Trite though it may be, “good things come in small packages” is an enduring truism for a reason. However, that phrase’s annoying little brother, “it’s the thought that counts,” need not flit through the mind of your loved ones when they unpack their stockings this year. Here, the Robb Report editors share a trove of ideas for gifts that will not only fit in a stocking, they’re also priced around or below $200.’
The multitalented photographer, designer, and parfumier Serge Lutens has introduced new fragrances for men just in time for the holiday season. Perfect for fall, Le Participe Passé is redolent of balsam fir as well as saps and resins, tapping into right into that freshly cut Christmas tree dopamine pathway in your brain. Part of the Black Collection, the new scent is priced at $230 for a 100-mililiter bottle.
If you’re will to pay a bit more, you could also try Lutens’s new Gratte-ciel Collection, which comprises 10 brand new fragrances. 100-mililiter bottles from the new collection are priced at $375.
Add some style to your loved one’s stocking with a pair of optical glasses or sunglasses from Barton Perreira. The independent eyewear brand has released 25 new styles in men’s, women’s, and unisex designs. Many of the new looks were inspired by cofounder and designer Patty Perreira’s travel to tropical destinations—boasting names like Kahuna and Akua (a Hawaiian goddess). Admittedly, we are breaking our rules a bit here, as all of the models are over $200, but we couldn’t resist the idea of giving this guide a stylish touch.
Wisps of the Past
Ceramic artist Michelle Quan has developed a new line of home accessories for the Guggenheim Store based on the works of Swedish abstract art pioneer Hilma af Klint. The collection encompasses everything from bells to ornaments to dishes, though our favorite choice for a stocking stuffer is the Ode to Hilma Incense Burner. Like the rest of the products, the $210 incense burner is hand-painted and its design is based on contemplation of Klint’s works.
Flair for Self-Care
A few of your loved one’s favorite self-care products are always make for easy last-minute choices to throw into their stocking, but this year you have a great chance to mix things up a bit. Acqua di Parma has added three products lines to its Blu Mediterraneo collection—inspired by, you guessed it, the Mediterranean. The new lip balm, hand cream, and body lotion are each available in five of the collection’s signature fragrances: Arancia di Capri, Bergamotto di Calabria, Fico di Amalfi, Mirto di Panarea and Chinotto di Liguria.
Christmas Morning Munchies
Christmas morning breakfast is just as important a factor in forming fabulous holiday memories as tearing wrapping paper off of boxes with abandon is. So skip the boring off-the-shelf stuff and try pastry chef Dominique Ansel’s (of cronut fame) holiday take on breakfast cereal. The gourmet cereal is made from crispy puffed rice covered in Valrhona Caramelia (caramelized milk chocolate), crunchy smoked cinnamon miniature meringues, and whole caramelized hazelnuts.
Each box goes for $16.50 and they sell out almost immediately, so be sure you’re by your computer at 12 o’ clock EST on November 23 to place your order through the Dominique Ansel website.
Breath of Fresh Air
British brand Charabanc has released a new stocking stuffer perfect for the gearhead in your life. Shaped like a car’s spoked rims, the Car Aromatiser takes the place of that flimsy cardboard tree hanging from your rearview mirror, releasing pleasant scents that are meant to evoke those of some of the world’s most famous driving routes. For instance, you can get one that smells of raspberry, violet leaves, thyme, cypress oil, saffron, jasmine, amber, black leather to conjure the notes of the Colorado Plateau’s Monument Valley, or freshly Scots Pine, sage, lavender, mint, fir balsam, and cedar wood to evoke the fells of Pennine Britain.
Each pomander is priced at around $160 and comes with a leather strap, though it can also be clipped onto an air vent if you don’t want something dangling in front of your face.
Newton has long made beautiful wines in Napa Valley, but they keep getting better. While it’s known for its “unfiltered” wines – a designation that actually applies to all of its wines, though few know that – the winery’s single vineyard bottles are standouts. The wines have evolved in recent years to a more elegant expression, which is embodied in this Spring Mountain Cab ($190). 2015 was a year of small berries on the vine and a lower fruit yield because of the intensity of the drought. But that smaller yield has also manifested as beautiful wine. This one has distinct Spring Mountain notes of red, black, and even blue fruit and dusty thyme. Rich and silky in texture, it has tertiary flavors of mocha and asphalt. Drink it now (with decanting), or wait 5 to 20 years for even more layers to develop. —Janice O’Leary
Audeze is the pioneer of producing planar magnetic drivers—which produce sound waves via a thin charged film that is pushed and pulled back and forth between two magnetic stators—small enough for in-ear headphones. It introduced its first planar magnetic earbuds in 2016, followed a year later by the $2,500, super high-end LCDi4, which produced unrivaled sound, but were a big investment for non-audiophiles.
This year, the company has introduced the $200 iSINE LX earspeakers, which could turn your recipient from a casual music fan into a full-fledged audiophile without breaking the bank. The new edition sport a more stylish appearance than previous models, although you might not have much of an audience most of the time; their semi open-back design means you will have the best listening experience in a quiet room.
Milla Deluxe Holiday Gift Box
Stuffing a stocking for someone with a sweet tooth? Based in Los Angeles, Milla Chocolates is offering a Deluxe Holiday Gift Box filled with a selection of out-of-this-world confections. Included within are the brand’s famous hazelnut praline bars (with or without Turkish coffee), 18 assorted bonbons with seasonal flavors, two jars of either chocolate covered almonds, hazelnuts, or pistachios. You can go online to pre-order your box now for $115; deliveries begin December 3.
Record of Notes
For the analog-minded wine enthusiast, Moleskine – the go-to maker for serious journal-writers everywhere – has come out with a brand new hardcover wine journal ($30). Its 400 pages have tabs to delineate your sparkling sips from reds, whites, rosés, sweet wines, and even spirits. The prompts for each wine entry include all the necessaries from varietals and vintage to pairings, glass suggestions and the who, what, where, and when of your tasting. Plenty of space for opinions is included as well. Stickers are included to emphasize favorites or fun quotes. A glossary of terms is included for newbies, and, one of our favorite parts – a blank index at the back so you can easily find and reference a special bottle again. —Janice O’Leary
You would be hard pressed to find an actual Koenigsegg Regera to gift your loved one this Christmas (without resorting to illegal means, of course), but this 1:43 Regera model is perfect for the ol’ stocking. Priced at $151, the replica is handcrafted from resin and has a green-tinted carbon finish. The Regera comes with a display stand, a transparent plexiglass case, and a certificate of authenticity. It and models of other cars made by the marque are available for purchase on Koenigsegg’s online store.
Give ‘Em an Eyeful
Greek jewelry designer Lito Karakostanoglou has partnered with luxury goods purveyor L’OBJET, on a fascinating new collection of products prominently featuring the evil eye symbol. But worry not, the eye is not there to spread misery, but rather to protect its owner from misfortune. For instance, this $175 Lito Letter Opener is crafted from bronze with an evil eye appearing on its crown rendered in porcelain.