Thursday, February 5, 2015

French Gifts for Valentine's Day!

Before I resume the regular blogging, here's a very small selection of thoughtful and original gifts by French brands, for men and women. If you want a nice gift for your significant other, but you're really over the chocolate box and trendy fragrance, take a look! 

First, a few thoughts: a perfume is a classic gift for Valentine's day, but it's also a tricky one. Unless your Valentine has a signature scent and you're just buying a new bottle of a long time favorite (in which case, BORING!), choosing a fragrance for someone is risky. Many people decide to follow a sales associate advice and end up with a mass market scent, which will usually please but often desperately lacks personality. No offense to those who love the syrupy scents that sell like Iphone cases, but if I smell Miss Dior Chérie on everyone after Valentine's day AGAIN, I might throw up. Same for Prada Candy. 

So a word of advice for the lover looking for a fragrance for their Valentine: don't buy the same perfume everyone else is buying this year. You want your loved one to feel unique, and giving him/her the same fragrance thousands of others will receive that day (and start wearing the next day) is just the opposite. Do you really want your lover to smell like everyone in the streets? Nah. Be distinctive. That's it. Now the gift ideas Made In France. I tried to limit myself to stuff that will be easy to find (that includes classic online merchants like drugstore.com or department stores). The list contains affiliate links, which means that I would get a small commission (usually under 10%) if you decided to shop through them. 




1- Figue de Vigne by Caudalie, $39. Means Vine Fig but for some reason translated Fid de Vigne, like that's more understandable... Here's a perfume that you won't smell on everyone else. With notes of fig leaf, bergamot, white cedar, Bulgarian rose and peach skin, it's a fresh and fruity scent. Caudalie is a solid French brand of skincare based in the Bordeaux region which incorporates grape extracts to their products. And I love fig leaf. 

2- Pré de Provence Hearts Collection Soaps, $19.99. Give hearts. Made of soap. Not any soap, but nice scented soap from Provence. Classic, but it works every time. 

3- Eau Aimable by Le Couvent des Minimes, $38. Translated as Cologne of Love on drugstore.com. Another not-you-neighbour's fragrance, with citrus notes (Bergamot, Mandarin, Petitgrain) and floral notes (Orange blossom, Rose, Nasturtium). 

4- Dior 5 Couleurs Valentine's Day Limited Edition Shade Tangerine Dream, $62. For the makeup lover or collector - this shade is exclusive to dior.com. It might sell out by the time I post this article... 

5- Baiser Volé by Cartier, eau de toilette starts at $85. That's a more mainstream luxury fragrance, at least in terms of distribution, but it is incredibly beautiful. Imagine a bouquet of white lilies in a crystal vase filled with fresh water. That's Baiser Volé. 



Pré de Provence Shave Soap, $16. Shave soaps are cool. They make a thick, comfy lather. They're also a lot more environment-friendly than spray bottles of foam. Get him the shaving brush for a complete set. 

Decléor Men Skincare Aromessence Triple Action Shave Protector Serum, $59. To add a bit of luxury in his shaving routine. This serum can be used pre or post-shave to hydrate and protect skin, and it's all natural. I got my significant other a discovery set of Decléor Men Skincare a few years back, and he really enjoyed using their products. 

Eau Sauvage by Dior, $65. I was trying to think of a perfume for men that would be easy to find but would still have a lot of personality, and Eau Sauvage came to mind. It's not that common nowadays because Dior doesn't focus their marketing effort on this scent so much, but it's been around, and much loved, for a long time. It's a fresh, citrusy scent dominated by vetiver. The really cool part is that after gifting it to the guy in your life, you can steal it, even if you're a gal, for those days when you want to smell refreshingly wild rather than feminine and rosy. (In fact my mom has been wearing Eau Sauvage on and off since her youth). Another scent that I thought of is also a unisex, distinctive perfume: Eau d'Orange Verte by Hermès. If you want something different for your man (and by different here, I don't mean niche fragrance, I just mean away from the main trends), check it out, and in fact check out all the other Hermès creations too.

I received no compensation to write this post, which only reflects my personal opinion. This post contains affiliate links.

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