More shopping ideas: check out Perfume Posse's recommendations for indie fragrance gifts.
To repeat what I said last year, maybe some year, Diptyque’s holiday candles will look so dull that we’ll leave them out, but that year has (still) not yet arrived. This year's limited editions include Pine Bark ("A clean, woody, smoky fragrance that combines pine and cedar with hinoki, the Japanese cypress."), Orange Chai ("A mellow but not sweet accord of orange, quince and a mixture of Indian spices.") and Indian Incense ("A mysterious, deep fragrance, dark and floral. Rose and carnation are balanced with incense and myrrh."), with designs by Tsé & Tsé. $68 each (190g), or $32 for a mini candle (70g), at Diptyque.
At left, from Fornasetti, Flora room spray: "Fill your home with the beautifully luxurious Flora fragrance room spray by Fornasetti. The elegant white floral bouquet scent is inspired by the lush flora that fills the gardens that envelope the Fornasetti house in Milan, and by the floral imagery created by Piero Fornasetti. This room spray is presented in an elegantly decorated ceramic vessel that will look beautiful in any setting." $135 for 100 ml at Luckyscent. At right, a budget alternative from Caldrea: Mandarin Vetiver Linen and Room Spray, $9 for 473 ml at Caldrea.
From Lafco, diffusers in Fresh Cut Gardenia ("Fresh and floral with a touch of green; gardenia blossoms with the scent of the green leaves") or Fleurs de Baies ("This dramatically fruity floral is a combination of bayberry leaves, wild roses, black currants and a touch of raspberry") $95 each at Lafco.
From Nest, the Elton John 3-wick Holiday candle: "A blend of evergreen and balsam fir needles combined with rich woods and a sparkling citrus accord. 20% of the net proceeds from the sales of Sir Elton John's Holiday candles will be donated to the Elton John AIDS Foundation." $64 at Saks Fifth Avenue.
From Santa Maria Novella, Rose Wax Tablets for closets or drawers: "Too beautiful to be hidden, tablets can be placed in drawers, hung in closets (ribbon is already attached) or simply left out in the open on a tray to freshen and scent the surrounding space." Two 2x4 inch tablets with removable ribbons, $34 at Santa Maria Novella.
From Frédéric Malle, the limited edition Joyeux Noël candle by perfumer Dominique Ropion: "The Smell of Christmas: an hyperrealistic rendition of the scent of a pine tree mixed with cinnamon, amber and clove." $95 for 225g at Barneys.
From Maison Francis Kurkdjian, a holiday candle trio: "A sparkling holidays celebration with a new set of three mini glass candles for a warm cheer at home. Decorated in gold, they feature a festive and warm blend of iris, gingerbread and cedar wood." $90 at Neiman Marcus.
From Hôtel Costes, room sprays developed by perfumer Olivia Giacobetti. Purple has notes of frangipani, green mango, teak wood and coriander seeds; Orange has notes of burned coffee, clove, cardamom, cedar wood and crytallized orange; Brown has notes of rum, black musk, bitter orange skin, mahogany and paprika. White, not shown, features lily, ginger and musk notes. $79 each at Bigelow Chemists.