I think if you’ve ready any of my posts you’ll have the distinct impression that I love, nay adore, my food. You may not have got my great love of fragrance, but for me the two things go hand in hand, as great recipes in both are based on great ingredients. So in my mind great food lovers should adore great fragrances. A slight variation on my usual ideas on gifts for food lovers, but here’s some suggestions on fragrant gifts for foodies this winter.
1. For a bit of zing, and for lovers of Asian food, then I would recommend Origins Ginger. Rich, warm but not overpowering, this is the real stuff, freshly cut, rather than the dried, powdered stuff going into baking. I’d go full out and order the Ginger Treats Gift Set which would give you top to toe ginger gorgeousness.
2. For those who like a bit of the sweet stuff, then I would try Laura Mercier’s Marron Glaces. Not too sticky, you’ll find notes of mirabelle and hazelnut leaves (unusual but gorgeous in my book) plus vanilla and amber. It’s going to be a warm, rich and comforting smell without being sickly sweet. If you need more sweetness, then Laura also does some great products in Creme Brulee and the new Creme de Pistache is smelling good too.
3. A tough one, what to recommend in vanilla? I love vanilla, but we’re talking about great vanilla and not vanilla essence. As in cooking, in fragrance there are some really cheap and nasty things masquerading as vanilla. That said, when I’m in France I always pick up Lait de Vanille shower gel from Le Petit Marseillais, which is a lovely creamy vanilla scent. I think if there was only one, then you could do a lot worse than Vanilia from L’Artisan Parfumeur. This is a loud fragrance, not given over to subtlety but quite something for a vanilla lover!
4. For spice lovers, then I would recommend Noir Epices from Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle. I love this whole collection of fragrances by some of the greatest perfumers alive, and this one is a masterpiece by Michel Roudnitska. It’s like a trip through a spice market in the Orient, with notes of nutmeg, cinnamon, cloves and pepper. More raw spice than baked goods, it works for a man or a woman, and is distinctive and memorable. It’s also not available everywhere, so could become a real signature fragrance.
5. For something a bit fresher but not sweet, then I’m going for a classic that’s been reissued, and that’s Gin Fizz from Lubin. With notes of bergamot and lemon tempered with juniper, you’ll smell fresh and summery. As opposed to like someone has thrown a G and T over you! Great for summoning up summer days, even in the midst of winter!
6. For something just rich, lush, slightly dirty but with sweetness (and mainly because this is on my wishlist) it has to be Tobacco Vanille by Tom Ford. Preferably hand delivered by Tom please. The name is slightly misleading, in that it has notes of dried fruits, honey and spices with the sweetness and earthiness of fresh tobacco leaf, all with a bit of pure vanilla thrown in. Whenever I pass by a Tom Ford counter, I always have a spritz of this. It’s not subtle, but it is gorgeous.
So, half a dozen choices that combine beautiful food notes, without straying over into sticky sweetness. If you want that, then I would go through the Philosophy range. Enough sugar in there to give a dentist heart failure.