Perfume has always had very strong maternal associations for me. Whether it be my Grandmother’s signature Giorgio or the Shalimar my mother spritzed on for special occasions, perfume signified the decadent, feminine world of grown-up-women when I was a child.
As an adult, I more fully recognize the powerful emotional connection that can be inherent in a fragrance. A whiff of Giorgio brings memories of my grandmother rushing back, and helped me to feel more connected to her on my wedding day. Also, there is a certain raspberry body splash that still takes me back to summer camp in junior high.
It’s fitting that, with its feminine associations and powerful ability to evoke memories and emotions, perfume is such a popular Mother’s Day gift. Many moms have a favorite – but what if your Mom doesn’t or she would like a change? Or, as often happens when friends and family discover a signature fragrance, she has bottles and bottles of every eau-de-toilette and body lotion that her favorite brand makes?
That’s when it’s time to do some research – some sniffing out, if you will – of a new and different perfume for Mom this year.
Kristen Kelly, of the Beauty Addict blog, has some advice for those seeking to choose a fragrance for others.
“Fragrance should be a natural extension of one’s personal style, so when choosing one for someone else, it’s important to take personality into account,” she said. “Her style – casual, sporty, classic, preppy, trendy – offers some great clues as to what
kind of fragrance she’ll like.”
It can be harder to find a scent for sportier women, but for those “who would rather be on the tennis court than in the ballroom,” Kelly said to try clean, fresh fragrances with citrus or green notes, like Bvlgari Eau Parfumee Green Tea
or Jo Malone Grapefruit Cologne.
Just like a lot of the fragrances Kelly suggests are “big names” it can help to stick to a designer that your Mom likes, something classic that isn’t about to go out of style.
Marc Jacobs Blush Perfume is a unique scent for when you want to give something classic but totally not run-of-the-mill. The variety of notes – including a lot of jasmine, pink freesia, orange flower, musk and sandalwood – almost guarantees that it will hit on one she’ll love. I found it to fit the bill for “something different” and modern without being too different. And, who wouldn’t love getting a pretty pink box that says Marc Jacobs?
The Mother’s Day gift set ($80) comes with a 1.7 oz. Eau De Parfum Spray, a 6.7 oz. Body Lotion and a .17 oz Deluxe Perfume. It is available in-store only at Bloomingdales and Parisians.
Another name that no mom I know would turn down is Givenchy. Their Very
Irresistible Givenchy Summer Edition ($48 at Sephora) comes in a shiny pink box that makes it a perfect add-on to the list of scents for girlie-girls. It has the original Very Irrestistible Givenchy notes of roses and star anise, with a tart
citrus blend – lemon and Mandarin orange from Italy – and a savoury Baramot note. The scent is more classic for a Mom who prefers the finer things.
For women who want a more distinctive fragrance that can’t be found in every department store, Luckyscent is a great place to shop. They have new, fun scents from around the world often in funky packages. One of my favorites is the Pamplemousse by Agatha Paris ($52). The grapefruit, musk, lemon and white florals conjur up summer in a
Robin, author of the Now Smell Thisblog, likes the idea of giving gift sets of samples
along with a gift certificate.
“Sephora and Nordstrom both sell boxed sets that include samples of some popular fragrances along with a gift voucher that the recipient can exchange for a full sized bottle once she
has had a chance to try them all,” she said.
You could even do this on the cheap by collecting samples at the beauty counters at your Mom’s favorite department store (c’mon, they’re always dying to push them on you) and purchasing a gift certificate for that store. She doesn’t have
to buy fragrance with the certificate, but you’ve put a little extra thought and effort into the gift. She’ll probably enjoy this effort a little more than the Mother’s Day macaroni art of yore.
“I think perfume is a popular Mother’s Day gift because it’s an expression of femininity – delicate but strong, mysterious and beautiful,” Kelly said. “It’s a way for a woman to feel luxurious and pampered, and every mom should feel pampered on Mother’s Day. This is not the time for blenders, irons and vacuum cleaners.”