Do wafts of gingerbread, pine needles, cinnamon and nutmeg make you feel giddy this time of year? For those of you who have a sentimental sniffer, Jo Malone’s expertly crafted scented candles, room sprays, and essential oils are the perfect thing to get you in the holiday spirit. And to help navigate the challenging world of fragrance combining in the coming weeks—you want to spread olfactory cheer, not overdo it—the company has sent out a list of personal tips and tricks from famed interior designer Bella Mancini. We were particularly intrigued by Mancini’s suggestion to use the brand’s Acqua di Limone Scent Surround Spray on clean linens for a fresh burst of lime and citrus when holiday guests turn down their beds. But since our “cozy” New York apartment doesn’t allow space for an extra set of guest sheets, let alone another full bed for visitors to sleep on, we’re content to buy a few Jo Malone pomegranate noir candles—one for the conjoined space that is our bedroom, kitchen, and office, and a few to give out as gifts. (If you’ve yet to experience the magic of this specific scent pyramid, brace yourself for a little mind-blowing.) Mancini also praises the virtue of giving the gift of your signature scent to loved ones so they have something in their home, from yours. (Note: This is not a re-gifting endorsement. Although, if you think you can get away with it, we won’t judge.)
Seeing as how anything that bears the name Hennessy immediately evokes a picture of luxury (we’re imagining rich mahogany leather and an impressive floor-to-ceiling private library), it’s hardly shocking that Kilian Hennessy, perfumer and heir to a long line of cognac makers, didn’t skimp when conceiving the first collaborative effort for his eponymous line of fragrances. Enlisting the artistic services of painter Sophie Matisse (that would be the great-granddaughter of Henri Matisse), he released 50 hand-painted bottles and boxes for the holiday season, allowing would-be collectors the ability to choose which of the seven fragrances in his L’Oeuvre Noire line to put inside. At $1,500 each, they aren’t cheap, but so it goes for investment pieces. The bottles are available at select Saks Fifth Avenue stores and Bergdorf Goodman in New York City for a limited time.
If you have a few thousand dollars to burn this holiday season, Chanel has the answer for what to get the No. 5 lover in your life: that would be No. 5, supersized. The French brand is releasing three special-edition bottles of the classic scent, in 225, 450, and 900 ml sizes, the latter of which equals approximately four cups of the floral blend—enough fragrance to last for many Christmases to come. Previously only available by special order through Paris, the gigantic flacons will be sold exclusively at Saks Fifth Avenue in New York City.
If you managed to avoid the lure and the lines of Black Friday, you’re not in the clear just yet as far as holiday shopping temptation goes. Today is Cyber Monday, when online retailers hope to cash in with their own version of early-morning openings and in-store sales. To help you safely satisfy your beauty product lust in these trying economic times, allow us to direct your attention to www.beautyencounter.com (the name similarity to our own daily musings is purely coincidental). In addition to free shipping on its myriad makeup, skincare, and deluxe gift set offerings, the site, which relaunched last month, also sells perfume sample bottles at a fraction of their retail cost. A full, albeit unboxed, slightly scratched flacon of Thierry Mugler’s Angel thus rings in at a cool $35.90, rather than $68. And a tester bottle of Chanel’s Allure eau de parfum, in perfect working order, sans cap, is $85 rather than $110. They also offer miniature collectible fragrances, some of which are priced under $10, so you can live beyond your means while staying perfectly within your budget.
Some people have a special stuffing recipe they break out at the holidays, while others might partake in, say, a misguided sweater-giving habit that should really be replaced by a gift card at this point (you know who you are). Estée Lauder is in the business of making limited-edition compacts to celebrate the season, 30 of them to be exact, available for your stocking-stuffing pleasure. On offer this year is a collection of solid perfumes created by a team of costume jewelry makers, as well as one Jay Strongwater, who added six of his own enamel and stonework pieces to the mix. Featured fragrances include Estée Lauder Beautiful, Beyond Paradise, Pleasures, Pure White Linen, White Linen, Youth Dew, and the brand’s latest release, Sensuous.