Holiday fragrance gifts 2012, part 1

It’s Black Friday or Buy Nothing Day — take your pick. Whether you’re shopping or not, it never hurts to look, right?  As we did last year, we're kicking off this year’s string of holiday gift posts with a bunch o’ scented bath & body products. More to come over the new few weeks!

Guerlain Liu powder spray

From Guerlain, Liu powder spray: "...a light-as-air loose powder that enhances the face, body and hair with an iridescent golden veil. A mere press of the bulb releases the powder, leaving Liu's mesmerizing aromas in its wake: a composition of aldehydes, sensual roses, vanilla, iris and woody notes." $88 at Saks Fifth Avenue.


Lady Gaga Fame bar soap

From Lady Gaga, the black bar soap in her new Fame fragrance. 142g, £15 at Harrods. I'm not sure you can still find it sold separately in the US — it might be sold out. It is included in the Fame holiday gift set, though.


Frederic Malle Carnal Flower Brume pour cheveux

From Frederic Malle Editions de Parfums, Carnal Flower Brume pour cheveux / Hair Mist: "Lighter than the perfume itself, this new application can be used as a means to use this extraordinary scent in a lighter fashion. It is particularly suited to summer use when one doesn’t always care to wear a heavy fragrance. True to Frederic Malle's idea of a luxurious perfume without compromise this hair mist contains a much heavier amount of perfume than any products of its category." $160 for 100 ml at Aedes.


Aftelier Ancient Resins body and hair elixir

From Aftelier, Ancient Resins body and hair elixir: "Ancient Resins was created for the great Leonard Cohen, who uses it every day. It features a very generous amount of organic frankincense, paired beautifully with Balm of Gilead (popular buds). Completing this fragrance are other resins that have been treasured since ancient times for their spiritual and healing properties: benzoin, elemi, and labdanum. This deep, rich, sumptuous, balsamic fragrance is in luxurious and non-greasy base of organic jojoba and fractionated coconut oil, which leaves a subtle veil on the skin and mixes beautifully with your own body chemistry." Available in a 50 ml pump bottle ($45 40) or sample size ($4).


SkinnySkinny dry shampoos

From SkinnySkinny, organic dry shampoo, available in Rose and Black Pepper, Grapefruit and Cardamom, Lavender and Rosemary, or Jasmine (not shown). $32 each for 128 gr, also available in a $9 travel size.


Hand in Hand bar soaps

From Hand in Hand, bar soaps in Orange Blossom, White Tea or Lavender: "We love this triple-milled soap for its 100% natural ingredients, moisturizing shea butter and gentle glycerin, but most of all, we love it for its philanthropy. Not only does each palm-free, fair-trade-certified bar save fifty square feet of rainforest, but for every bar of soap sold, Hand in Hand donates a bar to children in developing countries to help prevent the spread of water-related illnesses." $9 each at Anthropologie.


Crabtree & Evelyn Avocado, Olive & Basil Carry Case

From Crabtree & Evelyn, the Avocado, Olive & Basil Carry Case: "This attractive straw weave and cotton-lined carry case offers a delightful way to give the gift of revitalisingly scented and wonderfully supple skin. Our award-winning, shea-butter rich Avocado, Olive & Basil Hand Therapy leaves hands noticeably softer with each use, while our Bath & Shower Gel and Body Lotion will gently cleanse, condition, and moisturise to velvety smooth perfection." $55.


Jurlique Hand Picked Rose Collection

From Jurlique, the Hand Picked Rose Collection: "A bouquet of beauty for holdable hands and kissable lips. Our powerful duo rich in dynamic plant extracts will deeply moisturise and hydrate, leaving skin revitalised and refreshed." With 125 ml Rose Hand Cream and 15 ml Rose Love Balm, $39.

Shop for perfume

Parfums Raffy


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  1. ringthing says:

    The Aftelier oil sounds especially gorgeous.

    • Robin says:

      Agree! And love that it was made for Leonard Cohen.

      • olenska says:

        I’m sure it’s popular, but did you mean ‘poplar’ buds?

        • Robin says:

          I should have put [sic] — I’m sure that’s what it meant.

  2. lucasai says:

    We don’t know such an event like Black Friday in Poland. It doesn’t exist in our society.
    But in good spirit of Black Friday I found a 120ml bottle of Histoires de Parfums 1725, a tiny bit above half the price. Should I buy it?

  3. aftelier says:

    I’m so pleased and grateful to have Ancient Resins included in your wonderful Gift Guide Robin!

  4. Marjorie Rose says:

    I’m thinking it’s not an accident that Gaga’s bar of soap looks very similar to certain, uh, personal massagers?

  5. basia says:

    Bought the Liu as a Christmas gift for myself already!
    The Ancient Resins sounds wonderful. I really need to try some of her fragrances. I do own her book!

  6. Omega says:

    I want to try that Liu bad.

  7. JolieFleurs says:

    When I was wandering around the Macy’s website in a feeding frenzy early this morning, I saw a Gaga Fame giftset. One of the items in it, with God as my witness, was a set of fake fingernails.

    At first glance I thought it was a necklace, and a durn ugly one at that…but no….. ’twas fingernails.

    I am getting old. So old.

    • Robin says:

      Ditto. (on the old part; I did not see the gift set)

  8. hajusuuri says:

    My impression of Jurlique is one of discount store shampoo and conditioner…I do need to re-set my memory bank.

    That Carnal Flower hair mist is tempting. While lovely, I found the EDP too strong…and the lighter hair mist may be MY Carnal Flower.

    I of course don’t need any more soaps but the Hand in Hand collection looks good. I am such a triple-milled soap junkie.

    • Robin says:

      I looked around for those soaps at my local Anthro to give them a sniff but couldn’t find them. The packaging is adorable, & the charity angle doesn’t hurt either.

    • AM says:

      I have the CF hair mist, personally, it smells the same to me, its the strength of the scent and its longevity that I find lighter in the hair mist, but just a bit. I bought it just to be able to spray away and not feel like I am spritzing away $300. I find its a great value and alternative to the EDP, which remains as ever on my To Buy list.

  9. I tried the Liu today… It’s nice enough but I wish the scent were stronger. And is this how original Liu smelled? It seems more contemporary than I expected. I’ve never smelled Liu perfume.

    • Robin says:

      Can’t help you since I haven’t smelled the powder, sorry!

    • Emily says:

      Well, Liu is described in The Guide as “face powder writ large,” for whatever that’s worth. I did chuckle when I saw this product and recalled that review.

      • The scent is fine… just a basic powder scent. If that’s the real scent of Liu, just color me a bit surprised, because I was expecting… more. But it sounds like maybe basic powder is the scent of Liu.

        The scent of the Liu powder fades extremely quickly, I think, too. Maybe that was to be expected. All in all I’d rather get one of those cool Rouge Automatique lipsticks as my Guerlain stocking stuffer. Or maybe the L’Heure Bleue flanker (which I have yet to smell).

        • Zazie says:

          For what is worth, the real Liu edp smells much like a dupe of number 5 extrait, not as powdery, and with a lush, vanillic Guerlinade hiding under the marble surface…
          I prefer it to the lower concentration of n. 5, but the Chanel extrait beats the Guerlain hands down for me!
          From your description, the powder spray of the Christmas collection is not really related to the scent…you cannot avoid thinking of number 5 with Liu. The resemblance is just so very incredibly striking!!

          • Thanks Zazie! That’s very helpful in situating my reaction to the Liu powder.

    • Lys says:

      Hi Breathesgelatin. The Liu powder is scented very generically compared to Liu, the only similarity is a “powdery” aura. I agree @Zazie, would add that Liu is almost lemony-bright and with a big citric opening. I find it overwhelming, but I’m not a big fan of aldehydics.

      I want to try the new L’HB flanker!

  10. Emily says:

    I’ve tried the CF hair mist, and it’s lovely. Wouldn’t mind a bottle of that, or the Aftelier Ancient Resins. Love the Liu packaging, but it’s not terribly often that my face, hair, body, and whatnot need to sport an iridescent golden veil.

    • Robin says:

      Thanks. You guys are making the CF very tempting :-)

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