With the Christmas giving season approaching, it’s time for the mad gift-shopping in town. What are the options for the office gift exchange, or Secret Santa activity at your friend’s house party?

Of course, bath and body sets are probably the most unisex and appropriate gifts for friends. Here are some “tried-and-tested” recommendations, where the scent and products are of commendable quality, tailored for the discerning friends and colleagues.

1. Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends

Well-known for its wide range of quality skin and body care products, Kiehl’s have launched its four different scents in its Aromatic Blends body collection, each scent is inspired ingredients sourced at different locations and are sustainably sourced, as well as extracted naturally. For each Aromatic Blends scent, the range of products include a fragrance (known as the Aromatic Mist), skin-softening body lotion and skin-softening body cleanser. The body lotion and cleanser are silicone and sulfate free respectively.

The four scents in the range are : Fig leaf & sage, Nashi blossom & pink grapefruit, Orange flower & lychee and Vanilla & cedarwood.

My personal favourite? The Nashi blossom and pink grapefruit, which in my opinion, is a easily accepted and pleasing scent. A blend of Nashi blossom – the flower of pear trees that blooms in Kyoto – and pink grapefruit, the result is an uplifting mix of citrus and fresh floral scent.

The Mist is priced at S$82 for 100 ml. This is an affordable quality EDT that is perfect as a perk-me-up on a dull warm day when your fragrance is waning, or on occasions where you want to dissipate the oily or smoky smell accumulated from lunch. The body lotion and body cleanser are available in 250ml and cost S$43 and S$33 respectively.

For the holiday season, Kiehl’s has also put together gift sets that include the Aromatic Blends collection.

  • Set with Aromatic Blends Body Cleanser and Body Lotion (250ml), Clearly Corrective Exfoliator (25ml) and Clearly Corrective Dark Spot Solution (4ml) – S$76
  • Set with Aromatic Blends Mist (30ml), Body Cleanser and Body Lotion (65ml) – S$45

“Friends of Kiehl’s”can also get a limited edition Aromatic Blends fragrance gift set consisting of all 4 EDTs (10ml each) at S$76.

2. Les Floralies Christmas Pack from Wearto

Les Floralies is a bath and body company from New Zealand that produces the natural product ranges such as the Earth and Botanics, Matakana Valley, Apothecary and Great Barrier Island. Other than Sephora and Tangs Orchard, Les Floralises is also available at local online site Wearto with free local delivery.

I had the opportunity to sample the Earth Botanics Cucumber and Mint gift set priced at S$50. The set comes with a bottle of shower gel and body lotion, each bottle at a whopping 425ml.

The cucumber and mint range is a unisex scent that is both revitalising and soothing. The aroma is gentle and non-overwhelming but most importantly, the products are made from 100% essential oils and are paraben free. I have tried both the shower gel and body lotion and love the invigorating scent, as well as the soft and light lotion that leaves a subtle whiff of freshness for the day. Other than Earth Botanics Cucumber and Mint, another popular product from the company includes Matakana Valley Lime & Olive range, as well as the Apothecary Sniff Boxes (only S$16.90!).

Given that Les Floralies is a lesser known and less accessible range, this is a great gift not just for your Kiwi colleagues, but also for friends who are into wellness and quality products.

3. Crabtree & Evelyn

This is probably everyone’s favourite store for Christmas shopping. Their bodycare products are insanely popular and almost a regular fixture during office gift exchanges.

I have not sampled too many ranges from the brand but one of my personal favourite is the Pomegranate, Argan and Grapeseed collection.

Now available as a gift set with matching red raffia carry case: Hand cream (100g), Shower gel (250ml) and Body lotion (250ml) -S$88

This is a zesty fruity scent formulated with Pomegranate, which is rich in anti-oxidents, and fair-trade Argan oil as well as grapeseed oil. Unique and distinctive, the blend is pleasant and leaves your skin soft and mildly scented.

If you do not want to spend too much time in the store pondering over the scent to buy, I would recommend you to go with this Pomegranate, Argan and Grapeseed range. Other than this gift set, you could opt for just the shower gel and body lotion set with gift box at S$65.

And if you are thinking of adding food items into your gifting list – Crabtree & Evelyn has brought in their seasonal fine food – i.e. chocolates, cookies, confectionery and candies – into the stores here as well. Price starts from S$15 for a can of English sweets to S$120 for a holiday hamper.

圣诞礼物当中,最常收到的,应该是沐浴露以及身体乳。本人试了各家品牌的系列,挑选了来自 Kiehl’s Aromatic Blends系列,新西兰的Les Floralies (Earth Botanics)的黄瓜薄荷产品及Crabtree & Evelyn的Pomegranate沐浴产品。大家不妨参考参考,这些产品的质感不错,香味容易受欢迎。相信能够帮您省下一些圣诞购物的时间。

 Image credit: Kiehl’s, Wearto, Crabtree & Evelyn

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