Impress Everyone at the Holiday Party with these Discovery Sets
It's that time of year again. That exciting, but sometimes dreaded, period during the holidays when you are faced with a packed calendar of parties amongst your friends, your co-workers, and even your extended families. You have secret Santas, white elephants, stocking stuffers, and a plenty of other potential gift-giving situations looming over you and you don't want to add to the endless year-after-year rotation of basic candles and grocery store wines. You want to bring something that stands out this year, that gift everyone is fighting for at the white elephant party.
Or, maybe you have someone special in your life that you'd like to spoil with something they may not be expecting. A little add-on gift of luxury but choice as well. Fragrance has the ability to check off all the boxes no matter the situation.
Sure, there's the classic array of gift options from Sephora, and they've made a lot of people happy over the past 10-15 years, but maybe this year is your chance to think outside of the...ahem...box. Try something different. Here are a few discovery kits we've found that are sure to impress the receiver but inspire them to experience new things as well.
Started in 2009 by husband-wife team of Daniela Caon and Roberto Drago, Laborottorio Olfativo is their passion project that aims to give the best noses in the industry creative freedom in the Eau de Parfums they create for the brand. Jeff and I have been widely impressed with all of the LO scents we’ve sampled so far and have quite a few on our wantlist. At $120 a bottle, they are selling high artistry at a great price compared to most niche perfumes on the market. We’re partial to Tonkade and Vanhera.
Initially started in 1923 by Blanche Arvoy and known for selling perfume to the dandies of Paris on Rue de la Paix, the brand was resurrected in 2006 and has become a mainstay favorite of perfume heads worldwide. We first fell in love with the brand through their patchouli scent Psychedelique and the unique fougere L’Art de la Guerre, and we found their discovery set to be a great value and exploratory experience. Their scents all have a recognizable house DNA but run the gamut in genre and notes.
Discovering Hiram Green’s fragrances has been an endlessly rewarding journey for us, the kind of experience that makes me fall in love with scent as an art form. These are naturally-derived scents spun into compositions so opulent, thoughtful, and nuanced that the perfumes become their own little universes. We added Moon Bloom and Arbole to our collections this year and I look forward to buying more. We’ve enjoyed our Hiram Green discovery set from Ministry of Scent immensely, and may order another now that re-launched the long retired scent Shangri La, which we haven’t gotten a chance to try yet. This is a discovery set not to be missed, and one that might make a great gift….but beware, Hiram Green is the kind of house that turns normal people into passionate fumeheads like us.
There is such an ease and grace to the elegance found within each scent from Sana Jardin that it could almost be mistaken as casual. Each fragrance starts off subtle yet refined, almost breezy, with an introductory note or two up top before the middle and base notes slowly join the party. Next thing you know, you have a full house rich with lively conversation and familiar friends. To us, we were immediately taken by the florals such as Revolution de la Fleur and Savage Jasmine, but were equally impressed by the uniquely beautiful take on Sandalwood found with Sandalwood Temple.
We have become such big fans of this extremely well-developed and well thought out house of luxury fragrances. Each one brings its own special nuances and experience with notes and accords that overlapped throughout the entire line. Inspired by the modern equestrian lifestyle, you will find pick up hints of leather, fields of grass, hay, and florals in each fragrance, all of which conjure up images of bright blue skies, rolling hills, and the sounds of galloping horses. The beautifully crafted and compact discovery set features three of our most recent favorite fragrances: Rotano, Macanudo, and the incredible, Canaan.
There have been a lot of buzzy new perfume house launches in the last few years, but one that deserves more hype is the Swedish niche perfume brand, Stora Skuggan. Their five scents are based on mythical stories, and honestly, we think they’re all knockouts. The highly unique Fantome de Maules even made a guest appearance in the movie Triangle of Sadness recently.