Gift

How to choose a perfume gift for a special occasion

Last week I bought a scented gift for my fiance’s niece Rachel for her college graduation. A very special occasion! My aunt had given me a bottle of Diorella perfume many years ago at my high school graduation and I still wear It. So I wanted to buy Rachel a perfume to link this happy occasion of graduating with a fragrance.  I wasn’t sure about her taste in perfume, only that she is 23 years old and likes perfume.

So I went to the perfume shop The Perfume Lounge which specialises in niche perfumes in Amsterdam. Where Phine helped me choose an appropriate gift for her.  She thought Olfactive Studio could have a perfume Rachel would like, since young women of her age usually like their fragrances. I choose the Olfactive Studio discovery set with 7 fragrances of 4 ml spray samples. This will give her plenty of possibilities to test them extensively. If she likes one of these she can choose a full bottle of one of the Olfactive Studio fragrances as a gift. I like the fact that Rachel can sample all fragrances for a longer period as the samples are 4 mls and experience which one she likes best. Rachel loved her present very much and we will see which fragrance she will choose.

Buying a Discovery Set and later a full bottle is probably not a common solution for all scented gifts given its price tag but I find it a good idea for a special occasion if you have a bit more to spend on a gift. It will also work well if you are buying a present with more people together for example at work or with a group of friends.

What do you think, would this work for you? Do you give perfume as a gift? How do you choose a fragrance for someone else?

Disclosure: photograph 1 and 3 made by me, photograph 2 made by Rachel.

Perfume Review and Budget Pick of the Month: Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Rose Oud

Notes: Rose, Rose Damascena, Oud, Cistus Labdanum, Cumin

Rose Oud was created  in 2016 by perfumer Annick Menardo who made Lolita Lempicka Eau de Parfum, Amouage Opus X and many other excellent fragrances. This woody fragrance is an adult, grown up and very dark red velvet rose. She had lead a bit of a turbulent troubled life and lost her innocence. Its darkness with boozy fruity aspects are quite surprising. Especially for a Yves Rocher fragrance. Some compared Rose Oud online to Serge Lutens Feminite du Bois. I can relate to the boozy plum soaked in alcohol part which both have in common but Rose Oud is much more floral in my opinion. I get cinnamon as well as part of the boozy plums.  A veil remains of slightly brighter dusty rose as a base. Honestly Rose Oud is slightly too dark for my taste, personally I prefer lighter roses. I wonder how this fragrance will sell as it smells much more like a niche fragrance compared to other Yves Rocher fragrances.

 

What can Rose Oud do for you?

What does it do? If might be a good scent for those who are dealing with hardships in their lives for example when having to make complicated personal financial decisions, dealing with lawsuits, losing their jobs, losing a loved one or at the end of a relationship. To go through this process and make the best of it as there will be light again. It helps to loose one’s innocence and maybe even naivity when one needs too when dealing with life challenges as we all encounter in our lives. I could have used this scent for this purpose while going through very rough times in my life.

Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Collection 

Rose Oud is part of the Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Collection which focuses on raw materials in perfumery like vanilla, jasmine, neroli, iris and rose. All of the fragrances come with excellent accompanying body products except Rose Oud. Yves Rocher Secrets d’Essences Collection was launched in 2005 with Voile d’Ambre. Two fragrances from this line have sadly been discontinued Rose Absolue and Iris Noir. I have to admit I bought all fragrances from this line.  The scents are not multilayered but very well made for a good price. Who doesn’t want that?

All Secrets d’Essences fragrances were created by well known perfumers like Olivier Cresp, also creator of Thierry Mugler Angel and Jacques Cavallier. He made Issey Miyake L’Eau d’Issey as well. The beautiful bottle was designed by Thierry de Baschmakoff who designed bottles for Bvlgari, The Different Company and many other perfume houses.  As you can see, quite some effort has been put into producing a high quality perfume line by Yves Rocher.

Why did I pick Rose Oud as Budget Pick of the Month?

Rose Oud is excellent value for money. If scented Rose Oud blindly one would believe it to be a fragrance sold at Harrod’s or the Dutch department store Bijenkorf for 10 times if not more its price. It is a marvelous gift or if you are on a limited budget (or both). The fragrance leans towards feminine but can be worn by men and women.

I recommend anyone who likes rose/Oud, darker roses or even boozy fragrances to try this fragrance as soon as possible.  No one ever knows when Yves Rocher will discontinue a fragrance as they have done so very often in the past. I bought my bottle blindly and recently ordered another bottle as I gave one away.

Bottom line: buy a bottle or test the fragrance while it is still easily available for a reasonable price.

Rose Oud in a few words: dark, troubled, turbulent, lost her innocence

Have you tried any fragrance of the Secrets d’Essences Collection? Do you have a favorite one?

Price: 55 euro for 50 ml (but it is frequently on sale, I bought mine for 27,50 euro online)

All photographs were made by Esperessence, Rose on photograph: Rosa Amor, In a few words was inspired by the excellent perfume blog The Scented Hound.

 

Nicolai Rose Royale A Youthful, Pretty and Elegant Rose

Nicolai Parfumeur Createur Rose Royale is a pretty youthful elegant rose fragrance and the latest release of this French perfume house. It starts with a fresh citrus bergamot note, changing  into a slightly warmer dusty natural rose scent. This rose is large, full and light pink. The overall feeling Rose Royale brings, is one of comfort and easiness.

Like Rose Oud, another creation of perfumer Patricia de Nicolai, Rose Royale feels very soothing. There is a fruity touch, making it more contemporary and giving the impression Patricia de Nicolai follows new trends in the fragrance industry well. I would not call it an exciting fragrance but no soliflore (a fragrance dedicated to one flower) generally is. If you like natural rose scents, Rose Royale is certainly worth a try.

The inspiration for this scent was taken from the roses in Palais Royale, which is situated closely to the new Nicolai laboratory in Paris.

While doing research for this article I found this citation in the Nicolai, Parfumeur-Createur, un metier d’artiste book, which suits the essence of Rose Royale very well.

“A beautiful perfume, worn, makes others want to be near you..(..) A beautiful perfume is one that you want to keep, like a child who tries to catch clear water from a fountain.” Patrica de Nicolai

Rose Royale captures the natural scent of a rose very well but still remains interesting. It wears quite close to the skin and on my skin it had medium longevity (2-3 hours) Something I experience with Nicolai Rose Oud as well.

I find Rose Royale to be full bottle worthily. It is well made, wears easily and can be worn to many different occasions like work, at the weekend or to all kinds of celebrations. There is a certain easiness and informality to it. I expect Rose Royale will get more love in the Nicolai shops than amongst perfume bloggers for this reason and can imagine it becoming one of their bestsellers. It will make an excellent gift.

Notes: Top Blackcurrent Buds, Passion Fruit, Bergamot, Middle Rose (Turkish Rose), Coriander, Ambrette seeds, Base Immortelle, Sandalwood, Guaiac Wood and Musk.

Have you tried fragrances of the Nicolai Parfumeur Createur perfume house ? Do you have a favorite one?

Wishing you all a very happy Easter!

Disclaimer: This review was based on a sample provided for PR purposes. My opinion and photographs are my own. The fragrance was tested directly on skin.