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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Beyond the Scented Candle—7 House Gifts for the Host/ess

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Holiday Gift Guide 2018: Beyond the Scented Candle—7 House Gifts for the Host/ess

December 17, 2018

Am I the only one who thinks scented candles are not ideal as host/hostess gifts? Scent is such a personal thing, and how to predict the olfactory preferences of your host? Here are some alternative ideas that lean toward the practical (but with a touch of luxe):

(N.B.: My friend Howard has the most elegant strategy; he contacts a local liquor store and has them deliver a lovely bottle of wine or a fancy fifth of scotch a few hours before the fete, so the host/ess doesn’t have to scramble.)

Francis M. Heirloom Linen Tea Towel

francis m irish linen tea towel gift
Above: Stealth luxury in the form of a tea towel: a set of three heirloom-worthy Francis M. Linen Tea Towels is $107.42 from Francis M., a tiny design studio on Clare Island, in the wilds of West Mayo, Ireland. (Read more at Francis M. Irish Linen, Heritage Edition.)

Daphnis and Chloe Herbs

daphnis chloe wild thyme flowers
Above: Daphnis and Chloe was established in a small workshop under the Acropolis Hill of Athens in 2013; inspired by the Mediterranean’s rural traditions, the founders provide professional chefs and home cooks with alluring culinary herbs and spices. A package of Daphnis and Chloe Wild Thyme Flowers is $9.20 from Flotsam & Fork.

Full Circle Wool Sponges

wool sponges alder and co
Above: For the zero waster: A set of two natural Full Circle Wool Sponges is $12 from Alder & Co. (Side note: my favorite house gift ever came from Tricia Rose of Rough Linen; a monochromatic sponge from Australian brand Barkley Basics.)

Collection L’Article Matches

la boite d allumettes
Above: A box of Collection L’Article Matches, designed by Le Studio Be-Pôles, a multi-disciplinary agency based in Paris and New York, contains 150 matches made from poplar wood, with red, white, and blue heads; $20 from Ode to Things.

British Christmas Crackers

leamon christmas crackers march
Above: Made in England, a set of six Marbled Christmas Crackers are filled with small gifts and a traditional paper crown and joke; $65 from March.

Fort Standard Wine Stoppers

fort standard bottle stoppers
Above: Elegant Dome and Sphere Wine Toppers from Fort Standard are $60 each (about the price of a Diptych candle).

Muuto Salad Servers

muuto salad servers
Above: One of my favorite hostess gifts ever: a pair of beech wood Muuto Salad Servers; $35 from the Scandinavian Design Center.

Looking for the perfect gift for everyone on your list? See the rest of our 2018 gift guides:

5 Gift Kits for the Practical-Minded Person
9 Gifts That Give Back: Gifts for the Eco-Friendly Gardener
12 Petite Gifts from the Old Country (aka Europe)
15 Stocking Stuffers for Under $15 (ish)

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