You know that friend: she always looks amazing, even just in jeans, and of course she has a lovely, welcoming home, a gorgeous wardrobe and impeccable taste, and that all just makes festive pressie buying a bit – well – difficult! I came across this very dilemma recently when the lovely chaps at John Lewis asked if I’d like to do a pressie swap with the effortlessly stylish Sara, who writes the beautiful lifestyle blog, Notes from a Stylist. I mean, ARGH! Luckily, not only is Sara very lovely and friendly, but it turns out we also have lots in common: teenage kids, yummy food (bring on the roast dinners), a love of interiors, stationery, twinkly things, beautiful flowers and lovely smells. Of course, there are also things we don’t have in common: mostly the fact that I have no style whatsoever, which is why I was reading her blog and following her in the first place – to pick up some tips. So how on earth do you choose festive gifts for a stylish friend? Well…
To paraphrase William Morris, I’m a firm believer in gifts having to be useful and beautiful. There’s nothing worse than receiving an ornament or picture frame that’s not really to your taste, but feeling you have to display it anyway. Christmas is a time for entertaining, and everyone wants their home to look beautiful and feel cosy and inviting. One of the easiest, and loveliest ways to do that is with a scented candle. For Sara, knowing that she loves to invest in great quality items, I chose an iconic Cire Trudon Lumiere scented Christmas candle with warm, spicy notes of cedar, Japanese amber and leather. Cire Trudon are the oldest candle manufacturer in the world (their handmade candles once lit the courts of Versailles in the time of Louis XIV and Marie Antoinette). As you would expect, the packaging is divine and the quality impeccable, making it the perfect gift.
To round off my gift package, and knowing that she’s a lover of all things twinkly, I decided to pop in some pretty copper fairy lights as well (you can never have too many).
For my gift, Sara chose the Elemis Life Elixirs Essential Collection skincare gift set, exclusive to John Lewis, which was an absolute joy to unwrap. I’m always so busy, (and I’m often jetlagged as well, which doesn’t help), and Sara’s thoughtful gift contains four full-sized products: a gorgeous embrace candle, with Vetiver, sweet Frankincense and Rose Pepper essential oils, plus a sleep bath and shower elixir, with a mix of essential oils including citrussy Elemi and floral Palmarosa, and two beautiful glass perfume oils: ‘calm’, with a soothing mix of Rosewood, Clary Sage and Lavandin (lavender’s slightly sharper cousin) which is already by my bed, and Clarity, an invigorating blend of Bitter Orange, Cardamom and ginger to clear the mind and sharpen the senses, perfect for my desk. I’m a huge fan of anything Elemis and love their fabulous quality and delicious fragrances so this was a big win for me. I’ll be looking forward to relaxing with a beautifully scented, candlelit bath. Thank you Sara!
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