The last month of the year can get hectic, so it’s no surprise that many of us blink and suddenly it’s late December—and we haven’t bought any gifts yet. Luckily, lots of online retailers understand us slow pokes and offer two-day or overnight shipping. It might come at an additional cost, but that’s the price of being a little disorganized (or spread thin). So, instead of beating yourself up for waiting until the last minute, take a look at our Fast Shipping Gift Guide in our BUY section and find some treats for all your pals.
Winter Oil Bath
Deeply aromatic and luxuriant to the touch, the Winter Oil Bath ($106) from Austrian holistic (and organic) beauty expert Susanne Kaufmann lends an extra layer of extravagance to every bath. Orange oil lays out the base note while cinnamon and clove waft forward. A bit of evergreen rounds it all out. The real essential oils within were blended in Austria. And more than just a lush fragrance, there’s nourishing capabilities that will relax dry winter skin.
Released on vinyl for the first time, Compilation #1 ($28) is an essential for DFA Records fans. While the album was released in the olden days (pre-iTunes) on CD, it’s now available as a two-record set and features the likes of The Rapture, The Juan Maclean, LCD Soundsystem and Black Dice. A standout—and throw-back considering the age of CDs—is The Rapture’s “House of Jealous Lovers,” which is sure to bring back some memories.
Cook’s Science: How to Unlock Flavor in 50 of our Favorite Ingredients
For cooks who appreciate a physics equation and the biology of a mushroom (side note: mushrooms aren’t vegetables or fungi, they are “made up of gills, spores, chitin” and more) this new book from America’s Test Kitchen is just the ticket. “Cook’s Science” ($30) is full of fascinating information and 400+ foolproof recipes made with 50 favorite ingredients—everything from scallops to kale, almonds and honey. Each recipe begins with an explanation about the science behind it—essentially why the formula works. Tacos al pastor, for example, are made without a spit and the process not only makes sense, it’s also not difficult. Forget too many cooks in the kitchen, this book took a bunch of scientists too, and the result is scientifically proven recipes, so you can’t fail.
St Louis Sunglasses
KREWE du Optic makes specs and sunglasses inspired by founder Stirling Barrett’s passion for his hometown of New Orleans. Our pick from the brand for this winter is the new colorway for the St Louis: Blue Steel to Burgundy ($255). Handmade with Italian acetate, durable hardware and superior lenses to protect your peepers, these sunnies should last a while—thanks to quality materials and timeless style.
Cool Bananas Pillow
Working with artisans, Brooklyn-based Aelfie Oudghiri produces bright, bold and very playful pillows and rugs. Each pillow is hand-embroidered in Rajasthan from 100% cotton, and our pick is the “Cool Bananas” ($49) version, with three fruity friends wearing shades. Whether for kids or adults, bedrooms or lounge rooms, it’s a cheerful addition to the home. (Insert is sold separately.)
Black Dots Creamer
Designed by Italian architect Paola Navone and produced by acclaimed porcelain company Reichenbach, this polka-dot creamer ($32)—part of a great black dots set—balances whimsy with function. This can be said of both the uncommon silhouette and the playful pattern. Global interests struck the Navone, which she channeled into her progressive, worldly work. The piece is exclusively stocked at the Philip Johnson Glass House design store.
Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World
Illustrator and writer Rachel Ignotofsky’s first-ever book “Women in Science: 50 Fearless Pioneers Who Changed the World” ($12) profiles 50 women who have made a difference in the industry—from psychologist and civil rights activist Mamie Phipps Clark; to chemist and x-ray crystallographer Rosalind Franklin; and astronaut, educator and doctor Mae Jemison. Within the hardcover are computer scientists, marine biologists, theoretical physicists, mathematicians, botanists, geologists, inventors and paleontologists galore—proving if you can only name Marie Curie when thinking about women in science, you’re doing it wrong.
Box of Socks
While subscription boxes offer a delightful surprise, sometimes choosing your own adventure is even better. Nice Laundry’s box-set options ($59) are a great way to package a gift for a pal (or yourself) while maintaining control over the styles you end up with. Available in small (six pairs), medium (12 pairs) or large (18 pairs), these sets—with dress socks, no-show and athletic options—are sure to keep your tootsies cozy and happy during all four seasons.
Benton Duffle Bag
Gender-neutral and entirely sophisticated, LA-based Graf Lantz’s Benton bag ($540) is made from merino wool felt and soft leather, and doesn’t diverge far from the classic duffle shape. While it’s a roomy piece, it’s sill a carry-on (measuring 22″2 by 12″ by 9 1/2 inches) so you won’t have any difficulty with overhead storage. Featuring two internal pockets and two external, this bag is as functional as it is classy.
Designed by Swiss-Argentinian Alfredo Häberli and made from gorgeous green glass specially developed by Georg Jensen and the Glafo Glass Research Institute, the Alfredo Vase ($185) is the result of many visionaries coming together. Looking like something from the past and the future at the same time, its curves are exaggerated and delightful. The vessel (available in two very different shapes and sizes) is such a pretty piece, you might not even bother putting flowers in it.
Annemarie Striped Swimsuit
From NY-based brand Solid & Striped comes another new classic. The Annemarie one-piece swimsuit ($170) is at once traditional and modern—with a time-honored shape and pattern, but made with the finest new materials. A cutesy take on a preppy look, the thick stripes are gently noticeable in the bold blue and coral colorway.
SBB Giant Watch
Their minimalist sensibilities have earned Switzerland’s Mondaine watches many accolades and a place in the MoMA Design Store, but it’s the brand’s ability to make the minimal seem so powerful and engaging that keeps fans on their toes. With the recently released SBB Giant ($325)—in an all-black colorway, except for a striking red seconds hand—a clean, classic design feels like something more. At 42mm, it’s also not that giant, but rests well on the wrist, especially considering its lug-less design.
Images courtesy of respective brands, hero image from “Women in Science”