Scented Niche Christmas Gifts to Impress

Guest Post by Madeleine

Ten Niche Scented Gifts for Christmas

Hello APJ friends! Hope you are all well and looking forward to the festive season.
When Portia suggested I compile a list of niche perfume Christmas picks, I was filled with a mixture of excitement and trepidation. Excited because I could get really creative and think outside the square and scared because, well, let’s face it, buying perfume for loved ones, let alone niche, is fraught with difficulties.
So, I have taken a deep breath and hopefully risen to the challenge. For ease, I’ve chosen more approachable scents and assumed price is no object. Enjoy!
1.   Dad: Bigarade Concentree by Frederic Malle
Bigarade concentree Frederic Malle for women and men
Jean Claude Ellena’s modern take on eau de cologne, Bigarade Concentree starts with piquant, zesty blood orange and aromatic cardamom notes before settling into soft orange and hay. This is as refreshing as a dip in an ice cold pool, but still a refined classic scent.
Notes: bitter orange, rose, cedar, grass and hay
2.   Mum: Antonia by Puredistance
Antonia Puredistance for women
Possibly the most beautiful and sublime release of 2012, Antonia is an intricately weaved green floral with galbanum, ivy and jasmine. The Antonia woman is intelligent, graceful, self assured and wise – the best qualities of Mums everywhere,
Notes: jasmine, rose essence, ylang ylang, orris, ivy greens, galbanum, vanilla and vetiver.
3.   Brother: Sunday Cologne by Byredo
Sunday Cologne Byredo for women and men
A slightly balmy and spicy scent, Sunday Cologne combines the freshness of bergamot with star anise, incense and lavender. Clean, cool and utterly debonair, this can be worn equally with a sharp suit or t-shirt and jeans.
Notes: cardamom, bergamot, star anise, lavender, geranium, incense, vetiver, patchouli and oakmoss.
4.   Sister: Nuit de Cellophane by Serge Lutens
Nuit de Cellophane Serge Lutens for women
A refined take on the standard fruity floral, Nuit de Cellophane combines osmanthus and jasmine to create a gorgeously translucent scent. Nuit de Cellophane is demure and pretty with just a hint of coquettishness.
Notes: mandarin, osmanthus, jasmine
5.   Significant other (Male): Amyris Pour Homme by Maison Francis Kurkdjian.
Amyris Homme Maison Francis Kurkdjian for men
Sex in a bottle. A blend of aromatic rosemary and mandarin tempered by cool iris and warm woody notes, Amyris is the tall, dark handsome stranger at a swanky bar who buys you an ice-cold martini before saying sotto voce: ’Come hither’.
Notes: rosemary, mandarin orange, amyris, coconut, coffee, iris, milk chocolate, tonka bean and agarwood.
6.   Significant other (Female): Flor Y Canto by Arquiste
Flor y Canto Arquiste for women
A bewitching white floral, Flor Y Canto tempers the heady notes of tuberose and frangipani with bright marigold. Sunny and carefree, but still devastatingly sexy, this is for a confident woman who doesn’t take herself too seriously.
Notes: Mexican tuberose, magnolia, frangipani and marigold
7.   For the budding perfumista friend: Frederic Malle’s Coffrets
In my opinion, Frederic Malle offers the best variety of all niche brands. These coffrets offer small vials of the brand’s scents: men’s, women’s or a 2012 selection. Your friend is sure to find new love, whether it’s the mint barbershop vibe of Geranium Pour Monsieur or the brooding oriental of Portrait of a Lady.
8.   For the friend that hates perfume:  Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Aqua Universalis Perfumed Candle
An impressive, weighty candle without an oppressive scent, Aqua Universalis is a fresh and delicate blend of green notes, orange blossom and jasmine.
Notes: bergamot, sicilian lemon, lily of the valley, sweet mock orange, light and musky woods
9.   For kids: Les Bulles d’Agathe by Maison Francis Kurkdjian
Les Bulles d'Agathe Scented Bubbles 3
These blowing bubbles are lightly scented with pear, violet, mint or cut herbs – fun for the little ones or just for the kid in all of us.
10.  Top niche Christmas pick: La Myrrhe by Serge Lutens
La Myrrhe Serge Lutens for women
In one of those coveted bell jars, Serge Lutens and his partner in crime Christopher Sheldrake have created a luminous rendition of myrrh – the essential oil and resin carried by the Three Wise Men. Warm aldehydes suggest the twinkle of Christmas lights on powdered snow while gentle spices and almond evoke the last bite of Christmas pud washed down with a glass of warm Amaretto.
Notes: mandarin, myrrh, lotus, bitter almond, sandalwood, honey, jasmine, amber, musk, various spices and pimento
Pictures sourced from Fragrantica, Basenotes, Polyvore and Wantist.
Where to Buy:
Arquiste: and Barney’s
Maison Francis Kurkdjian and Serge Lutens: Les Senteurs, Luckyscent and Mecca Cosmetica
Puredistance: Luckyscent
Serge Lutens bell jars: and Barney’s
Hope you’ve enjoyed my picks. What are your top niche Christmas choices?
M x

30 comments on “Scented Niche Christmas Gifts to Impress

  1. smellythoughts says:

    Great choices!
    I am actually buying mum and dad perfume for Christmas – my mum wants Dans Tes Bras, and my dad I’m getting Aomassai – he likes rich gourmands that aren’t too foody, I think this will suit him perfectly 😀
    La Myrrhe I’ve been debating picking up a bottle of whilst in Paris, we’ll see we’ll see…. It is a true beauty

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi smellythoughts!

      Thank you! Great picks for your Mum and Dad! Aomassi has a bit too much caramel for me but it is lovely. Dans tes Bras is gorgeous with that salty violet.

      I do hope you get La Myrrhe in Paris. It is just wonderful!

      Cheers M

  2. Tatiana says:

    Lovely suggestions! I am a Mum, so I am hoping someone will gift me with Puredistance Antonia or I. I never thought about La Myrrhe that way, but you’re right it is the perfect Christmas scent.

  3. lucasai says:

    There’s a link to my review over there!! Thanks Portia, you’re a sweetie!

  4. Undina says:

    Nice list, I wouldn’t mind getting almost any of the perfumes (and bubbles!) from the list for myself. But I just have to correct you: Antonia was released in 2010, 2012 Puredistance’s release is Opardu.

  5. Oh, that Frédéric Malle coffret. I stared longingly at it for far too long at Barney’s recently. The one with 30 little bottles. Sigh.

  6. laniersmith says:

    All I wanted last Christmas was my two front teeth! This Christmas I want ALL of these! Santa Baby hurry down the chimney for me….! Wonderful Post!!

  7. sinnerman01 says:

    Great work !
    If the gifted does not like any of these choices there is a major problem , ah mazing picks 🙂

  8. Great gift picks! The FM coffret would definitely be on my wishlist.

    Incidentally, have you smelled the Noel candle from Annick Goutal? So nice! Some lucky person (mom) is definitely getting that this year!

  9. Scent Bound says:

    Reblogged this on scent bound and commented:
    Here’s a excellent guest post by Madeleine on Australian Perfume Junkies. My personal favourites:

    Bigarade Concentree by Frederic Malle;
    Amyris by Maison Francis Kurkjian;
    Sunday Cologne by Byredo.
    If you really love Biragade Concentree but don’t feel like springing $250 for it, go with Cartier’s Declaration. Both are by Jean Claude Ellena and both have similar heart notes. Biragade Concentree has a fresher opening and a little shorter longevity than Declaration. Great fragrance nevertheless.
    I would add to the list Vetiver Extraordinaire – crisp clean vetiver, similar to Tom Ford’s Grey Vetiver, with tons of sophistication. It could be a great gift for any man in the family between 16 and 56.
    Now, I’m off to forward this list to all my friends and family and cross my fingers someone would get the hint what I’d love to get for Christmas.
    Big thanks to Madelein and Portia for putting up this selection.

    • Madeleine says:

      Hi Scent Bound!

      You are awesome! Thanks so much for reblogging – that is so sweet. I must try the Declaration and the Grey Vetiver now.

      I was indeed tossing up whether to include Vetiver Extraordinaire, but I thought BC was a little more approachable in the FMs.

      M x

      • Scent Bound says:

        My pleasure, Madeleine. Thank you for the great compilation. Declaration is very interesting and has a sweaty cumin note in it. Grey Vetiver is really ginger and vetiver – crisp and sophisticated without the nostalgia the vetiver brings.

        If I were to pick between BC and VE, I’d pick BC. I agree it is more approachable.

  10. poodle says:

    If these are the types of gifts you buy will you be my Santa? I’d be a very happy recipient of any of these. I am far too old to even say this but those bubbles sound like so much fun. Where we’re those when I was little?

  11. Ruth says:

    Great post, I’d love to be able to buy all of my family and friends beautiful scents like these for Christmas, it’s always a bit risky though. I’m thinking of buying my man Ambre Precieux by Maitre Parfumeur et Gantier. This is how I would like him to smell plus I can also have a few sneaky squirts myself.

    • Madeleine says:

      Thank you Ruth!

      I haven’t tried Ambre Precieux but it sounds lovely!

      I hope your man likes it if you do get it and he allows you to have those sneaky squirts 🙂

      M x

  12. suburbanites says:

    Very good post & list, and some excellent choices. Admittedly, I’m skeptical when it comes to holiday gift recommendations on fragrance since it’s such a personal preference, but the exceptions tend to come from those who know their scents and exhibit discerning taste. Kudos on a great line-up.

  13. […] Here’s another good opinion from Madeline over at Australian Perfume Junkie.  This list is focused more on niche scents with price not being an object. […]

  14. Kafkaesque says:

    What a lovely list. If only I could find a Santa to gift me even a few of these! 😉 The Serge Lutens is particularly tempting; I find myrrh to be a fascinating note and ingredient, esp. when combined with sandalwood. I really enjoyed your post!

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