Category Archives: shopping

Sweet little gifts – 10 ideas for Christmas

December is here and it’s hard to believe how fast the time goes by. Ready or not ready for it, now is the time to begin the Christmas shopping madness. Here in Poland most shops and galleries were ready for winter Holiday season as early as first week of November. And believe me, I won’t be surprised if this kind of sellers approach easily killed any will of Christmas shopping inside you. Personally I’m done with my shopping since a while ago. But lets not give up faith just yet! Lets hope that Christmas spirit will twinkle in our hearts again when the time is right.

When it comes to giving gifts and presents there are many different approaches. Some like them big & expensive, some like them hand-made, some like to give practical gifts and so on… Personally I especially like those small, sweet little gifts rather than bigger ones. I believe that it’s not a talent to go into a shop and get an expensive gadget they show on tv. Finding something small, useful, meaningful, something straight from the heart requires more exploring than visiting just 1 shop. Those gifts are like lucky charms, with their magic they can warm up your heart even on the most frosty day of Winter. Here are a couple of my ideas for perfumed sweet little gifts.

atelier-cologne-hand

If you’re a fan of Atelier Cologne, or know someone who is a fan of this brand you might want to have a look at their newly launched hand creams. Scented with Orange Sanguine, Pomelo Paradis, Bergamote Soleil and Rose Anonyme they make a nice addition to a morning ritual of perfuming your body. They could be used on your pulse points before spraying to make the fragrance last even longer. Tubes are 30 ml only but believe me – little goes a long way. Big plus for those creams being nicely packed with fragrance, my hands smelled delicious after I used a bergamot one. Cost of 1 tube is €20 / $25 but it’s totally worth if you like the brand. It’s a small self-indulgent treat.

hiram-green-travel

I think that by now we’ve all heard about Hiram Green & many of us have fallen for at least one of his beautiful, extraordinary, all-natural creations. For me the biggest hit in his range is the latest release, Arbole Arbole about which you can read here. If somehow deciding to buy a bottle was a tough decision to make (I agree €135 per 50 ml is not a bargain price) you’ll be happy and probably less hesitating to go for it when you find out that Hiram has recently introduced a travel format of all his creations. It’s a great way to have some of the perfume you love at a more reasonable price. They retail for €39 and are presented in those lovely spray vials. Aren’t they adorable?

eos-lip

Windy Winter days can be pretty damaging for your skin, especially when it’s snowing or hailing. As much as we usually care about our hands and faces by using richer creams that can shield us from cold temperature, we often forget about our lips. With EOS lip balm you won’t! This lip balm comes in a sphere shape and is hidden in a cute colorful packaging that looks like a ball. You can choose between many colors, each representing different aroma/flavor of the balm. Plus they are available in regular, softening, shimmering and SPF variants. And they’re a real cheap thrill!

yves-rocher

Enjoy Christmas atmosphere even when you’re taking a shower, thanks to Holiday specials from Yves Rocher. Indulge yourself with delightful flavors of Clementine & Spices, Cranberry & Almond or Pear & Cocoa. Your body will feel pampered and you won’t have to worry about your waist for these cosmetics don’t have any calories! Each line consists of peeling shower gel, bath & shower gel, hand cream, body lotion, liquid soap and lip balm. Price per product is €4-5.

taketwo

Over the years many of us became true followers of Neela Vermeire and India-inspired perfumes she creates in collaboration with her friend Bertrand Duchaufour. For no particular reason fans of NVC overlook this fabulous gesture towards customers that Neela launched in March/April this year. Take Two is an awesome gift – two vials of a perfume, 15 ml each. They’re packed together in a simple box but additionally each vial comes in a separate mini box. Ideal way to give both to dear perfume friends, or just gift one and… keep the other one for yourself! A set like this costs €125 (EU shipping included). Take Two is available in all NVC scents except Mohur Extrait.

nicolai-candles

Especially for Christmas this year Parfums de Nicolai treats us to 3 lovely candles that will keep everyone in a good mood this Winter Holidays. Composed by Patricia de Nicolai we have Or – a composition of cedar, cinnamon & orange. Myrrhe – which sources from pine, myrrh and liquorice. Finally there is Encens – a blend of benzoin and cistus. They’re bound to keep spirits high.

white-xmas-tea

Christmas without good tea is no Christmas at all. When it comes to tea, apart from buying artisanal blends from local vendor I’m a big fan of teas offered by Harney & Sons. I’m a devoted consumer of their Hot Cinnamon Spice which is a perfect marriage of black tea, orange peel and cinnamon. It’s naturally spicy and sweet, just delicious. This year I’ve found a new contender worth attention, that’s why I have put it on my Christmas wish list. White Christmas Tea is a blend of white tea with almonds, vanilla and cardamom. And that tin is adorable. $10 for 20 sachets.

ritual-of-light

From Rituals… A Ritual of Light limited edition series of cosmetics fragranced with sweet orange and cinnamon. Line includes body cream, shower foam, body scrub + bath foam. Fragrance sticks diffuser, candle and even tea with same scent are available. Every product comes in a lovely packaging that elegantly combines black bottles and jars with a shiny golden caps or lids, all decorated with sparkling stars. Prices vary from €4,5 for tea to €42,5 for a 1000 g candle.

tauer-soap

Tauer Perfumes and Andy Tauer have a treat for all brand enthusiasts – a returning Christmas treat of a luxurious glycerine (transparent) soap. From Tauer website: “Mandarines ambrées is a fragrant delight created around natural red mandarine oil, sweet Messina orange oil and refreshing lemon grass. The citrus chord is balanced with hints of amber gris and lasts wonderfully on skin. The perfume is generously dosed at 4% and will scent also your rooms if unpacked.” I didn’t have a chance to smell it but knowing Andy’s talent it would smell divine. 100 g bar costs almost €14.

chieffo-skincare

Few months ago Maison Gabriella Chieffo developed a new cosmetic line. Perfumed with their best-selling fragrance – Acquasala those products should soothe your senses with a pure, spiritual smell that combines salty & marine notes with incense. Via brand website: “The spiritual, contemplative and regenerating power of Acquasala valorizes the magic of gestures that, through our skin touch our soul with gentle hands”. Available as 100 ml body oil (€42), 300 ml foam bath (€34) and 250 ml body lotion (€42). Each product is packaged in funny, house-shaped box.

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Would you like to find one of those underneath your Christmas tree?

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2 weeks before Christmas – travel-size perfumes

After scent diffusers and perfumed candles it is now the right time to talk about perfumes as Christmas gifts. As much as we all here love perfume, I think that fragrance is one of the trickiest presents that can be bought to someone dear to us. Why? Because perfume is a very personal thing, so it is best not to buy blind, but to purchase a flacon of perfume that we know that will suit our husband/wife etc. Full bottle is also quite a commitment, so why not to go smaller and buy a travel-size version? It will cost less, allowing you to buy one more small present.

In the following list I present to use my choice of perfumes in travel-size format that I would be very happy about if they found a place under my Christmas tree.

Starting with Aedes de Venustas. This year they have launched two great perfumes: Oeillet Bengale and Copal Azur. One is a spicy and fiery rose, a rose on fire that pretends to be a carnation. The other one is a mineral incense fragrance with a whiff of salty breeze from the ocean. 100ml is the only size they are offering, that’s too much for many and that’s when their travel atomizer come in handy. They come in sets of 3 x 10ml and there is also this beautiful golden case with zamak cap. It’s a little bling to treat yourself this Christmas and a stylish accessory to have.

Purse spray + 3 x 10ml refills cost $195, 3  x 10ml refills are $110

All fans of Italian niche perfume brand of Maria Candida Gentile will be happy that they have one more purchase option than buying a 100ml bottle. The brand is offering travel sprays as well. The line is varied and I’m sure anyone will be able to pick at least one they like a lot. Were I to choose, I would pick Leuco, my latest love from Flight of the Bumblebee collection. It smells of transparent smoke, tuberose, benzoin and spices. Delicious. The fragrances are quite strong so a little bottle will go a long way before it gets empty. All fragrances in the line, including the newest ones, are available in 15ml travel spray. In addition to that most of the older compositions are also available as 7ml splash miniature. Isn’t that great to have 2 options?

For 7ml splash mini you will pay €14 (~$18), 15ml travel spray costs €26 ($32)

Memo Paris has recently added a travel collection to the portfolio of their offerings. The scents premiered at Pitti Fragranze in Florence along with the latest perfume release, Italian Leather. Their collection is wide, having citrus, aromatic scents, as well as heavier, resinous, leathery and oud ones. Each set consists of three vials, 10ml each. There is also this beautiful travel case made of genuine leather and finished with golden details. When I look at it I think it’s the ideal gift for a nomad, for the explorer, the person who constantly seeks new experiences. Brown leather also makes me think of safari.

set 3 x 10ml: €96-114 (~$118-140), travel case (without perfume): €196 (~$240)

Carlos Huber from Arquiste is one of the coolest and easiest-to-talk guy in the perfume world. He’s also the one who can rock a floral pattern shirt like no-one else. All fans of this brand will be happy to know that after many queries from perfumistas about smaller sizes (especially now, that the brand is slowly transferring from 55ml to 100ml bottles) they decided to introduce travel sets. Each splay vial contains 5ml of a fragrance and you can actually unscrew the spraying mechanism to refill it, very handy if you have a bottle and want to take a little bit with you for a trip to somewhere. Scents are divided in 2 sets.

Florals travel set: 4 x 5ml (Flor y Canto, Fleur de Louis, Infanta en Flor, Boutonniere no. 7) – $70 (~€56); Citrus and woods travel set: 5 x 5ml (L’Etrog, L’Etrog Acqua, Alexandr, Anima Dulcis, The Architects Club) – $80 (~€65)

From the cutest couple who constantly share their passion for perfume with other people, Julien and Madalina – founders of JUL ET MAD. As a response to popular demand of introducing smaller sizes into their line they launched at first a little Love Dose, a 5ml splash mini that was designed to look like a miniature equivalent of their 50ml bottle. A little while later they created Le Compagnon, a stylish and compact 20ml travel spray, presented in an elegant vial made of dark-grey glass. Silver cap, logo and lettering nicely contract with the dark background. How could you resist the carnal smell of Amour de Palazzo, a metropolitan style of Stilettos on Lex, a crispy Terrasse a st-Germain or summery Aqua Sextius?

5ml Jul et Mad Love Dose mini costs €22,50 ($29), shipping included. Le Compagnon is priced at €95 ($110) for 20ml; all 4 fragrances are available in both formats

I’m absolutely sure that there are much more brands that offer perfumes in travel-friendly sizes and I don’t know about them. So if you know of any other brand that offers smaller sizes packaged in some pretty bottles or offered at a very reasonable price, please let us know in the comments below, so that we can all explore and maybe find a gift for someone. Which one would you like to receive?

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