It's barely December but the Christmas fever has descended. Coupled with the Black Friday sales, there seems to be a scramble to decide and snuff out the best gifts for family and friends. Yet, there is always that one person on every list that seems to has it all — worse still if this person happens to be a man. Here, a list of things for the one who doesn't seem to need anything.
Cinnamon Projects: The Creative Agency Selling Scents
The New York-based Cinnamon Projects was founded in 2009 by Andrew Cinnamon and Charlie Stackhouse. It was first and foremost, a creative studio. Later, the duo released a series of Japanese-style incense sticks, brass incense burners in 2014, and perfumes in 2015.
It's a lean collection of products that are named according to the different times (and moods) of a day — amongst the incense collection, a mellowed blend of black tea, driftwood, and marigold for 7 AM, an awakening mix of mandarin, iris, and patchouli for 4 PM, and moody leathers, tobacco and carnation for 8 PM. Every stick of incense promises a good 25 minutes' worth of burn time. Here, a comprehensive sampler of all five different scents and an incense holder — all in black and gold.
A touch of gold is a subtle way to prepare the minimalist's home for the festive season ahead. When hosting Christmas dinners, light up a stick of incense and fill the space with surreal, old-world charm and revelry.
A Luxe Bar Set
Founded in 2009 by Mauro Lorenzi and his wife, Manuela Casati, Lorenzi Milano (formerly Cedes Milano) is a small-batch family business producing artisanal lifestyle accessories in natural materials — shoe horns, magnifying glasses, travelling cases for watches and wine, and a comprehensive bar set for the home barista.
It's a 13-piece handmade kit which includes essentials such as a corkscrew, bottle opener, and champagne opener (and stopper). Then there are the extras for cocktails — sugar pestle, spoon, strainer, jigger and a pair of ice tongs — for the one who wants to throw his or her weight around the kitchen island.
The Candle That Can't Be Burned
Apart from the glass-jar signature candles that the 375-year-old French house of Cire Trudon offers, there are wax cameos (carved solid perfume that diffuses under a lamp), room sprays, pillar candles (the thick ones), taper candles (the thin ones), and busts.
Busts? It's an art term referring to the chest-up sculptures of humans — one might recall seeing these lifelike Egyptian, Greek or Roman-style sculptures of notable personalities in museums. Whether it be a joke or out of respect, the artisans at Cire Trudon has produced a series of wax busts — of historical figures in the likes of Marie-Antoinette, Louis XIV, and replicated weighty sculptures like the French sculptor, Jean-Baptiste Carpeaux's "L'Esclave" — that can't be burned.
These are tribute pieces for the history buff. They make great conversation starters, and a practical joke for that one friend who seems to have it all.
The Cup (or Cushion) of Gods
In Greek mythology, there's a man named Ganymede. Ganymede hails from the city of Troy. He was made a cupbearer by Zeus, an esteemed position of office which entailed him to the guarding of the king's cup from any attempts of poison. Eventually, story has it that Zeus, out of his affection and favour for Ganymeded, placed him in the skies in the constellation of Aquarius— where he remains today.
The Italian fashion house, Versace, has repeatedly used the cup motif, La Coupe Des Dieux (translated to mean 'The Cup of Gods') in their home collection — from dressing gowns, bath robes, to cushions. It makes a gift for the fashion-conscious Aquarius in your life, and is instantly recognisable decadence that's distinct to Versace. Or to take a page out of the late editor-in-chief of Harper's Bazaar, Diana Vreeland, "Too much good taste can be boring."
The La Coupe Des Dieux velvet cushion by Versace is available at MatchesFashion.com at US$317 (approximately S$436).
A Maison Margiela Souvenir
It was in 2011 when the then Maison Martin Margiela unveiled a series of curious objects under it's 13th line, including white-washed Matryoshka russian dolls, feather quill pens, and magnifying glasses (shaped like a broken pair of optical glasses). These were homeware produced in collaboration with the French design studio, L'Atelier d'Exercices.
Throughout the years, the collaboration never stopped. Along came a bottle lamp, a high-back chair with arm-rests (shaped like a throne), a trompe l'oeil adhesive sticker which turns walls into a white wooden door, an egg door stopper, and a giant, empty snowglobe — the latter which, was, perhaps intended as a metaphor for the emptiness of a festive season which has been overwhelmed by commerciality. Sounds like the perfect gift for the cynical friend.
The glitter snow globe by Maison Margiela is available at MatchesFashion.com at US$196 (approximately S$269).
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