Christmas is the perfect opportunity to buy fragrances. It’s an ideal stocking filler and a thoughtful gift that can last for months, but you have to be careful. Most people are very particular about the scents they wear, which can turn a dream present into a nightmare in the blink of an eye.

So, how do you avoid making the wrong choice? For Eva Carlo, fragrance expert at The House of Creed, the secret is all about putting in the legwork.

Focus on building a scent profile for who the gift is for, take time to think about the kind of person they are, and above all choose where to shop with care.

Here’s five tips that will see you on your way to a scintillating scent:

Do your research

The most important thing is to think about the person who will wear it and not your own personal preferences. The wrong perfume can make you feel uncomfortable and ruin your day, to say the least.

First things first, the research: find out what scents they already wear, do a little investigation and discover the perfume families they belong to. This will help to edit the collection in the right direction.

Time is essential

Perfume is a very intimate gift and should be a very considered choice. It takes time to evolve, and choosing by only discovering the top notes of the creation is a big mistake.

Perfumes, like books and musical pieces, take different times to fully evolve: some are linear and short, and you know what you are getting straight away; others take longer to reveal their themes and final messages. Pre-work and time are key to a successful result – luxury, after all, is not something to be hurried.

What are they like?

Another thing that is key in creating a scent profile for someone is thinking about their personality and their tastes – are they discrete or extravagant, frivolous and playful or serious and conservative? What are their colour and textile preferences, the places they love to travel to, their favourite tipples?

These facts will help, with the assistance of a perfume specialist, determine the perfect scent.

Gifts for a fragrance lover

Do they have a huge wardrobe of scents? Will a smaller bottle be ideal, or do they love accessories – if so, a beautiful leather atomiser and scent to decant into it is more the direction for this person.

Do they have just a couple of signature perfumes? Something extra luxurious from the Creed Royal Exclusive collection may be perfect or perhaps you can make a gift extra special by getting it engraved – not only scents, but also limited-edition bottles to treasure.

Find the right place to shop

A comfortable environment and a great connection with a perfume specialist are essential and will make the experience a pleasure instead of a chore. Armed with all the pre-work, I suggest heading to the Creed Boutique in Mayfair, where one of the Creed ambassadors will help you find the ideal scent for your giftee.

Whether you head to Creed or not, be charming, polite and clear to get the most out of the shopping trip, aim to edit the collection down to three or four fragrances, and test them on a blotter first. Then choose your favourite two and then go and have a coffee break - this will give you and your nose a little break, and the opportunity to smell the scents again in a different environment, allowing the discovery of the evolution of the scent.

When you return to make the purchase, ask the Creed Ambassador to include a sample or decant of the perfume, just in case the person who receives the gift does not like it. Don’t feel bad if this happens – choosing perfume for someone else is the devils work and you can come back together with the unopened bottle and choose again.

For more information and gifting ideas, see