gift ideas: 6 posts

How To Give Perfume as Gift–Or Not

What kind of perfume do you give as a gift? In my experience, selecting the right perfume for a gift is tricky, because guessing someone’s taste is difficult. Even if your gift recipient likes roses, there are no guarantees that the rose fragrance you’ll select will appeal to them. For this reason, I generally advise against giving perfume as a gift, unless you have the other person’s wishlist.

Scented gifts, on the other hand, are my favorite kind of presents to prepare. For instance, scented soaps, candles, incense or interesting home fragrances are always welcome. Likewise, I enjoy giving and receiving food gifts, and here the limit is your imagination–tea sets, jams, honeys, spices. My favorite recent gift was a package from my Iranian friend filled with saffron, cumin, cardamom and sweet-sour dried plums. Every time I use cardamom in my coffee or sizzle cumin in oil to top a vegetable dish, I think of her.

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Gift Ideas for Perfume Lovers and Gourmets

It’s the holidays again, and it means that it’s time for Bois de Jasmin’s gift lists. The best part of the season for me is to come up with unusual gifts for my friends and family, and I would like to share some ideas with you. These gifts are eclectic, and they’re meant to satisfy those interested in sensory pursuits.

Powdered Incense Perfume

Shoyeido’s powdered incense perfume makes me want to give up all of my other fragrances. Well, almost. It’s spectacular–a rich, lingering aroma of incense, woods and soft spices. In my experience, anyone who loves incense is taken with it, and it features on my gift lists this year. The Shoyeido US website offers a selection, and my favorite is called Tokusen, since it’s the most complex of the collection. While you’re at it, Shoyeido’s incense is a must try. Elegant, delicate, and smoke-free, it’s a revelation for anyone who hasn’t yet experienced the Japanese style of incense.

The EU/UK incense lovers can find Shoyeido’s collection, as well as many other incense types, on the Incense Shop website (UK only) and the Sensatonics website (EU).

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Frederic Malle’s Guide to Perfume Gifting and More from Vogue

“A lot of people give Chanel No. 5  for the same reason they might buy an Apple computer—because they think they can’t go wrong,” says Frédéric Malle. “But perfume is more personal than that. It’s not about choosing a ‘good’ fragrance. It’s about choosing the one that’s a good match with the person who will be wearing it.” features a fun article called Perfume by Personality: Frédéric Malle’s Guide to Fragrance Gifting.  I particularly enjoyed Malle’s choice of fragrances. For the Minimalist, he recommends Frédéric Malle L’Eau d’Hiver Eau de Parfum; The Urban Bohemian–Estée Lauder Youth Dew; The Outdoor Adventurist–Les Exclusifs de Chanel Bel Respiro; The Art Collector–Dior Miss Dior (original) and Bulgari Eau Parfumée au Thé Vert Extrême; The Vintage Enthusiast–Rochas Femme and Caron Pour un Homme. To read the rest, please follow this link.

Also, the French edition of includes a beautiful spread on solid perfumes, Jolies Concrètes. It’s in French, but the pictures say everything.

Holiday Gift Ideas from French Magazines : Perfume Sets

My weekend mornings start with a cup of tea and a couple of French magazines. I call it my language practice, but there are other reasons I prefer French Marie-Claire and Elle to their US equivalents–more articles on diverse topics, in-depth interviews, and better fashion coverage. They feature much more on perfume, besides the usual sponsored ads and token mentions of the advertisers’ products. Thanks to French Marie-Claire, I’ve rediscovered Shiseido Zen and fell in love with a delightful orange blossom cologne Bien-être L’Eau Parfumée des Familles.

With the holiday season approaching, the glossy pages are splashed with tempting perfume gift ideas, and today I wanted to share with you a few of them. I love the idea of a scented present that includes several fragrances to try, but in some cases I also wanted to highlight a few interesting products that are presented exclusively for the holidays. While I’ve collected some of the ideas from my dog-eared issues of French Marie-Claire, Vogue and Elle, I featured the sets that can be easily found in the US as well as Europe.

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Holiday Shopping : Gifts for All Senses, Perfume and More Part 2


Holiday Shopping : Gifts for All Senses, Perfume and More Part 1

More Books

In the previous installment, I focused on perfume and scent themed books, while today I would like to offer a few suggestions on flavors. A book like The Flavor Bible: The Essential Guide to Culinary Creativity, Based on the Wisdom of America’s Most Imaginative Chefs by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenburg might be equally fascinating for cooks and fragrance lovers. It outlines different combinations of flavors, pointing out what foods go well together. Another great book from the same team is What to Drink with What You Eat: The Definitive Guide to Pairing Food with Wine, Beer, Spirits, Coffee, Tea – Even Water – Based on Expert Advice from America’s Best Sommeliers. The Flavor Thesaurus: A Compendium of Pairings, Recipes and Ideas for the Creative Cook by Niki Segnit is similar in premise to The Flavor Bible, but it goes further by classifying different flavors and explaining why some combinations work.

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