A little bottle of fragrance is a highly coveted gift, and with good reason. “Olfactory stuff is so inside of you. You can’t escape it when you smell something and it connects you with something special,” says Eric Buterbaugh, founder of the namesake Los Angeles floral, fragrance and candle brand. “I watch people trying stuff on and you can see in their face when they hit something that reminds them of something from when they were little or their grandmother or something. And you just watch this warm glow wash over them.”
It’s this instinctual quality that makes fragrance a great gift for that someone special, albeit one that doesn’t come without risks. Before making the trip to the perfume counter, take a minute to examine your relationship with the recipient. Are you close enough to warrant the individual thinking of you every morning as she or he applies a fragrant mist to the wrist? No? Then play it safe with a scented candle, an equally luxurious option, which brands such as Buterbaugh’s and Christian Dior have added to their repertoire. If your recipient already wears a signature scent, it’s time to explore special holiday offerings, such as Chanel’s limited-edition red glass bottle of No 5.
EB Florals Floral Oud Gardenia, from $450 at Saks Fifth Avenue (saksfifthavenue.com).
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