Now that I’m home from my trip to Dubai, I’m in full on Christmas mode; the tree is up, I’ve got Mariah Carey on repeat and I’m about to finish off all of my present wrapping. Working hard, saving up and going out to treat your friends and family to some really special gifts is a great feeling and wrapping them up to look even more pretty is the icing on the cake.
There are so many amazing gifts out there for Christmas 2016 and I really feel as though I’ve chosen the some of the best for my loved ones. There’s certain people in my life that I really like to spoil with a more luxury gift; these tend to be really high quality, long lasting gifts that feel luxe, special and tend to have a higher price point. They’re the gifts that give someone serious heart eyed emojis when they unwrap them.
This year, I wanted to share with you the luxe gifts that I think are worth your money and will really make a lady in your life smile. When it comes to luxury gifts, you cannot go wrong with accessories, skincare, perfume and home fragrance.
First up is the Fossil Ladies Cross Body Bag from Chriselli which was actually my own Secret Santa gift, expertly chosen by blogger Plain Sarah Jayne in the Watches2U Secret Santa gift exchange.
It is from the Emi line by Fossil and comes in a range of colours and prints but she knew the grey leather would catch my eye. When it comes to everything from homeware to accessories, grey with gold hardware is my ultimate combo. I love the gorgeous key that hangs off the bag; its a pretty touch.
The leather is super soft and the bag has a strong cotton lining inside as well as a sturdy zipper to fasten the bag shut. I prefer bags that close in this way rather than being open so that my things are safe and secure inside when I’m out and about. In that sense, this bag would be ideal for someone who commutes to work, goes sightseeing or shopping.
It fits cross body and what I love about it is that the adjustable strap is really long. Usually on me, cross body bags end up sitting really high on my body whereas this one hits my hip height where it should be. The strap is really comfortable regardless of how much I have in it and although it isnt a huge bag, it holds all of my essentials for a day out including my phone, keys, purse, Canon camera, makeup to touch up and my perfume, with room to spare.
Theres handy pockets inside to keep my things organised, including a zipped one which is ideal for keeping lose change and my parking ticket in for easy access, plus theres a pocket on the back of the bag too which again, is good for storing things that you need to be able to access quickly like tickets, guide leaflet when travelling, etc. I’m going on a mini break soon and I’ll be taking this bag with me as it is the perfect size and style for going sightseeing and checking out all of the museums. I’ll be pairing it with a jumper and skinny jeans, ankle boots and a knitwear cape to keep me warm in the chilly winter air. Plus the strap is actually detachable so I’ll be able to use it as a clutch bag in the evening.
If you’re looking for a superb quality bag that’s stylish and really useful, then I’d definitely recommend this one as a gift this Christmas.
SHOP MORE luxury accessory gifts… indulgent but on the more affordable side!
If you’re looking for a luxe gift for a beauty junky then look no further than the Foreo Luna 2 for Normal Skin. There’s no best investment to make in beauty than in your skincare and the Luna 2 is the ultimate facial cleansing and anti-ageing device. It uses T-Sonic pulsations through the skin to gently exfoliate and clean the skin while boosting the absorption of the skincare products that follow.
I’ve just started using mine since I got back from my trip and so far, I’m loving it and would certainly recommend it but I’ll wait until I write up a full review before giving you my final thoughts. It is unlike any other cleansing device I’ve used in the past such as the Magnitone Barefaced cleansing brush. The Luna is made of silky silicone and it actually feels really smooth and gentle on the skin. It is designed to exfoliate dead skin cells for a more fresh, radiant appearence, unclog pores, especially those clogged up with makeup residue, and it removes 99.5% of dirt and excess oil from the skin. When the skin is cleared in this way, it allows the skincare products that you put on after cleansing to be better absorbed into the skin as they’re not having to fight through layers of impurities first.
I have the Luna 2 for Normal skin but Foreo actually havd 4 specialised brush types so you can easily select the one that will be best for the person that you’re buying for, whether they’re more sensitive or combination or if they’re a man as the skin on a gents face is thicker and tougher than a womans.
All Foreo Luna 2 models come with a 2-Year Limited Warranty and a 10-Year Quality Guarantee so although they’re an investment and more of a main gift for some, they’re certainly one that will last and something that the person you’re buying for will get a lot of use out of. The device is recharageable, with around 450 uses per full charge so its ideal for someone who travels a lot and it doesn’t require replacement brush heads either, unlike other cleansing devices I’ve used in the past, which means that the person you gift it to wont need to keep up with the expense of replacing brush heads.
Not only do Foreo have a great range of cleansing devices but they also have skincare which can be used alongside the device too. The Foreo Day Cleanser Awakening Radiance Yoghurt and theForero Night Cleanser Celestial Melting Gel are a great option to compliment the Luna 2 and work alongside it perfectly.
The daytime cleanser is very refreshing which has an awakening effect when used with the Luna 2 in the morning time whereas the nighttime cleanser is one thats ideal for breaking down makeup as it turns from a gel into more of a milky lotion. So far, I’ve found both cleansers to leave my skin feeling clean and soft after use.
Foreo have some gift sets available this Christmas which you can check out on their website here. These will save you money against buying the products individually or alternatively, you can buy everything singularly and create a really bespoke gift. Perhaps the person you’re buying for already has a favourite cleanser, you could get them their skincare products of choice plus a Luna 2 and package them together as a luxury skincare hamper. That’s definitely something that I would LOVE to receive!
SHOP MORE luxury skincare gifts
Sometimes buying beauty or fashion pieces for another person can be a little daunting, especially if they don’t really have a signature style (making anything hit or miss as to whether they’d like it), appear to have everything already, or if you just don’t know them too well, then something for the home is a really good gift idea. I’d suggest sticking to home fragrance or items that they’ll get use out of rather than decorative pieces unless you really know their home style and what they’re looking to add to their home.
There’s plenty of luxury options available here, including the Rathbornes Rosemary Fougere & Camphor Scented Reed Diffuser which has the most incredibly alluring scent. Unlike cheaper home fragrance brands that tend to smell very articificial and of only one or two notes, Rathbornes really develop and layer their scents to create a complex aroma, not too unlike a luxury perfume, only they’re for the home. This one has top notes of rosemary and thyme with a smoky, sensual heart of lavender and armoise and a woody base of cedar, camphor and pine needles.
This is the kind of fragrance that would be ideally suited to a kitchen, sitting room or entrance way, in the downstairs of the home. The fragrance is strong and powerful yet not over bearing. The 200ml frosted glass bottle will suit any decor and since it could last for up to 20-24 weeks, this will be a gift that keeps on giving.
Another luxe option for the home that anyone can enjoy and make good use out of is a great quality hand soap and lotion. I’d highly recommend checking out Molton Brown (their Rhubarb and Rose scent is simply incredible), Jo Malone (especially Pomegranate Noir and English Pear scents) and Elemental Herbology.
The Elemental Herbology Mandarin & Grapefruit Hand and Body Duo would make a fabulous gift for a man or woman and an ideal present for a couple, perhaps if they’ve just moved into a new home. It comes in beautiful rose gold packaging with a pull out draw to reveal the 300ml bottles of the Grapefruit and Mandarin Hand and Body Wash and the Mandarin & Geranium Hand and Body Cream.
The hand wash is fresh and zesty whereas the hand cream has more of a floral fragrance. Both are of superb quality which you would expect from a brand who make gorgeous skincare. The bottles themselves have an apothecary feel to them and would suit a multitude of bathroom decor styles; they’re very unisex so they’d be perfect in any bathroom whether it be in a bachelor pad, the WC of a girl boss’ house or a family home!
SHOP MORE luxury home gifts
Possibly my most favourite luxury beauty gift to receive is perfume. Smell is so powerful and can evoke an abundance of memories. While theres a fragrance out there to suit any budget, I do think that Christmas is the perfect time to treat someone to a more luxurious perfume; one that feels extra special and that they wouldn’t wear everyday.
This year there have been a multitude of new releases, many of which take a new spin on the most iconic signature fragrances as well as some incredibly special limited edition and luxury scents that have been released just in time for the festive period.
My top pick for this year has to be the NEW Elie Saab Nuit Noor which is available exclusively in store at Harrods this Christmas. I’d just got back from Dubai when I first smelled this fragrance and I was instantly transported back there. It has the most incredible Arabic air to it with strong Oud notes which really epitomise the luxury of the Middle East.
If you’re buying for someone who loves powerful floriental fragrances then this one is sure to be a winner. The deep, dark wood notes of Oud and Patchouli are contrasted perfectly with the floral orange blossom to create a scent thats unlike any of the other Elie Saab fragrances. Nuit Noor is a stunning stand out from the scent itself to the black and gold packaging, making it an ideal gift for a luxury fragrance lover this Christmas.
Since this fragrance has only very recently been released and with such incredible fragrance notes, I think it is going to be high up on many Christmas wishlists this year. At £110 for a 90ml bottle, it is very competitively priced compared to other Oud based fragrances, plus you’re getting a lot of fragrance for your money and with the scent being so strong, it’ll last all through 2017!
Another Elie Saab fragrance that would make a lovely gift this Christmas is the return of the Eau de Parfum collectors limited edition fragrance. The highly covetable Elie Saab Le Parfum Eclat D’or comes in the most beautiful golden faceted bottle which is a stunning upgrade to the already beautiful Le Parfum bottle that many of us already know and love.
However what makes Eclat D’or so super special is that it has been given a little Christmas spirit for the festive season. Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian who came up with the concept of the signature Le Parfum fragrance has enriched the blend with sweet Christmas notes to make the scent even more beautifully addictive. You’ll find notes of Bergamot, Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Ylang Ylang, Rose Honey, Nectar and Patchouli working together to make this perfume irresistible!
The 50ml bottle is available from John Lewis at a modest £58 for such a special item. This is brand new, limited edition release that’s available online and in store while stocks last. Its sure to be a total sell out so if you have an Elie Saab fan in the family, grab it while you can!
If reimagined fragrances appeal to you then let me introduce you to the new Jean Paul Gaultier Classique Essence, 100ml (50ml also available) perfume. I’ll be doing a full review of this beauty soon but if you’re looking to get someone a rich smelling fragrance this Christmas then this one is a fabulous option.
Originally launched in the 90’s, the figure of Jean Paul Gaultier Classique has become an icon for the design house, just as much as the Le Mâle fragrance bottle has for men. This year, Classique and Le Mâle have been given a little face lift to keep them ahead of the curve.
Newly launched in 2016, in plenty of time for Christmas gifting, the silhouette of Jean Paul Gaultier Classique has been reimagined to give a little less shape to the boobs and a little more pop to the hips and bottom. Classique Essence still has that deliciously luxurious scent of the original fragrance but with a stunning change in composition; the contrast of spicy whipped cream with rich jasmine and a woody base is sure to have even the most loyal Classique fans converted!
To complete their new interpretation of femininity, they’ve changed up the packaging too. Longstanding fans of JPG fragrances will be pleased to see that they can still buy their favourite perfume in a tin but now the packaging is a beautiful shade of copper.
Another variation on an iconic 90s fragrance is Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure, which has been created as the second chapter in the history of L’Eau D’Issey. I find that with Issey Miyake fragrances, if people love them, they REALLY love them and the scent is usually their most worn, everyday fragrance for at the last decade at least. Their bottles and scents will never go out of fashion and are perfect for day or night wear.
Housed in a crystal clear water droplet, demonstrating a suspended moment, Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure is far more of an aquatic floral than its heavy citrus, floral predecessor. It is a scent of contrasts with top notes of Crystalline Lily-of-the-Valley alongside bright Orange Blossom, a heart of the essence of Damask Rose that has absorbed the morning dew and opulent Jasmine and a base of musks and woods. The result is fresh and floral, long lasting, strong fragrance that I can’t get enough of!
Available in 30ml, 50ml and 90ml bottles, as well as in a gift set, there is a Pure fragrance for every sized handbag and dressing table!
SHOP Issey Miyake L’Eau D’Issey Pure
One of the most exciting launches this year on the highstreet for me has to be the release of the Paco Rabanne Lady Million Privé Eau de Parfum. The original Lady Million scent was a bit of a let down for me. Compared to 1 Million, it didn’t pack a punch and while I kept smelling it and adoring it on my friends, it just didn’t seem to smell the same to me or last very long.
Lady Million Privé however is a completely different ball game. It is deeper and more sensual than the original, with plenty of oriental notes. The orange blossom and woody top notes blend into a heliotrope, vanilla and raspberry heart with a warming base of patchouli, cocoa and honey. The result is an incredibly rich fragrance with a long lasting scent. You can still smell the original fragrance in Privé but the new blend makes it stronger, longer lasting and I can actually smell the true fragrance on my skin. So if you know someone who felt the same with about the original, then I’d say that this perfume would be a really happy surprise for them and of course, I’d recommend it to any Paco Rabanne fan as they’re sure to love the new Lady Million Privé!
Pick up a bottle in either a 30ml, 50ml or 80ml size nationwide.
SHOP Paco Rabanne Lady Million Privé
If the person you’re buying for this Christmas is really into their luxury fragrances that are a little less well known and harder to come by, then I’d highly suggest checking out this Harrods exclusive.
Alaïa Paris Eau de Parfum Blanche is a brand new release from couture dress designer Azzedine Alaïa. It is a deliciously deep mix of powdery, musky notes and florals which create the most gorgeous feminine fragrance. The scent is sophisticatedly girly and would look beautiful on any dressing table. If you know someone who loves Narciso Poudrée then I think they’d love this.
The last fragrance that I’d like to recommend as a luxury Christmas gift this year is the Dear Rose Nymphessence fragrance which is new to “The Song Collection” range at Dear Rose. The perfume was inspired by a nymph in an enchanted forest and there really is something mystical and magical about the scent, even down to the packaging of the huge 100ml bottle that was beautifully decorated by French artist, Christophe Brunnquell.
This fragrance sets itself apart from the other luxe perfumes I’ve smelled because it is far lighter yet still completely unique. If someone you know loves a woody floral fragrance then this would be a great option to go for because its a brand new release from a high end brand that you can’t find everywhere which adds to the allure! The scent is a twist on woody florals as it has an added spicy green freshness to it and a touch of pink pepper. The top notes are pear, mandarin orange and bergamot and when you first spray it, the pear and orange are the most apparent. Then it has floral heart notes of magnolia, freesia and orange blossom and a base of woods, amber and white musk, which I’m sure you’ll all know by now is my favourite fragrance note! The blend is light, unique and fresh.
You’ll be able to find Dear Rose Nymphessence in selected department stores as well as on the Dear Rose online store.
SHOP MORE Dear Rose fragrances
Which luxury gift would you love to receive this Christmas?