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Great Gift Ideas! Perfume, Cashmere and Ties Oh My!

Updated on November 8, 2009

Shopping for a gift for that special someone can often be a difficult task. Trust me, I know! Is the person you are shopping for a fan of handbags? How about luxurious skin care products such as skin moisturizers or fancy smelling lotions? Perhaps designer shoes are more their speed.  No matter what that special person is a fan of, finding the perfect gift can be a daunting task…especially if they are picky or difficult to shop for.

First of all, there are two things you should keep in mind when shopping for a gift. Number one, it's the thought that counts and number two, everything (well, just about everything) can be returned or exchanged! Whenever I buy a gift for someone I always tell them that I will NOT be offended if they decide to return it. After all, I want them to be happy and if they shove my gift in the back of the closet (never to be seen again)…well, they obviously did not care for the gift and I wasted my money. Now…on to some great gift ideas that are sure to please….and if they don't…be sure to keep the receipt handy!  

Timeless Classics

Perfumes and After Shave

Both perfume and after shave are wonderful gifts…especially if you know what "scents" that the person you are buying for is fond of. There are several classic perfumes on the market that have stood the test of time and are worn and loved by millions of women. After shave, on the other hand, can be a tricky gift. Many men are picky about what scents they wear (if any) and some stick to drugstore finds such as Old Spice (like my Grandfather). If you are buying after shave for a man, be sure to know in advance what he likes or you will most likely be returning your purchase!

Chanel No. 5 is one of the world's most famous and popular perfumes. In fact, it is the world's best selling scent! Introduced in 1921, Chanel No. 5 was a "must have" among women and became a best seller in a matter of days. Chanel No. 5 has stood the test of time and continues to be one of the best selling perfumes on the market (the company that sells Chanel No. 5 claims that a bottle is sold every thirty seconds!).  This perfume is a wonderful gift. After all, you can't go wrong with a scent that was once worn and endorsed by Marilyn Monroe!

If you are shopping for someone who LOVES the scent of fresh flowers (jasmine to be exact) and have some money to spend, you may want to consider Joy perfume. Joy, once renowned as the costliest perfume in the world, was created in 1930 by haute couture designer Jean Patou. Recommended for evening wear, this flowery fragrance will cost you a pretty penny. However if you do an internet search, you can often find a good deal.

For the woman that has everything and also happens to like interesting perfumes…then Caron Tabac Blond may just be the perfect gift. This hard to find fragrance which smells of leather, tobacco leaves and vanilla was introduced in 1919 by the House of Caron. This famous yet expensive scent is definitely not for the dainty that enjoy smelling of roses. In fact, this perfume has an intense note of smoke and is intended for strong women who wish to make a statement!

If you want your man to smell like George Clooney, David Beckham or even Prince Charles then you may want to consider purchasing him a bottle of Creed's Green Irish Tweed. This fragrance for men, which, by the way, will set you back at least $130, is a balanced blend of floral and wood (it is very light!). It is sold in fine department stores such as Neiman Marcus and Bergdorf Goodman. Of course, you can also do an internet search and if you are lucky…will find this fabulous fragrance at a reduced price.

If you want a classic men's fragrance you may want to consider Christian Dior's Eau Savage. This best selling scent was created in 1966 and is sold in good perfume shops and department stores. Starting at $40 Christian Dior's Eau Savage is an affordable favorite.


If there is one thing I have learned from watching the style show "What Not to Wear" on TLC it's that nothing beats the look and feel of cashmere! Most women love cashmere and men too enjoy the look and fit of a wonderful cashmere sweater. For those of you who just so happen to be cashmere aficionados, then you probably have heard of Loro Piana. For those of you who just read that last sentence and are now shaking their heads and thinking…"Huh?" allow me to enlighten you. The Loro Piana Company was formed in 1924 and today has over 125 stores. They specialize in luxury sports-wear and leisure-wear for men, women and children…their specialty being…you guessed it, cashmere! The Loro Piana Family started as merchants of wool fabrics (in the 18th century) and have been going strong ever since. They are the largest manufacturer of cashmere and baby cashmere in the western world. Not bad! Before you get too excited and start ordering Loro Piana Cashmere Sweaters for everyone in your family, I must tell you that they cost approximately $700. Of course, you can find cashmere sweaters for less (try Macy's…you can buy a cashmere sweater for about $100). A great price, yes. However, the quality of the cashmere won't be the same (but hey, it's still says cashmere on the label!). If you are shopping for someone who loves clothes then a cashmere sweater is sure to please!

Ok, I know, many people find that giving a tie as a gift quite unoriginal and perhaps even boring. However, when a man opens a box that contain a Hermes silk neck tie…well, that my friend is a different story entirely! Traditional and superior in quality, a Hermes tie will cost you at least $175, however, you are guaranteed a tie that will not only impress but will last for years as well.  Obviously, not everyone can afford to give Hermes neck-ties…but don't let that discourage you! Many men enjoy receiving ties as gifts (no matter what brand they may be)…especially if they are required to wear one to work every day.

Every woman should own a trench coat. They are perfect for rainy or cool days and make a simple yet classic statement. For approximately $1200 you can give the special lady in your life a Burberry trench coat (trust me, she will be thrilled). Made from closely woven, Egyptian cotton (gabardine), the Burberry trench coat will quickly become a staple in any wardrobe. Not interested in Burberry? There are many other famous brands that sell trench coats and all of them have that classic, comfortable look. London Fog, Anne Klein, Oscar de la Renta, Ellen Tracy and Kenneth Cole all sell affordable trench coats. Search online for the best prices!

Giving Feels Good!

Though buying gifts can often be a difficult and daunting task nothing beats the act of giving. Though many of the items mentioned above are quite expensive they are simply suggestions intended to get you thinking. The more you know about the person you are shopping for…the easier it is to buy a gift for them. To this day, my Mom still talks about the JUG of horrible smelling moisturizing skin care lotion that I purchased for her when I was six years old. If I remember correctly, I paid $3.99 for that lotion…and boy was I proud! Giving is a wonderful thing! I don't know about you…but in all honesty, I would rather give than receive. Nothing feels better than surprising someone you care about with a gift…no matter how much it cost. Besides, haven't you heard…the best things in life are free!


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