How to buy the perfect perfume this Christmas

Christmas gift guide: Top tips on choosing the perfect fragrance for a loved one this festive season

We all love to find a bottle of perfume under the tree at Christmas.

And with a staggering £790 million expected to be spent on perfume sales in the UK alone this year, many of us will be waking up to a fragrance gift this festive season.

How to buy perfume for your loved one this Christmas ©RexBut with the choice of scent being such a personal decision, how do you know which one to choose for a loved one?

Here Emma Leslie, Beauty Editor and Fragrance Expert at Escentual.com, reveals her top tips on fragrance buying exclusively to Yahoo! Lifestyle.

[Related: Top 10 fragrances for her this Christmas]

The first point to consider before you arrive at the perfume counter this Christmas is the recipient's personality.

"When buying a fragrance for someone, you could get really technical and go for scents that are regarded as the best for the hair colour or skin tone," Emma told us.

Chistmas gift ideas: Choosing a scent to suit a loved one isn't as hard as you may think ©Rex"[But] I find this approach can be a little broad. Instead, consider their personality - are they outgoing? Do they love vintage? Maybe they're a lover of designer style.

"Your recipient's little quirks are a great indicator of the sort of scents that they might like."

You don't need to have a knowledge of what 'notes' are in your loved one's typical choice of scent either.

 [Related: Looking for Christmas gift ideas? Check out our Top 10 recipe books for Christmas]


According to Emma, having an idea of what fragrances they've liked before is enough to go on.

She explained: "If you know what she's worn in the past, then you're on to a winner - look for new fragrances from that same brand, or do a bit of note matching to find a new fragrance that is similar.

"If they've liked classic, feminine floral fragrances in the past, [then you or the shop assistant will know to] look for notes like rose, neroli, jasmine and lily."

Consider the age of the person receiving the gift too. Emma says that different age groups tend to lean towards different scents, with younger generations typically opting for sweeter smells.

"For younger, fruiter or gourmand scents, choose grapefruit, cherry, chocolate and raspberry," she offered.

"Sportier citrus types will have bergamot, petitgrain and lemon, while voluptuous oriental scents will be imbued with spicy, woody notes like cinnamon, nutmeg, vanilla, sandalwood and patchouli."

But if that all sounds too much to consider, then it's always worthwhile remembering that classic scents provide great gifts too.

Emma added: "As a general rule of thumb (and if you have no idea where to start), you can't go wrong with a classic fragrance.

"Something that is timeless, feminine and well-loved like Dior J'Adore, Jean Paul Gaultier Classique or Marc Jacobs Daisy should go down a treat."

[Related: Find your perfect dress for the festive season in our Top 50 Christmas party dresses]


Perfume sales are expected to be booming this Christmas, with Escentual.com predicting a six per cent rise on last year's sales.

But for anyone feeling sceptical that giving the gift of perfume isn't a luxurious, thoughtful gift anymore can think again.

"Perfume is a real treat, and there's no better time to indulge than at Christmas," Emma told us. 

"There's normally a difference between your everyday perfume that you buy for yourself, and the more expensive scents that you are gifted at Christmas or on birthdays.

"The latter tend to come out only on special occasions, so they're forever associated with good times. Fragrance is a mnemonic - that's why it is so special!"

Tell us whether you'll be giving the gift of perfume this Christmas, over on Twitter now.

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