Believe me when I say that I take gift-giving very seriously; I tend not to give gifts that collect dust in moth-ridden basements or items that are quietly discarded. From bags of homemade bark tied with crimson ribbons to MOMA memberships, I seek to find and deliver those minor indulgences and decadent splurges to my nearest and dearest. In my first gift guide, I sought to discover those unique style statements. This week, I offer seven special splurges at all price points.
Everything is Illuminated: For holiday, Jo Malone has teamed up with Farrow & Ball, British color experts and suppliers of elegant decorative paints, to offer a triumvirate of refreshing, delicious scents: Pomegranate Noir in Eating Room Red (No. 43), Wild Fig and Cassis in Pelt (No. 254), and Pine and Eucalyptus in Green Smoke (No. 47). From the smoky, almost burgundy flavoring of the Fig to the astringent, winter-fresh perfume of the Pine to the lusciousness of the pomegranate, the layered fragrances provide the ultimate in sensory and gastronomic pleasure. The chic, reusable packaging ensures that I will be using the candles for spring seedlings, or as a repository for my seashell collection.
Although I live alone and have little family to speak of, I'm keeping my apartment illuminated and fragrant with blissful, holiday scents, including the Nest Holiday Candle ($32), which evokes seasonal cheer with its aromatic blending of pomegranate, mandarin orange, pine, cloves and cinnamon with a hint of vanilla and amber. As soon as it's lit, you feel the warmth of orange groves juxtaposed with the spicy cloves. Yet, the freshness of the pine is what lingers, delivering a formidable throw; the whole of your home will be cradled in its scent, and perhaps this is what we want, to be transported to the bucolic, the idyll.
A Splash of Sparkle: From glitter-sprayed clutches to iridescent sweaters, sparkling spectacles can sometimes be found under the tree. Purveyor of classic handbags and statement-setting clutches, Brit designer Anya Hindmarch's Marana Glitter Clutch ($429) is the perfect luxe gift for the fashionista in your life. A palette of eye-catching glitter juxtaposed with a suede-lined interior, this box clutch is a timeless off-duty classic.
Cozy coverups make the ideal gift, and French Connection's Labyrinth Stripe Sweater ($168) is the perfect evocation of seasonal style. A melange of deep purple, midnight blue and rich copper, this dolman oversized sweater is perfect for the friend who adores oversized, eye-catching knits.
For the work colleague who needs a healthy dose of pampering, I invite you to invest in Borghese's Sali Esfoliante Salt Scrub ($38). A lush, aromatic body exfoliant, the scrub is formulated with revitalizing olive and grapeseed oils, nourishing avocado, mango and shea butters, and pumice/sea salt, which sloughs off the day's stresses. You will adore the deep, enveloping fragrance of Borghese's scrub, which evokes visions of a paradise replete with mango groves and pink skies.
As colder climes wreck havoc on one's skin, give the gift that keeps on giving: exfoliating scrubs and moisturizers infused with mineral-rich emollients to replenish parched skin. H20+ Sea Salt Spa Collection ($45) is a wunderkind deluxe kit that will polish, purify and restore skin's natural glow. The kit includes a Sea Salt Body Wash that leaves your skin clean and rid of impurities, a Sea Salt Skin Smoother that will remove excess dead skin cells, rendering your skin cashmere-soft, a Spa Hydrating Body Gloss that delivers sun-kissed sheen, a Sea Salt Hydrating Body Butter that will keep you moisturized in the midst of bone-chilling, and a Hand-held wood bath brush with strap.
Finding a face scrub for sensitive combination skin is no easy feat. From abrasive, sandblasting exfoliants to powder concoctions that morph into a milky cream when wet, I've sampled the gamut to discover the one your girlfriend will covet: Origins Modern Friction™ ($37.50). The hero ingredient is a skin-refining rice starch, which sloughs away dead skin cells, leaving skin radiant and smooth. Lemon oil and aloe reduce redness, calm the skin and provide deluxe moisture.
Stay tuned, as next week I'll serve up a sampling of tasty eats and treats that are the ultimate stocking stuffers!