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by celeste lee

Giving Good Gifts

It’s true that most of us don’t need anything new, but one of the purest joys in life lies in the giving and receiving… A good gift is a recognition of respect, a reminder of shared memories and if one is lucky, a symbol of simple love and caring for one’s circle of friends and family. 

Finding that 'something special' signals that you have personally set aside time and thoughts for that individual.  This year, don’t rely on gift cards unless it’s for that distant nephew that you really, truly don’t know a thing about! 

Here are some beauty ideas to get you started:

For your favorite sister (blood related and otherwise):

Avon Extraordinary Eau de Parfum and accompanying Chocolate Orchid
Avon says they are the company for women, and this unbelievably delicious (literally!) winter fragrance proves it.  The warmly sensual fragrance features a chocolate orchid smell surrounded by notes of sparkling champagne and chocolate truffle!  It’s based on a real orchid that truly smells like chocolate. The elegant orchid is actually called the Oncidium ‘Sharry Baby’ and is gettable at or at their stores. 

A truly extraordinary gift would be a potted live orchid and fragrance as a set!

Avon Extraordinary Eau de Parfum is $25 and the orchid from Smith & Hawken is $49.  By the way, for people scared of orchids, this one is actually very hardy and easy to take care of.  It will send out new spikes every 3 to 4 months with the aid of Miracle-Gro

Oncidium ‘Sharry Baby’
Oncidium ‘Sharry Baby’ Orchid

For the office gal pal who is a straight shooting supporter - and not one of those undermining posing as an adult ‘mean girls’: 

Boots Eastern Enriching Gift Box

The ultimate purveyor of British beauty has finally landed stateside. For years, beauty junkies with plane tickets in hand would stuff their bags at the Heathrow Boots shop with the absolutely best color, bath & body, paracetomol (british aspirin guaranteed to cure hangovers) and hair products.  Boots’ is all about serious quality and style at excellent value and is now at select Target stores.

The Eastern Rituals box includes 2 tea candles, coconut saffron rice enriching body wash, coconut honey rice bath essence, vanilla kukui rice body butter and a wooden massage foot roller.   Smells so good, it’s both energizing and relaxing at the same time – truly a thoughtful gift.  In fact, you may need to get one for yourself too and for a mere $14.99 exclusively at Target, you just might want to.  (Also at – starting in November.)

For sons, bums, dads and cads: 

Destination for Men – Gift Box Sets

This great new company out of Virginia has created a truly straightforward man-friendly line of products that’s for regular guys.  Inspired by the freedom of open road highways around the country, the products are All-American fresh and clean. 

The interstate sign ‘destinations’ on each product refer to the geographic inspiration for that product’s smell, but the men in your life probably won’t care – what they’ll be psyched about is a non-fussy looking product that does the job well.  And frankly with gas prices escalating the way they are, this may be the only way for him to get on some of these roads.

The Skin Gift Box set is $60 and includes Highway 90 Badlands hand balm, Hwy 64 Outer Banks facial cleanser and Hwy 94Thousand Lakes body lotion.  If the destination of the gift is for your man at home, you may feel a need to get on the road yourself!  The Outer Banks cleanser has vitamin E, aloe and chamomile to clean and protect the skin, and is subtly scented to smell like a fresh ocean breeze. 

The Shave Gift Box set is $48 – it has Hwy 80 Napa Valley Pre-Shave Facial Exfoliator, Hwy 75 Everglades Shaving Oil and Hwy 10 Gulf Coast Post-Shave.  Shaving oil is a modern soap-free alternative to shaving foam and is definitely for the man who is serious about getting a close shave, but a lot of men don’t like to alter their a.m. ritual so be sensitive as to who you give this to.

For your too ‘kewl’ for school teen and your cocktail-swigging favorite aunt too! 

fantasy Britney Spears

Last year’s Curious was a cult fave amongst celebrities who typically wear Hermes and Chanel.   fantasy is sure to spark even more curiosity - - and it should.  It’s a unique fragrance amongst a field of me-toos and is a truly modern sensual scent.   The fragrance starts with exotic quince, lychcee and kiwi fruit notes, then features a “cupcake” accord in its heart and has a long creamy musk-wood trail.  It’s like an infatuation, followed by the chase and ending with a big love affair – all in a stunning fuschia sphere bottle studded with glistening green swarovski crystals.  

Why is this appealing across age groups?  fantasy’s  scent is both subtly sexy and romantically distinctive at the same time. Perfect for the girl who is defining who she is at 16 and the 60 year old who knows what she’s all about and is quite proud of it. 

fantasy BRITNEY SPEARS (1.7 is $45 and is available at and Macy’s).  For those who are wary of giving fragrance and are unsure, you absolutely can’t go wrong with the Body Souffle (6.8 oz) for $25.

about celeste lee

Celeste has extensive business development and branding experience in the beauty, fashion, specialty food and media entertainment fields. She was most recently on the launch team of Grace Magazine and served as both editor and advertising lead of Movie Times Magazine for many years.

Previously, Celeste was the fragrance marketing and brand development lead for Givaudan Corp., the world’s largest creator of fine fragrances. Currently, in partnership with brandNEW Inc., Tenth Muse Consulting and SellingStyle, Inc., Celeste advises several companies in brand identity as well as creation, brand strategy development and execution Her recent client roster includes Avon, Ian Schrager Hotels, Jordache Group and Kodak.

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