It has been a family tradition that our parents have always bought us a book for Christmas and it is one my sister and her husband have continued with their daughter. This year was no exception with my gift of Coco Chanel, The Illustrated World of a Fashion Icon by Megan Hess.
A couple of days before Christmas I had discovered this book online and added it to my wishlist as it was out of stock completely unaware that my parents had bought it weeks ago! There have been many books written about Gabrielle ‘Coco’ Chanel but few have been done so eloquently.
This is the story of Chanel from her early childhood in the orphanage, her love affairs, her early days as a designer and her growth to a world famous fashion icon to the reign of Karl Lagerfeld, told with the most exquisite illustrations by Megan Hess.
Megan Hess is a illustrator whose clients include Chanel, Dior, Tiffany & Co., Yves Saint Laurent, Vogue, Harpers Bazaar, Cartier, Balmain, Montblanc and The Ritz Hotel Paris (which was of course where Coco lived in her own private apartment). While I have only just discovered Megan’s work I am head over heels. This is not just a book, it is the perfect gift for any fan of Chanel.
To see more of Megan Hess’s work check out her website http://www.meganhess.com and her Facebook page Megan Hess Illustrations.
Fragrance is a great Christmas gift and while the fragrance counter in any store is mecca for me, for many it is a minefield. So with that in mind here are some of my top picks for giving this Christmas.
Marc Jacobs Decadence
I know many people who love this fragrance but the biggest selling point is the beautiful packaging. This is one for those who love their designers.
If you want to buy someone a fragrance but are unsure what to pick this is the one for you! A beautiful fragrance which appeals to all ages.
Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb
Celebrating it’s 10th anniversary this year, Flowerbomb is destined to reach many more milestones. A literal explosion of flowers without the heady feeling. This is floral with an edge.
The Body Shop Black Musk
This is one of my favourite new launches of 2015. This oriental fragrance is perfect for a cosy winter evening. Great value for money.
Jimmy Choo Illicit
This is another of my favourite launches this year. By far the best Jimmy Choo fragrance ever released with the possible exception of Jimmy Choo Man.
Paco Rabanne Olympea
I didn’t think I would like this fragrance but it just goes to show you should never judge a fragrance by the bottle. This is a great fragrance and the tv advertisement alone would be enough to entice you.
And Finally Chanel No5
This will be the top selling fragrance this year (never mind Christmas). It is the ultimate in luxury. If for the history, the advertisements, the fragrance or just because it’s Chanel, while it may not be the most loved fragrance it is definitely the most coveted fragrance of all time.
One for the boys (or the ladies who want their men to smell amazing!). Hugo Boss describe the sensation of this fragrance as “your heart pounding, the sound of your breath inhaling, electricity pulsating, through your body … a seduction so powerful it consumed you and still haunts you …” and I understand what they mean.
Viktor & Rolf’s 1st fragrance Flowerbomb, launched in 2005, celebrated it’s 10th anniversary earlier this year with a lavish party at Paris’ Le Trianon. Viktor Horsting & Rolf Snoeren and around 800 friends joined the design duo best previously known in the couture world to celebrate the fragrance which made them a household name.
Voya, an Irish owned family company began in 1912, when the Walton family opened seaweed baths near Strandhill, County Sligo. In 1965 Hurricane Debbie destroyed the original bath houses but the Walton family re-opened them in 2000. They were soon being asked how customers could create the same effect at home. So launched the now iconic Lazy Days seaweed bath in 2006. The company product range has extended extensively and is now a global brand operating in over 37 countries.
This year Voya have launched a limited edition Christmas collection consisting of a Christmas Spice Candle, Christmas Spice Diffuser and Christmas Mitts Handcare set.
The candle and diffuser are your classic Christmas home scent of Orange, Cinnamon and Clove revitalizing and warming at the same time. The candle is made with Soy Wax and organic essential oils with a burn time of up to 35 hours. Either of these products would create a beautiful aroma to welcome guests at Christmas or would be the perfect gift if you have been invited to someone’s home.
Also part of the limited edition collection is the Voya Christmas Mitts Handcare Set which comes in the beautiful white and red packaging. The set contains three of Voya’s star products – Clean Me Up Liquid Hand Soap 300ml, Handy To Have Hand Cream 75ml and Invigorating Seaweed Soap 50g.
To learn more about this fabulous Irish brand check out their website http://www.voya.ie