I received a panicked phone call from a friend’s significant other over the weekend to ask, in his words, “what the bloody hell should I get XX for Christmas? She has everything!” It is a outcry I often hear around this time of year, when most of us are in the unenviable position of trying to find gifts for people who aren’t short of pyjamas or pants or other such necessities and therefore have to turn to luxury goods for gifts.
The problem with luxuries is, of course, that they’re expensive. Well, they can be. My approach towards this conundrum is to take something useful – say, a pair of socks – and add a twist of sparkle or get them in a treat material like silk or cashmere. The result is a luxury gift that doesn’t necessarily cost the earth but that is still unlikely to be something the receiver would pick up on a weekly shop. Here are some ideas //
Penhaligon’s Bath Oils / These are so brilliant that I’ve spent a good five minutes wondering where to start this review as words were crowding my head. I thought a list might be best, so: 1) It looks delightful on a shelf thanks to the vintage apothecary bottle; 2) The base of the oils is sweet almond, meaning that it can double as a decadent body oil too; 3) It costs a mere £38 for a jolly good single gift needing no stocking fillers to bulk it out, 4) Kate Moss apparently grabbed a whole bunch for pressies – the Moss is usually right about such things.
Chanel Nail Colour Remover / This is genius: a very humdrum, useful product elevated to a thing of beauty thanks to the Gods of Chanel. Pair with a few of the new Chanel polishes for a present that’s bound to please.
Emma Hardie Moringa Cleansing Balm 200ml / One of the best cleansing balms around in a super duper-sized pot that’ll last for a good four months, this is the thing to get someone who’s into skincare and to whom you’d like give something extra brilliant.
Falke Socks / My fallback gift, Falke socks are. They make them in a variety of styles and shades – all brilliant, some festive. My current go-to are these sparkly socks, which I wear poking out of skinny jeans and my fancy Helmut Lang swishy trousers. I can attest to the joy seeing flashes of them brings, and suggest you buy these for someone in need of a little cheer.
Molton Brown Fabled Juniper Berries and Lapp Pine Fine Liquid Hand Wash / Fresh, uplifting and in a display-worthy dispenser complete with little jingling bells, this is the ideal gift to bring to a host/the house-proud.
Carluccio’s Chocolates / Another firm favourite this end, I’d suggest popping into Carluccio’s if you simply can’t find anything for someone – they make a selection of pretty chocolates in jars that are easy to repurpose.
Sarti Silk Scarf / As I was fortunate enough to recently get one of these for my birthday, I can tell you from experience that these scarves by Sarti are uncommonly beautiful. Basically a big swathe of silk that comes in a variety of colours, this is the prettiest way to cover shoulders and stay toasty.