2016 Holiday Gift Guide: Perfumes

Hello my lovely readers, I'm back after taking a week off. I just really needed to take some time off to myself and unplug, refresh before the upcoming busy holiday season. There's a lot going on in my personal life, maybe one day I'll share it but for now, let's stick to the up and coming holiday season! I have decided to compile a few holiday gift guide ideas for all of you and focus them on different things each time - for e.g. this is all on perfumes! Next will be skincare, cosmetics, etc. In each gift guide segment, I will also include items from different price points so that none will feel left out :)

Perfumes are a really personable item to purchase for someone - there are actually a few "perfume sampler" packs you can purchase at Sephora and Shoppers Drug Mart that allow the individual receiving it to try out various fragrances to see which one is best suited for them. My favorite one would have to be the one offered by Shoppers Drug Mart - you usually get samples of a few perfumes and the best part is you actually get a gift certificate to exchange for one full sized perfume that you've tried out from the sampler box. This is a sure way to please the individual you are gifting it to, as they will definitely find something they like in the sampler box and to then be able to get a full sized bottle allows them to basically choose their own perfume :)

Below I've included a list of some fragrances that I personally love, and I've included a few that I just received as PR that I think would be a good fit to this Holiday Gift Guide segment  :)

First off, DIOR perfumes - my very first perfume purchased from Dior was the Dior Addict 2, which sadly was limited edition. Ever since, I have been on a hunt for something similar and I think the most similar one is the Dior Addict Eau Fraiche($95 for 50ml). It contains notes of Bergamot, Grapefruit, Orange, Freesia, Lily of the Valley, Lotus Flower, Pineapple, Watermelon, Grenadine, Sandalwood, White Musk - so if you love a perfume with a fruity note and a slight hint of floral, you will really like this. I give this 7/10.

Next from Dior, if you are feeling extra luxurious, you can purchase the Miss Dior Silky Body Mist * ($69 for 100ml) or the Miss Dior Hair Mist *($59 for 50ml).The Body Mist is is lightweight and not greasy. It is ultra luxurious, and the reason I say that is because this is said to moisturize your skin. And I mean, I am not personally about to spray my entire body with this (as it is still a scented product, I don't want to overwhelm anyone). However, it really is quite hydrating! The scent doesn't last strong all day, it does start fading after 3-4 hours, but there is a subtle linger after. (8/10) The Dior Hair Mist really is meant for the hair - while I would never purchase this for myself, I think that this is a really beautiful gift to give someone. You spray it in your hair (after you style to add a hint of flirtiness OR at the end of the day to deodorize your hair too if need be). When I wear it throughout the day and if my hair sways or flips, I sometimes get a scent of it and I love it :) (8.5/10)

I'm sure that you have seen lots of perfumes created by or in collaboration with celebrities, and while I used to knock them, I found a perfume I have loved since I was in University? So that would have to be Jennifer Lopez - Live (you can find it now for around $20). I was right! It was launched in 2005 - so that's a good 11 years ago! I have repurchased this scent now twice and will continue to do so! (Which reminds me, I need to get a backup ASAP!) It contains notes of Sicilian lemon, bergamot, pineapple, red currant, peony, violet, sandalwood, Tonka bean and caramel. I'm sure you can tell by now I do love my fruit toned scents :) (7.5/10).

I was sent two different fragrances for review recently, which were also made in collaboration with celebrities which I thought I could include in the Holiday Guide. These perfumes would definitely be a good gift for people that are fans of these celebrities - a good gift idea would be to maybe get them one of their most recent CD or DVD release (or even their holiday album) and pair it with their perfume as well! 

Michael Buble - By Invitation*($46/50ml) which contains notes of red fruits, bergamot, lily of the valley, elegant rose, wild jasmine and spicy peony. It contains a warm base note of sandalwood-musk and vanilla praline. This is more of a mature fragrance, and though there is the note of vanilla praline, it is quite subtle. I would think that the floral and sandalwood is stronger and the vanilla is just the subtle sweet creamy note in the end that brings it together. This is not an everyday fragrance, but more of a special event or date night one. (6.5/10). 

 Britney Spears - Private Show *($45/50ml) This perfume is said to be inspired by Britney's favorite scents which includes crème coffee, clementine, juicy nectarine, dulche de leche, orange flower, jasmine sambac, luminous amber, and sensual musks. I would have to say that personally, I do not smell the fruity notes of clementine and juicy nectarine and orange flower. This fragrance is very sweet and warm, and the notes of coffee come in at the end. No, you will not smell like a coffee shop, but you will smell very sweet and this does last for about 5 hours. I would say that this is more geared towards the younger crowd. This is not my particular cup of tea (3.5/10).

Guerlain - Pera Granita ($75/75ml) - I purchased this during this year's Sephora VIB Sale in November. This was limited edition and alot of stores are sold out already, hence I had to get this one ASAP. I couldn't find this on Sephora online anymore, good thing they had it at Sephora Vaughan Mills. It contains notes of bergamot, grapefruit, lemon, pear, osmanthus, apricot, cedar, moss, white musk. It is refreshing, crisp, clean and fruity with a citrus finish. I am so in love with this perfume that I am so afraid to use it as it is limited edition, as previously mentioned. However, you also don't want this to go bad, so I decided to just go ahead and use it. This never gets old and makes me so happy when I use it and especially youthful. (9/10). 

To me , scents always evoke a specific memory or special event and when I wear it, it just brings me back to that exact time and moment. Jo Malone fragrances are higher in pricing, but delivers a high quality fragrance unlike any other. When you wear it, or smell it on someone, you don't ever get a "oh, that's so + so...", it's unique and whenever I do wear it, I get compliments and asked what it is. I've introduced a few friends to Jo Malone fragrances, and while the price tag is higher than the others, they do end up usually buying one :) All you need is 1-2 sprays and it lasts all day. I have three Jo Malone fragrances in total and each one brings me back to a specific memory.

Jo Malone - English Pear & Freesia ($130/100ml) - My first JM fragrance was purchased in Tokyo, and everytime I use it I just think back to those 3 weeks I spent in Asia with my husband and parents. The primary note of pear is combined with quince, followed by honey sweetness and white freesia and rose. Finally, other notes include rhubarb, patchouli, amber and white musk.

Peony & Blush Suede ($65/30ml) - My second purchase, reminds me of the peonies in my wedding bouquet. Notes include red apple, peony, jasmine, carnation and rose with a base note of suede.

Wood Sage & Sea Salt ($65/30ml) - My most recent addition to my collection from last Christmas, gifted by my best friend. It contains notes of ambrette seed, sea salt and sage, along with red algae and grapefruit.

This is a warmer perfume with notes of dark plum, baccarat rose and mysterious patchouli. While I don't naturally gravitate to fragrances with patchouli and rose I really enjoyed this. The plum offers a note of fruitiness that brings it more to my liking. The price point is also really good as well and it delivers about 4 hours of staying power. (7.5/10)

Lastly, for the younger crowd or those who prefer a lighter scent, the body mists are a really good option to go for. The Avon Ultra Sexy Body Mist Collection($20 for 3x150ml is a really good deal). Online, they are showing the sale price, so hurry up and get it as prices are subject to change! (unfortunately, I have no control over that! sorry).

The set features three different scents:  
Ultra Sexy Heart Body Mist : Cherries, rose petals and chocolate marshmallow 
Ultra Sexy Pink Body Mist: Raspberry, peony and chiffon musk 
Ultra Sexy Lace Body Mist: Pear, magnolia and golden amber. 

My favorite of the three would have to be Ultra Sexy Pink Body Mist followed by Ultra Sexy Lace Body Mist. Again, with the fruity notes, peony and subtle floral scents with a final lingering warm note of amber or chiffon musk. Ultra Sexy Heart Body Mist is more of a nighttime wear and is a bit sweet for my personal liking. For $20 these are a great deal and you can even buy them and split it up and gift them to your friends and family.

This gift set contains 4 separate 75 ML body sprays and is valued at $9.99, available for purchase at Shoppers Drug Mart. This set is called the So...? Smashbox Couture.

While I have to admit that the packaging doesn't scream luxury, I am actually quite loving these as a spray I can pop into my gym bag. The scent is very light and gives you a refresher if you don't have time for a shower. Also, because it is rather faint and has a shorter life span, this is quite suitable for the teen in your life that is looking to dabble into some fragrances. You can find these at Walmart or at Shoppers Drug Mart.

I'm sorry this post is so long!! But I really wanted to include some options in different scent and price ranges for my readers! I hope you enjoyed this and come back next week to see what's in store for the next 2016 Holiday Gift Guide edition! 

Until next time, XO - M.

*Much thanks to fragantica.com for the reference material on the notes included in perfumes - please note that this post is not sponsored by fragrantica, I just did alot of research on that site regarding the perfumes. In addition, items sent for my consideration are marked with a * - all opinions are honest and mine.

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