My father is deceased. My partner and I wouldn’t dream of calling each other “Dad” or “Pa” (nor do either of us qualify as “sugar daddy” to the other). My two cats are treated like children, but neither is smart enough to buy me a present. Father’s Day is pretty meaningless at my house! How’s that for a kick-off to this article? Personal life aside, I hear people all around me complaining about Father’s Day: fathers are often disappointed in the gifts they receive, suspecting the gift is more for the giver, than the receiver (tickets to shows and games, fancy dinners at restaurants); children struggle to buy something original that will still be enjoyed. Since my “beat” is perfume, here are some scented suggestions if you’re still searching for a gift.
Let’s start with the head; the locus of male drudgery — shaving. Classic Shaving offers some cool gift options: its retro, and colorful, Pinaud-Clubman set includes five, 12.5 oz bottles of Lime Sec and Citrus Musk Eaux de Cologne, Lilac Vegetal, Bay Rum and Clubman “Original” aftershave lotions, $50 (or the same set in 6 oz bottles for $30); the Thiers Issard Super Badger 26mm Shaving Brush is beautiful (the bristles are set into a desert ironwood base), $230; present the brush with a tin of Pré de Provence Shaving Cream, 150 g, sage scent, $15. Have a dad with whiskers? Give him some beard soap and beard tonic from Ireland (made with lime, apricot, vitamin B5 and rosemary); $26.50 at Dr K Soap Company at Etsy.
Next: the mouth! If your dad’s a cusser, tell him to wash out his mouth with Marvis Amarelli Licorice Toothpaste, 75 ml, $10.50; Redmond Cinnamon Earthpaste Toothpaste, 4 oz, $8; or Bee Rescued Propolis Toothpaste (made with clove oil…good for toothache), 8 oz, $10. (Buy all three for the tooth-obsessed father). After brushing, Père can rinse with Botot Concentrated Mouthwash, flavored with cinnamon, gillyflower and ginger, 150 ml, $20. (All available at Smallflower.)
Moving down the body, I have lots of soap and cologne suggestions. Malin + Goetz makes a “natural” Bug Spray (with rosemary and citronell), 120 ml, $20; its body wash is invigorating in the rum scent, 473 ml, $36. Malin + Goetz 15 ml perfume oils (vetiver, musk, rum tonic, lotus root and cannabis) come in amber-colored glass vials, very masculine looking, $50 each.
Kala Style offers Swedish soaps; they are non-froufrou and have fresh marine aromas: Sea Salt or Sea Weed, $6.50 a bar (these soaps can be rubbed on the face for use as a shave soap as well). I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned this soap, but it’s a personal favorite: Star of David Brand Kosher Soap in Lemon-Eucalyptus scent, $7.50 (also at Kala Style).
Men seem to prefer body moisturizers that are simple to use (lotions instead of thick creams) and in rather prosaic packaging. Kiehl’s offers Crème de Corps Light-Weight Body Lotion (8.5 oz) in either 30 SPF or “plain” (no sun protection) formulas ($29/$25 respectively). This lotion has a very light scent. Hand lotion is an essential grooming product, but more fun to use if it smells good; I like Mistral organic shea butter hand cream (metal tube) in South Seas — an oceanic scent with hints of flowers and fruit (100 ml/$21) or Mistral Soft-Touch Hand Lotion (pump container) in Verbena (400 ml/$25).
Cologne sets are always easy ways to present fragrance to perfume-loving dads. Viktor & Rolf Spicebomb Father's Day Gift Set at Bloomingdale’s features a 3 oz. Eau de Toilette Spray, 1.7 oz. After Shave Balm, and 1.7 oz. Shower Gel, $100). Who doesn’t like bergamot? Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria gift set includes Eau de Toilette (4 oz) and body cream (2.5 oz) in a travel bag (Saks Fifth Avenue, $110). Also at Saks, Molton Brown Spectrum gift set (includes six 3.3 oz. bath & shower gels in Energising Seamoss, Relaxing Yuan Zhi, Travel-Reviving Cempaka, Re-Charge Black Pepper, Warming Eucalyptus, and Invigorating Suma Ginseng, $48).
Another gift set option is by Archipelago: the Boticario de Havana Gift Box. The box includes shave cream (4 oz), soap (5 oz), body wash (30 oz), and a soy candle (6 oz) in the Boticario de Havana aroma (tobacco flower, bergamot, ylang ylang… more masculine than it sounds) $75 at Archipelago. I must also give a shout-out to one of my all-time favorite hand creams: Boticario de Havana’s Hand Crème with added extracts of sugar cane, coffee, pineapple, 4 oz/$25.
Finally, there’s home fragrance. At Luckyscent I’m happy to see a “retro” favorite, Rigaud candles (before Diptyque’s arrival, these were almost the only option for high-end perfumed candles). Rigaud’s Cyprès candle (scented with lavender, pine, oak moss, cedar) is $65. Also at Luckyscent, Astier de Villatte Mantes-La-Jolie candle (Mentha citrata, green stems, eucalyptus), $83, and Carrière Frères Industrie Firewood (cinders, burning grass, leather), $49.
Aedes de Venustas sells high-quality incense; among my favorites are Esteban Santal burning sticks, $13.50; wonderful Astier de Villatte incense in Delhi (HEAVEN!) or Aoyama ("damp wood, incense, and freshly laundered linen, evokes the typical smell of an old, Japanese wooden house…."), $50 a box. Aedes also sells Santa Maria Novella Wax Tablets to hang in closets or place in drawers (made with potpourri-scented beeswax), 2 tablets/$34.
Finally, there’s another type of scented product I’ll recommend for spring and summer cocktails: booze. Instead of lemoncello, give your father some Caravella Orangecello, 750 ml, $30, or treat him to a bottle of St. Germain Elderflower Liqueur Artisanale, 750 ml, $35, or Gabriel Boudier Crème de Cassis de Dijon, $35. Have a palomita for me if you buy a bottle, or two, of Luxardo Anisette, 750 ml, $35. (Do an Internet search for best prices on all liquor.)
What would I want if my cats had credit cards and were able to use the Internet? Oh, not much, just the Guerlain Bee Bottle of Eau de Cologne Impériale, $320 for 17 oz (at Neiman Marcus), a Frédéric Malle candle: Saint des Saints (Indian temple fragrance), Café Society (Paris apartment) or Rosa rugosa, $85-$95 (all at Barneys New York). A travel box of four, 15 ml Czech & Speake Vétiver Vert fragrances (£75) would be appreciated for future trips.
Alas, my cats are on permanent sabbaticals and their budgets are tight; since I love the fragrant Italian drink chinotto, they could buy me a four-pack of Lurisia Il Nostro Chinotto ($16) or a couple six-packs of San Pellegrino Chinotto ($14) and I’d be satisfied (all at Amazon.com).
Note: Top image via Wikimedia Commons.
Middle images: left to right, Acqua di Parma Bergamotto di Calabria, Gabriel Boudier Crème de Cassis de Dijon, Astier de Villatte incense, Sea Salt soap.
Bottom images: left to right, Guerlain Eau de Cologne Impériale and Frédéric Malle Rosa rugosa candle.