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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.


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.


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?


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!


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.


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.


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.


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.


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 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.


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.


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

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4 Gift-giving ideas for Christmas

How the time flies! I have no idea when did all those months pass? It feels as if we were just recently celebrating New Year’s Eve and as if summer has just ended not long ago, yet we’re almost in the middle of December. All signs in the city like streetlights, decorations, colorful shopping centers leave us with no doubt that Christmas is almost here! Last year I did a series of Christmas shopping guide posts. This year I didn’t have much time for writing so many posts on how you can spend your holiday money but here it is! A couple of suggestions I would put under the tree to gift someone.


We love perfume! It’s obvious, so why not surprise someone by placing a nice fragrance under a christmas tree, a scented treasure hidden inside of a lovely decorated box. I know many of you are thinking right now – perfume can be expensive, that you are not sure if a gifted person will be happy with your choice. My point of view is that perfume is a very personal present and should be considered only if you know someone really well. But this suggestion leaves more space for discussion. This is where Andy Tauer comes to the rescue with his newly launched Tauerville collection. At the moment there is a quartet of brilliantly made fragrances of high quality.

This perfume is a flash! Chose between Rose, Vanilla, Incense and Amber. I didn’t try the last one as it’s new and from the first 3 I like Rose the most. It’s rich, jammy and also a little bit tart and green. They don’t cost a fortune, look cute and smell even better. All of them come in 30 ml cube-shaped bottle which is a very friendly size, especially if someone already owns a bigger fragrance wardrobe. Rose and Vanilla are also available in 10 ml roll-on.


Last two years have been really good for Arquiste, a niche brand from the US. Two succesful launches in their own line, an interesting collaboration with J. Crew and now also with St. Regis Hotels. If you’re like me in terms of not only loving to perfume your skin but to also actually scent your house interior, you really should look into Arquiste portfolio of candles. Those have been introduced this year and they contain really high percentage of fragrance. I had a miniature of one of those candles and after 30 minutes of burning the room was absolutely surrounded with its scent.

If you think that candle might be a good idea for one of your friends (or a good idea to put one on your own Christmas wish list) you will get to pick from among these three goodies. Art Deco Velvet is a smell of a decadent gentlemen’s club – juniper berry, blond tobacco, vanilla, oakwood and amber – inspired by The Architects Club perfume. Dark Galleon is the interpretation of how merchants ship could smell like – saffron, leather, frankincense, sandalwood, cade – it’s a candle reincarnation of Nanban, Arquiste’s 2015 fragrance release. Then you can indulge in Mexican Baroque, a rich and delightful blend that tempts you to eat it – cocoa, vanilla, smoked chilli, cedar, red clay – it’s Anima Dulcis with a wick.


I wouldn’t be myself if among my suggestions there wouldn’t be a thing signed with a Prada logo. Here I have found for you a collectors treat that would make for a divine present if you know that someone is collecting perfume miniatures. 5 fragrances, each in a 7 ml or 8 ml bottle that is a mini copy of its original bigger size should make a Pradaholic or a miniature-hollic happy.

Browsing through the depths of Internet I have found The Prada Miniatures Collection that features mini versions of Infusion d’Iris eau de parfum and eau de toilette plus 3 versions of Candy: Candy EdP, Candy L’Eau and Candy Florale. There is alternative version with Infusion d’Iris Absolue mini instead of Candy Florale. And there is also an older one that has older Prada releases: Prada EdP, Tendre, Intense & Amber Pour Homme.


If you enjoy home fragrances but scenting the entire house with a scented candle, reed diffuser or room spray seems to be a little bit too much, this little treat might be exactly what you’ve been looking for. Esteban offers you a perfumed good luck charm. It’s a 2 or 3-element set of porous ceramics tied with a string. It’s gently perfumed letting you to introduce some perfume into your wardrobe, drawer or smaller room. You can hang it on door knob, on clothes rack and let it diffuse.

In Esteban offer there are 11 of those perfumed charms. Each comes in different shapes and of course in different scents. Pick from light citrusy and fresh or fruity ones or go a little bit more bold by chosing one with more heady floral bouquet or the one that smells woody, resinous and leathery. Good thing is that this little home deco is renewable. If you notice that your ceramics almost lost their aroma you can purchase a refreshing oil with a fragrance that matches your charm.


What are your scented Christmas gift ideas? If you have found something interestingly fragrant during your shopping, be it online or in store, something that you’ve never seen before, please don’t hesitate to share it. I’m always curious to see what market has to offer.

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