange, rose, jasmine and a base of white musk, it was designed to be worn after dark — in bed, no less.
HK$760/50ml; HK$1,110/100ml from Chanel eShop
An ode to the style, brains and grace of French modernist designer Charlotte Perriand, Rozu was Aesop’s landmark fragrance launch this year. Rather than typical European roses, the Japanese rose quietly boasts a cleaner, crisper profile. It’s green yet floral, and balanced out here with just a smidgen of smoke and wood. Nuanced, tender yet intense with the scent of Japanese rose, with incredible sillage.
HK$1,300/50ml from Aesop
New to Joyce Beauty, this enchanting fragrance is said to be a favourite of Victoria Beckham’s, and conjures up the delightful image of Greta Garbo waiting for her rose petal bath to be drawn; the steam of warm water emanating a burst of citrus, red fruits, bamboo, violet, black amber and sandalwood. If you want to impart the very same alluring vision of life’s luxuries onto your gift recipient, this is the fragrance to do it.
HK$1,240/50ml; HK$1,920/100ml from Joyce Beauty and Lane Crawford
Hedi Slimane’s first fragrance for Celine had fashionistas positively drooling: Now your most stylish loved ones get to own not just one but nine of the house’s signature scents, offered in its Coffret Miniature set. Retaining the 17th Century-style molded glass flacons in miniature form, the coffret’s amber liquids run the gamut of delicate scents like Parade or La Peau Nue for the daytime to evening Black Tie and Reptile and more.
HK$2,750 for all nine (10ml each) from Celine
Burberry’s Signatures Collection debuted in 2017, and are newly available in 100ml formats. Perfect for the gifting season, you can personalise your bottle with up to three monogrammed initials, and choose from a selection of leather knots in an array of colours. Here, Hawthorn Bloom imagines the Yorkshire countryside in early spring — with the brisk morning air of melting snow and the delicacy of new Hawthorn blooms peeking out from the cold.
HK$1,850/100ml from Burberry
This limited edition crossover between Ben Gorham and Travis Scott is definitely one to cop — whether you’re a collector or simply deathly curious about what exactly “cosmic dust” will smell like. Inspired by the cosmos, Travx Space Rage features top notes of said cosmic dust, antimatter particles; mid-notes of starlight, the scent of supernova; and a base of atmospheric vapour and dark nebulae. Whatever that means (though a previously launched NASA space perfume reportedly smells like raspberries and charred steak). A matching scented candle is also available.
HK$2,150/100ml exclusively from Byredo K11 Musea Beauty Store
Inviting renowned noses to craft floral-centric scents, Chloé’s Atelier des Fleurs benefits from three added fragrances to its rota of nine this winter. Inspired by the rare vanilla planifolia, the bean pod loved for its delicate flavour on the tongue (and prized for its repairing qualities for skincare) yet with a seemingly imperceptible fragrance, Quentin Birch rose up to the mantle and crafted a soft, slightly spicy concoction that melds fleshy floral notes with an addictive, alluring quality.
HK$990/50ml; HK$1,890/150ml from Chloé