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Six seductive scents to give this holiday season

Rosiness revisited

The second scent to be released by the iconic fashion house, Balenciaga’s spicy new floral fragrance is a far cry from your grandmother’s perfume. Its classic rose base is enhanced with bitter drops of grapefruit, fiery cardamom and pink pepper. The result is distinctly modern and far from frivolous. Balenciaga Rosabotanica Eau De Parfum Spray, $115 for 50 ml at Holt Renfrew (

A salty escape

This luxe unisex scent from the Hermessence collection is warm and aromatic with notes of hazelnut, cinnamon, bergamot, vetiver and oakmoss. Designed by Hermès nose Jean-Claude Ellena, it’s a fragrance that is meant to evoke the sea. So if the idea of spending the holidays in a chic beach house is more appealing than dealing with airport crowds, this is the juice for you. Hermès Hermessence Épice Marine, 250 for 100 ml at Hermès boutiques across Canada (visit for locations).

The high-glycemic hit

Thierry Mugler’s best-selling fragrance is back for the holidays, this time in the form of a pursesized star-shaped bottle adorned with Swarovski crystals. Though it may bear new wrapping, the gourmand scent is as sugary as ever, with notes of honey, red berries, vanilla and caramel. Thierry Mugler Angel Limited Edition Refillable Black Brilliant Star, $98 for 25 ml at Hudson’s Bay, Sephora ( and Shoppers Drug Mart locations across Canada.

A splashy spritz

This sweet floral from Versace is as flashy as a cocktail dress designed by Donatella (the scent is reportedly based on the chief designer’s favourite floral accords). Capitalizing on the popularity of the first Bright Crystal release, Absolu is a more intense version, composed of fruity top notes, a peony-andmagnolia heart and a musk-andamber base. Versace Bright Crystal Absolu Eau de Parfum Spray, $129 for 90 ml at Hudson’s Bay (

A natural fit

Inspired by the scent of water on a woman’s skin, this serene aquatic floral built around lotus, freesia, rose and lily never overpowers, thanks to an understated woody base. Hints of musk and amberseed warm the fragrance up ever so slightly, but it still retains its lightness. Issey Miyake Ode to Nature Limited Edition L’Eau d’Issey Lotus Eau de Toilette Spray, $116 for 90 ml at Hudson’s Bay.

A dynamic duo

Blending the effortless style of Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen, Nirvana White and Nirvana Black, the duo’s debut fragrances, fuse uptown sophistication with downtown edge. Nirvana Black is the darker, more complex scent; borrowing from traditional men’s notes, the blend is heavy on sandalwood. The brighter Nirvana White has a fresh, peony-heavy bouquet. The catch is choosing between them (or splurging on both). Elizabeth and James Nirvana White and Nirvana Black, $90 for 50 ml each at Sephora.

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