Tuesday 11 December 2018

Mommy dearest - five favourite fragrances

Get out there fast and get her a fragrance, says our expert, who has five favourites

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense
Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense
L'Occitane Terre de Lumiere L'Eau
Vera Wang Embrace Periwinkle and Iris
Jo Malone London Primrose & Rye Cologne
Giorgio Armani Si Passione

Sarah Caden

It's not too late, if you've just realised that today is Mother's Day. Or thought your mother didn't care, until she told you to stop messing and give her the present. Or if you just got the memo that petrol-station flowers don't really count as flowers. Be assured, it's not too late to fix this, and we're on hand today to point out how it could be fixed with fragrance.

There was a time when a single signature fragrance could carry a person through their lives. It was the scent that carried into a room with them, and hung in the air around them like a part of their character. These days, as with most things, a lot of us have several different fragrances, all bottled beautifully, and all playing to different moods and elements of our personality. No one wants to be just one thing any more, perhaps, and that goes double for your mother.

Best Overall

Giorgio Armani Si Passione

Giorgio Armani Si Passione, €58, Boots; Brown Thomas; Debenhams; Arnotts; selected pharmacies nationwide

The bright-red bottle packs a punch and acts as a good hint at the fragrance within. The original Si combines fruit, spice and powerful jasmine. This Passione interpretation adds some vanilla and cedarwood to that mix, among other notes, for added drama and depth. It's heady, but also quite lively. "The bottle is like a big, red-hot nail polish," said a panellist, "and the perfume is equally elegantly powerful."

Best Intense Hit

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense

Coco Mademoiselle Eau de Parfum Intense, €97, Chanel counters nationwide

Coco Mademoiselle is Chanel's runaway hit, the fragrance designed to act as a little sister to Coco - which then outstripped her like a rebellious upstart. This Intense take on Coco Mademoiselle plays powerfully on the characteristics of both. It has the depth of the original Coco, but the sparkling quality of Mademoiselle, which has been achieved, they say, by playing with the patchouli, tonka bean and vanilla. "Very addictive," a panellist said. "It lasts for ages, so you get wafts all day, and it's so soft and satisfying."

Best Natural Wonder

Jo Malone London Primrose & Rye Cologne

Jo Malone London Primrose & Rye Cologne, €57, Brown Thomas; Arnotts

This year, the Jo Malone London spring theme is English Fields, a set of new limited-edition colognes that each combine florals with earthiness to a warm and outdoorsy effect. There are five fragrances in the collection, ranging from the sweet and frangipane-ish Honey & Crocus, to the fresh and budding Green Wheat & Meadowsweet. This Primrose & Rye scent lies in the middle; warm and sunny, but airy, too. "I love this," said one panellist. "It's like a sunny hug."

Best Fresh Start

L'Occitane Terre de Lumiere L'Eau

L'Occitane Terre de Lumiere L'Eau, €65, L'Occitane shops nationwide

This comes in a pale pink bottle and that kind of sums up the floaty and feminine quality of the fragrance. They say it's a summation of the scents and sensations of "the golden hour": the dawn in Provence, when the flowers open, and the air is light and dewy. There's bergamot and pink pepper, peony, and then, at the base, almond, tonka bean and white musk. Think flowery with a very warm foundation. "This is delicate, but that's not to say that it doesn't have staying power," said a panellist. "Creamy pink, is how I'd sum it up."

Best Elegant Addition

Vera Wang Embrace Periwinkle and Iris

Vera Wang Embrace Periwinkle and Iris, €30, selected department stores and pharmacies nationwide

If it's not for your mother today, this would make a very nice wedding perfume for someone. That someone might even be your mother, should she be planning her wedding. This is one of three new scents under the dress designer's name, all combining fruit, florals and warm base notes. This fragrance, with bergamot, mandarin, iris and vanilla, is pretty but edgy. "This is gently unusual," said one panellist.

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