By Kevin Mcgue
With the holiday season fast approaching, it is high time to cross off the remaining items on the yearly gift list. Anyone undecided on what to get for that special someone still has time to find a luxurious gift with a personal touch.
One-of-a-kind jewelry and couture.
For a truly unique gift, seek out le charme de fifi et fafa, a shop on a small side street in Omotesando offering rare and unique clothing and accessories made especially for this shop by designers around the world, as well as the shop’s own original creations. Samples of what can be found here are a matching set of necklace and earrings hand made in Spain and infused with Japanese design motifs such gold kamon family crests, or a clutch bag hand made in Vietnam from two seashells held together with a handsome brass clasp (108,000 yen). There is also a selection of limited-edition ladies’ apparel from the fifiet fafa label and other select brands. 1F Minami-Aoyama Ohba Bldg, 5-4-3 Minami-Aoyama Tel: 03-5774-0853
A stylish bag.
Designer Hiroko Hayashi creates unique and innovative wallet and handbag designs in limited editions. Hot designs this season are a long ladies’ wallet: a Hiroko Hayashi limited holiday edition, this year in aqua blue (30,450 yen), and a three-way “Rugy Ball Bag,” with tiny bullet and spoon charm zippers, a handle at one end allowing it to be carried as a purse, and an adjustable shoulder strap that allows to be carried on the shoulder or slung across the back (115,500 yen). world.jp/brand/hiroko/l/
A sense of peace at home.
Who says perfumes are only for the body? Furniture and interior goods designer Catherine Memmi offers room sprays in unique scents such as black coffee, steel liquorice, and atlas cedar, as well as votive candles. The chic packaging and distinctive scents make for gifts that will not be soon forgotten. www.catherinememmi.com
Wrap his feet in luxury.
Socks are a gift that every man gets at least once every holiday season, although no one actually looks forward to such a practical gift. Surprise him with a pair of fun, comfy and luxurious 90 percent cashmere by Bresciani of Italy. 13,650 yen from Isetan Men’s. www.isetan.co.jp
Flowers aren’t only for women.
The Danish florist Nicolai Bergmann has a floral boutique in Isetan Men’s in Shinjuku that uniquely specializes in floral arrangements for men. Bergmann’s work combines a Scandinavian sense of simplicity with a Japanese attention to detail. Preserved flowers neatly packed into a black leather box by Whitehouse Cox of London make for an arrangement that adds color and refinement to a man’s desk. 37,800 yen from Isetan Men’s. www.nicolaibergmann.com
The perfect shave.
Truefitt & Hill of London provides the grooming tools favored by shaving purists in the British Royal family and around the world. A gift he can use every day, the Edwardian Blue Horn Set includes a razor fitting Mach III blades, a badger-hair brush, and a distinguished stand. 55,650 yen from Isetan Men’s. www.isetan.co.jp
For Her or Him
Scents from the world masters.
Renowned perfumer Frederic Malle asked nine of his peers to create new scents on the theme of “minimal luxury.” The result is Frederic Malle Trial Coffret, a collection of 15 simple, yet distinct perfumes in 10ml trial bottles, packaged in a handsome, sleek case. 58,800 yen from Isetan Men’s. www.isetan.co.jp
A lifetime of luxurious writing.
A fine ball point pen or fountain pen can add a sense of joy and luxury to the act of writing, as well as creating an unforgettable impression in the eyes of others. Shosaikan, just off Kotto-dori street in Omotesando is a pen salon specializing in the finest pens and stationery the world has to offer. With featured brands including Aurora, Cartie, Mont Blanc, Parker and many more, you are sure to find a pen that matches your loved one’s style. A quality pen, properly maintained, will last a lifetime. www.shosaikan.co.jp
An escape from stress and fatigue.
Via Monte, a beauty and relaxation spa near Shinjuku Gyoen Park, offers facial and body treatments designed to relieve and remove signs of stress and fatigue. All treatments are fully customized based on an in-depth consultation, and the staff suggests skin care products and vitamin supplements based on each visitor’s needs. Special holiday gift certificates are available for 70,000 yen for two treatment sessions plus products, and 100,000 yen for three treatment sessions plus products. www.via-monte.com
Regretfully, some errors appeared in the printed version of this article.
These have since been corrected in the online version:
The original article said the Bresciani socks are "100 percent cashmere argyles" when they are in fact 90 percent cashmere. In the section about floral arrangements by Nicolai Bergmann, it describes the gift set as: "Dried flowers neatly packed into a black leather box." The correct phrasing should be that Nicolai Bergmann use flowers preserved by freeze drying.The original article article said the arrangement costs 45,150 yen when the price for the arrangement mentioned is 37,800 yen. In the "For Him For Her" section Frederic Malle's name is spelt incorrectly as "Frederick Malle." In the caption for the Frederic Malle section, the scent gift set is called "Editions de Parfums Trial Coffret" when it should read: "Frederic Malle Trial Coffret."