If you want to contribute to making this world a better-smelling place, we suggest for the men in your lives, Héritage by Guerlain (1992). It is a relatively less well-known scent than some of the other Guerlain classics - like Vétiver and Habit Rouge - and is less well publicized than the more recent Homme, but it is one of the most refined and sensual scents available for a man...
Bonus point, it can - not with too much difficulty - be worn by a woman, we think, thanks to its rich, soft, precious, woody, iris trail.
We'll take this one anytime over Shalimar. Absolutely enchanting.
This, you could call a "scarf-perfume" as it wears particularly well on material. It was composed by Jean-Paul Guerlain. Key-word: refined (71,90€) Guerlain, online discounters.
The design of the flacon was inspired by le pendule de Foucault to signify the passing of time together with the enduring power of tradition.
Another great masculine fragrance is Déclaration by Cartier (1998). This year, for the Holidays, it comes wrapped in a stamped, genuine red leather envelope for a limited-time edition. Spices, gourmand Chaï tones and fresheness combine for a delectable, exotic perfume. You can't drink it, but you can wear it. Women will want to steal it, naturally. It was composed by perfumer Jean-Claude Ellena before he became the in-house nose for Hermès. If you like creamy woods, you'll succumb. Key-word: gourmand ($100); Nordstrom.
Bent on a similar mission as many perfumes but succeeding in a particularly stellar fashion at it, is the new Vétiver Fatal by Atelier Cologne (2012). Its sillage is mesmerizing. An infinitely sensual fragrance which develops overtime into a fatal weapon of seduction for your nose, and that of others, we are willing to bet. The Femme-Fatale myth applied to vetiver, only gentler in spirit. You could not, for example, imagine Lucrezia Borgia wearing it underneath her slitted sleeves -- it's much too wholesome. The perfume was composed by Ralf Schwieger who is currently the artist in residence at Mad Museum in New York City. Key-word: seductive. (39,50€ - 109€) Ateliercologne.com
From Serge Lutens comes a limited-edition sleek, black travel spray called Le vaporisateur tout noir (The all-black spray). It contains the perfume that opened the door to seemingly infinite variations on woods and peculiar fragrance atmospheres replete with unsaid things, Féminité du Bois (1992), a manifesto-perfume meant to reawaken and construct, for the contemporary nose, the feminine nature of woods dosed here at 60%. "A purse weapon - totally black - must be reloaded. And with what, if not perfume, the best way to trigger seduction?" says Serge Lutens. A faux feminine perfume, a real unisex scent. It was composed by Christopher Sheldrake and Pierre Bourdon. Key-word: mysterious ($135 - 2 x 30 ml refills); Us.sergelutens.com