Scented advent calendars 2016, part 1

I know, I know — it’s still early October! And we won’t start our “official” series of holiday gift posts until Black Friday, but since advent calendars tend to launch early and then sell out quickly, it’s worth doing some advance planning if you really want one. Part 2 will be coming up later this month. (Please note that some of these calendars are not available in the US. Advent calendars are more popular in the UK than in the US).

Molton Brown Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar

From Molton Brown, the Scented Luxuries Advent Calendar: “Start the magical countdown to Christmas with our luxuriously curated advent calendar. Beautifully wrapped, our bestselling blends are waiting to be discovered.” £150 at Molton Brown in the UK…

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Parfums Raffy

Scented soap bars in a rainbow of colors

On one side are the soapmasters, based mainly in the Mediterranean port that gave the soap its name. They say that the label of authenticity should go only to products made strictly by the original Louis XIV-approved recipe.

[...] On the other side are a group of 12 large companies, including L’Occitane, a global chain retailer of body and fragrance products. They want the government to certify their recipe, which allows the use of cheaper vegetable oils along with additives and perfumes to produce scented soap bars in a rainbow of colors.

— An effort to obtain geographical indication for Marseilles soap (a designation previously reserved for food items) pits the traditionalists against the world of modern manufacturing. Read more at In France, a Recipe Squabble over Marseille Soap at The New York Times.