Give the gift of fragrance

Perfumes might seem like an obvious present a bit clichéd even but in actual fact nowadays the choices of perfumes is so vast that you do need to know what you are doing if you want to give someone a signature fragrance to waft them through their day.

While many see perfume as something to be chosen individually by its wearer, it is in fact a great gift idea that can be personally tailored to the recipient. That makes Kirk Freeport’s La Parfumeries I and II a one-stop shop when it comes to holiday shopping.

La Parfumerie I’s Nina Jethwa dished out this season’s top holiday scents for men and women (see sidebar) and gave The Observer on Sunday her tips on everything fragrance related.

To give a little something extra this Christmas, add value with numerous gift sets. Packages available include perfumes accompanied by lotions and body gels, such as the new Versace scent, Versense, at $74 for women or, for men, Ferrari’s new scent BLACK, which comes complete with one of Ferrari’s remote control cars, a perfect gift for any man at $63.

When choosing a perfume for someone it’s always helpful to know what scents they like beforehand, but if you are unfamiliar with their preference, it’s key to go with something fairly impartial.

Jethwa states: ‘It’s best to go with something neutral, but not too generic.’’ If you know their personality you can choose something that might suit them, whether they are more conservative, outdoorsy, or perhaps they have a fiery personality. ‘‘Whatever you do,’’ Jethwa adds, ‘‘don’t base your choice only on something you prefer, it has to be fit for the individual.’’

La Parfumerie also sells an assortment of products besides fragrances, including lotions, body washes, scrubs and bath products.

The stores carry L’Occitane, which specialises in all-natural and organic products that make simple alternative gifts. If you’re looking for children’s or baby gifts they carry those as well, with popular children sensations such as Tweety, Spiderman and Disney princesses having their own perfumes along with baby scents produced by names such as Tous, Burberry and Bvlgari.

Fragrance 101
Jethwa also shared tips on perfume applcation. Spray your perfume onto your pulse points, (ie, behind wrists, back of neck) as the heat you’re giving off will release the fragrance throughout the day. Spray some on your comb before you brush your hair, as this will diffuse the fragrance all through your tresses.

When it comes to eau de parfum versus eau de toilette, they are exactly the same only the eau de parfum is more concentrated, not stronger. In addition, just because a perfume is lighter in fragrance does not mean it won’t last; light perfumes are equally as long-lasting as stronger ones.

“It’s sort of a myth,” says Jethwa about the need for separate fragrance for day and night. “If you have a perfume you like it can be carried throughout the night or day. It’s really a matter of light versus heavy, and which the individual prefers.’’