Perfume lasts longer than chocolate or flowers.
Whether you buy into Valentine’s Day in a big way or think the whole thing’s a sham, there’s still room in your life for a little romance, and what better way than in scent form – it lasts much longer than flowers or chocolates and is much more personal. So if you’re a partner looking for a pressie, or it’s a year for self-care (read: you’re single), here are some of my picks for perfumes to fall for.
Jo Malone London loves a celebration, and Valentine’s Day is no different. If you’re near one of its stores you can pre-order a 100ml fragrance boxed with fresh flowers or chocolates for the price of the bottle only (from $236), or add $10 and get a limited edition red cap popped on top (perfect for a lunar new year treat too). Peony & Blush Suede is one of my all time JM faves, packed with lush florals and a hit of red apple sweetness, but kept balanced with some sensual suede.
A personal favourite fragrance line is Maison Margiela’s Replica collection. Each utterly unique olfactory is inspired by a particular time, place and atmosphere. Infused with neroli oil, iris, tonka bean, vanilla bourbon extract and patchouli, the house’s Lipstick On EDT ($187 at Mecca for 100ml) nods to Chicago in 1952 and is inspired “by the intimate atmosphere of a boudoir where nocturnal beauty rituals take place.” Aka getting ready for a really good Valentine’s Day date.
The name alone of Valentino’s Valentina EDP ($116 for 30ml) kinda puts it in the running for an excellent Valentine’s Day option, but the pretty bottle and distinctly swoon-worthy hit of bergamot, jasmine, orange blossom and wild strawberries (described as an “irreverent Italian floral oriental) also helps its cause.
Another gorgeous Italian option is Dolce & Gabbana’s Rosa Excelsa EDP ($103 for 30ml). Swap out that cheesy single red rose for this beautiful rose-shaped bottle, complete with two different rose notes at its heart, filled out with water lily, papaya flowers and white daffodils and a base of light woods, earthy tones and spices.
Clinique’s Happy Heart ($103 for 50ml) gives an extra romantic tweak to the much-loved original Happy fragrance, with juicy mandarin and cucumber, heady water hyacinth and yellow primrose and a warm base of blonde woods.
Another new iteration of a beloved classic, with the addition of cloudberry, daisy tree petals and driftwood notes, Marc Jacobs’ Daisy Love EDP ($91 for 30ml) is sweet, sparkling and memorable. Big points also for the fabulous bottle.
For a moodier take on florals, New Zealand’s own cult perfumier Curionoir has Dark Bouquet ($265 for 50ml), an extrait de parfum with flashes of earth and citrus followed up with orange flower, cypress, jasmine and vetiver.
Contained in what is surely amongst the most iconic perfume bottles ever, the original Jean Paul Gaultier Classique EDT ($145 for 50ml) is romantic in both form and fragrance. First launched in 1993, the rose, orchid, star anise, ylang ylang, musk and orange blossom-imbued floral oriental has graced shelves and wrists ever since.