Holiday Gift Mini-Guide 2020

I’ve been thinking about doing this post for a while, and suddenly I realized that we’re almost out of time: with the volume of products delivered via all possible carriers, and with many places heading into the next wave of lockdowns, it’s hard to predict how long any of the purchases will roam this season. I recently had a box traveling from somewhere around LA to South San Francisco’s sorting facility, then to somewhere in Minnesota and then again to South San Francisco before arriving at my place 15 miles away from that last mentioned hub. So, it might be that we have days rather than weeks before it’s too late to bring some holiday joy to ourselves and our loved ones.

One more “complication”: probably more than half of my readers live either in Europe or in Australia, so some of my recommendations wouldn’t probably work for them (but some would). And I thought that they still might spark some ideas. None of the links are sponsored or affiliated.

* * *

For many years we kept talking how niche brands should be releasing perfumista-friendly bottles. And some of them listened. So, I’m including several brands in my list.

Olfactive Studio has just recently released many of their perfumes in 15 ml bottles (available in the US and in Europe). These might be too expensive for a blind buy/unsolicited gift, but if you like any of these, you’ll get a chance to get something beautiful for yourself. I plan to find some of the newest “shots” under my tree (Iris Shot, Violet Shot and Rose Shot are especially calling my name). But if you haven’t tried this collection yet, then this sample set might be a good idea (you’ll get $25 off your next purchase of a 100 ml bottle).

Olfactive Studio Perfumes: Three Shots

Masque Milano has also launched 10 ml travel sizes for their perfumes. Currently available from their EU site, but they ship Worldwide. I already have in my collection a couple of perfumes that I love from this brand, otherwise I would have been tempted.

Ormonde Jayne is now doing mixed travel sets 5 x 8 ml. These are not “mix-and-match” but the combinations are good (if you like the brand), and an occasional one or two you do not care for should be not that hard to do in a split with fellow perfumistas. I would have bought the Set 3 if I hadn’t owned already 4 out of 5 perfumes.

Ormonde Jayne Travel Lab

I think, Parfums Dusita released their 7.5 ml travel bottles last year, but now they are available from Luckyscent. This is one of travel bottles about which I’m hesitant: while I like an idea of an original bottle, it is slightly less than I’d like to have of perfume that I like (Splenderis), and at the same time it’s twice more expensive per ml than a full bottle. But if I cannot find a decant to buy at a better rate, I still might consider it at some point.

Since perfumes are more likely to be gifts for ourselves, let’s see what can be either a shared pleasure (if you buy it for someone in your household) or would make a sensible gift.

Tauer Perfumes has released this year perfume in a soap again – Data Miner, Mandarines Ambrées and Majestic tuberose are available from the brand’s site with Worldwide shipping.


Tauer Soaps


Bruno Fazzolari (Fzotic) has also created several soaps. You can buy a set of three soapsHoney Cedar, Black Suede, Toasted Lilac or one of each.

Fzotic Soaps

If a soap bar isn’t something you normally use, as some of the readers mentioned in comments to one of the Saturday Questions, Thymes has a very season appropriate Frasier Fir hand wash. And if you’re a fan of fir scent, they have an extensive range of everything fir scented, including hand cream, linen spray, room spray, reed diffusers, candles in multiple different sizes and even laundry detergent.

Thymes Frasier Fir Liquid Soap

No gift guide would be complete these days without a new wardrobe item – a mask. Even though wearing those relaxed not only make-up routines but also perfume wearing restrictions, one might opt for wearing perfumes proudly not only on their body but also on their faces.

I found one design by Loralee Lewis. I’m not familiar with the brand, but reviewers seem to like these. On the picture (see below) I recognize Miss Dior and Prada Candy, but the rest aren’t too familiar, which, most likely, speaks to how well I know mass market perfumes. If you want something more subtle, Etsy offers this one (I recognize Shalimar and J’Adore bottles). Or if you want an even less obvious choices, here is another one with unidentifiable vintage bottles.



And just in case you have some time on your hands and consider remodeling, here is an idea: “Perfect for bathrooms and bedrooms alike, this romantic wallpaper features fancy bottles of perfume. A colorway emphasizes its classic style.” My guess: Chanel (probably 19), Guerlain Shalimar (EdT or Initial), Marc Jacobs Daisy EdT, Miss Dior, Elie Saab Le Parfum and one of Guerlain’s classic bottles (not sure which perfume). Not sure I recognize tall bottle to the left from Chanel.

Perfume Wallpaper

Are there any perfume-related items in your nearest holiday future?

Images: from the sites to which I link for each of the products cropped or compiled by me


26 thoughts on “Holiday Gift Mini-Guide 2020

  1. I love the guide and now I want one of those face masks for myself!
    I don’t think I will be getting anything fragrant for Christmas but I am utterly happy you’ll be getting the Shots. Those are great perfumes and those leather-wrapped travel sprays look exquisite.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I love the masks too!! I have a load of masks, but they are great, the coral one in particular. And I have a load of soap, but the ones you featured look pretty. The Tauer ones remind me of Pears translucent soap from my childhood. The OJ sets look interesting – will check them out. Thanks for this comprehensive overview of gift ideas!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I don’t have enough masks, that’s why I’m so interested in them :). I should buy some soon.

      OJ is having a Black Friday event. Interestingly, it’s different on the UK and US sites (but they ship worldwide from the UK, not sure about the opposite direction). On the US site they have discounted bottles and, what is even more interesting, discovery lab and sets. The UK one offers discounts from 30 ml bottles – the more you buy, the cheaper each gets. It is the strangest way of organizing a sale I’ve seen so far: you open a page and see a list of discounted bottles – of different sizes. Then you add the first bottle at a price you see. If it’s the “right” bottle (30 ml), once you return to the sales page, prices are adjusted to reflect a higher discount. As you keep adding, both prices in your basket and on the page keep going down until you get 4 bottles with 40% off each. It t


  3. This was really fun!
    Love the sound of the Iris, Violet and Rose Shots.
    Good to hear OJ are doing mixed travel sets though mix and match would be ideal. I
    Masque Milan are another great niche brand.

    How cool would it be to have a statement wall in the bathroom with that perfume bottle wallpaper!?

    I’m hoping to get some mini Diptyque candles under the tree. Maybe Bais, Patchouli and Vanilla.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Just in case you missed that, take a look at at my answer to Vanessa’s comment above about the OJ sale.

      From that collection, I also liked Chypre Shot, but I’m trying not to be greedy: I still have an almost full sample of it.

      I’d love to have that wall… I just don’t have a single wall where it would fit. But I should look for a fabric with a similar pattern to make a new curtain for perfume shelves in my closet.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I would totally go for the OJ travel set 3 except that I just received Ormonde Woman as a gift and I have Tsarina and Ambre Royal in the travel set I created in the London shop a couple years ago. I don’t have anyone to buy perfume for, and I haven’t asked for any for myself this year – I would love to actually thunk at least a travel size bottle one of these days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • They are just having Black Friday sale on the US site. In case you find a taker for Tsarina, I could take the other two off your hands :)

      I finish several decants recently and decided not to replenish those. It felt good to use them up instead of watching them slowly evaporating.


  5. Well thanks a bunch, Undina😄Now to add to all the other things, I want that wallpaper! We plan to do one wall in our bedroom but I have a feeling that hubby might bulk at that particular pattern. Though I always have 95% of the input in house decorating. Ok, make that 99%.
    I have already ordered the Tauer soaps, little pressie to myself. They will be here next week. It’s so great to see that more companies are offering mini sizes. 10-15 ml are just perfect imo.


  6. Great list of gifts! I’m very interested in the Olfactive Studio 10 ml vials and the same with Dusita! I also love the Profumum Roma 10 ml travel bottles. I have a couple of the OJ sample sets already and, like Undina, I have bought most of them over the years, but I love the smaller vials for keeping in my purse.


  7. Oh my goodness.. Tauer soaps.. what an amazing temptation.

    I’ve liked all the Olfactive “shots” but found they lacked longevity (if that is important). But I do hope to revisit some soon.


  8. Wonderful, just when I thought I’ve bought enough for this year :-D
    I like absolutely everything on your list. I’m specially tempted to buy Bruno Fazzolari’s soaps. I love and have some of his perfumes and I like that he’s such a talented all-round artist.
    I will also be buying more scented candles for myself and my friends. Everybody likes it.


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