Perfume Gift Guide

Jessica Matlin, deputy beauty editor at Cosmo, sniffs out the stories behind the latest perfumes to help you pick the perfect fragrance for your special someone this holiday season.

Excerpts from a fragrance editorial, Message In a Bottle, in Cosmopolitan Magazine, December 2016 issue.

Jessica Matlin - Cosmopolitan Deputy Beauty Editor

Message In a Bottle

"Fragrance seems like the perfect gift... until you start sniffing and second guessing what your besties want to smell like. Another way to pick: Let the special story behind each of these scents inspire your choice."
-- Jessica Matlin, Deputy Beauty Editor Cosmopolitan | Read more @


Think Pink - Legendary designer Christian Dior once said the color "symbolizes happiness" - the reason Miss Dior (and its iterations) are touched with blush as a complement to the rose notes.

Pattern Play - Houndstooth, etched into the bottom of this bottle, has appeared in packaging since 1950, a nod to the motif's popularity at the time.

Miss Dior Absolutely Blooming - Floral musk, 1.7 oz. / $94,
Top notes - Raspberry, pomegranate, blackcurrant, pink peppercorn
Heart notes - Grasse rose absolute, may rose, rosa Damascena, peony accord
Base notes - White musk accord

Charlotte Tilbury Scent of a Dream

Charlotte Tilbury
Scent of a Dream


Love Potion - "Display this, invite romance," says Tilbury, who incorporated copper - which has long been associated with Venus, the love goddess - into the bottle design.

Daily Zen - The bottle's silhouette - a pointy top and belled-out bottom - resembles the meditation pose in a chakra diagram, which pinpoints the body's energy centers for spirituality, power, and sex (among others). Add confidence-boosting notes of lemon and black pepper and you'll start the day centered.

Scent of a Dream - Chypre floral, 1.7 oz. / $100,
Top notes - Lemon, peach, black pepper, saffron, mandarin, bergamot
Heart notes - Tuberose, jasmine, frankincense, hedione, violet, muguet, orange flower, rose oil, tea rose, green ivy, magnolia
Base notes - Iso E Super, fire tree, patchouli, ambroxan, precious woods, cistus, amber, castoreum, musks


Style File - The shape resembles the way YSL's Le Smoking tuxedo jacket (a classic, introduced in 1966) squares off a woman's shoulders.

Tied Up - A velvet bow - a #TB to the one that balanced the masculinity of the smoking jacket - softens the sultry floral's shape.

Yves Saint Laurent Mon Paris - Floral chypre, 1 oz. / $70,
Top notes - Strawberry, raspberry, bergamot, calone
Heart notes - Pear, orange flower, jasmin sambac, white peony, datura
Base notes - Patchouli, white musk, ambrox, cedarwood, crystal moss


Gender Fluid - Parker wanted this to look as edgy as it smells. Cue the whiskey-inspired hue, a bottle that's more old-fashioned flask than fancy flacon, and a strip of gaffer's tape to mimic a haphazardly placed piece of electrical tape.

Sarah Jessica Parker Stash SJP - Woody aromatic, 1.7 oz. / $75,
Top notes - Grapefruit zest, black pepper, sage
Heart note - Cedarwood atlas, patchouli, ginger lily, pistachio
Base notes - Olibanum, massoia wood, vetiver, musk


Gilded Age - The inspo behind Daisy isn't the flower (the bloom doesn't even smell!). It's Jacobs' favorite literary character - the bubbly Daisy Buchanan of The Great Gatsby - who helped inspired the playful strawberry and violet mix.

Marc Jacobs Gold Daisy Shine Edition - Floral, 3.4 oz. / $105,
Top notes - Wild strawberry, violet leaves, ruby red grapefruit
Heart notes - Violet petals, jasmine, gardenia
Base notes - Vanilla infusion, musks, white woods


Très Chic - Chanel No. 5 may be the most iconic fragrance in the world, but one detail flies below the radar: The cap's shape mirrors the Place Vendôme. (This citrus version - the fifth No.5 - is the lightest.)

Chanel No.5 L'Eau - Floral, 3.4 oz. / $132,
Top notes - Lemon, mandarin, bergamot, neroli, aldehydes
Heart notes - May rose, ylang-ylang, jasmine
Base notes - Cedar, white musk, sandalwood


Coat Tale - Can't spring for a Burberry trench? This hand-tied ribbon is made of the same gabardine fabric...apropos, as the scent captures the aroma of a rainy London garden.

Brilliant! - Spiked with shimmer, this scent is an easy way to wear the "glitter tears" that Burberry models rocked on fall runways.

My Burberry Festive Edition - Floral, 3 oz. / $125,
Top notes - Sweet pea, bergamot
Heart notes - Geranium, golden quince, freesia
Base notes - Rain-tipped damask, centifolia rose, patchouli

Missoni Eau de Toilette Fragrance

Missoni Eau de Toilette


Affordable Art - Color is fused throughout the fruity fragrance's bottle, using a high heat process called sublimation. It creates a watercolor-like blend that looks like Venetian glass. (Bonus: No two bottles are alike!)

Missoni Eau de Toilette - Fruity floral, 3.4 oz. / $94,
Top notes - Blood orange, nashi pear, pink berries
Heart notes - Freesia, peony, rosewater orpur
Base notes - Heliotrope, white cedar wood, georgywood

(Matlin, Jessica. "Message in a Bottle." Cosmopolitan Dec. 2016: 152-155)

Photo of Jessica Matlin © Cosmopolitan

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