I have fond memories of my late father giving my mother the most elegant Oscar de la Renta fragrance sets every Christmas, a tradition she tells me started in 1979 or 1980. “The story goes, my husband was in Eaton’s and he saw this group of women clustered around a particular fragrance counter and he thought, well, this must be pretty special,” she says. Luckily for both of them, he was right. That buzzy beauty-counter moment led him to the designer’s debut scent, Oscar, an award-winning floral that’s still available some 40 years later, albeit not via Eaton’s.
Beyond being both gorgeous and luxurious, a fragrance gift set packs some emotional power due to the strong links scent has to memory. Take this beautiful boite from Chanel, which comes with a portable travel spray so your loved one can revisit that special aroma wherever they are. My mother has long since stopped wearing perfume, but Oscar still lingers in the air thanks to the rich body cream included in those gift sets. “I always loved the perfume, but my favourite product was the body cream. Besides the feeling on my skin that I love, it gives a scent.” And some good memories too.
Chanel N°5 L’eau 100 ml + Mini Twist and Spray 7 ml Coffret, $210 at select Chanel beauty counters (chanel.com).