The Magnificent Valentine’s Seven

Perfume is an enduring choice for Valentine’s gifts, with good reason. Nothing gets quite as up-close-and-personal as scent. Selected by Sarah Baker, creative director of Sarah Baker Perfumes, here are seven unique fragrances to bring the glow of love to your Valentine’s Day. Romantic, sexy or rugged, there’s something to suit him or her.

1. S.BAKER – Far From the Madding Crowd

Named for Thomas Hardy’s epic novel of enduring love, a light, fresh romantic scent. Fruity notes mingle with breezy eucalyptus, tart cassis, and wild flowers resting on a gentle mossy base. This easy-wearing fragrance conjures up a romantic walk through meadows before settling down to a picnic beside a slow moving stream. The furry base notes give it a touch of carnal desire.

2. Gallivant – Naples

Gallivant is scent-as-travel with fragrances inspired by great cities. Leave your heart back in Napoli with this woody citrus scent shot through with swirling, smoky incense and even a little hint of the sea. The woody base notes combine with ginger, pink pepper, Calabrian bergamot, sea salts, incense, patchouli, birch and vetiver in a heady promise of decadence.

3. Francesca Bianchi – The Lover’s Tale

Like something out of Boccaccio’s ‘The Decameron’; inspired by forbidden passions and secret trysts between lovers in less permissive times of yore. Honey, mimosa, Egyptian jasmine, Bulgarian rose, peach, bergamot and heliotrope evoke love’s sweet succulence while leather, labdanum, sandalwood, vetiver and oakmoss make it clear that that love gets physical.

4. Imaginary Authors – Cape Heartache

Inspired by Philip Sava’s 1881 fictitious novel, the story of a young man who travels to the Pacific Northwest where he builds a homestead and falls in love with a young woman descended from the Native American Nehalem people. Romantic, certainly, but ideal if your valentine favours the outdoorsy life. Notes of Western hemlock, vanilla leaf, strawberry, old growth and mountain fog.

5. Laboratorio Olfattivo – Tantrico

Add sensual tantric secrets from the ancient art of connecting the earth with the spiritual through lovemaking to your Valentine’s Day with this scent that fuses the esoteric and the earthy in perfect union. A cloud of juniper, lime, Provençal clary sage and grapefruit pull you into the clouds; cypress, Timoran pepper, sandalwood, white musk, fir and Atlas cedar, back to earth.

6. Maya Njie – Les Fleurs

Inspired by Minnie Ripperton’s 1970 song ‘Les Fleurs’, go straight for that big, flowery Valentine with a twist. Maya’s creation of bergamot, neroli, fig, green woods and magnolia and musk, both with a citrus lilt, offers a carefully measured balance between romance and cool. It’s at once contemporary and nostalgic; unashamedly sentimental and floral yet never too overblown.

7. État Libre d’Orange – Fat Electrician

Who we love is not a choice. If your heart’s passion is a Valentine dissenter, skeptical of fluffy romance, then maybe he or she will warm to this one. Don’t worry: the gruff, anti-romantic never smelled so good as with this woody gourmand of black pepper, elemi, cedar, vetiver, opoponax, myrrh and vanilla.