PHOTOS BY CRAIG T. KOJIMA, LUSH AND SEPHORA
Ease into the shopping season by treating yourself first to a gift of holiday-scented candles and bath and body products designed to soothe or invigorate body and soul. After your mind is clear and refreshed, you might feel re-energized for a second round of shopping -- for everyone else. Here's a look at just a few products with aromas to put you in the holiday spirit.
Philosophy offers guilt-, carb- and calorie-free treats in four separate 16-ounce bottles of shower gels. Candy Cane ($18) is a refreshing peppermint-scented spirit lifter. Double Rich Hot Cocoa ($16) is a bath-time indulgence. Spiced Apple Cider ($16) and Old Fashioned Eggnog ($16) both add a luscious richness to the bath experience.
All that's missing is the mistletoe. Otherwise, Lush has just about every fragrance under the sun, in the form of bath bombs, soaps and bubble bars. Kids will love throwing the snowman-shaped Mr. Butterball bath bomb ($4.35, at top of page) into the water. Aunties might prefer the angelic-looking Christmas Carol ($5.45) or Green Wing Angel bath bombs ($4.95, at right). Egg nog lip balm is $7.95. And, for lazy gifters, pre-wrapped Christmas gift sets (above) are available for $9.95 to $74.95.
The scent of cloves or a mimosa martini is captured in 10-ounce candles from Voluspa. The candles use the same highly refined wax used to make lip glosses and cream cosmetics for a buttery texture and density that's ideal for consistent burn and fragrance release to last 85 hours. That's long enough to keep a room well lighted the next time the power goes out. The candles are $15.95 at Cupcake Boutique at Ward Centre.
Archipelago Sugar Butter
Treat your rough, dry skin to a soothing helping of Sugar Butter, made with pure coconut extract, shea butter and other protective oils. It's helpful on elbows, heels, cuticles and other problem areas, and the best part is the scent, whether a combination of sugar cane and coconut, brown sugar and vanilla, or mango. Scoop it up for $26 at Blush, Kahala Mall.
The Ski House
Philosophy has a holiday package dubbed "The Ski House," filled with three heartwarming scents to soothe body and soul. First, there's Double Rich Hot Cocoa three-in-one shampoo, shower gel and bubble bath, to be followed with Marshmallow Body Souffle, then Kiss Me Pink peppermint lip balm. Share it with a friend. The set is $35 at Sephora.