Christmas/Hanukkah Women’s Fragrance Gift Guide

My apologies for being away so long but with the holidays coming up and code freezes encroaching (which drives everyone involved with software development crazy) I’ve gotten behind in posting.  Nevertheless, I’m back with what I hope will be a very helpful and inspiring post involving the touch aspect of fragrance gifting for the holidays for that special woman in your life.  My fragrance recommendations for gifting the men in your life haven’t changed since my Father’s Day article.

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! Bring on the fragrance!

Merry Christmas and Happy Hanukkah! Bring on the fragrance!

I realize that fragrance is a very individual thing.  However, my experience has been there are some fragrances within groups that hold appeal to everyone, and are not as likely to offend everyone around you.  The fragrances I will recommend in this post are either owned by me, or spoken highly of by those with a nose for fragrance and passion for fashion.

Clean and Bright

Perfect for formal settings yet interesting enough to make you stand out, clean and bright fragrances inspire smiles and generate compliments.  Consider these fragrances for someone who likes a fragrance that is memorable but not heavy or ‘offensive’.

Body by Victoria 

Marchesa Parfum d’Extase

Versace Bright Crystal

Coach Legacy


For that ‘I can’t quite place it but I love that scent’ women, complex fragrances offer a wonderful lingering scent that people can’t seem to place.  Be unforgettable with these scents.

Hanae Mori

Gucci Guilty Intense

Acqua di Gioia

Vince Camuto


For the woman who seems to have it all under control or at least gives the appearance as such, go for a fragrance as sophisticated as she is.

Guerlain Shalimar

Bulgari Jasmin Noir

Michael Kors MICHAEL

Vera Wang


Sometimes a floral fragrance isn’t desired.  For those women who prefer their scents more spice than floral based, try one of these lovelies.

YSL Opium

Calvin Klein Obsession

Guerlain Samsara

Chanel Chance


These are great fragrances for women who aren’t big into wearing perfume.  Fresh scents evoke memories of fresh fruits, therapeutic essential oils and exhilarating ‘greens’.

Dolce and Gabanna Light Blue

Tom Ford Lavender Palm

Philosophy’s Living Grace

Clean Original


For teens and tweens, scents that are close to that of baked goods or simple notes such as vanilla are perfect choices and not too grown-up but are definitely not kid’s stuff. Fresh scents work as well for this age group.

Prada Candy

Fresh Lemon Sugar

Aquolina Pink Sugar

Philosophy’s Pure Grace

Fragrances to AVOID!!!

I personally do not favor gifting anyone with Chanel No 5 because it is a very heavy and very rich fragrance that doesn’t smell good on everyone (including myself).  Dior’s Poison is another heavy fragrance that unless you know for sure the woman you are shopping for wants it, please do not consider buying it.

As a public service I must warn you that no matter how slick the advertising, how pretty the pictures or how big of a fan you/your mom/your daughter/your mother -in-law is, please, do NOT purchase any ‘celebrity’ fragrance.  These include such scents as the infamous Lady Gaga’s Fame, Niki Minaj’s  Pink Friday and any fragrance with Beyonce or Kim Kardashian’s name on it.

So dear readers, are there any other fragrances I haven’t metioned that you think are great gifts?  Any to add to the ‘avoid at all costs’ list?  Please do drop a line and let me know.

Preview: Tom Ford Fall 2012

I daresay Tom Ford has knocked it out of the park with his Fall 2012 beauty offerings!


From left: Dominatrix nail lacquer, Emerald Lust eyeshadow quad, Aphrodesiac lipstick

Tom Ford Fall 2012 blesses us with a palette of strong jewel-toned colors which is a wonderful exception to the usual sage greens and dusky browns from most other makeup brands.  As I like wearing royal purple, kelly green and deep pinks in the fall, I chose the products I felt I would use most and go with what I wear. Dominatrix is a gorgeous jewel-toned dark purple with gold-bronze shimmer.  The Emerald Lust palette (which I think should have been titled Teal Lust) combines a seafoam green, royal blue and blue-green shimmer shade with a sparkly white shade.  And Aprodesiac,  a stunning fuchsia pink, is the perfect strong pink lipstick to go with those having cool skintones (much nicer than Flamingo).


Emerald Lust eye shadow palette by Tom Ford for Fall 2012

Tom Ford is a straight-up luxury product.  The nail polishes flow beautifully, the eye shadows are nicely pigmented and made in Italy (where the best powders are made) and the lipsticks are so insanely pigmented and wear so well it is my favorite ‘brown girl friendly’ go-to lipstick.

Tom Ford Fall 2012 collection is available now at, and their freestanding stores.


Dominatrix nail lacquer by Tom Ford for Fall 2012


Aprodesiac lipstick by Tom Ford for Fall 2012

Lust Must: Tom Ford lipstick

Tom Ford knows how to seduce a girl.

The beauty world is abuzz about Tom Ford‘s very exclusive, very expensive beauty collection. His lipsticks, priced at $48 each go on so smooth and seductive, it will have you digging through your purse for the money or plotting how to beg, borrow or steal to get one. I haven’t bought yet but had the fortune of swatching a few at Neiman Marcus last week.


From top on NW43 skin: Black Orchid, Violet Fatale, True Coral

Jam packed with murumuru butter, these lipsticks are VERY moisturizing. I daresay that even with the lighter color offerings you would get a ‘my lips but better’ look alone or w/ lip liner for more emphasis, than the dreaded Tyrone Biggums look.

Are these lipsticks worth the price? Tom Ford is a couture label with the associated high quality inference so worth isn’t the issue here. Is it worthy of its price. Definitely yes! But I feel Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique offers just as pigmented a range for only $35 and you get the cool Bond Girl single hand opening mechanism that seduces geek girls like me.

My faves? Definitely Violet Fatale and True Coral. Black Orchid is nice but Guerlain’s Rouge Automatique in ‘Nuit d’Amour’ is about the same shade and lasts longer.


Black Orchid


Black Orchid lipstick by Tom Ford with Make Up For Ever Aqua Cream in #23 (grass green)