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How to buy perfume as a gift (and which releases are hot right now)

Buying perfume for someone else need not be a risky move, with a few considerations.

At this time of year our thoughts are often dominated by what to give who, for Christmas. 

Buying your friends or loved ones a new fragrance is undoubtedly a beautiful and special option, but many are put off by the potential to choose something the recipient might not like, or wear. 

We’re here to encourage you to put that thought behind you because there is a very special reason why perfume is the perfect choice.

Our olfactory system (our sense of smell) is directly connected to the limbic system, a part of the brain responsible for interpreting memories and emotions.

Our reaction to scent is related to the emotions we connect with an aroma, formed when we initially come across it, or with frequent exposure to it.  It triggers a memory which in turn reminds us of how we felt and as a result has an influence on our mood and behaviour.

In essence? Buy someone special a fragrance and when they wear it, they’ll always be reminded of you. 

The best new releases: Shimmering white floral Elie Saab Le Parfum Lumiere;  Sweet and spicy Eau de Parfum L’Interdit Rouge; Sparkling Tiffany & Co Rose Gold EDP; Heady Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia; Creamy warm almond floral Marc Jacobs Perfect Intense; modern and musky Byredo Young Rose

So how to get it right? There are a few approaches.

Try one of these:

  • Consider a perfume they like and its type  – floral, green, opulent or sensual etc –  to find the type they gravitate towards. A little online searching will turn up fragrance groupings with similar selections.
  • Consider their personality – are they loud and outgoing or shy and quiet? The former may be more willing to wear a fragrance that makes a statement and is bold, the latter may prefer something subtle and nuanced. 
  • Seek out a perfume with elements of a shared experience or personal link – say, Zesty citrus that reminds of that longed-for Italian seaside getaway (aka Tom Ford’s Neroli Portofino EDP), or vanilla or coffee (YSL Black Opium Extreme EDP) because you know they love sweet treats. 
  • Look for a new version of the person’s signature or much-loved scent. In perfumery, a ‘flanker’ is industry-speak for a new fragrance that shares some attributes of an already existing hit or brand, be it simply the name, the slightly tweaked appearance of its vessel or its scent composition. In movie terms, flankers are akin to sequels or spin-offs.  Some are more concentrated or intense formulations of previous releases, like the brand new Valentino Voce Viva Intensa EDP, Giorgio Armani My Way Intense EDP and Marc Jacobs Perfect EDP. 
  • A discovery set of trial size perfumes from a single brand offers the opportunity for the recipient to try and wear a number of options. Try the ones from Abel, Frédéric Malle, Maison Margiela and Floral Street. 
  • Ask an expert. Experienced staff in dedicated beauty and department stores are well versed in the most popular perfume groupings and which new arrivals fit into which grouping, so they are likely to be able to advise on something similar to a fragrance your recipient already likes. 
  • Consider a bestseller. Counter staff will be able to pinpoint both classic, well-liked scents – Narciso Rodriguez For Her is a sure bet – and new arrivals that are sought-after right now, like Gucci Flora Gorgeous Gardenia and Rochas Girl. 
  • A surprising scent idea can be an option if you’re unsure they will wear your selection. There are some inventive options now, like the perfume paintbrush from Jo Loves, a Diptyque car diffuser or a Jo Malone hair mist or room spray.

Patrick Ta’s glow-filled makeup collection finally available Down Under

As one of Hollywood’s most in-demand makeup artists, Patrick Ta is known for a very particular, sculpted and glowy look. 

Famed for using soft, radiant and monochromatic tones, his looks are extremely influential among young Hollywood, particularly among the models and celebrities that make up his client list. 

Not surprisingly, in 2019 he launched his own makeup line of pro-quality products he used on clients for their red carpet events. The initial launch prioritised illuminating products like a glowing face mist, glowing body oil, lip gloss and even a ‘She’s Extra’ folding fan to use while setting makeup and encouraging liquid liner to dry. The range has since expanded significantly to include a number of other releases but has long been hard to get a hold of Down Under, available primarily in the US and the UK since its launch.

Now however, the products he uses to glam the likes of Camilla Cabello, Adriana Lima, Gigi Hadid and Olivia Munn are finally available in NZ and Australia, thanks to the arrival of his makeup collection at Sephora.

Patrick Ta Beauty offers a range of blush, bronzer eyeshadow, and contouring products that deliver a radiant and often glossy finish that’s perfectly timed for a season in the sun. 

“I love highlighters that look luminous, glossy, wet and also stay and photograph well, Ta told The Hollywood Reporter of his desires for his first products.

“I usually have to mix like a powder and a cream and a setting spray,” Ta explains of his Dewy Milk Mist face spray that has fine particles that “make your skin look wet” without harsh lines.

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A post shared by Makeup Artist Patrick Ta (@patrickta)

He also loves a bit of body glow, something that will suit us well with summer on its way.

“I love when my clients are on the red carpet and they look back at the camera and you can see their shoulders. And if that shoulder is not glowing, and matching the cheekbone, it just irritates me. The body should be just as yummy as the face,” he said.

Images: @PatrickTa