If you’ve ever been stuck for a gift for someone, sometimes all you need to know is their zodiac sign. The time-tested astronomical science of sun signs is a great way of gaining a sneak peek into someone’s personality – and it has yet to fail me. Ever. So, talking perfumes this time ’round, let’s figure out what to gift that Pisces sister-in-law or Gemini co-worker that’s sure to hit the right spot.
PS: It’s also a great way of exploring your own signature scent. For instance, Chanel No. 5 has been my perennial favourite, which is completely spot-on for Taureans (moi!) and I bought my Capricorn BFF the Tiffany EDP for her birthday and she’s already stocked up on another bottle. Something seems to be working here, right?
Aries (March 21 – April 19)
This is a sign that’s perpetually questing and questioning. They are straightforward, uninhibited and have a childlike wonder for the world around them. And they will never ever give up, trying to crack the same problem over and over again! Maison Margiela’s By the Fireplace speaks to that part of their soul that needs to sit back every once in a while to relax, take a deep breath and make sense of everything… life, the future, and all the questions they are perpetually asking themselves and others.
Taurus (April 20 – May 20)
Taureans (and I marry personal experience with astronomical science here) love beautiful things with classical forms and comforting vibes. This is not a sign that believes in the outlandishly trendy, opting instead for an almost heirloom quality in their most precious possessions. Hidden under their down-to-earth exterior is a sensual, romantic core. Chanel No. 5 ticks all their boxes, as does No. 19. Both of which have pride of place on my very own, very Taurean perfume shelf.
Gemini (May 21 – June 20)
A Gemini likes everything that shimmers, shines and sparkles, and puts them where they firmly belong – in the spotlight. They live life to the hilt, extravagantly and with full freedom. Crystal chandeliers, glittering diamonds and sparkling Champagnes are their soulmates. Byredo’s Inflorescence, which sparkles with wild garden blossoms and intoxicates with honey and rose petals, is sure to win a permanent place in that crazy, mad heart!
Cancer (June 21 – July 22)
Their cool, organised, analytical exterior hides a flair for creativity and cheerful accents. Classic with a touch of cool is their vibe, making for a truly individualistic style. They prefer sunny colors and flowers are always welcome in their lives. They are natural nurturers and crave a comfortable environment. Prada Candy is the perfect mix of classic florals with a totally unexpected caramel accord, and the warm musk and benzoin notes settle into a safe, comforting cocoon. Bonus points for the totally, awesomely cheerful bottle!
Leo (July 23 – August 22)
Grand, regal, dominating… Leos are born to rule! So powerful is their presence that it can sometimes even become overwhelming, which is when their powers of wittiness saves the situation. They love making an impression, adore expensive objects, have a flair for the dramatic and dress to kill. Tom Ford’s Fucking Fabulous is going to be their soulmate because that’s how they think of themselves… fucking fabulous!
Virgo (August 23 – September 22)
Virgos (and I have two of them in my life!) appear practical, discreet and understated but their cool, calm appearance belies the complex emotions underneath. They are conformists but also have a secret creative streak that revels in unexpected touches – like a classic LBD set off by a vivid brooch. And they have a deep dislike of clutter and chaos. Aerin’s Ikat Jasmine is the perfect blend of effortless style and creative modernity… the classic underlined by the unexpected, the calm waters challenged by an intriguing exoticism.
Libra (September 23 – October 22)
Charming, flirtatious, feminine, Librans like to stand out without having to screech or going all OTT. They have an unerring eye for beauty and love to be surrounded by all its many forms – flowers, books, art, music… ! Their style is a mix of comfort and luxury, and they are romantics at heart. Diptyque’s Eau Rose, with its infusion of some of the world’s finest roses, dials in perfectly for this love of laidback luxury that’s going to be noticed without having to demand attention.
Scorpio (October 23 – November 21)
Like their namesakes, Scorpios can be moody and fierce. They are also sensual, highly individualistic, love to cultivate an air of mystery and have a dramatic flair. You will normally find them gravitating towards oriental notes and darker colors, like blacks, deep reds and indigos. And they definitely would always prefer to to dominate the room. Guerlain’s legendary Shalimar is just the kind of maximalist luxury that will appeal to their sense of drama, while its sheer sultriness and impact will make it their signature calling card.
Sagittarius (November 22 – December 21)
Sagittarians are happy, optimistic beings, who are adventurers at heart, loving to travel and explore new dimensions. They would be happy living in an idyllic fairytale, complete with cupids, flying horses, unicorns and centaurs. They are also fiercely protective about their freedom, which includes the freedom of style – which is super individualistic to the point of eccentricity. This is a sign that would rather break rules than blend into the crowd. Elizabeth Arden’s Red Door is the epitome of the rebellion that lives inside every Sagittarius, right from its Arcadia-like honey, wild violet and freesia notes to the bottle, which is a symbol of the defiant individualism set in motion by the beauty mogul when she marched with the suffragettes.
Capricorn (December 22 – January 19)
My best friend is a Capricorn and I intuitively reached for Tiffany’s Eau de Parfum on her birthday… much before working on this guide. It was just so her. And now I understand why. Capricorns don’t like deviating from a set path – whether it’s personal style or career choices. If they like a perfume or a lipstick, it’s likely they will continue to wear the same one day after day. And most likely, it’s not going to be one that’s overwhelming. They like tidiness and dress to impress, with a style that’s minimal-accented-with-one-dramatic-accessory. The minimalism is down to their practical nature, the dramatic accessory is an ode to their highly creative streak. Tiffany’s is a showstopper that combines lack of fripperies with a light, fresh, citrus-based scent that’s practically the Capricorn signature. The bottle is faceted like a diamond, with pure lines that dial into their love for opulence without seeming opulent. Yes, that sounds like a contradiction and you possibly need first-hand experience with a Capricorn to understand what I am saying… like I have!
Aquarius (January 20 – February 18)
Cool and unflappable, Aquarians are meticulous about their appearance and have a marked preference for calming colors and ordered silhouettes. Grand, dramatic entrances are not their style, nor is sultriness or fussiness. Acqua di Parma’s Arcancia di Capri recreates the bewitching islands of the Amalfi Coast, which could well be their private paradise, complete with the fresh sparkles of citrus notes and the purity of marine blues. And yet it’s just that little bit unexpected, with whiffs of grass and vetiver to appeal to the Aquarian’s love for the occasional surprise.
Pisces (February 19 – March 20)
This may be the most mystical and intuitive of all signs… characteristics that channels through as creativity, versatility and resilience. They like living the good life, often to the point of self-indulgence. Fragrance is intrinsic to their being, whether as a fresh flower or bottled in a bevelled crystal decanter. Money does not get in the way of personal taste and they love making a splash. Guerlain’s L’Heure Bleue speaks to their mystical, fantasy life – the one that exists in the ‘witching hour between daylight and darkness, and walks the unrestrained moors, enjoying the starry night and wondering what the future holds.