Give Intensely Good fragrances

Give Intensely Good fragrances

By Deborah Fulsang

‘Tis the season of woolly sweaters, boots, puffy down coats and fireplaces. No wonder we’ve got a yen for rich, dark and delicious fragrances—they’re the perfect thing to wear (and to gift) when we’re trying to feel sexy in this snowy and frigid festive season.

The way to our hearts is through our stomach—it’s a given—so the latest Intense-themed spritzes sate our cravings via spice. Jo Malone London’s new six-scent lineup of Cologne Intense boasts a “delicious, even dangerous edge,” say the execs. Indeed, each in the array of fragrances seduces: There’s Golden Saffron, which mixes spice with pink pepper, incense and wood. Then Velvet Rose & Oud, which plays the sultry Damascus rose alongside oud wood, clove and praline. There’s Iris and White Musk, Amber & Patchouli, Dark Amber & Ginger Lily, Oud & Bergamot too. Even the sound of them is delicious. $145 (100 ml) each,

The plush dark scent, the couture-inspired flacon, the iconic brand: All factor in to make the new Valentina Oud Assoluto a sexy gift to slip into a Christmas stocking. A-list perfumer Olivier Cresp blended fruity Bulgarian rose with peppery cardamom, warm vanilla and wood. The result is an oriental for the modern day—and one that will appeal across the demographic divide, from sophisticated 20somethings to ’50s-ish aesthetes. $148 (80 ml),

For those who can’t decide between sweet and savoury, there is Dolce & Gabbana Pour Femme Intense. It is a lovely drunken floral with marshmallow blended with white flowers and sultry sandalwood and musk. And its garnet-hued, gold-detailed flask and velvet box will certainly please the perfume lover on your Christmas list. $132 (100 ml), at major department stores,

Want to impress your sweetheart this holiday season and reveal your refined taste while you’re at it? Get thee to your nearest Giorgio Armani beauty counter and invest. The brand’s Privé collection is exemplary: rich and refined scents meant to channel magnificent and mythical, romantic moments. And the flasks? With their sexy matte black finish and sculptural stone toppers, they are objets d’art and deserving of prime display space—especially in a high-traffic powder room where many can enjoy. The latest scent, Armani Privé Rose D’Arabi from the 1001 Nights collection, wraps together sultry rose notes with the tinniest bit of smoke—saffron, patchouli and amber, to be exact. It’s tailormade to thrill the sophisticate on your gift-giving list. $240,, at Holt Renfrew

For more darkly delicious scents that also make for terrific gifts, check out this story: Embrace The Dark Side of Scent,

And this one: Trend: Oud Wood,


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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.