The 12 Days of Christmas, day one

The 12 Days of Christmas, day one

On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…

Hang on. Before we get to your true love’s gift, let us explain.

December holidays hold many traditions near and dear. Not the least of which for me, despite my agnostic leanings, are certain Christmas carols and hymns. How can you not like “Silent Night”? Or “Away in A Manger”? Or not sing along to “Jingle Bells”?

One of my favourite Christmastime tunes has always been “The 12 Days of Christmas”. As a child, it always seemed to me so fun: the accumulative nature of the song and the wonderful illustrations that typically came along with it in children’s nursery rhyme-type books.

The 12 verses, of a poem which was reportedly created back in the late 1700s and put to music in 1909, celebrate increasingly indulgent gifts delivered by one’s “true love”. How romantic and generous and inspiring!

Of course it didn’t take long for me to think that all of these gifts could take perfume form.

So, if you’ll grant us a little creative latitude, follow along for the next dozen days leading up to Christmas Day, December 25th, and we’ll post for you a series inspired by this ages-old 12 Days of Christmas ditty.

During these days, you’ll receive a dozen perfume gift ideas. But something more too!

To make it all more special and festive, we’ve brought in the talented illustrator Laura Gulshani to render this exceptional fragrance gift guide in a manner perfectly in keeping with the song’s fantastical nature. We hope you enjoy.

So for now…

“On the first day of Christmas, my true love gave to me…a partridge in a pear tree.”

Make that a bottle of Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia.

This cologne is an elegant scent with notes of ripe pear, white freesia and warm lovely amber, patchouli and wood.

Give a bottle of this fruity-floral scent and we know you’ll have a very happy giftee.

Jo Malone English Pear and Freesia, $145 (100 ml),,

Read about the second and third days of Christmas too.

ILLUSTRATION: Laura Gulshani
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Deborah Fulsang has spent the last two decades as a journalist covering news and trends in the worlds of style—in fashion and beauty, design and décor, food and entertaining. Her long-held love of fragrance led her to launch The Whale & The Rose, a destination for all things perfume-related. Now, when she indulges in a crazy-expensive bottle of fragrance, she can do so guilt-free. Well almost. It’s all in the name of research after all.