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Before you make a beeline for that box of chocolates for a Valentine’s Day gift, consider this: Birchbox surveys show that 63 percent of respondents would most like to receive fragrance as a beauty gift. And yet only 51 percent said they were planning on giving fragrance—we're guessing because they weren't sure which scent to choose. This year, we’re coming to the rescue—we’ve compiled a cheat sheet to help five Birchbox staffers sleuth out the scents that will make that special someone very happy come February 14. And while we’re at it, we’d also like to debunk a major Valentine’s Day myth: This Hallmark holiday is decidedly not just for couples. After all, why should the booed-up among us have all the fun?
Birchbox staffer: Shana Honig, Brand Campaign Strategy Associate
The Clue: Travel junkie Brooke isn’t afraid to step outside her comfort zone. To wit: While in Peru, she dined on cuy, a local delicacy. (Common to many Andean households, the protein goes by a different name in the United States: guinea pig.)
Best Bet: Juicy Couture Viva La Juicy Noir Dual Rollerball. This TSA-friendly rollerball is a no-brainer for a jetsetter like Brooke, and the dual design—with Viva La Juicy on one side and Viva La Juicy Noir on the other—will let her choose the scent that best fits her mood (or locale!).
Birchbox staffer: Kerrie Lopez, Brand Campaign Strategy Manager
The Clue: Kerrie says one of her favorite things about her guy is his kitchen skills. “He is an amazing cook. One of his best dishes is bucatini with ricotta and homemade marinara sauce.”
Best Bet: English Laundry Riviera Eau de Toilette. The culinary maestro in your life will appreciate this dapper scent from London-based designer English Laundry. With spicy heart notes of nutmeg, coumarin, and black pepper, it’s a natural pick for a food lover. Plus, unlike run-of-the-mill colognes, it lingers all day without being cloying. You’re welcome, Kerrie.
Birchbox staffer: Nate Nagy, Assistant Birchbox Man Editor
Valentine: Myung-Hee Hur—or Mama Nagy to you
The Clue: Nate says, “Mama Nagy is quite a classy lady—sharp dresser, lots of black, lots of old-school brands. She really values quality, but doesn't go for glitz and glam.”
Best Bet: For a lady of such regal tastes, we recommend Guerlain's Shalimar Parfum Initial. A modern interpretation of the legendary classic, Shalimar layers sweet florals over undertones of warm vanilla. Plus, this stunner is the one of the best-selling scentsin France—a juicy tidbit we know won’t be lost on Mrs. Nagy.
Birchbox staffer: Amary Wiggin, Copywriter
The Clue: Her boyfriend’s tastes? Easy, says Amary. “He’s a lifelong fan of Bill Cosby, and can’t live without blue box mac 'n cheese.”
Best Bet: Victorinox Swiss Army Forest Eau de Toilette. Emotionally, Rob is as deep as Russia’s Lake Baikal, but his tastes are fuss-free, laid-back, and uncomplicated. Therefore, we deduce that Rob will go absolutely cray cray for this eau de toilette. As versatile as an actual Swiss army knife, this woodsy cologne features mellow notes of pine, wood moss, and nutmeg.
Birchbox Staffer: Sarah Wormser, Social Media Associate
The Clue: “Rachel’s your classic jeans and tee kind of girl. She loves simple colors and shapes.”
Best Best: For an easygoing fashionista, we recommend this can’t-fail fragrance from iconic American designer Joan Vass. We recently fell in love with the brand’s L’eau de Cristal, a fresh blend of bergamot, rose oil, and vanilla bean notes.
Birchbox Staffer: Graham Chapman, E-commerce Analyst, Sales & Planning
The Clue: Graham shared these tidbits: Michael works long hours as a fourth-year med student, but when he's not busy saving lives, he loves nomming spicy tuna rolls and dancing at concerts.
Best Bet: A man with a professional and personal life this jam-packed needs a sturdy, longlasting scent. Let us suggest Arquiste’s unisex winner L'Etrog, which merges woodsy opening notes with lush date and fragrant myrtle.
Birchbox Staffer:Jennifer Mitschke, Editorial Marketing Manager
The Clue: Most Friday and Saturday nights, Lauren can be found on a dance floor, busting a move to ‘80s hits like Journey’s “Don’t Stop Believin.’”
Best Bet: Never ones to miss an opportunity for synergy, we think Harvey Prince's Journey is the clear winner in this case. Beyond the name connection, this sheer scent is adventurous, exotic, and intriguing. In other words, perfect for a freewheeling lady like Lauren.
Birchbox Staffer: Bene Cipolla, Director of Editorial Operations
The Clue: In a meeting a few months back, Deepica professed her long-time love for DKNY Be Delicious, swearing that it acts like pheromones when she’s out on the town.
Best Bet: There’s something to be said for mystery, but there’s even more to be said for giving someone exactly what they want. Come February 14, a fresh bottle of DKNY Be Delicious Skin, a version of the fragrance with skin-enhancing benefits, will be gracing this brand guru’s desk.