Your perfume has much to contend with this time of year, with damp wool and lashings of anti-frizz/root-boosting spray leading the charge.
Sisley Eau de Soir, €197/100ml
Sisley’s signature scent gets a limited-edition bottle for Christmas. The newly-sapphire flacon remains crowned by an 18-carat matte gold-plated stopper designed by Polish sculptor Bronislaw Krzysztof. Countess Isabelle d’Ornano was given the first bottle of Eau de Soir in 1990 by her husband and business partner Count Hubert. He created a bespoke floral composition centred on the Spanish lilac syringe, to prompt memories of her childhood in Alcazar. Its intense and romantic scent is enhanced by chypre, amber and musk. One for the lovers.
Elie Saab Le Parfum L’Edition Or €106/90ml
Elie Saab’s famously seductive fragrance is also getting a makeover with this limited gold incarnation. Like the Lebanese designer’s red-carpet goddess gowns, L’Edition Or is full-on glamour. Intense orange blossom, jasmine absolute and a rich patchouli heart, all packaged in a gilded flacon. The base is sweet with cedar and honey rose.
Bella Freud Je t’aime, Jane, €81.82/50ml
If the cursive on this bottle looks familiar, you’ve probably seen photos of Kate Moss, Lara Stone or Alexa Chung looking beatnik and chic in a Bella Freud sweater with the same logo. The designer loves Jane Birkin and attempts to capture her poetic spirit with this blend of jasmine, ylang ylang and orange blossom. A seductive base accord of black oud and sandalwood with a hint of powder-musk follows the wearer long after application.
Byredo Sunday Cologne, €95/50ml at www.byredo.com
Byredo is a Swedish fragrance brand with a so-cool-they’d-freeze-your-hand following that includes international rockers and designers. Re-launched this year, Sunday Cologne was originally called “Fantastic Man,” after the award-winning Dutch fashion magazine. FM style experts collaborated with Byredo’s Ben Gorham on this addictive, masculine scent that includes vetiver, incense and moss.
Aerin Iris Meadow, €115/50ml
Estée Lauder’s granddaughter Aerin continues to impress with her streamlined take on luxury for the mum-slash-entrepreneur who always look polished. Iris Meadows is a perfume for resolutely floral ladies, sweet and crisp as a pre-commute run in the country. Mandarin and blackcurrant blend with plenty of iris and green notes. And just a touch of musk please, we’re working.
Tom Daxon VSOP, €140 at www.tomdaxon.com
VSOP is sold as unisex but definitely smells like a man in a very nice suit to me. Despite the name, the scent is inspired by a setting in which cognac balloons are clinking rather than the drink itself. Its perfect for evening, of course, but a green citrus top-note makes the warm base of spices, woods and musks just light enough for day.
Annick Goutal Noël Perfumed Candle, €65/300g
Annick Goutal’s festive candle ensures a house smells like Christmas spirit. Start December right with a waft of orange and mandarin from Brazil. Siberian pine-bark, with its heavy but comforting scent of resin, really conceals a thousand pre and post-party sins. The mineral-wax set in gold and red-patterned glass with Goutal’s calligraphed logo also makes a lovely hostess present.
Product of the Month
Mary Kay TimeWise Repair Volu-Fill Deep Wrinkle Filler, €50
Rare is the product that claims to fill wrinkles now/reduce their appearance over time and then proves legitimate. Volu-Fill is my top pick from the ongoing trend for “blurred lines” serum.
The short-term results will always be flattering but do depend on how deep your wrinkles are your daily exertions, and your other skincare products.
The formula works best when it’s patted onto skin at the end of your morning routine.
Serums like this rely on silicone polymers to create a uniform base. These will wash off at the end of the day but Mary Kay’s formula is not without long-term benefits.
The anti-aging ingredients retinol, hyaluronic acid, and several soothing and cell-repairing ingredients are present in effective concentrations.
It is also worth noting that No7 Protect & Perfect Beauty Serum, perhaps the best-selling serum of this kind, contains more preservatives than effective skincare ingredients. The well-publicised University of Manchester study that likened Protect & Perfect Beauty’s collagen-stimulating power to that of the over-the-counter retinoid tretinoin was funded by Boots and done “blind” instead of “double-blind,” making the results less reliable.
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