Luxe, Yet Practical
Giving toiletries for the holidays
By Cindy Widner,
3:16PM, Thu. Dec. 4, 2008
Normally I am suspicious of putting rocks on my face, nor do I necessarily go ga-ga over holiday smells (peppermint, gingerbread, citrus-and-clove variations, certain fake-o evergreen scents).
This year, however, Whole Foods has unleashed a few exclusive products that may help me put that whole fear-of-the-cloying thing to rest. Their Mineral Fusion line, for instance, has convinced me that adults can, in fact, wear lip gloss.
Then there's the Indigo Wild Peppermint Fir Needle Zum Bar, goat's milk soap in the form of a huge red-and-green, swirly chunk that comes beribboned and attached to a frightening cleaver (its packaging also features the awesome salutation "Merry Whiffmas"). The smell is light and somehow "pine-creamy," and the soap does its job with moisturizing pizzaz. Fun to cut and fun to slather.
For semantic retro-absurdity, there's nothing like the Aromaland scent diffuser, which I can't really defend on aesthetic grounds but enjoy nevertheless. I have a similarly bewildering attraction to the Still Life Real Leaf Ornament, which is made by coating real Redwood needles and an acorn in silver or 24-karat gold (and donating a portion of proceeds to replenish deforested areas): strange, yet gorgeous.
And then there is just nifty organic and natural stuff that actually smells good (unlike its more artificial counterparts): Alba Un-Petroleum Lip Balm in cherry, tangerine, and vanilla (all-veggie!); Avalon Organics Peppermint bath gel and lotion (invigorating!); and similar gingerbread-smelling bathy/lotiony stuff by J/A/S/O/N.
Okay, basically it adds up to a bunch of toiletries. But the above retails from $7 to $30, and in this, our Year of the Total Economy Bummer, it seems like it will put you on the side of all that is just and true to give gifts that are practical and fancy. Pick up some extra things to donate to a shelter while you're at it. See how easy?