By  on February 14, 2017

Shortly before Valentine’s Day, WWD ventured to Brooklyn’s Twisted Lily perfume shop with Karen Dubin, founder of Sniffapalooza and an all-round consumer fragrance expert. The mission: to unearth fragrances that would make suitable gifts.Dubin and the store’s owner Eric Weiser both recommended gathering intel before proceeding on a fragrance shopping expedition.First, know who is being shopped for. “You want to know what your significant other wears or has worn in the past,” Weiser said. “It’s very impressive when a man comes in to shop for a woman’s gift and really puts the time in to match something that he feels she’ll like.”Weiser also recommended taking personality into account. "There’s certain fragrances that are more sporty, more green, more sensual. We’ll walk customers through the different genres and show them examples of each.”When in doubt, both Weiser and Dubin recommend taking advantage of sampling services. At Twisted Lily, Weiser’s staff guides customers through a profiling process, asking a series of questions about their daily habits and preferences, ultimately offering a slew of samples to take home and try out. Weiser recommended hesitant customers take home a few samples as a gift, with the promise to come back and purchase a full-size bottle of the recipient’s choosing. “At least then it’s not a gift card,” Weiser said. And more sampling means less of return rush post-Valentine’s Day.Dubin warned against focusing on gender when selecting a fragrance. “So many are unisex and can be worn either way,” she noted.And when all else fails, Dubin suggested a gift set. “They’ll have a few to choose from, and they’re bound to find something they like,” she said. “That’s my go-to when you’re just dating someone new and don’t know them very well.”Below, find 10 fragrances for Valentine’s Day, selected by Dubin on her shopping trip to Twisted Lily with WWD.Craft by Andrea Maack Eau de Parfum, $135 for 50-ml.: Dubin described this unisex fragrance from Icelandic brand Andrea Maack as “modern woody” with “Nordic notes,” but the real appeal is in the packaging. “If you’re trying to buy a gift for a person who has a lot of things and is into design and fashion, this is so different — you don’t want to get them something ordinary,” Dubin said. “It’s a piece of art.”Nomenclature Lumen_Esce, $165 for 100-ml.: “It’s based on molecules and chemistry,” said Dubin of the Nomenclature line. “This one is violet and there’s something romantic about violet.” “It’s a classic example of a unisex floral,” added Weister, who noted the fragrance is particularly good for singles. “You could wear it out to a bar with your friends.”After My Own Heart Eau de Parfum by Ineke, $95 for 75-ml.: “This is a great gift for a gal pal — someone who carries themselves very femininely,” Weiser said. “It’s a quintessential light floral.” Added Dubin, “And it’s got a heart right on the bottle.”Penhaligon’s The Tragedy of Lord George, $235 for 75-ml.: “It’s such a strong masculine image,” said Dubin of the fragrance, which is packaged in a bottle with an antlered stag figurine perched atop it. “It not only smells good, but they’ll be proud to have it on the table. It’s such a strong masculine fragrance with the notes of shaving soap.”Eight & Bob Eau de Toilette, $175 for 100-ml.: “This presentation is everything,” Dubin said of the Eight & Bob fragrance, which comes housed inside a book. This scent is particularly good for history connoisseurs — it comes with a Kennedy connection. “The story goes that JFK met the perfumer while traveling on the Cotes d’Azur. He loved the fragrance so much that when he got back home and wrote to him and asked for eight sample for him and ‘one for Bob,’” Dubin said.Fornasetti Burlesque Candle, $165: “These candles are like pieces of art, and they’re fragranced by fine perfumers,” Dubin said. “When your candles are done you can put your treasures in there.”Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 gift set, $295: “He was really able to capture the feeling of luminous crystal,” Dubin said of the perfumer’s collaboration with the crystal house Baccarat. “This has a travel atomizer if someone travels a lot. It smells rich and luxurious, and the case itself is a beautiful object.”Etat Libre Limited Gift Set, $115: “This brand pushes the envelope,” Dubin said. “They give the perfumers complete autonomy, they do what smells good to them.” Dubin pointed out this gift set as a good one for Valentine’s Day because it includes Jasmin et Cigarette, which smells like what it sounds like — jasmine and cigarette smoke. “It really captures that feeling of waking up and the scent of last night is still on you,” Dubin said.Coolife Le Sixieme Parfum, $175 for 50-ml.: “All of these [Coolife] fragrances are created with the goal of [evoking] aphrodisia,” Dubin said. “This is the perfect brand for Valentine’s Day.Euphorium Brooklyn Chocolatl, $180 for 50-ml.: “This is the perfect gift for Valentine’s Day,” proclaimed Dubin, who noted that the perfumer aimed to get the scent as close to chocolate as possible. “The notes in this are cocoa and spices, dark fruits, balsam and musk — together they create a deep, spicy, rich chocolate.”

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