Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Christmas Gift Shopping part 2: perfume discovery giftsets

In the mad rush to Christmas shopping (or Hannukah or whatever it is you fete) the choices seem endless and the possibility for an error in judgement infinite. I'm trying to make this easier on you by cherry picking some products that will allow for a presentable festive season gift that shows the giftee they matter and will make it easier on you to shorten your browsing history and legwork. You can find them tagged under Christmas Gift Shopping on these pages. Today, it's perfume discovery sets!

I pinched this photo from The Non Blonde.
I have found that while perfume is a highly desirable (and indeed popular) choice of a gift, when offering it you're always met with that awkward moment of inward wonder: will it go down as something enjoyed or will it just gather dust on the bathroom shelf? This is why I highly recommend discovery sets. These are usually small coffrets that for the price tag of a big perfume bottle they give the option to test and wear a few different fragrances. Inevitably not everything will appeal in the same way, but the odds of pleasing are exponentially increased. It is essential that the set includes rather substantial bottles/atomisers size-wise; 7ml and up is the way to go, as anything less might appear as skimpy or mean-spirited.

Niche perfume companies have a few of those sets to choose from and indeed my selection comes via this market share because I just find that, with the prices what they are, niche perfume shopping is a riskier bet for most people from an initial money outlay point of view. The ones I recommend below are my personal selection (non affiliated) and I think they'd make a very fetching gift. Take a moment to explain to the person receiving it how you think that partaking in a luxury is a journey of personal discovery...

First one comes from L'Artisan Parfumeur. The Discovery Set they have prepared for Christmas 2013 has a selection of their best-sellers which might appeal to both women and men and caters to different tastes: from the musky clean and tart classic Mûre et Musc, the ethereally floral La Chasse aux Papillons, the woody, milky goodness of Premier Figuier and the more narcotic floral Nuit de Tubéreuse (the latter is the only Eau de Parfum in a collection of Eau de Toilette spray tubes of 7ml each). It's a 35GBP/40 euros/60$ value, available through the brand's site and at L'Artisan boutiques.

Second one comes from Neela Vermeire Creations (shown on the top of post). The glass travel sprays are cute, with the Ashoka wheel logo on the label, and look big enough to last you a while; they're 10ml each. Plus they come beautifully packaged in an organtina pouch. The fragrances themselves are g-o-r-g-e-o-u-s. (Need I repeat myself? Check out the Neela Vermeire Creations Trayee, Mohur and Bombay Bling reviews on the links). Available through the official e-boutique. (please note however that the Discovery Set contains a sample of the newest Ashoka eau de parfum, but the Discover your India sample packs do not). The Neela Vermeire Creations discovery set retails at 85-90 euros.

The third one is from Parfums MDCI: Very credible perfumes from a brand worth checking out, but this discovery kit save you the Roman bust "caps" of the regular bottles which encumber the purse as well as the eye. The one on parfumsmdci.free.fr is approximately $120USD for a set of five fragrances in 10ml screw-top glass bottles.

Happy shopping!


  1. i'd be delighted to receive any of these! tremendous fun...

  2. NFS,

    yeah, aren't they? I have one of those and think the other two would be fab too.

  3. I love these too. The Mona di Orio roller ball pack is excellent and so is the Ormonde Jayne.
    Portia xx

  4. Portia,

    thanks for commenting and offering suggestions!

    Ormonde Jayne had been my first set, no less because I own a set, but aren't those all in the same scent within the discovery set? That means 4x10ml of the same fragrance negating the thrill of getting more experiences in one gift. Or I may be mistaken and it might be like the assorted flavors they do chez Hermes for the boutique scents (alas, only for the first four issues do they mix the scents last I checked)

    I need to try the rollerball pack by MdO. Haven't even seen it. Thanks!!

  5. Mistake: "Ormonde Jayne had been my first thought"
    (my thought was quicker than my fingers)


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