Holiday Gifts for All Senses : Soaps and Creams

For this holiday gift guide, I decided to put together some of my favorite scented body products and some fun accessories. I also wanted for all selections to be under $50. Despite what beauty magazines tell you, you can really score some great, quality products on a budget. The second part of my holiday guide includes interesting finds like soap made with real sandalwood, luscious looking powder puffs and orange blossom scented skincare for men.

soap incense etc

Holiday Gifts for All Senses : Perfume Discovery Sets

Rosewater or Orange Blossom Water

As a scented gift for someone who also enjoys cooking, floral waters are unbeatable. They are available at gourmet food stores, Iranian, Indian and Middle Eastern shops and Whole Foods. $5-15, depending on the brand. If your gift recipient is new to floral waters, including a note with some of your favorite ways to use them would be a nice touch. You can find extra ideas here: 10 Ways to Use Rosewater and 10 Ways to Use Orange Blossom Water.

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Cacharel Anais Anais Premier Delice : Perfume Review

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No perfume families are as vast as the fruity-floral and gourmand families. It seems that you can get any dessert in perfume form, from crème brûlée to cupcakes. There are also many fragrances that smell like clones of each other, which is why after you smell one too many variations of Angel, you start giving up on the whole lot. On the other hand, if you want lighthearted and fun, then nothing can beat a well-crafted gourmand blend. From time to time, I canvas perfume store shelves for such contenders, and my latest search turned up Cacharel’s Anais Anais Premier Délice.

cacharel

Premier Délice is one of several variations on the classical green floral Anais Anais, but it’s the first major departure from the original. Instead of accenting the floral notes, perfumers Olivier Cresp and Dora Baghriche took a different route. They’ve laced it with chocolate! If you’re familiar with the original, you’re probably skeptical right now, but if you like gourmand and fruity notes you’ll like Premier Délice. It is moderately sweet on the contemporary gourmand spectrum, and it has some interesting elements.

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Walnut Crescents : Vanilla and Cinnamon

“Did you buy stock in a walnut farm?” asked my husband when I returned home from the market with a bag full of tawny colored nuts. I simply couldn’t resist them. The flavor is creamy and sweet, with hints of maple syrup and spice. What better way to finish a meal than with a glass of port, a handful of walnuts and a slice of blue-veined cheese?

crescents7

But the other evening, as my grandmother told me about her 40 pound walnut harvest, I was inspired to browse through my family recipe books for something Ukrainian themed. My grandmother’s walnut and honey torte and rich walnut roll are delectable, but they are desserts for times when you have a whole evening to devote to cooking. By contrast, I had just finished my work day and was too exhausted to tackle a complicated project. So, I settled on a recipe for walnut crescents that I knew by heart.

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Carthusia Capri Forget Me Not : Fragrance Review

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As we recently talked about uplifting perfumes, we discovered that fig inspired scents can be terrific mood-boosters. So, Elisa reviews another fragrance with a fig theme. 

Fig fragrances usually fall into one of two camps: There’s the woody, leafy-green variety, best represented by Diptyque Philosykos and L’Artisan Premier Figuier (both composed by Olivia Giacobetti). Then there are the jammy, sticky figs, like Mugler’s Womanity and Byredo Pulp. I enjoy both styles, but I had started to feel that there wasn’t much point in trying new fig scents, since they’re always so familiar. We already own a bottle of Philosykos. Fig is fig, right?

capri

Wrong, as it turns out – Capri Forget Me Not from Carthusia, an aromatic, citrusy fig fragrance released in 2012, has reminded me that there are always new ways to use old materials.

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Hermes New Home Scent Collection

Hermès is launching a new home scent collection created by Celine Ellena, the daughter of Jean-Claude Ellena, the house’s perfumer. In a collaboration with a renowned ceramist Guillaume Bardet, Ellena has composed five new scents to perfume candles, ceramic pebbles and an origami horse. The collection includes À Cheval! (pumpkin), Champ Libre (sulphur), Fenêtre Ouverte (lagoon), Des Pas Sur la Neige (taupe), and Temps de Pluie (celadon).

hermes

The candles are available in 3 different sizes: 1100 g at 350€, 620g at 250€, 220g at 150€. Each perfumed pebble is 200€. A set of 4 scented origami horses is 62€ (I had to look twice to make sure I didn’t make a mistake, but yes, they are 62€…)

The collection will be available in Hermès boutiques and in selected sales venues starting from December 2014. Via press release.

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