Gifts

Maison Francis Kurkdjian’s Ciel de Gum

The French are correct—a woman’s fragrance collection changes with age. As some of you recall, I started looking for an alternative to Estee Lauder’s Beautiful about 3 years ago. Well, two days ago, I found it.

Don’t get me wrong; Beautiful is still—beautiful. It’s what my husband and children know. I’ve worn it since age 16. Beautiful is what I gravitate towards when I seek comfort or when I’m under the weather. It’s home. Which is why I’m not getting rid of it.

Ciel de Gum (CDG) is just what I’ve been looking for these past couple years—again, not necessarily as a replacement to Beautiful, but an alternative to keep.

This is what I imagine Joan Collins must have smelled like on “Dynasty”—fiercely feminine and SPICY. This is the spicy floral that I have been looking for. Contrary to many reviews, it does not smell like red hots. On me, it smells like the mother of all spicy florals (it’s what all in the category aspire to be). It has a bit of vanilla (which I’m usually not a fan of). But it is quiet; cinnamon, floral, and amber take center stage. As a voluptuous floral, Beautiful is beautiful and feminine. CDG is just as feminine but has spice and bite. It so fits me at this stage in my life. This isn’t a scent for girls (who often prefer sweet smells); it’s for women. There’s an innocence in Beautiful that isn’t there in CDG.

The fact that it’s not popular is a bonus (the fragrance is exclusive to Maison Francis Kurkdjian boutiques and the GUM Department Store in Moscow). There are currently no matching body products (soaps, lotions, etc.) and part of the reason I am posting this review is a selfish one—I am hoping that the parfum will become popular enough (but not too popular 😉) for MFK to develop matching body products. In the US at this time, CDG can only be purchased at the MFK boutique in Miami (the only MFK store in the US) and on the brand’s website.

Holiday Gift Ideas

Holidays are just around the corner and since everyone else has come up with his/her “gift ideas list”, I thought I’d share mine (all of these have been tested and approved by yours truly)!  (FYI:  I am not receiving any compensation for these links and/or recommendations.)

WOMEN

(1)  Lagos Sterling Silver “Love Knot” Earrings

(2)  Lagos Caviar Hoop Earrings

(3)  Whole Foods Gift Certificate

(4)  Prepared Meal and Fresh Flowers Delivered by Instacart

(5)  Barefoot Dreams Cozychic Luxe Laguna Jacket

(6)  Greg McKeown’s ESSENTIALISM:  The Disciplined Pursuit of Less

(7)  Museum membership or membership renewal

(8)  Donation to a charity in her honor

(9)  A basket of her favorite jam and/or honey

MEN

(1)  Patagonia’s Better Sweater Vest

(2)  Museum membership or membership renewal

(3)  Donation to a charity in his honor

(4)  Gift card to COMIXOLOGY

(5)  Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep

(6)  Canali Reversible Belt

(7)  Peter Millar Sweater

(8)  His favorite home-cooked meal and movie

(9)  Dinner at his favorite restaurant

CHILDREN

This list does not include gift ideas for children because there is such a range of preferences for parents and children themselves depending on their ages.  But from personal experience, books, Lego sets, and visits to the museums/zoos are always hits!

Holiday Gift Ideas

charliebrownholiday

For those of you who plan on taking advantage of the Thanksgiving holiday to shop for gifts, here are a few ideas to get you started:

(1)  Aromatherapy–Pregnant or not, many people appreciate a soothing scent.  Great for the office or home, male or female, this gift is perfect for just about anyone.  Ideas include diffusers, candles,  and/or soaps.

(2)  Philanthropic Causes–Donate to a worthy cause in honor or memory of someone important in your life and/or help create awareness of a charity.

(3)  Food–Food has always been my favorite things to receive as gifts.  Whether it’s a hearty batch of soup, a dozen boxed cupcakes, and/or a basket of trail mix, food is a sure crowd pleaser.

(4)  Classic Movies–Know someone who’s a fan of movies from the 80s, 50s, or any other decade?  Amazon has some great deals on DVD sets.

(5)  Activities–Recent studies show that money can buy happiness: it’s better to spend money on experiences instead of things.  Ideas include a cooking class, gym and/or workout class, art class, museum exhibit and/or event, etc.

(6)  Cold Weather Accessories–Many people I know (including myself) tend to lose gloves, ear muffs, and/or scarves every winter so it helps to have an extra set just in case.  Ideas include ear muffs, scarves, gloves, and/or hats.

Pack Light

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Since many people I know are out and about for holiday, I thought I would recommend the best toiletry and cosmetics bag I have ever used (a Chanukah gift for myself, as a matter of fact).  It’s the Tumi “Monaco” Travel Case.  Amazing, really–lots of compartments, easy-to-wipe-clean nylon, interior and exterior pockets, and it has a metal hanging hook.  Great for travel.  Plus, if you get it from Nordstrom, it has a lifetime warranty.  A great gift for anyone and everyone.