Fathers who still insist on safety razors and shave creams might appreciate the Edwin Jagger Shaving Cream Gift Set ($55) at Luckyscent; the boxed set contains the Edwin Jagger DE89L chrome-lined razor, a 75 ml tube of Edwin Jagger natural shaving cream, two sample sizes of shave creams, and five Derby Safety Razor Blades. Choose between Aloe Vera or Sandalwood shave cream formulas. Another good shave cream at Luckyscent is Crema da Barba Almond Shaving Cream ($10/150g).
Carbon 2 Cobalt black coffee soap is not “prissy” ($8/5 oz bar) and the Gents Shave Kit is also “macho;” it includes a 4.5 oz shaving soap (in a glass tumbler) made with Rhassoul clay and Sierra Nevada Stout Beer, a 5 oz spiced rum body soap, a 1 oz bay rum aftershave, and a pure badger hair shaving brush (all packed in a recycled wooden cigar box, each unique, $49…on sale from $89).
Côté Bastide’s new ARGAN line (available at Four Seasons Products) is “father friendly” with lavender, musk and linen oil which calms irritated skin; available in bath gel ($70) and body cream ($45). (OK, Ward Cleaver would never use these, but contemporary traditionalists will!)
Victoria at Bois de Jasmin introduced me to DAVIDsTEA; this is a good gift stop for dads who like to drink their fragranced products. I instantly fell in love with Midsummer Night’s Dream ($7.25/50g bag), flavored with apple, spearmint, gooseberries, orange oil, and marigold and rose petals (if you sniff this tea you’ll know why I was almost tempted to buy it in bulk and use it as potpourri). A “festive” choice (for a fancy Father’s Day tea?) would be Glitter and Gold Chinese black tea with sugar crystals, gold sugarballs, vanilla, orange peel and cloves ($7.50/50g bag). DAVIDsTEA sample packs are available for $59.50 (40g each of nine teas) or $25.50 for The Summer Collection of five iced tea blends.
You can eat scented products too! Miller Harris jam comes in two fragrant flavors: Orange Flower Marmalade or Strawberry & Geranium (£9.50 each). I recently discovered the Beautyhabit sweet shop: from France there’s L’Abeille Occitane Lavender and Honey Drops (220g/$11); Barnier caramel lollipops in Beurre Sale, Café, Citron, Menthe, and Orange flavors (sample pack $2.50 for one of each flavor); or Torie & Howard hard candies in my favorite two flavors, Pink Grapefruit & Tupelo Honey and Blood Orange & Honey ($5 a tin, organic, and Torie & Howard donates a portion of their proceeds to two causes — Autism Speaks and the Wildlife Conservation Society).
What about a “décor” item? Savoncrafts has rustic tree bark vases ($17-35) in all sizes — you supply the scent with some fresh flowers. Savoncrafts also stocks many all-natural paraffin-free beeswax candles (a wonderful natural fragrance); my favorite is the Big Dipper Wax Works pure beeswax candle in a “beehive” glass holder ($12, 35-hr burn-time, matchbook included).
Acca Kappa Green Mandarin Bath & Shower Gel is an energizing bath cleanser with citrus (mandarin, orange and grapefruit), rosemary and yarrow extracts. It can be used in the shower or tub and produces a rich foam ($28/10.4 oz at Luxury 4 Him).
Sick of sickening-smelling hand sanitizers? Give your dad the manly Crabtree & Evelyn La Source Antibacterial Moisturizing Hand Gel ($15/250 ml) in an aquatic scent. (This is also great for travel…why ruin a trip with a ho-hum medicinal or “white musk” scent that brings to mind cold-and-flu season?)
Miller Harris Citron Citron travel set (£24) includes shampoo, conditioner, bath gel and body lotion in the Citron Citron fragrance (Sicilian lemon, Spanish orange, Jamaican lime, mint, basil, moss, Moroccan cedar and cardamom). Doesn’t that ingredients list make you want to take a trip?
How to freshen up on a plane, train or, heaven forbid, bus? Wipe your brow and hands with 4711 Colognette Refreshing Tissues (box of 10 scented tissues at smallflower, $5). Treat motion sickness (or relieve hunger) with ginger candy from Indonesia: Chimes “chews” in pure ginger, mango, orange or peppermint flavors ($3.75 a box at Beautyhabit).
Molton Brown has an interesting line of fragrances (limited editions all) called Navigations Through Scent/London via China; I can recommend two perfumes: Lijiang, with notes of osmanthus, vetiver, tea; and Iunu, with ginger, elemi, Egyptian jasmine absolute, ylang ylang, black pepper, patchouli and oakmoss. Another great Molton Brown product for freshening up during travel: Active Cassia Body Deodorant, with intoxicating aromas of cassia bark and essential oils of Mexican lime, rosemary and lemon ($43/6.6 oz)
ADV Lime Coconut Sea Salt Exfoliator ($50/6 oz at Aedes de Venustas) is the perfect remedy after a too-full day of sightseeing: the rough salt wakes you up, the soothing lime-coconut scented oil readies you for the next “must-see” attraction.
CERTIFIED organic products a’plenty are available at Melvita: Hop Copaiba Resin deodorant, ($15/50 ml); White Teeth Toothpaste with organic mandarin flavor made with Guérande salt, bamboo powder and white clay ($9 a tube); amber-scented birch sap-shea butter shave cream with lemon, olive and papaya ($25/5 oz tube).
Also apt for the Sporty/Outdoorsmen category, KENMEN-BC/ONE offers Après-Sport Muscle Relief Balm with organic shea butter, sweet almond, olive, jojoba, organic honey, camellia, neem, essential oils of peppermint, rosemary, eucalyptus and spearmint, aspen pine, cypress, sage ($35) or BATTLESCARS Healing Anti-inflammatory Repair Cream to treat irritations and rashes — with seaweed, algae, rosehips and extract of Rosa Mesquita, a natural botanical, anti-inflammatory healing compound from Chile ($38).
Bright orange, “happy-colored” Susanne Kaufmann Marigold Balm Bubble Bath ($65/8.4 oz) is made with marigold balm extract and juniper berry oil. “Only ingredients harvested from their own organic cultivation and gathered from the wild in the Alps are used.” (at Aedes de Venustas).
The Great Equalizer: Deodorant
The “Deodorant” category is useful! Not only will your father smell good, he’ll be introduced to new fragrances he might never try otherwise. Give your dad a fancy deodorant and he’ll use it (what a waste of money not to!) and be “forced” to try a new scent whether he likes it or lumps it. Deodorants are a great way to ease perfume-adverse types into becoming perfume nuts — they are a “gateway drug” to perfume dependency. (AXE deodorant ‘body sprays’ for teen boys are a great example of this marketing strategy.) Some of my favorite fancy deodorants are: Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet Deodorant ($30) at Luckyscent; Hermès Eau d’Orange Verte Deodorant ($35); and Guerlain L'instant De Guerlain Pour Homme Deodorant Stick ($28) and Boucheron Pour Homme Deodorant Stick ($30, both at Bergdorf Goodman).
Finally there’s Birchbox — for a year-round gift. For $20 a month, your father will receive a box each month full of skin and lifestyle products. (June’s box includes, apart from toiletries, a snack, some socks! and playing cards.)
I’m exhausted. Happy shopping!
Note: top image, altered, via Wikimedia Commons. Middle images, left to right — DAVIDsTEA sample pack; Chimes “chews” ginger candy; L’Abeille Occitane Lavender and Honey Drops. Bottom images, left to right — Susanne Kaufmann Marigold Balm Bubble Bath; Big Dipper Wax Works pure beeswax candle; Crema da Barba - Almond Shaving Cream.