My most memorable gift when I was teenager was perfume. Who remembers ‘Charlie’, a floral fragrance with sandalwood and musk produced by Revlon? The perfume epitomised the modern girl and I considered myself one of those. The TV and print advertisements with Shelley Hack (later of ‘Charlie’s Angels’ fame) in her jumpsuit was the girl I wanted to be, so when my then boyfriend gave me ‘Charlie’ perfume, I was over the moon.


This can be dangerous territory, so you need to know if the recipient has a signature scent or is open to trying something new.  The truth is that perfumes smell differently on everyone.  Seemingly it has to do with your natural pheromones and those with oilier skin will hold onto a scent longer and it will also be stronger than on someone with dry skin.

So be careful when choosing, or at least know vaguely whether you are looking for a floral or fruity light fragrance or a more strong spicy, oriental one.

If you are buying for a man, I guess if YOU like it, that is what’s important. Right? Well, that is the criterion I use.

However, if you really need help you really cannot go wrong with Jo Malone’s signature fragrance, the ‘citrussy’ Lime Basil and Mandarin and can be worn by either sex.

And I like a floral scent in summer and a more spicy one in winter, just in case anyone wants to know and I don’t have a signature scent yet!


These are always a welcome gift, but please buy something that contains no parabens and that actually works. You can always buy individual items and package it prettily. I recommend ULTRAPURE for inexpensive but effective products. And I have recently started using SEAVITE Super Nutrient Intense Moisture Body Cream and it lives up to expectations.


I love giving candles and diffusers as gifts, because I love receiving them myself. Candles can really impact the ambience of a room and there is nothing better than a relaxing bath and a scented candle to add a touch of luxury.

But you need to be careful and know exactly what you are buying, because research shows that many brands of scented candles are made with carcinogens which when burned release toxins into the air and therefore your lungs.

I recently discovered a new Irish company JANE DARCY (its founder Gillian Halpin named the company after her two young daughters’ middle names) whose range of luxury candles and diffusers use natural ingredients (no nasty stuff here) and specially sourced fragrances, which are ideal for creating a relaxing aromatherapy-like atmosphere.


If you are wary of using candles then diffusers are the safer option and equally effective.

‘Jane Darcy’ has three signature scents:

PRECIOUS MOMENTS – Zesty Lemongrass and Bergamot

YOU & I – Kaffir Lime, Basil & Blood Orange

JUST ME – French Lavender & Lovage

Lighting a candle or turning the reeds in your diffuser can be that trigger to tell us to relax and take time to smell the roses, well in my case the zesty lemongrass and bergamot!

Perfumes make beautiful presents for those you love; candles and diffusers and body ‘stuff’ are always acceptable and appreciated gifts for everybody else. Promise!