There's nothing like a good gift guide to bring out my shamefully rampant inner-consumer. Here are some gifts to put under your nose:
1. Bring your host or hostess a Soap & Paper Co. Patch NYC Stag Votive. Somehow the raspberry and cilantro conspire with the Siberian fir to make this candle more pleasing and perfectly Christmas-tree-like than any others I've smelled (and I always try a few around this time of year). I would recommend this especially as a hostess gift so that the recipient can enjoy its considerable throw throughout December. (I upgraded to the larger size this year, and it's filling the room even unlit).
2. Encourage your nosy writer friends with a Write Like a Motherfucker mug paired with something fragrant and energizing to sip from it. I recommend Mariage Frères' gorgeous Marco Polo Tea, the yummy Jaipur Avenue Chai sampler pack, or a kit to make Blue Bottle's scrumptious New Orleans iced coffee (delicious year-round).
3. Lavish your nearest and dearest with anything from Aftelier Perfumes. I would like my whole bedroom giftwrapped by Mandy Aftel, please. Everything I've ever purchased from Aftelier, down to the tiniest samples, has been elegantly packaged in gorgeous little pouches and richly printed papers in deep purple and molten orange. And everything smells as good as it looks. My favorites are her jasmines: Cacoa is sumptuous and comforting, and the Jasmine solid perfume is a sunny, sexy dream.
4. These crystal bits are made from Acacia tree resin, and they sparkle, smell like amber, and class up any surface on which you place them. A great gift for anyone with a vanity table or aspirations for an elegant powder room.
5. A new, giftier volume was just published, but for my money the original is still tops. Perfumes: The Guide is the gateway book for many a perfume addict, and it's fun reading for anyone who is curious about fragrance, or even smells. If a book of perfume reviews isn't really your speed, might I suggest something from the Nosy Book list?
6. Lush's Snowcake is the soap equivalent of a hug. Give a bar of this creamy, almondy goodness to anyone needing comfort during the cold winter months to come.
7. Everybody knows that charitable people smell better. Get them a goat!