It’s only a few days to Christmas! I love to visit florist Menno Kroon in Amsterdam this time of year. He is a posh florist with absolutely stunning Christmas decorations. This year he decorated his flower shop mostly in red.
I liked the idea of red mushroom Christmas balls and loved the 3 metres high artificial Christmas trees (see photographs) As I have a cat, I don’t do Christmas trees anymore. This year I bought new plastic red and silver Christmas balls at the discount store Kruidvat to replace the glass ones. You can see the new decorations on Instagram if you follow me on there.
The artificial 3 metres high Christmas trees at florist Menno Kroon and their decorarions were absolutely magnificent. I wonder how cats would react to a tree like this one? My ginger cat Rubio would probably try to climb in this tree.
Question: What do you think? Do you like these decorations? Have you decorated your home for the holidays? Did you change the colours this year?
Photographs made at Menno Kroon, Amsterdam by Esperessence 2018
Holiday Giving for HIM. Here are 3 great gift ideas which look fabulous and all are under 40 euro. They are: Bentley Intense For Men, Guerlain Habit Rouge L’Eau and Zara Home Nordic Leather Fragrance Cards.
Holiday Giving: BentleyIntenseForMEN
Don’t let the rather flashy bottle put you off. Honestly I had some second thoughts when it arrived. BUT this fragrance is absolutely amazing for its price. Some perfume lovers (or perfumista’s) say it smells like the niche fragrance Lubin Idole. Bentley Intense For Him was created by perfumer Nathalie Lorson in 2013. It’s notes are black pepper, incense, geranium, clary sage, labdanum, leather, cedar wood, patchouli and sandalwood.
Longevity is fabulous. You can still smell a boozy vanillic dry down after 12 hours! A very festive gift for a loved one 🎄 I gave one to my partner earlier this year and he wears it daily at the moment. As a few sprays are enough. This bottle will last him a long very time. Available at the moment online for 30 euro for a 100 ml bottle. Smaller 50 ml bottles are sold as well which might be a good choice as it lasts such a long time and is a rather heavy bottle.
Holiday Giving: GuerlainHabitRougeL’eau
Guerlain Habit Rouge L’Eau is a great gift for someone looking for an uncomplicated and office friendly fragrance. It is a very good introduction to more complex Guerlain fragrances like the original Shalimar or Habit Rouge.
Notes are jasmine, patchouli, vanille, bitter orange, hazelnut and green notes. You can find Habit Rouge L’Eau easily online for very reasonable prices. I found a bottle this week for 40 euro for a 100 ml bottle. You might find it cheaper in old packaging.
Nordic Leather is a very warming woody fragrance with sandalwood, incense and spices. This is not a perfume but a home fragrance with additional fragrance cards which make your clothes smell as if you are wearing a perfume. The cards can be overwhelming at first so it’s best to keep them in a close cupboard in the beginning. These cards work like a modern version of lavender sachets and are made of plastic impregnated with fragrance.
The cards are available online and at Zara Home shops. They cost 12 euro for 3 and last about 6 months. The sachets are available in other home fragrances as well like Sicilian fig, Cedar wood and White jasmine. I have Sicilian Fig as well but don’t like it as much for clothes as Nordic Leather.
Bottomline: Bentley Intense For Him, Guerlain Habit Rouge L’Eau and Zara Home Nordic Fragrance Cards are fabulous affordable gifts for the upcoming holidays for him. All are available online.
Have you tried any of the fragrances or the Zara fragrance cards? What do you think of them? Or Bentley Intense For Him?
I absolutely love perfume discovery sets and selected 7 fabulous sets from independent perfume houses for you. These sampler sets are great to try new fragrances and make excellent gifts as well. Here we go, the sets I selected are from Gallivant, Baruti, Tauer Perfumes, Sylvaine Delacourte, Etat Libre d’Orange, NOT Perfumes and Pierre Guillaume Paris. They are all available online.
1. Gallivant Nomad Discovery Sampler Set: Gallivant was founded by former L’Artisan Parfumeur creative director Nick Steward. Gallivant has 6 fragrances at the moment all based on different cities around the world, London, Amsterdam, Berlin, Brooklyn, Istanbul and Telviv. The 6 sample set is sold out at the moment but there is still a smaller one available with 4 samples for 18 pounds. Postage is free in December 2018. All sprays are 2 mls.
2. Baruti Baruti was created by Amsterdam based Greek perfumer Spyros Drosopoulos. You will not find these fragrances easily anywhere else. They make an excellent gift for those who want to try something different perfume wise. I sampled his fragrances many years ago when Spyros just started and tried his newest creations at The Perfume Lounge in Amsterdam. This discovery set is only available online with 8 samples of the whole Baruti collection. All spray samples are 1 ml. Price: 30 euro
3. TauerPerfumes Tauer Perfumes was created by Zurich based Andy Tauer. His samples are stored in small beautiful metal boxes like the box on the photograph. These boxes are still one of my favorites to store samples. You are free to choose from his whole collection and create your own Discovery Set. Andy Tauer has some recommendations on his website which is fabulous if you are new to his fragrances and do not know which one to choose. All spray samples are 1,5 mls. Price: 27,50 euro including shipping.
4. SylvaineDelacourte, Sylvaine Delacourte worked for Guerlain 15 years and started her own perfume house several years ago. At this moment she has 2 collections based on perfume notes, Vanilla and Musc. She just introduced some wonderful scented candles inspired by the different seasons of the year. Both the Vanilla and Musc set are lovely and affordable sets with 5 samples each for 4 euro including postage. I tried the Musc sampler set and just received the Vanilla box. This is an excellent deal. All sprays are 1,5 ml. Price: 4 euro per set including shipping
5. EtatLibred’Orange (ELDO) This French niche brand has several sampler sets in its collection. One set for its whole collection and 2 different sets stored in fabulous metal boxes with their 7 classics or modern classics. All are available through their website. The metal boxes are 20 euro for 7 samples with 2 mls. The complete collection set has 22 samples with 1,5 to 2 mls and its price is 39 euro. Isn’t this metal box beautiful?
6. NOTPerfumes. This brand new Swedish brand recently launched with 5 creations. It’s creator and perfumer Johanna Venables made original fragrances with very outspoken Nordic visuals. The complete sampler set is 25 euro excluding postage. The samples are 0,5 ml extraits and the sampler set is only available online. I haven’t tried them yet but very much look forward to experience her poetic fragrances as they look and sound very unique.
7. PierreGuillaume Paris If you are not on a budget, French perfumer Pierre Guillaume just launched his whole perfume collection as a sampler set called Integral Box 64. All 64 creations are stored together in a beautiful black box for 146 euro excluding shipping. It’s available online but check your local perfume store as well if you live close to a perfume shop which sells his creations.
Concluding: The perfume sampler sets I selected this year are from the following perfume houses: Gallivant, Baruti, Tauer Perfumes, Sylvaine Delacourte, Etat Libre d’Orange, NOT Perfumes and Pierre Guillaume Paris. Did you like one? Are you interested in one of these as gifts?
If you want some more inspiration for sampler sets, please visit my previous Discovery Sets posts here: Discovery sets 2017, Holiday sets 2016 and Fragrant Holiday Gifts 2014.
You can find the direct links to the sampler sets in this article by clicking on their names:
Disclosure: Except for the photographs of the Sylvaine Delacourte and Tauer sets all photographs were taken from the official websites. The photograph for the NOT perfumes sampler set was made by Joaquim Suñe from Lost Branch Leather and kindly provided for this post. This article was not sponsored and does not include affiliated links.
(Sidenote: please check before ordering if postage is included to your own country, I live in The Netherlands)