Don’t even think about reaching for that bottle of champagne that’s been sitting in your fridge since last New Year’s Eve. That’s just wrong. And generic. Forget the booze for your gracious hosts (spoiler alert: they will probably overbuy anyway and drink their leftovers through Valentine’s Day) and give them a gift that will actually make them want to invite you back next year.
Tobi Tobin Chalet Holiday Candle: This candle just smells (and looks) like expensive Christmas. From LA designer and chef Tobi Tobin, the hand-poured candle is a combination of soy and coconut wax and smells deliciously of cedar wood, eucalyptus and clove bud. Bonus: It comes packaged like it was styled for a Neiman Marcus window display. $78
Three Sisters Apothecary Soap and Gift Collections: There is soap and then there is artisan soap that is handmade in small batches with botanicals and pure oils like this collection from Three Sisters Apothecary. Your hostess will delight in the look and smell of the bar soaps and will love you even more if you include a thick luxurious matching body butter. Buy her the whole cauldron including 6 soaps, 1 body butter, 1 salve, and a loofa mitt and expect to be the guest of honor at her next party. Prices starting at $3.
Nest Fragrances Holiday Liquidless Diffuser: For the hostess who loves the smell of the holidays but hates a burning flame, this holiday season Nest Fragrances introduced this Liquidless Diffuser. Each of the 5 included oil-infused ScentSticks lasts up to 30 days and are housed in an open vessel so she can customize the intensity of the scent. The Holiday scent comes in a fuzzy velvety red box perfect for gifting, no wrap necessary. $60
Dana’s Bakery Limited Edition Holiday Box: Nothing says “thank you for inviting me to your soiree” more than showing up with a box of artisan macarons. This holiday box comes with 4 chocolate molten, 4 white chocolate peppermint bark and 4 gingerbread. Note: I speak from experience – don’t expect your hostess to put these out so perhaps order yourself a box as well. $33.
LAFCO Limited-Edition Capsule Collection: LAFCO founder Jon Bresler did something special this holiday season – he created an entire scent story starting in the fall with Chestnut and Pumpkin, moving to holiday with Berry and Winter Balsam, ending with White Snowdrop and Starry Night. Tip: If it’s a New Year’s Eve party definitely gift the Starry Night – an intoxicating mix of bergamot, stardust magnolia, and quince – the perfect scent for starting 2018. Starting at $42.