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Holiday fragrance gifts 2012, part 3

Our series of holiday gift posts continues with home fragrance of all kinds, from candles to sachets. If you missed them, check out part 1 (scented body products) and part 2 (travel sizes & coffrets).

Diptyque holiday candle collection 2012

Maybe some year, Diptyque’s holiday candles will look so dull that we’ll leave them out, but that year has not yet arrived. This year’s set includes Amber Oud (red; “…inspired by the Arabian Nights resembles a precious stone where rare spices infused with warming resins and balsams plunges the user into an Oriental dream world”), Oliban (purple; “A mysterious creation showcasing the precious resin frankincense. This fragrance will transport the user straight to the heart of the Arabian Nights.”) and Sapin Doré (green; “…pays homage to the most celebrated fir tree in the world, it transports the user straight to the heart of a forest of golden spruce trees.”). In mini candle (70g for $32) or full-sized (190g for $68), available at Nordstrom

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Bunch o’ limited edition collector bottles 2012, part 4

More limited edition collector fragrance bottles, with the usual disclaimers: in most of these cases, the juice is unchanged, just the bottle is “special” (or not, as the case may be), and some of these may not be available in the US.

Acqua di Parma Magnolia Nobile Edizione Speciale

From Acqua di Parma, a limited edition of Magnolia Nobile in an art deco style. £100 for 100 ml Eau de Parfum at Harrods in the UK…

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Top 10 Summer Fragrances (and Such) 2011

I’m loyal. My favorite summer fragrances haven’t changed (much) in years, but unlike most people on Earth my “favorites” are over 25 in number. I’ve reviewed and praised those perfumes already, so for this summer’s “top 10,” I’m expanding and tweaking the process to include non-perfume, but perfumed, products: things like shower gel, candy bars, candles and incense.

On summer days, it’s pleasurable to sweeten the air inside the house with a scented candle. A closed house coupled with air conditioning can make air stale indoors. Un-air conditioned air also benefits from some “aroma therapy.” I usually opt for lots of fresh floral bouquets inside during summer, but a candle comes in handy as roses, lilies and tuberose peter out in the garden. My candle of choice this summer is not floral or citrus-y, it’s the LAFCO New York Majestic Oak candle (in LAFCO’s House & Home/Dream Home Collection of 15 candles; $55). Majestic Oak (“Tree House”) has a smoky, raw-wood aroma, not cloying or oppressive at all (it contains oak, geranium, fir, vetiver, and light amber). While Majestic Oak burns, the air in the house smells and feels clean, and I’m invigorated.

I’m a fan of scenting the air outdoors too. I shun citronella-scented “garden” incense (soooo utilitarian!) and opt for something more exotic, like Nado Poi Zokhang “Bamboo” incense from Bhutan…

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