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The Parfume Guide

Master perfumer Roja Dove owns the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Urban Retreat Harrods and his eau de parfum, Aoud, is on of the store's leading fragrances. Here Roja Dove gives us his guide to buying and wearing the best.

Roja Dove

Buying Eau de Parfum "A lot of brands sell the bulk of their fragrances as eau de toilettes. However these were created to freshen after bathing - for longevity, I always recommend eau de parfum. 50% of the fragrance will stay on the skin for 24 hours whereas 80% of EDT evaporates after just four."

Application "As the skin ages, it becomes drier and less able to hold fragrance. If you want your scent to last, you must moisturise. Apply perfume first and body lotion second to lock it in – the alcohol will break down the oil in your moisturiser if applied on top."

Florals

"All florals contain white flowers, such as jasmine, which have a stronger smell because nature compensates for their lack of colour. They also contain indole, similar to a smell that occurs naturally in humans, to gives floral scents sensuality."

Great For...

Women who love florals are easy, breezy, positive types.

Roja Recommends

Reckless, Roja Parfums »
A sweet, floral fragrance with notes of rose and amaryllis.
L'Heure Bleue, Guerlain »
Keynotes of bergamot, iris and violet with a hint of vanilla.

Chypré

"Chypré is French for Cyprus, the home of Aphrodite, the Greek goddess of love. The main components of the perfume are traditionally oak moss, patchouli, vetiver, cedarwood, and bergamot (a citrusy aroma to counteract smoky ingredients)."

Great For...

A strong personality who is happy in their own skinx.

Roja Recommends

Bottega Veneta, Bottega Veneta »
A leathery, floral Chypré.
Unspoken, Roja Parfums »
Oakmoss and patchouli form the foundation of this Perfume.

Orientals

"Orientals are made up of vanilla, vanillic notes, benzoin, tonka bean and orice. Typically sweet, the oriental family is the opposite of Chypré's deep, woody notes."

Great For...

Glamorous, sexy women who love to be the centre of attention.

Roja Recommends

Opium, Yves Saint Laurent »
Notes of mandarin, peach, scorched wood and vibrant incense.
Must, Cartier »
Starts with a note of green mandarin, then jasmine and vanilla offset the freshness.

The Parfume Guide

If you're buying a lingerie gift, see our rules for getting it right, or shop straight away from the style that suits.

Minimal

Minimal does not mean boring – what is lacking in frills should be made up for in exquisite material and craftsmanship. Think fine silk and light oyster shades.

Gift tip:

Buy minimal lingerie for women with chic, androgynous style who like clean, simple lines. Avoid T-shirt bras – they are not gift material.

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Feminine

Nothing sums up the ultra-feminine Fifties more than a pastel baby doll or lacy longline bra. Think fine lace and cute pastel shades à la Marilyn Monroe and Jayne Mansfield.

Gift tip:

Fans of an ultra-feminine, retro-inspired look love this style and it makes a great gift because it’s attractive without being too suggestive.

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Night Wear

There is no excuse for unattractive nightwear, if you get cold at night add an extra blanket. Lace and feather trimmed robes conjure true old Hollywood glamour.

Gift tip:

You can’t go wrong with a beautifully silky chemise in dusky shades, luxury nightwear is universal in its appeal.

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Total Luxe

Think lavish lace or sparkling crystals for the crème de la crème of lingerie. These are underpinnings reserved for only the most special of occasions.

Gift tip:

Be bold in your choices – she can buy everyday pieces for herself so use this opportunity to be indulgent.

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Seductress

Shop this style if you are really looking to spice up your lingerie drawer. For the full-on seductress look, opt for stockings, suspenders and a garter belt.

Gift tip:

Corsets make a beautiful gift but as with any lingerie, be sure you are buying the correct size. You will need a waist measurement for the right size corset.

shop the look »

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Buying a lingerie gift?
Follow these simple rules:

Know her size. Don’t guess – if you don't have the courage to rifle through her drawers, ask her best friend.

For knickers, garter belts, corsets and suspenders, you will need a dress size.

To buy bras and basques, you will need a bra size.

For corsets you will also need a waist measurement.

If she is between sizes, buy the smaller option – she can always take it back. Buying the larger size risks insult.

Her taste in lingerie will match her fashion sense – if she loves pretty, feminine pieces, she will love feminine lingerie. If you have no idea what to buy, beautiful nightwear is a failsafe.