By The Daily Connoisseur
-A A Selection of Fine Loose Leaf Teas. Who wants to drink tea made from a stale old tea bag when you can indulge in fragrant and exclusive loose-leaf tea? Most major cities have tea houses where you can pick up gorgeous little packages of fresh tea at the last minute- and if your city doesn’t have one, you can find some great options at your local gourmet grocery store. My favorite teahouse in Los Angeles is Lupicia Fresh Tea- an amazing little company that has over 400 hundred kinds of tea to choose from. They package the tea in gorgeous little custom labeled tins that would delight even the most discerning recipient.
- Luxurious Bath Soaps. Nothing beats a luxurious, well-made bar of soap-generous in proportion and quality. Luxury soap is such a lovely present and thanks to the plethora of high-end bath shops in most major cities, they make a very convenient last minute gift too! My favorites are by Claus Porto but any luxury brand will do. Get them in exotic scents like Acacia Tuberose or Lime Basil -- these scents are a welcome departure from the typical Lavender bath product and will make the recipient feel like you put some thought into it... Also the invigorating scent will make them think of you every time they bathe! (Which can’t be all that bad…)
A A Book of Poetry. Poetry isn’t the sort of thing one generally buys for oneself -- therefore, it can be considered a luxury. Most of the books of poetry I own have all been gifts and I have adored every one of them. Run to your nearest bookstore and charm you friend with the Complete Poems by Dorothy Parker, or woo your lover with Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses. Include a charming dedication and they’ll be thrilled- they’ll never know it was a last minute gift!
For more information on Lupicia Teas, visit: www.lupiciausa.com
For more information on Claus Porto Soaps, visit: www.clausporto.com
Dorothy Parker and Pablo Neruda poetry can be purchased at fine bookstores everywhere.
If you’re like me you always need a few last minute gifts – you may be guilty of forgetfulness or just plain procrastination, but you still want it to be special. Here are a few ideas that everyone seems to be pleased with:
Anything silver is perfect. My all time favorite thing to give and receive are silver cups. Petite mint julep cups or larger versions are so versatile. Fill with all sorts of goodies, depending on the person – flowers, pens and pencils, colored sugar sticks, candy canes,favorite candy, paint brushes, the possibilities are endless.
Pretty little makeup bags which you can also fill with makeup brushes, hand cream or colorful beads.
Go vintage - Hit the markets and antique shops to find vintage brooches, books, small paintings, teacups, small trinket boxes.
Whatever you choose it is guaranteed to be unique.
Notebooks – you can find Moleskin books everywhere and now in colours.
I think they are the best because they lay open flat. To up the pretty factor, bundle a few up with a ribbon, add a pen or some colored pencils, and add a book plate. To make it a bit more special pack several things into a pretty box orbag, and don’t forget to tuck in a little note!
1. First on the list is a DVD of Julie & Julia wrapped up with a copy of either Mastering the Artof French Cooking or My Life in France (or both). All tied up with a pretty ribbon and maybe a wooden spoon or whisk tied up in the bow. And if it's really someone special, it could be all placed in a lovely French market basket and tied with a bow. Of course if the person is a horrible cook, this could be an insult so I would only give this to women I know who love to cook or who loved the movie.
2. One of my favorite small gifts to get is Chanel No 5 bath soap. It is so luxurious and only around $24.
3. There is another small Chanel fragrance gift coffret out this year with 5 of their fragrances in tiny flacons filled with pure parfum. They are great!
4. But perhaps my favorite gift to give and get and it's always appreciated is Champagne. Bless the soul who arrives at my home with a decent bottle! My favorite is Veuve Clicquot. Really there is nothing more simple and perfect than that! Especially since New Year's Eve is only a week away.
I forgot one more. A fur scarf collar. I bought one of these from Mai Tai in Provence and they are fabulous! (Go to Scarf Fur to read more.)
If there is a scarf lover on your list this is perfect. They are very versatile. (I'll stop now, I promise.)