A Few Last-Minute Shopping Tips
Illustration by Mr Simone Massoni
The ultimate edit of fail-safe gifts to help you choose your Christmas presents at breakneck speed.
There are those among us that have all their festive bits and pieces wrapped up by late November, ensuring a completely stress-free advent in which they can sup mulled wine and curate Christmas playlists in peace, without having to spare a single thought as to what to get, and for whom. Obviously, this article is not for those people. No, this is for the people that have put it off and put it off, and wantonly partied and drank their merry way through December, and continually pushed that niggling feeling of gifting obligation to the back of their minds. Those people will be well aware that it’s getting pretty late now, and there is not much time left. But they needn’t have a complete meltdown – there is actually a range of rather nice who-wouldn’t-like-that type gifts on MR PORTER that make particularly good last-minute purchases if you’ve veered off-schedule this festive season. Scroll down to discover a few of our favourites, presented in as non-judgemental a manner as possible.
FOR THE NOSE
Yes, they may turn their nose up at a fragrance come Christmas morning, but it will be likely to take a pleasant whiff of the thing rather than in disdain or suspicion. The truth is that most people could do with another scent in their bathroom cupboard, and even if they already have a favourite, it’s hard not to graciously accept one with the sobriquet “Mister Marvelous” slapped on the front of it. One of Byredo’s signature scents, this eau de parfum is a sophisticated, woody concoction, with citrusy top notes of mandarin leaves and neroli and a rich base of black amber and white cedarwood. Though ultimately, the recipient may not be all that Marvelous at all, it certainly shows that you think they are, which is the kind of sentiment the holidays are made of. If even that blunt application of cheer is too subtle for you, you’ll need something along the lines of Diptyque’s “Épices et Délices” candle. A powerfully festive piece that emits heartwarming waves of a ginger, honey and star anise fragrance, it’s the kind of thing that will be lit instantly by its recipient upon unwrapping, bringing joy to all and making you look much more considerate of the occasion than, in truth, you really have been.
FOR THE WRISTS
There’s very little to object to in Braun’s BN0032 watch (despite, perhaps, the name), given that, in terms of bells and whistles, there’s very little actually going on. And that’s a good thing. Its minimalist design, in fact, is derived from the “as little design as possible” ethos of the legendary designer Mr Dieter Rams, who spent the 1950s and 1960s at Braun creating some of the most crtically-cooed-over household goods ever. The watch is a perfect last-minute gift because it’s timeless, won’t break the bank and will go with anything. If you want to soften its utilitarian cool, you can add a simple leather bracelet, such as this example from Tod’s. But then again, you’ve probably got other last-minute gifts to buy, so maybe you should just scoop it up and move on.
FOR THE FUN OF IT
What’s a merry gentleman without a nice strong drink? And an appealing receptacle to sip it out of? In other words, one of the best ways to make sure everyone is in high spirits by Christmas lunch is to make sure they’ve been offered a few cocktails. Make the prospect more enticing by presenting them with a pair of copper-plated martini glasses from quirky London designer Tom Dixon, and a book of recipes from Mr Sasha Petraske, the late founder of cult New York bar Milk & Honey. Yes, they may realise at some point that you only purchased these a few days before the main event, but with a couple of espresso martinis down their throats, will they care?