Today is Black Friday, the official start of the holiday shopping season in the United States and one of the biggest shopping days of the year. Of course, it's also Buy Nothing Day. Choose your poison...
A holiday favorite (not least because it's hard to find the rest of the year): Clinique Wrappings. The gift set includes 25 ml Perfume Spray and 100 ml Body Smoother, $35 at Clinique.
Carthusia recently released solid perfume versions of many of its popular fragrances, and this one, in Mediterraneo (my own answer to what to wear in winter to remind you that summer will return, eventually), is especially high on my wish list. $65 for 15 ml at Beautyhabit.
From Skeem, the (pretty!) Silk Route Mandarin Sake Lantern Candle, featuring "citrus top notes with the warm and spicy undertones of sandalwood, currant and vanilla". The 32 oz candle has a burn time of 240 hours, $36 at Nooks & Niches.
The perfect small hostess gift, should you need one this year: Claus Porto hand soap (great stuff even before Oprah found it). Shown in Rivale (Grapefruit Fig), $16 for 400 ml at eLuxury.
At La Creme Beauty, cult favorite Child perfume in a signed and numbered limited edition "presented in an amazing ultra hip & swank rubberised textured hand made book style box with magnetic closure". 60 ml spray bottle plus a 1/3 oz perfume roll on, $165.
Jessica reviewed Copa soaps earlier this year, and I couldn't resist ordering. I'm a convert — these are great soaps, and they'd be perfect stocking stuffers. Jessica loves Basil, my favorites are Vetiver Peat, Ginger Carrot (shown) and Cardamom. Only $4 each, or get free shipping if you spend buy 10 at CopaSoaps.
See also: Holiday fragrance gifts 2007, part 1, part 2.
Interesting to see the Wrappings – I've always wanted to try it, and never found it. The mace intrigues me. Do you like it, R?
E, Wrappings is a very green chypre, and it is often described as “fresh” but I find it both heavy and sweet. Not my cuppa tea! And it is one of those scents that lasts forever (e.g., virtually impossible to remove). But it has lots of fans, so don't mind me
But you should be able to find it at Clinique counters around now, they usually put out a tester until they run out for the year.
I see from the website that they don't appear to distribute it in Canada….
Oh, then never mind! If you're dying to have some, lots of the discounters do have it, but of course that doesn't help you test it.
Thanks. The soaps and latern candle look great, too. I also enjoy your holiday shopping posts.
Erin, you probably shouldn't listen to me, but if you like chypres as much as I do, you might actually consider just buying the set. I used to wear Wrappings (when it was still available in Canada) and it is a most arresting scent: brilliant and sweet at the same time, and also tenuous, but not, to my nose. heavy. Let's just say that it's as strange as Aromatics Elixir is, and that that's a good thing.
Thank YOU! Those soaps really are fabulous, really glad I took Jessica's word on that one.
You know, I never thought about it before, but “strange” is the perfect word — you wouldn't think either of these scents would come from Clinique of all brands. Happy seems like a better fit with the brand as a whole. So, good for them, I guess, although sadly, I'd wear Happy before Wrappings or AE.
After experiencing Aromatics Elixir and then Wrappings, I actually thought that “strange” was the niche they were aiming for! I kind of loved them for it. (Their second men's scent, Chemistry, was and still is a classic men's fragrance, stunningly good, nothing offbeat about it at all, but I didn't think men were enough of a market at the time to have to be a part of that corporate strategy.) Then, of course, they launched Happy, and that was clearly a complete revamping of the company's image: everything they've released since then has been very much in the mainstream of commercial perfumery. It's really a shame.
I meant “tenacious” up there, not “tenuous”. Gah. I know nobody else cares about this sort of thing, but I do.
Well, in this case, I couldn't figure out what you meant, so I care too
To me, Happy fits the Clinique image that they've created over the years w/ the skincare and makeup. Aromatics Elixir & Wrappings both smell like Estee Lauder scents. Of course, Clinique is owned by EL, but in skincare & makeup their aesthetic seems quite different.
And adding: keep meaning to smell Chemistry and always forget!
Wrappings 'sweet'?! I'm stunned. I've never found it sweet at all. I found it bracing.
I was flying to Paris (before the advent of the Eurostar) when it first came out in Europe and I asked the flight attendant what she was wearing. Then, a few days later, I followed a woman in a department store and asked what she was wearing. Obviously, I had to have it. I wore Wrappings until they announced it was being discontinued. I was heartbroken and stopped wearing it straight away (I wanted to save the little juice that was left in the bottle). Had I known it would still be available all year round at Harrods, I would never have stopped wearing it. It suited me very well (I'm told). The drydown was absolutely wonderful.
J, I'll vote for bracing too, but sticking with my “sweet”
But didn't know it was ever discontinued, I thought it just went from regular to holiday-only status? I did read somewhere, just recently, that it was at Harrods year-round, which is nice.
Hmmm… chemistry strikes again. LOL!
One day, in Selfridges, I suddenly became aware that there were no bottles of Wrappings on display and they told me it was being discontinued. I soon learned Harrods would still stock it, but not soon enough for me not to have stopped wearing it – I never go back to a perfume once I've stopped using it.
I wonder if there is any US store (Bergdorfs, maybe?) that keeps it in stock year round. Will have to investigate.
I bought soaps from Copasoaps too after reading Jessica's review…
Great buy!..I will be ordering from them again soon . I like that these soaps are all natural too..
Now if I can only find the perfect candle(smell and price!)
The Clinique Wrappings Holiday Set is available at The Bay in Canada for $46! I tried it on because I remembered that I used to like it. It's still fresh and green on me and not sweet.
Thanks very much for the gift ideas, I bought my perfume loving aunt the very nice Diptyque coffret, hard not to order one for myself too!
Glad they're finding fans, I really do love them. Perfect cheap candles are harder to come by, aren't they? I do like some of the Soyology ones, and they aren't too badly priced. Also like Ergo, although they are a bit more $$. But both cheaper than many of the niche brands.
I'm having a hard time not ordering one myself! Only thing stopping me is that I have full sized bottles of 2 of the 4.
Just checked out the Ergo website- they do seem cheaper than most niche brands..Will check them out at one of their retailers..Thanks!!
p.s how is their throw and do they burn cleanly?
I've been really happy with the Ergo candles I've bought (both in terms of throw and burning clean) but haven't bought a new one in a few years and they've really expanded the line dramatically since then. Hope they're still as good as they were, but wouldn't swear to it!