Still looking for the perfect holiday gift? De rigueur for bloggers to post an annual wish list, I thought I’d join in the fun and post mine. Admittedly, this list is shamelessy subjective, but its purpose is to give you ideas for your own shopping list.
Ranking high on the wish list is a Swiss-made Jura coffee machine. Called a “micro brewing unit”, the compact one-cup machine prepares latte macchiato, cappuccino, espresso, café crème and hot water at the touch of a button. Operation is so straightforward that it can be summed up in two words: press – enjoy.
Dior’s Escale à Portofino. When I was 12, I travelled to Portofino with my family and have been back a few times since. The House of Dior encapsulates all the charm of Italy’s Ligurian coast in this fresh, invigorating perfume presented in a cut glass bottle – sixteen natural essences, mainly from the Mediterranean region: Calabrian Bergamot, Italian Citron, Sicilian Petitgrain, Bitter Almond, Orange Blossom and Mediterranean Cypress essences. Divino!
Bose Mini Wireless Speaker. The SoundLink® Mini Bluetooth speaker delivers full, natural sound from an ultra-compact speaker that fits in the palm of your hand. It connects wirelessly to your smartphone, tablet or other Bluetooth device, so you can listen to your music, videos or games anytime, anywhere.
A box of marrons glacés. My mother loved marrons glacés. I love them too because they’re festive and not too sweet. Chestnuts are popular in Europe: roasted, sweetened and puréed or chopped and used in poultry stuffing. Over the holidays, eat them whole, candied in syrup and then glazed. Great with champagne.
A DIPTYQUE candle. Here’s what the Diptyque blurb says for the new winter collection -
- Epice (Spice) is warm, voluptuous and vibrant with notes of cinnamon and plum.
- Hiver (Winter) is a sensual evocation of the cold and biting North wind, followed by the comforting scent of a wood fire and roasting chestnuts. (All that in a candle?)
- Résine (Resin) is an ode to the pine tree: bark, resin, crushed pine needles.
My all-time favourite, though, is the Feu de Bois candle. It smells like woodsmoke on a cold day. Evocative and enduring, Feu de Bois is an unusual warm and woody fragrance. Its smouldering aroma captures burning embers with the smokey warmth of Lapsang Tea to create a unique, slightly mysterious scent.
Urban Decay Vice eyeshadow. One of the best purchases I ever made in terms of eye make-up. Every morning I open up the palette box and contemplate the 20 gorgeous colours within. Matte, satin, sparkle and even metallic, this palette is made for experimentation. Each shade gives velvety texture, rich colour, serious staying power and blendability.
Mont Blanc perfume. Yesterday, in the Mont Blanc boutique on the Champs Elysées, I purchased an early gift for myself. This perfume is special and may not be to everyone’s liking. Called La Présence d’une Femme, it’s an oriental vanilla fragrance with top notes of mandarin orange and pepper, middle notes of cyclamen and orchid and base notes of sandalwood, palisander wood, vanilla flower and patchouli. I love it.
Leonor Greyl hair products (for men and women). These all-natural treatments are expensive, but probably the nec plus ultra of hair products. Treat yourself to just one. The jasmine nourishing mask for thin, dry hair, for example. Rich in amino acids, proteins and botanical oils. Or the volumizing algae shampoo that adds strength, volume and body to thin and limp hair. My favourite is the Orchid Mask (masque à l’orchidée) that nourishes and detangles dry and frizzy hair.
A kilo of Jelly Bellies. I’m addicted to these gourmet jelly beans.
And, last but not least, here are two luxury items that remain just “pour le plaisir des yeux“. In a delicate blend of grey and white or a more brightly coloured pink and yellow version, the Dior VIII Montaigne timepiece is adorned in steel. Mother-of-pearl marquetry work accentuated with colour, the shapes of the functional oscillating weights are reminiscent of the couture sunray pleating technique.
Pomellato rings. Oh, how I love Pomellato rings. An Italian jewelry company, the brand was founded by Pino Rabolini in Milan in 1967 and currently ranks among the top five European jewellers. Here’s my favourite, the Nudo, featuring gems in blue topaz, Madera quartz, amethyst, lemon quartz and mandarin garnet.