In my teens, my Christmas list read as follows: Compilation cassette, hair crimpers, anything from Miss Selfridge and a No7 lipstick (Twilight Teaser).
Nowadays, my tastes are a little more sophisticated but there’s nothing I really need. I’m lucky to have a lovely home, full of things I treasure. And since clutter makes me crazy, it has to be something pretty special to fight for a place on my list – and in my house.
But here it is – my top 6 for Christmas – priced low to high (£10 to £5000). All useful or beautiful, (some both) and most work for guys too.
1. Socks. Yes, really. Ten fine pounds will buy a pair of Falke Sensitive London socks. Soft cotton, gentle cuff, smooth seams and shaped so they don’t bunch up inside your footwear. Of course, you have to put them on the correct foot, but the L and R indicators should eliminate confusion. A sock for anal Virgos (and yes I am one).
2. Anything smelly by (Madame) Micheline Arcier, specifically her Harmonie bath oil (£40-60). For boys, Elan Vital bath oil serves to ‘ease aching limbs, muscular pains and the strains of everyday life’. A potent dose of heaven in a bottle. Available at Les Senteurs, which is worth a trip in itself.
3. £50-350. A candle. The most boring gift turns into the most delightful when it comes from Cire Trudon, Le Labo or Astier de Villatte. You get a beautifully scented home and a stylish vessel (Cire Trudon’s dark green glass is hand blown, Astier de Villatte’s white ceramic pots are beautiful for pencils/brushes – and Le Labo’s glass candles make fine G&T tumblers post-burn). All are made from ‘safe’ wax (free of paraffin and petrochemicals), so they tick that box too. My favourite scent of them all is Odalisque by Cire Trudon. They burn it in Céline.
4. Ercolano Jewellery Box. Bold, graphic designs in interesting colours – a little showcase of Italian craftsmanship. Great in any home, traditional or modern. I would never tire of looking at this. Functional and beautiful. £300-600. From The Conran Shop and Barneys.
5. The ultimate white shirt from Charvet, French master shirt-maker. Over the years, Charvet has boasted a client list of fashion royalty, kings and heads of state. Coco Chanel, Yves Saint Laurent and John F Kennedy can’t be wrong. Their website doesn’t appear to be working today, but you can visit them in Paris at 25 Place Vendôme. Around £300 for ready to wear, £1000 for bespoke. Some pieces available online at Mr Porter.
Next week’s post – buying at the eleventh hour – gift ideas for the disorganised shopper.