Kate Beckinsale was spotted shopping at Barney’s department store in New York this week on a spree that finally answered our question “what are Hollywood A-listers buying for their friends’ Christmas gifts this year?”
And judging by the photos attached, Beckinsale’s friends will be receiving scented candles in chic, lipstick red glass votives.
Beauty insiders will have been nodding approvingly knowing that Beckinsale has exquisite taste, because those candles aren’t just any candles; they’re candles from the sexiest perfume label on the planet – Frédéric Malle.
So look away now if you are a perfume obsessive or have any kind of addiction issues, or have access to a credit card…because I can tell you from personal experience that Malle’s fragrances are more addictive than crack cocaine (and just as pricey a habit).
Frédéric Malle, a French fragrance connoisseur for top luxury fashion houses, created the Editions de Parfums fragrance label; as a collection of seventeen exceptional perfumes – each of which bears the name of the creator on the bottle – formulated by those Malle considers to be the top nine “noses” in the world.
And each fragrance is extraordinary. I first found out about Editions de Parfums after smelling Une Rose on the fashion designer Roksanda Ilincic. The scent she was wearing was so astonishingly evocative of a deep red velvety rose, and utterly unlike any fragrance I’d smelled before, that I was completely smitten. I had to ask her what it was.
I tracked the scent down to Liberty, where the mind-jangling price tag (£105 for a 50ml bottle. £160 for 100ml) left me reeling with shock. But I couldn’t stop thinking about the scent, and every time I passed Liberty I’d try it on, gradually falling more and more in love with the fragrance until it was inevitable I’d succumb, finally purchasing my first sleek black-capped bottle in its glossy red box.
But my addiction didn’t end there. When purchasing my perfume, from the chic Parisian sales assistant, I made the mistake of trying on another - En Passant. This blurb from that scent’s lipstick red packaging; ‘pause at the edge of a garden in springtime and breathe in fragrant lilac whipped by the wind.. watery notes, orange tree leaves, cucumber and wheat…’ It smelled like Spring in a bottle; flowers and grass and fresh air. Une Rose was heady and sexy - perfect for winter or evening. This was my dream perfume for day.
Within two weeks of buying Une Rose, I found myself blowing £80 on En Passant. A month before, I’d never spent more than £50 on a bottle of perfume. Now I owned nearly £200 worth of fragrance. (I know, I could barely believe it myself at the time). At the counter, the bouff-haired Frederic Malle sales assistant declared in an unbearably sexy French accent ‘this… is the most poetic of all the perfumes’. Swoon.
But you know what? This is the best money I’ve spent this year. I am still completely besotted about both fragrances, wear them every day, get hundreds of compliments and just recently, En Passant finally ran out and…I bought another bottle. It’s that good.
So yes, all this to say: if you’re still looking for the ultimate Christmas present (for yourself or anyone else) then, like Kate Beckinsale, you can’t go wrong with Frédéric Malle’s heart-breakingly beautiful fragrances or candles.
My advice? Just don’t. Oh, but do, do, do…
Candles £50-£85, Perfume £70 - £175, www.liberty.co.uk
- Angela Buttolph