For Father's Day, I've made a little list of gifts I'D like to receive (if I were a father). Be gone shaving supplies (hardware and shave cream); I'd be so mad getting "gifts" dealing with a hated activity. No foam or fancy razor or natural-bristle brush ever made shaving fun. Aftershave? That's a skin-searing/epidermis-destroying liquid. Ties? Weeeeeell...I admit I love ties.
Following you'll find a quirky array of things to spray, drink, plant, bathe with, rub on dry skin or tie around the neck (the only unscented item here).
We all know about vintage perfumes...but vintage SHAMPOO? I was thrilled to discover that The Vermont Country Store (where I often "browse") has revived Lemon Up shampoo ("every bottle contains the juice of one whole lemon!") If your father grew up in the 70s he may love to receive the shampoo/conditioner duo. ($14.95 each for 400 ml bottles)
For a more contemporary lemony hair experience, I recommend Christophe Robin's Cleansing Mask with Lemon: wet hair, smear on the mask and let it sink in...then rinse. Hair is clean, smells great, looks happy. ($49 for 250 ml at Christophe Robin — a jar lasts a LONG time)
Scented candles freshen stuffy rooms (during those months when the AC is always on). Wearing vetiver oil is considered cooling in many torrid areas of the world, and the summery scent of Diptyque's Vetyver candle is refreshing and masculine ($64). If your dad is more of the Gauguin type who dreams of Tahiti and its heady scents, give him Christophe Robin's Taha'a Candle ($62). Monsieur Robin says: "I asked Francis Kurkdjian to manifest my Polynesian memories in a perfume. He translated them into a heavenly fragrance of sunny ylang-ylang, tiare flowers and frangipani blossoms with notes of almond and vanilla." The Taha'a candle holders are painted by hand in red and gold to "recall the blazing sun that bathes the island in light."
Yesterday, I had four (large, strong) cocktails; I'm a drinker. Is your dad? One of my favorite summer cocktails is the Mexican Firing Squad (tequila, grenadine, lime juice, Angostura bitters and soda...yep, the drink looks like blood/sangre). To make this drink stand out, ditch the cheap grenadine syrups found at grocery stores (they usually contain ZERO pomegranate juice!...just lots of corn syrup, scary dyes and metallic flavorings). Liber & Co. makes sensational cocktail syrups, including natural grenadine syrup. Also, try their Pineapple Gum Syrup. (17 oz/$14)
We're in late spring/almost summer so FUN is the theme of Father's Day. Check out the skull bottles at Sangre de Vida Tequila (and mezcal). "Each bottle is hand-painted with motifs drawn from the rich history and culture of Mexico. The spirit inside is a true testament to the artistry of distilling handed down for generations. As wine is to France, Tequila is to Mexico – the life blood of the people." (750 ml/approximately $43-50)
T.S. Pink SoapRocks are perfect for fathers who want visual impact coupled with light fragrance (SoapRocks have mild floral/fruit aromas). Pictured here are three gorgeous examples: Amethyst (cucumber, ylang-ylang), Olivine (melon) and Amber Citrine (cucumber, gardenia, citrus). (6 oz bars/$10.95 at Oak Manor Fragrances)
Ages ago, a friend visiting Sweden discovered a black tea flavored with tiny dried strawberries. (She gave us a big bag of the tea.) Deeeeeeeelicious...and summery. Here are two tasty strawberry-scented black teas (great iced, too): Mariage Frerès Christmas Strawberry (with a hint of vanilla bean; 90 g/26€) and Fortnum & Mason Black Tea with Strawberry. (125 g/£7.25)
Fathers who garden (and love scented flowers) will appreciate these three perfumed powerhouses (if his growing zone allows!) Don't give your dad "just" a bouquet of flowers but give him plants: Snow Queen passionflower blooms from summer into late autumn, or beyond, in places like California. Speaking of my favorite state, I recommend the California Dreamin' rose ... and who can resist a rose that smells like fresh bananas? That would be Queen Mary 2.
If your father works outside in the garden he'll need some hand and body moisturizer. Cochine Saigon Vanille & Tabac Noir lotion is scented with vanilla bean, patchouli, tobacco flower, cardamom, nutmeg and basil and is enriched with natural extracts of sweet almond oil, orange oil, shea butter and aloe vera. (300 ml/$28)
Lightweight bottles/lightweight scents...perfect for travel (abroad, or to and from the office/gym): Tom Ford body sprays in Fleur de Portofino (bergamot, lemon and tangerine) and Neroli Portofino (neroli, bergamot, lemon) are $65 for 150 ml.
Though a $65 product is basically a give-away from Tom Ford, it could be a budget buster for some. Give fun toiletries in bright packaging. In freewheeling summertime, even a faux-smelling watermelon bubble bath sends me happily back to childhood and the relief bathing would provide after a long, hot day. Selling for around $3.25 for a 500 ml bottle, NSPA Fruit Extracts shower and bath gels come in an array of zingy scents (with real fruit) like mango, coconut, lemon, strawberry, grapefruit, green tea, passionflower, pineapple...on and on. (NSPA: please bring back the green apple and watermelon line!)
Finally, a TIE. the Marwood Cotton Lace & Silk Twill Tie that has me drooling: this "rakish tie is ideal for...any man who likes his accessories with character and a story behind them. This burgundy silk-twill version is overlaid with off-white cotton Leavers lace — sourced from heritage manufacturers in Nottingham, England — and woven with a pattern from the brand's archive." Available at Mr Porter for $195.
Happy Father's Day! (If you give YOURSELF some of these, too...all the better!)