Saturday, December 19, 2009

Cadeaux de La Derniére Minute: Part II

Three more of my favorite blogs, three women, Francophiles all and each in her distinctly elegant and unique way living the quintessentially French aesthetic: Life is more exciting when filled with a sense of l'art de vivre and surtout, above all, la joie de vivre. The first, Jennifer, of can't miss-a-day because she always has something fabulous to tell us from
The Daily Connoisseur, lived in Paris and often regales us with her cultural adventures; Bonjour Romance, who lives here now and gives me so much pleasure as I see what I see almost everyday through her eyes, which changes everything and makes me appreciate Paris more than ever and Stephanie of the exquisitely feminine blog Bonjour Madame who fell in love with the city when she visited and now fills her life with beauty and shares it with us.

I chose this portrait of Madame de Pompadour for the thread of romance that is another "fil" -- that in my opinion -- runs through these blogs.

Thank you all so very, very much for not only sharing some of your favorite last minute cadeaux, but more importantly for allowing us to take a daily peek into your French-inspired lives.

By The Daily Connoisseur

The best type of gift to give is a luxurious one --the sort of gift that one would be thrilled to receive and wouldn’t ordinarily buy for oneself. Last minute gifts are no exception. Perhaps you overlooked someone on your Christmas list? Or are in dire need of a hostess present? Here are my top three luxurious last minute gifts that would make any man or woman tickled pink:

-A A Selection of Fine Loose Leaf Teas. Who wants to drink tea made from a stale old tea bag when you can indulge in fragrant and exclusive loose-leaf tea? Most major cities have tea houses where you can pick up gorgeous little packages of fresh tea at the last minute- and if your city doesn’t have one, you can find some great options at your local gourmet grocery store. My favorite teahouse in Los Angeles is Lupicia Fresh Tea- an amazing little company that has over 400 hundred kinds of tea to choose from. They package the tea in gorgeous little custom labeled tins that would delight even the most discerning recipient.

- Luxurious Bath Soaps. Nothing beats a luxurious, well-made bar of soap-generous in proportion and quality. Luxury soap is such a lovely present and thanks to the plethora of high-end bath shops in most major cities, they make a very convenient last minute gift too! My favorites are by Claus Porto but any luxury brand will do. Get them in exotic scents like Acacia Tuberose or Lime Basil -- these scents are a welcome departure from the typical Lavender bath product and will make the recipient feel like you put some thought into it... Also the invigorating scent will make them think of you every time they bathe! (Which can’t be all that bad…)


A A Book of Poetry. Poetry isn’t the sort of thing one generally buys for oneself -- therefore, it can be considered a luxury. Most of the books of poetry I own have all been gifts and I have adored every one of them. Run to your nearest bookstore and charm you friend with the Complete Poems by Dorothy Parker, or woo your lover with Pablo Neruda’s The Captain’s Verses. Include a charming dedication and they’ll be thrilled- they’ll never know it was a last minute gift!

For more information on Lupicia Teas, visit:

For more information on Claus Porto Soaps, visit:

Dorothy Parker and Pablo Neruda poetry can be purchased at fine bookstores everywhere.

By Bonjour Romance

If you’re like me you always need a few last minute gifts – you may be guilty of forgetfulness or just plain procrastination, but you still want it to be special. Here are a few ideas that everyone seems to be pleased with:

Anything silver is perfect. My all time favorite thing to give and receive are silver cups. Petite mint julep cups or larger versions are so versatile. Fill with all sorts of goodies, depending on the person – flowers, pens and pencils, colored sugar sticks, candy canes,favorite candy, paint brushes, the possibilities are endless.

Pretty little makeup bags which you can also fill with makeup brushes, hand cream or colorful beads.

Go vintage - Hit the markets and antique shops to find vintage brooches, books, small paintings, teacups, small trinket boxes.

Whatever you choose it is guaranteed to be unique.

Notebooks – you can find Moleskin books everywhere and now in colours.

I think they are the best because they lay open flat. To up the pretty factor, bundle a few up with a ribbon, add a pen or some colored pencils, and add a book plate. To make it a bit more special pack several things into a pretty box orbag, and don’t forget to tuck in a little note!

By Bonjour Madame

1. First on the list is a DVD of Julie & Julia wrapped up with a copy of either Mastering the Artof French Cooking or My Life in France (or both). All tied up with a pretty ribbon and maybe a wooden spoon or whisk tied up in the bow. And if it's really someone special, it could be all placed in a lovely French market basket and tied with a bow. Of course if the person is a horrible cook, this could be an insult so I would only give this to women I know who love to cook or who loved the movie.

2. One of my favorite small gifts to get is Chanel No 5 bath soap. It is so luxurious and only around $24.

3. There is another small Chanel fragrance gift coffret out this year with 5 of their fragrances in tiny flacons filled with pure parfum. They are great!

4. But perhaps my favorite gift to give and get and it's always appreciated is Champagne. Bless the soul who arrives at my home with a decent bottle! My favorite is Veuve Clicquot. Really there is nothing more simple and perfect than that! Especially since New Year's Eve is only a week away.

I forgot one more. A fur scarf collar. I bought one of these from Mai Tai in Provence and they are fabulous! (Go to Scarf Fur to read more.)

If there is a scarf lover on your list this is perfect. They are very versatile. (I'll stop now, I promise.)


Anoninoz said...

Ooooh, Fabulous cadeaux... Have loved these last minute shopping ideas Part I and II - great ideas!

Bonjour Madame said...

My name in lights! :)

This was fun to participate coming up with gift ideas. I jut returned from another day of shopping but this time stuck to small boutiques. I did get some last minute gifts, but I somehow managed to sneak in a vintage alligator purse for moi as a petite cadeaux. I could not pass it up.

Deja Pseu said...

These are all fabulous suggestions!

Rita said...

WONDERFUL post! I so agree about the blogs you mentioned...they are right up there on my 'must read' list.

BonjourRomance said...

Merci Tish for the opportunity to be a part of your fabulous gift series. The Daily Connoisseur and Bonjour Madame Stephanie both gave me some marvelous ideas - merci ladies!

Dedene said...

Great posts. I'm with Bonjour Madame! La Veuve Cliquot never goes out of style.

The Daily Connoisseur said...

Merci Tish for including me in this wonderful series and Bonjour Romance and Bonjour Madame- you have wonderful ideas- glad we could learn from each other! xo

Kristine said...

These three blogs are some of my favs as well. Love the gift ideas, one or two of them match my own. Thanks for posting them. A bottle of Veuve Cliquot is always welcome at my home.

Blue Creek Home said...

I would love to receive any one of the great suggestions from these three girls!
Wonderful ideas.

The romantic query letter and the happy-ever-after said...

All brilliant suggestions. I'm glad I came by. I'll linger a while reading part one.
Warmest regards,

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