The 20 Best Fragrances to Give (and Wear) This Holiday Season

Find a new signature scent or add to a fragrance wardrobe with these top picks.
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Michelle Villett
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Find a new signature scent or add to a fragrance wardrobe with these top picks.
Fragrance gifts

20 of the best fragrances this season.

Perfume makes for one of the most classic Christmas gifts. These are my top picks from what's on offer this season, from sexy to subtle to sweet.

1. Dolce & Gabbana The One Collector

Dolce & Gabbana The One Collector

Dolce & Gabbana The One Collector, $113

No wonder they're calling it a collector's edition. This exotic oriental floral fragrance comes in a vivid red bottle for the holidays, featuring a Greek-inspired gold coin imprint. The scent itself includes notes of bergamot, mandarin, lychee, peach, lily, jasmine, vanilla and musk.

Where to buy: Bloomingdale's, Hudson's Bay

2. Arquiste for J. Crew No. 57

Arquiste for J. Crew No. 57

Arquiste for J. Crew No. 57, $78

One of the most unique new fragrances of 2014 (as reviewed here) is niche perfumer Arquiste's No. 57 for J. Crew, a unisex blend of aged whisky, cinnamon and cedarwood notes. Perfect for winter nights out!

Where to buy: J. Crew

3. Tom Ford Velvet Orchid

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid

Tom Ford Velvet Orchid, $122

New this year to the oh-so-covetable Tom Ford fragrance lineup is Velvet Orchid, an oriental floral with notes of citrus, honey and rum. Dramatic, spicy and seductive. And that bottle is to die for!

Where to buy: Sephora, Nordstrom, Bloomingdale'sMacy's, Bergdorf Goodman, Amazon.com

4. Anna Sui La Nuit de Bohème Gold Edition

Anna Sui La Nuit de Boheme

Anna Sui La Nuit de Bohème Gold Edition, $88

The prettiest-looking fragrance of 2014 has to be this one, featuring a gilded rose design and a butterfly cap. The scent offers up the usual Anna Sui flirtiness (thanks to fizzy champagne citrus and blackberry notes), but rose, oud wood, vanilla orchid, patchouli and amber lend mystery and sensuality.

Where to buy: Nordstrom, Hudson's Bay, Amazon.com

5. Balenciaga B.

Balenciaga B.

Balenciaga B., $120

The latest from Balenciaga has a decidedly sophisticated vibe in both the scent itself, and the Art Deco-style packaging. Green and woody, it opens with lily of the valley and edamame accord before drying down to iris root, cedar, ambrette and woods.

Where to buy: Sephora, NordstromNeiman MarcusBergdorf Goodman

6. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium

Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium, $89

YSL has reinterpreted its iconic Opium fragrance as a sweeter gourmand, with notes of white florals, vanilla and—my fave—black coffee! And the glittering bottle is SO pretty.

Where to buy: Hudson's Bay, Selfridges

7. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Snowflake

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Snowflake

Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Snowflake, $128

This year's edition of the now-classic Flowerbomb scent has a shiny metallic snowflake enlacing the bottle. Inside, it's the ever-popular floriental blend of jasmine, rose, orchid and freesia on a patchouli base. If you haven't tried it yet, now is a great time to invest.

Where to buy: Sephora, NordstromNeiman Marcus, Saks Fifth Avenue, Bergdorf Goodman

8. Calvin Klein Reveal

Calvin Klein Reveal

Calvin Klein Reveal, $85

Calvin Klein's latest offering defines a brand new category in fragrance: the solar oriental. Meant to evoke the sensual scent of real skin, it includes notes of salt, pepper, sandalwood and musk. This is a great choice for someone who doesn't like heavy or fruity perfumes.

Where to buy: Sephora, NordstromMacy's, Hudson's Bay, ULTA Beauty, Amazon.com

9. Bottega Veneta Knot

Bottega Veneta Knot

Bottega Veneta Knot, $125

If you've ever been to the Italian coastline, then this bright fragrance will bring you back. Ultra-elegant and subtle, it's a blend of mandarin, neroli, lavender, rose, peony, cedarwood, musk and Tonka bean. Like I always say, there's just something about Bottega that smells expensive.

Where to buy: NordstromBloomingdale's, Lord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Amazon.com

10. Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood

Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood

Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood, $260

Niche New York fragrance brand Bond No. 9 is playing with single-note fragrances lately, such as this sandalwood concoction. Its creamy warmth is balanced by carrot, cardamom, fig and musk in the background. I always love everything they make.

Where to buy: Nordstrom, Saks Fifth Avenue

11. Sisley Eau de Soir

Sisley Eau de Soir

Sisley Eau de Soir, $310

This year's edition of the famous Eau de Soir features a vibrant blue and gold bottle in zebra print. Does it get more luxe than this?! Lily of the valley, oak moss and amber are the notes.

Where to buy: Nordstrom, Bloomingdale's, Holt Renfrew 

12. Victoria's Secret Scandalous

Victoria's Secret Scandalous

Victoria's Secret Scandalous, $58

Say what you will about Victoria's Secret, but their scents smell GOOD. The latest fruity-floral comes in a studded glass bottle, with notes of black peony, raspberry liqueur and praline.

Where to buy: Victoria's Secret

13. Giorgio Armani Sì Intense

Giorgio Armani Si Intense

Giorgio Armani Sì Intense, $80

Femme fatales will love the reinvented Sì, now in a deep black bottle and an intensified blend. The remixed scent now brings blackcurrant, wood and vanilla to the forefront as the key notes.

Where to buy: Hudson's Bay

14. Estée Lauder Modern Muse Chic

Estee Lauder Modern Muse Chic

Estée Lauder Modern Muse Chic, $90

A bolder and more daring follow-up to the original Modern Muse, the Chic version fuses contrasting floral and woody notes. They include jasmine, tuburose, musk and patchouli.

Where to buy: Sephora, Nordstrom, Neiman MarcusULTA BeautyEstée LauderLord & Taylor, Selfridges, Bergdorf Goodman, Amazon.com

15. Clinique Happy Heart Charity Fragrance

Clinique Happy Heart Charity Fragrance

Clinique Happy Heart Charity Fragrance, $39

Do good and smell great with this edition of Clinique Happy Heart, where $10 of the purchase price goes to Petra Nemcova's Happy Hearts Fund. The organization helps children around the world whose lives are impacted by natural disasters.

Where to buy: Macy's, Clinique.com

16. Aerin Waterlily Sun

Aerin Waterlily Sun

Aerin Waterlily Sun, $110

Add a little sunshine to a winter's day with the new floral green fragrance from Aerin Lauder. Waterlily is the star ingredient, obvi, but there's also bergamot, jasmine sambac and musk.

Where to buy: Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, Saks Fifth AvenueLord & Taylor, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Amazon.com

17. Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne

Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne, $60

Jo Malone takes us away to a windswept seashore with an earthy new fragrance. The fresh air inspired its salty notes, while rugged cliffs were interpreted with wood sage. As usual, it layers well with other Jo Malone scents.

Where to buy: Nordstrom, Neiman MarcusBloomingdale's, Bergdorf Goodman, Selfridges, Amazon.com

18. Chloé Love Story

Chloé Love Story

Chloé Love Story, $100

Judging from the bottle, you'd think the newest Chloé scent would almost be too sweet. But that's not the case at all—it's actually a clean and fresh concotion of neroli, orange blossom, jasmine and cedar notes.

Where to buy: Hudson's Bay, Holt Renfrew, Shoppers Drug Mart, Amazon.com

19. Burberry My Burberry

Burberry My Burberry

Burberry My Burberry, $98

The new Burberry scent is inspired by the brand's iconic trench coat, and captures the scent of a London garden after the rain (love this concept!). The delicate notes include sweet pea, bergamot, geranium, quince, freesia, patchouli and rose.

Where to buy: Sephora, NordstromMacy's, Lord & Taylor, ULTA Beauty, Selfridges

20. Philosophy Celebrate Grace

Philosophy Celebrate Grace

Philosophy Celebrate Grace, $55

The annual festive edition of Philosophy's much-loved Grace is called Celebrate. A creamy musk, it features lavender, water lily, freesia, rose, peony and sandalwood.

Where to buy: Sephora, NordstromMacy's, Lord & Taylor, ULTA Beauty, Dillards, Amazon.com

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Have Your Say

Tried any of these scents? Found any others you're loving this season?