Not Another Ho-Hum Hostess Gift
Don’t get me wrong. I love it when friends bring me wine. But prior to a recent dinner party, a fellow guest gently suggested I not bring wine to the hosts. Why? Apparently, the couple hosting the evening are wine connoisseurs—like sommelier-level experts. And while I don't drink wine out of a box (at least I haven't since 1994), I was glad for the head's up and arrived carrying a Nest Pumpkin Chai Candle instead.
This got me thinking about host/hostess gifts. With holiday fetes nearly upon us, a candle is a lovely alternative to bottles and bouquets. It's personal (but not too), it's a small indulgence that few of us regularly buy for ourselves—and it can help make a stressed host feel better (festive, relaxed, amorous, etc.). It's like alcohol without the calories.
Not confident in your candle-selecting skills? Well, you can't go wrong with Nest. As I mentioned above, the Pumpkin Chai is an excellent autumnal pick (perfect through Thanksgiving), and the Nest Holiday Candle (a blend of pine, cinnamon, vanilla and amber) is appropriate to gift until January 1. Other can't-go-wrong Nest scents: Bamboo and Grapefruit.
I first discovered my favorite Fresh candle, Sake, a blend of mandarin, peach nectar and greens, burning in the powder room at colorist Rita Hazan's old cozy townhouse salon. I'll forever associate it with laid-back luxury (and expert highlights). Other Fresh scents I adore: Brown Sugar and Citron de Vigne (the latter smells like fizzy champagne).
Diptyque Baies is the brand's bestseller for good reason: The combo of roses and blackberry leaves is a crowd-pleaser. Whenever I burn it, I get more "what is that—I must have it," than I do with any other candle. Two more Diptique blends I love: Figuier (fig) and Roses (a girly floral). Buy all three in this votive set.
Trish McEvoy Wild Blueberry Vanilla Candle smells like dessert, but isn't cloying (I light it in my office to fight off candy cravings); Lafco Ski House conjures apres-ski cuddling; and Pinrose Secret Genius Candle smells like a spicy, sensual swirl of vanilla and caramel. For a limited time only, you can also add a personalized photo to the outside of any Pinrose candle; note the MediumBlonde-labeled Secret Genius candle, above!
Note: Whenever available, I've linked to the smallest size/lowest priced candle available.