holiday gifts: 17 posts

Bois de Jasmin Holiday Gift Guide : Tea, Coffee and Candles

Since many of my readers are avid tea drinkers, I decided to start my 2023 holiday gift guide with a selection of my favorite tea stores. Once I made my list, I thought of adding a section about my recent coffee discovery. Finally, I finished my list with a few scented candles, focusing on the tea and coffee scents. I hope that this guide will inspire you, and of course, I look forward to your suggestions.

Ippodo Tea

Ippodo Tea is a family-run company founded in 1717. Although its roots are in Kyoto, Ippodo stores can be found all over Japan and even abroad. Their matcha is some of the best I’ve tasted, especially Seiun and Sayaka. They offer a selection of classical teas and their website makes it easy to find the right tea for you. If you’re new to Japanese tea, it’s a good place to start.

Website: Global and US & Canada.

Thés du Japon

My ikebana teacher recommended this store to me and gave me a sample of one of their teas. I first spend several days engrossed into their blog that describes different Japanese tea cultivars and growing regions. The store was founded by two Frenchmen, one of whom, Florent Weugue, is a certified Japanese tea sommelier. The teas I’ve ordered were spectacular, and as I’m writing this post, I’m drinking Sencha from Kawane, Moto-Fujikawa, Shizu-7132 cultivar. It has a gorgeous scent of sakura blossoms, with a toasted almond nuance.

Website: thes-du-japon.com. First-time buyers receive a code for a discount. My order was delivered by UPS and the transaction was smooth.

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Ukranian Petrykivka Ornaments : Holiday Gifts

A few years ago I made a memorable journey to Petrykivka in Ukraine. Located near the city of Dnipro in the eastern-central part of the country, the town is famous for its folk painting style, Petrykivsky painting or “petrykivka.” It depicts flowers, leaves, and birds in a variety of baroque forms. The colors are vivid, with red, blue, yellow, and green hues being most traditional. Everywhere I went in the town, I saw bright designs covering walls, fences and street signs, but petrykivka is also used for paintings and decorating everyday objects.

Petrykivka painting has been included in the UNESCO Representative List of Intangible Cultural Heritage, and many artists operate studios in town. Before the war their situation was already precarious, as it is for many artists, but these days it is even more so. Nevertheless, despite the electricity blackouts and other tragic realities of war, they continue to work and produce beautiful artworks.

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Fragrant Gift Ideas for the Holidays

For my gift guide this year I decided to focus on fragrant selections to satisfy all the senses, such as spices, Japanese fruit, bath oils, Persian cookies and perfumery kits. I narrowed down my choices to my favorite online shops, including options for those who live in Europe and the USA. My readers often ask me for my scented recommendations, and this guide includes many things I enjoy.

Mala Market Starter Sichuan Collection

Mala Market is a US-based online shop selling Sichuan ingredients. Outside of China, it’s hard to find another better source for fragrant Sichuan pepper or dried chilies. The Starter Sichuan Collection makes a great gift for those who like cooking, and it includes: premium da hong pao Sichuan pepper, facing heaven zi dan tou dried chilies, fragrant hot ground chilies (chili flakes), handcrafted Pixian chili bean paste, Yibin yacai (a mustard-stem pickle used in many Sichuan dishes,) and recipe cards for chili oil, dan dan noodles, gong bao (kung pao) chicken, mapo tofu and dry-fried green beans. $60

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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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Holiday Gifts for All Senses : Perfume, Incense, Makeup

While the first part of my holiday gift guide this year was dominated by edible things, the second is an eclectic mix of skincare, perfume, incense, soaps and a few beautiful makeup items. Many gifts on the list are suitable for men. A large portion is reasonably priced, including a selection of under $25 delights that would make great stocking stuffers. As always, I look forward to your gift ideas. If you have come across anything interesting (or if there is something you would like to receive), please share in the comments.

Gifts Under $25

incense sachet

Shoyeido Johin Incense Sachet

I have several of Shoyeido’s incense sachets stuffed in various linen closets, and they have a rich, elegant perfume of sandalwood, clove and camphor. Johin incense is rich in patchouli and sandalwood, for instance, and the sachets are made out of colorful textured fabric. Sachets are small, but they keep their aroma for months. Available from shoyeido’s website. Each sachet retails for $7.50.

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Latest Comments

  • Victoria in Coffee and Flowers: I completely forgot about this perfume. It’s excellent. Thank you for reminding me about it. June 18, 2024 at 7:03am

  • Andrea SD in Coffee and Flowers: A*Men by Thierry Mugler has a really pronounced Arabica / Espresso note. A proper lift-me-up. June 18, 2024 at 6:02am

  • Victoria in Coffee and Flowers: What a great description! June 18, 2024 at 4:30am

  • Judith Attar in Coffee and Flowers: I always thought that Margiela Untitled smelled of coffee and shampoo, ie a London bus in morning rush hour. June 18, 2024 at 4:28am

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