Portia’s Gift List 2019




Heya APJ,

This time of the year is a nightmare if you want to buy something lovely for friends. First and foremost being that our friends mostly already have everything they need. So for us to get them something special and important means either we have to spend a LOT of money, or we need to be a little savvy. As most of my closest don’t really understand my perfume mania it would be churlish of me to buy them something in that mode unless I’ve really thought it out. Here are some perfume and fragrant adjacent gifts that should get their eyes popping and not break the bank for you.

This is a list of things I’ll be gifting this year. Most of them are bought already, just awaiting packaging.

Portia’s Gift List 2019


While being fragrant, candles occupy the happy middle ground where they are decorative, functional and useable. You don’t need to store them because they sit out and get their burn on a couple of times a week to help freshen the air in our homes.

Cire Trudon

VERY spendy but really good if you need to impress or the person you’re buying for is impress oriented. I love their packaging and the fragrances always smell uber luxe. This year my choice of their Christmas scents is Hupo. Ambergris, Incense and creamy woods combine majestically. Libertine has these with FREE Australian Postage.

Gascoigne & King

The newest fragrance from Gascoigne & King is unbelievably beautiful. Mainly jasmine, and vanilla with the warm, feral addition of honey. G&K are a Sydney brand, created with love by hand in the home of my girlfriend Bronwyn Gascoigne. I buy a cartload of these every year because everyone who gets one comments how lavishly glamorous they make the house smell. Very reasonably priced and Gascoigne & King send to the world with a AUD$20 Flat Shipping Rate.

They also do the To Die For Rose Gold Candle Care Wicker and Snuffer, in case your friends already have candles galore. ^^


Confession time. I bought the new Glasshouse Carousel for MYSELF! Yes, I paid full retail and it is freaking gorgeous. When it’s lit in the dark of the evening the light creates fabulous patterns on the walls. It’s like a fairyland. I will run myself a midnight bubble bath, light the candle and turn the lights out. INSTANT fantasy land. Amusingly, when I told Ainslie Walker that I’d bought it she squealed, it is one of her releases for the brand! Double win.


That leads us beautifully to my favourite, Bubble Baths. Most of my mates aren’t deep into perfumes but all of them have to bathe. A simple, useful and well priced gift is always a shower gel. Excellent if you know their preference in perfumes because you can buy their attendant products but also cool if you don’t, open their minds to something new and wonderful.

Lyric Man Shower Gel by Amouage

Lyric Man has been Amouage’s best selling mens fragrance for years. It’s cool, masculine rose is beautiful and flies under the radar enough that it can be the perfect choice for the wealthy working man (or the one with a partner/friend/family with really good taste). The packaging alone makes this a gift of distinction with the added benefit of a 300ml pump pack. Guaranteed to last months, even with daily use.

Mon Guerlain Shower Gel by Guerlain

Mon Guerlain, the hit from Guerlain that has spawned a thousand flankers in its few short years. I like the simplicity of this packaging. Right now there are also wonderful Gift Packs that come with a shower gel and fragrance. I really like the less flamboyant scent they’ve used in this and it will work beautifully across the range, so no matter which Mon Guerlain is your intendeds fave this will be a perfect bath starter.

Cherry Blossom Shower Gel by L’Occitane

I was gifted this bottle for my birthday by some girlfriends. The bottle alone is a winner with its cherry blossom branch relief. The pretty cherry/cherry blossom fragrance is so much better than it needed to be. I’m surprised each time I use it how good the fragrance is. Also, though it looks pricey, it is really good value.

Basil Lemon by Korres

Want to kick start your day with a zingy refreshing fragrance, or are thinking of wearing some cologne or citrus scents for your day? This is a really good value choice and the big bottles always look impressive. 400ml will probably last till the next time you have to buy a gift for them. I like the no nonsense packaging too, perfect for the boys but not so butch that the girls will feel awkward.

Rose Jam Shower Gel by LUSH

Special Christmas time release and my favourite shower gel by LUSH, by far. Rose Jam is a scent I want to always have around. It is the perfect base coat to any rose-centric fragrance but isn’t so strong that it really interferes with anything you choose to wear fragrance wise over its remnants. Super good value and comes from 100m up to the huge 500ml. This is a great love of mine. Excellent gifting response too.

Other Great Stuff

Liberty & Co Colour Block Mug

Jin bought me one of these last year. It has been my most coveted coffee mug ever since. It’s perfect in every way. The feel, the colours, the size and the handle. PERFECT! So perfect in fact that I have bought it this year for others, so they can enjoy the luxuriousness of a Tiffany & Co cuppa.

Tea Towels

I know, right! So many of my friends really do have EVERYTHING! It’s impossible to get them anything they really want, let alone need. So wherever I go, be it Art Gallery, Holiday Destination, Event or Place of Note I grab a couple of Tea Towels. We all use them, most people have a couple of skanky old rags or even a set bought a few years ago at the local supermarket but rarely does anyone think much about them. So getting a pretty, interesting or luxurious one is nice. They are also good to use as safety wrapping inside put together gift boxes.


OK, so there are some thoughts. You’ve got nearly three weeks of shopping left for Christmas or whatever your ritual is at this time of year.

No matter what you do or don’t buy, who or what you do or don’t have, I wish you a safe season. Hoping it’s free of drama, pain and depression for you, and if any of those hits I hope your coping mechanisms get you through. Plan ahead, make sure you are not putting yourself or others in danger. Hugs from me, and the APJ crew.

Portia xxx

37 thoughts on “Portia’s Gift List 2019

  1. Portia, your gift-giving choices are fabulous! Everyone will be thrilled to receive a gift from you! I enjoy giving similar gifts as well, thank you for the luxe ideas. Rose Jam shower gel is one of my favorites to use and give, and L’Occitane make the best gifts as well. I gifted their advent calendar to a friend who celebrated a milestone bday last month.
    Wishing you a joyous holiday season Portia and Jin! I’m grateful for you generous and kind spirit, and sharing your love of perfume with all of us APJers.


  2. Great suggestions, Portia. I’m a huge fan of Cire Trudon candles for Christmas and always buy one seasonal candle for myself.
    This year L’Occitane has baubles and stars filled with mini sizes of their products so I bought it for my business partners. Molton Brown also has lovely shower gels and I’ve discovered that S. Oliver perfumes are good and presentable so my friends who are not picky with perfume will get them. I also plan to buy cook books for some friends. My family already got door wreaths that I’m making for fun each year.


  3. My friends and I don’t swap presents at Christmas. We have enough to buy with family. What we do is buy something small and ridiculously useless and jokey, costing no more than about €10. It’s good for a laugh when we get together. Your friends get very posh Pressies, lucky things😉


  4. I also don’t exchange holiday gifts with friends, I only buy gifts for my nieces. No adult family gifts except for birthdays. So that leaves me mostly off the hook for holiday shopping. More gifts for meee! 🙂 LOL.


  5. Hi, Portia! Your friends & family are so lucky, these gifts are fantastic! Thank you for the warm wishes, wishing you and the whole APJ crew a happy stressfree festive season!


  6. Portia, I love all your presents for your friends. Beautiful selection! I
    I buy gifts for my closest family members, some friends and also some of my coworkers. Everything I get is very simple and everybody enjoys it.
    Happy Holidays for you and Jin! I hope you have a terrific time! Enjoy!


  7. Hello gorgeous.
    Lovely list. And totally get how difficult is to buy for people.

    Most of my friends and I don’t do presents anymore which makes things a bit easier. For the others I still buy for I am likely to get travel sizes of their signature scents and Candles (can never go wrong with Cire Trudon’s Nazareth, G&K Men’s fashion and Diptyque Xmas collection). For non fragrant gifts I hope to be gifting is an amazing Italian Christmas cake which is often sold out two weeks before Xmas.

    Oh. I have also bought a perfume for an amazingly fragrant person, who has almost all the Shalimars, and I hope he will like it.

    BTW I have been looking at that Glasshouse pack for myself as well and I did think Ainsely might have something to do with it since it is a new fragrance blend.

    XXX… T


  8. My shopping is done. My gifts have been sorted (one hour ago) and I am taking a break then about to start wrapping and boxing the items that need to get overseas…to Australia…hint hint. And other various and sundry places. I only have six packages that need to get done tonight. The others can wait and be done as I go to parties and meet with friends.


  9. Great list, Portia! I love the tea towels idea. Strange that I spend a fortune on perfumes and not a cent on new tea towels. Mine must be 30 years old.
    I’m not a fan of Rose Jam, but when combined with Dettol profresh soap you get the most gorgeous chypre.
    Have a lovely Christmas!


  10. Oh Lordy, Christmas is still not on my radar.,No cards/pressies/food bought in yet. Not as much as a bauble in sight yet I adore Christmas. Need to give my head a wobble and get on with it. I really dislike shopping especially malls and centres. It’ll be Easter before I get Christmas organised. Not even a scrap of wrapping paper in this house., If it wasn’t for Father Christmas I’d be stumped. However, I always manage to come screeching and rattling into Christmas at the very last minute and enjoy it. Missing all my friends, so will spend some time with others in the same boat.,A good bit of marzipan from the Christmas cakes and I’m a happy bunny 😄


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