for all of your holiday gifts!

The holidays are the best time to stay home – all nice and toasty – and make cookies, grate potatoes, write cards, call loved ones, decorate, listen to your favorite seasonal tunes. You know what’s not so fun? Running to the mall in winter weather, fighting over parking spaces, standing in line. Blech! Well, you don’t have to do it. Did you know you can get all of your gifts at, from the “main gift” to the little stocking stuffers? Yes, even the stocking stuffers! Some of us call those type of gifts “Day 8”. I was happy to be hosted to experience it. Bvlgari is one of the world’s most luxurious brands. Yet, you can be gifting it without breaking the bank! The Bvlgari Variety Set for Women has 5 individually packaged fragrances, so you can easily divide them up for different recipients. My dad used to do this, even with single fragrance sets: as the first-born, I got the fragrance, the sisters got like, the bath powder. The Bvlgari set includes 3 fragrances packaged in the chicest interlocking ring bottles, but they are a little tricky to open. Here’s one of the links to open it, so it’s not my imagination.  Maybe save those for your younger giftees.               I experienced Rose Goldea – “The essence of the jeweler” – as a blend of warm rose and honey, a little fruit juice and pink pepper.              I noticed that Rose Goldea Blossom Delight has champagne notes, light and bubbly. They describe it as “The freshness of rosebuds at sunrise embraced by freshly-picked spring flowers.”              Omnia Crystalline has powerful bouquet flower and green notes: it’s not a shy fragrance. They describe it as: “A luminous eau de toilette that captures the transparency of lotus flowers, the fruity freshness of Nashi pear and the creaminess of balsa wood.”              With Omnia Coral, I experienced powerful ripe banana and banana tree notes. They describe it as: “A radiant floral-fruity eau de toilette composed of tropical hibiscus and juicy pomegranate notes.”               I experienced Omnia Amethyste as having notes of violet, lilac, freesia, gardenia, woods and powder. They describe it as: “A nuanced floral eau de toilette that captures the infinite scents of iris gardens caressed with morning dew.”Worth fragrances are the creative descendants of the House of Worth, a 19th and 20th century couturier. Je Reviens (“I Will Come Back” in French) parfum is handsomely packaged in a cobalt glass bottle inside a sea-green coffet. I experienced powder notes, a big, bright bouquet of flowers, spicy carnation. They describe it as “a classic scent of soft florals and greens that brings a sense of romance to your life. Introduced in 1932, this beautiful fragrance for women adds the perfect element of sweetness without overwhelming the senses. Spray it gently onto your skin before you leave for a romantic encounter and enjoy the passion it inspires. The delicate scent lets you explore your inner confidence and lends just the right touch of femininity.”Another gift set that could be easily broken up and divided among several people, different nights of Christmas or Hanukkah, little party favors, etc. Is the Women’s Premier Variety fragrance collection. It has several fragrance houses with different style profiles. Something’s bound to please!               I experienced Lancome Miracle as having notes of sweet citrus, bright and light florals, with middle notes of honey. This is how they describe it: “This sensual, spicy floral fragrance is bursting with the zest of brilliant Freesia, peppered with Ginger and serenely balanced by warm Amber notes. A vibrant, sparkling fragrance that opens like the dawning of a new day with fresh, dewy notes of Lychee and Freesia. Its spicy heart echoes with notes of Magnolia, Jasmine, Ginger and Pepper as its warm base notes envelop you in the sensual splendour of Amber and Musk.”              Another Lancome fragrance in the set is Tresor. I experienced it as having mellow champagne and white rose notes, very subtle and feminine. This is how they describe it: “The elegance of rose, mugent and lilac and the sparkle of peach and apricot blossom are just a few notes that define this luminous fragrance. A delicate and light fragrance with a romantic and smooth touch.”              For the Paloma Picasso eponymous fragrance, I experienced big, fancy flowers, musk and sandalwood middle notes. I would describe it as a very formal fragrance, what would be alluring to wear to a special event. This is how I experienced it: “This Mediterranean-influenced floral fragrance starts with notes of spicy, woody coriander and sweet angelica and yields to a heart featuring sweet jasmine and ylang-ylang. Complex base notes include smooth sandalwood, creating a soothing, lingering scent.”              Cacherel’s Lou Lou is housed in a cute, very designer-like blue and red bottle. I experienced it as an attractive blend of green notes, almond and spice, but not sweet. Maybe a little like a tea-cake? It’s very pretty fragrance for day, light and fresh. This is how they describe it: “this sweet and addicting scent is uber feminine and fun, putting you in an upbeat mood. Black plum currant merges with violet on the open, creating a flirty vibe before cascading into a heart of tiare flower. Vanilla and sandalwood on the dry down linger long after application.”              Anais Anais is another Casherel fragrance, packaged in a sweet milk glass bottle with flowers on the label. To me, it has the scent of a rainy spring day – damp little wild flowers and fresh green notes. This is how they describe it: “In 2014, the house of Cacharel relaunched its legendary 1978 floral confection under the name of Anais Anias L’Original. This scent is feminine to the extreme and speaks of purity and freshness of spirit. Breath in the scent and float on the innocence of an English garden in summer. The incredibly beautiful floral accords include honeysuckle, lily and hyacinth for a delicate, light touch with a robust rose and exotic jasmine base that remains on your skin and enchants those around you as move through your day.”              Lauren by Ralph Lauren is tailored and preppy, totally non-frou frou, as one would expect from the man who opened up the upper crust to the masses. I experienced classic chypre notes, including the moss, wood, a touch of leather. Fragrantica describes it as this: “This is a feminine and gracious floral bouquet with green top notes and powdery base of wood and spices. The heart contains the classic trio of rose, carnation and violet.”Sometimes, it takes a little help to get into the holiday spirit. If you’re not up for baking 12 dozen cookies or cleaning wads of tinsel – and really, who is? – how ‘bout take it easy and light a good candle? Spirit Jar Candle makes a cranberry mimosa scent that’s pitch perfect without being corny.Don’t want the responsibility of burning a candle or have kids/pets running around? Southern Lights Linen & Room Spray in Candied Cinnamon smells just like those candied nuts from the fancy restaurants!Most overnight lip masks are heavy and gloppy. If you have cracked and bleeding lips, you may need a medicated version of something like that. But for beautifying while still looking cute, YSL Night Rehab Lip Mask makes a charming gift! It’s housed in a tube with a lip-shaped cutout showing the baby pink gloss. Good-for-you ingredients include coriander fruit oil, jojoba seed oil and tocopherol. It has a watermelon fragrance and a slight fruit flavor. Great size for a stocking stuffer!Want to add some glam without a lot of fuss? Do you know someone who’s maybe a style and jewelry minimalist, but likes to celebrate special nights? Clarins Lip Comfort Shimmer Oil in 01- Sequin Flares has glimmer, but absolutely no grit of glitter. It’s a very rich, platinum-colored shimmer oil, with a candy-like scent and flavor. It’s fantastic on its own or for toning down a too va-va-voom color. I even think that guys who wear shiny lip balms or glosses would love this, too. Did you know that sells little trial sachets of luxury products? Things like Sisley Black Rose Skin Infusion Cream are great for Secret Santa, stocking stuffers, putting together a package for Hannukah, etc. A way to treat yourself on a budget!                    

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