Since we have already posted ideas on perfumed gifts as well as a guide to help you through wading the shelves in stores in search of a fragrance gift. I thought today I might include some alterative ideas that do not focus on specific fragrances but do relate to olfaction and the pleasures of the nose.
Perfume books should be high on any perfumista's wishlist, so here are my two best recs: The Essence of Perfume by fragrance connoisseur Roja Dove; a coffee-table-sized book with lots of basic and not so basic info and luscious photographs to make you swoon. And Avery Gilbert's What the Nose Knows: The Science of Scent in Everyday Life; A scientific and fun exploration on how our sense of smell works, how we're being fooled and the unknown facts around olfaction you wished you knew when you started this hobby! You can read my review of Roja Dove's book and Avery Gilbert's book clicking the links.
Pampering for the body never hurt anyone and the holiday season presents its own stresses anyway. So this is the perfect time for a little mssage oil applied with long strokes (preferably by someone special): Weleda is an excellent German brand of high quality skincare products that are distributed through pharmacies. Their Wild Rose Body Oil is especially fragrant and luxurious, using the aromatheurapeutical properties of wild rose, the scent is fit for both sexes and the price is right. The ritual of powdering is a forgotten practice, but it's worth resurecting to embrace your inner Hollywood diva during the holiday season. It's also more economical than splurging for a new bottle of fragrance. Ladies, this classic Maja dusting powder by Spanish brand Mururgia is calling your name, while Coty Wild Musk powder is such a wonderful, inviting smell I wonder why it sits at the lower end of the market! Gentlemen will feel like their feet are featherlight by putting a little powder in Taylor of Old Bond Street Sandalwood before slipping on their socks.
What about a little flavourful something to help make something wonderful in the kitchen these holiday season or to offer when invited to a guest house? This Taste of Italy gift basket by Wine Country Gift Baskets won't break the bank and looks luscious: "Bring the tastes of Italy to any home or office with this hearty basket; contains everything needed for a great Italian meal. Start off with extra virgin gourmet olive oil, bread dipping herbs, roasted garlic bread mix, mozzarella crackers, mixed green and black olives, twice-baked roasted garlic crackers, cheese knife set and a bread dipping bowl. Rigatoni pasta and garlic pasta seasoning make up the main course while Lanzetti fruit candy and vanilla biscotti complete this authentic basket". I can't help thinking that the comparable Breakfast in Bed basket is especially indulgent for this holiday season when my weary self will need a little pampering...
If the History of Saffron article has raised your curiosity on this golden spice, might I suggest you get some for your cooking! Princesa de Minaya Saffron (Azafran) by LaTienda is whole stigmata of pure saffron to add to your rice pilaf or fish or to infuse as an aromatic beverage by itself or mixed with tea. Touch of India Saffron Spices mixes paprika, turmeric, coriander, red pepper, black pepper, cardamom, and saffron for dishes that promise to being an exotic flavour to your table this Christmas. There is a price level for every budget.
If cost is generally your concern (and whose isn't these days), yet you want the elusive luxury that truffles, those odorous mushrooms bring to your dishes, yet can't fork out the cash for it, do try a little truffle-aromatized oil instead: This Italian Extra Virgin Olive Oil is infused with white truffle to be used as a finishing touch on delicate dishes that demand an earthy touch and is just 12$! Take it as a gift to a host who loves to cook and you will have their heart (and invitations to subsequent dinners) for ever after.
And because culinary escapades on Perfume Shrine couldn't finish without quality chocolate and a touch of Greece, please take a look at this glorious Greek-founded chocolaterie, Leonidas, who produces Belgian-style chocolates in various flavours and shapes, filled with whatever your fancy desires. 1lb will set you back 34$ and several thousand calories behind your scheduled ratio, but it's sooooo worth it!
Have fun choosing your gifts!
Pics via Amazon.