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
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.
2. Arquiste for J. Crew No. 57
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
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!
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.
5. Balenciaga B.
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.
6. Yves Saint Laurent Black Opium
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.
7. Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb Snowflake
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.
8. Calvin Klein Reveal
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.
9. Bottega Veneta Knot
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.
10. Bond No. 9 New York Sandalwood
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.
11. Sisley Eau de Soir
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.
12. Victoria's Secret Scandalous
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
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
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.
15. Clinique Happy Heart Charity Fragrance
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.
16. Aerin Waterlily Sun
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.
17. Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
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.
18. Chloé Love Story
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.
19. Burberry My Burberry
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.
20. Philosophy Celebrate Grace
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.
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Have Your Say
Tried any of these scents? Found any others you're loving this season?