GROOMING By Belinda Morris
MOSCHINO GOLD FRESH COUTURE EDP
Moschino the man may no longer be with us, but his legendary wit and sense of playfulness lives on. Just in time for Christmas, for the woman with a keen sense of the ironic, is the third in a collection of fragrances housed in a cleaning spray bottle. Only this time the instantly familiar container has been tinted shiny gold, adding a further sardonic twist to the concept of ‘luxury-meets-the-everyday’.
So far, so gloriously high kitsch, but what of the fragrance itself? Nothing humdrum here… and also nothing ambiguously neutral, gender-wise. This is an unashamedly feminine fragrance – fruity top notes with a hint of mandarin, pear and white peach, a floral heart as it dries on the skin and then a lingering warmth of woods, vanilla and musk.
From £42 (30ml) – £80 (100ml) From department stores nationwide.
Buying fragrance is a cinch if you know what they wear, like, want… but what if you want to surprise? What if they fancy a change, but are dithering? What if they simply don’t know what they want? I have a suggestion – check out Floral Street. With a just-opened store in London’s Covent Garden, it is a collection of eight contemporary fragrances ‘powered’ by flowers, but with an emphasis on ‘ease, modernity and joy’. The creator is Michelle Feeney, who has 30 years experience working with cult global beauty brands.
They don’t talk ‘notes’ they talk ‘ingredients’ and the staff – floristas – will guide you (or perhaps the person receiving a gift from you) through those ingredients, the raw materials, beginning with the bottles themselves… which ones appeal. Each is different, with its own floral artwork. It’s a fascinating sensory journey that will either confirm your personal tastes, or surprise you. And while the collection has been conceived with women in mind, there’s no doubt that three of the fragrances have an edge that could be described as masculine or gender neutral – Black Lotus, Chypre Sublime and Ylang-Ylang Espresso.
Check out the packaging too – simple white pulp cartons that are totally recyclable and compostable and held together with reusable, boldly coloured bands. Candles and scented notebooks are also in Floral Street’s line-up and you can also make up a gift box.
£55 (50ml), £22 (10ml), £80 for a starter set.
www.floralstreet.com and the store: 30 King Street, London WC2 or branches of Harvey Nichols.
Meanwhile, if you’re still looking for a gift for someone – him or her – who loves something niche but you’re wavering when it comes to choosing the right thing, Miller Harris has very stylish solutions. In collaboration with the London-based fashion illustrator Julie Verhoeven, the brand has created a gift set for men and one for women.
Each box (hers is pink) contains three 14ml bottles of fragrance. His – Feuilles de Tabac (St Germain brasserie), Etui Noir (black leather jacket) and ‘cheeky’ Vetiver Insolent; hers – ‘refreshing buy smoky’ Tea Tonique, golden Lumiere Dorée the ‘intimate embrace’ of Rose Silence.
www.millerharris.com to buy online and for stockists nationwide
On the other hand, you may be looking for something to suit a man with laid-back New York attitude, in which case it’s probably Coach for Men that you’re looking for. Launched last Autumn, it’s unquestionably masculine from its smoky black-blue bottle, to the earthy, woody green fragrance itself. There’s spiciness there – with its heart of cardamom and coriander – but also a subtle sweetness. Upbeat, youthful, cool…