Holiday gifts are about so much more than material items, something New Yorkers and people who love this city know about as they visit and enjoy the sights, sounds, smells, and culture in between work and social engagements. This year, try to add more of the city’s personality to your purchase with these NYC-centric gifts.
Give a little piece of history with Phlur’s Olmsted + Vaux. Designed to evoke the feeling of Central Park and it’s founders’ vision, this fragrance is part of a family of perfumes trying to shift the scent scene to a new and more unisex direction. It’s a great gift for someone who loves NYC’s parks.
Olmsted + Vaux Fragrance, $85 at Phlur.com
Blind tests are some of the best way to determine your new favorite anything without the trappings of brands, advertising, and budget. Hit the Perfumarie for a unique scent experience that transcends the limits of the department store. Get a gift card to let a New Yorker’s most outspoken quality, criticism, come out in full force.
Gift Card Available at Perfumarie.com
Go the celebrity route and sit in with Sue Phillips for a one-of-a-kind scent experience. Sue’s deep knowledge of fragrance and the salon atmosphere scattered with all things to excite a fragrance enthusiast are ready to accept you into loving folds of florals, spicy peaks of musk, and hopefully a unique fragrance.
Bespoke Perfume at Sue Phillips Scentarium
There’s not many things more New York than native hip hop gods A Tribe Called Quest. Their new shop with The Thread Shop has what you need for the festive hip hop head from hoodies to home goods.
A Tribe Called Quest Holiday Ornament, $14.99 at The Thread Shop
Candles are more than something you pick up with the cleaning supplies. They’re part of home decor and atmosphere, which is why trusting the vision of New York textile designer Nicole Rose is an excellent gift for a local. Pulling in global inspiration with sustainable practices and high quality, this candle collection brings some of the most of-the-moment scents right into your probably tiny living room.
Nicole Rose Studio Palo Santo Candle, $25 at Nicole Rose Studio
Bijules designer Jules Kim adorns some of the most dazzling minds in music and culture. Her work reflects a steadfast individuality that she blesses each customer with. Check out her studio on Bowery for both original commissions and to shop her oft-copied collections.
Bijules Future Knuckle Ring with Opals, price upon request
FitFlop is reimagining what it means to be a comfortable shoe and their newer looks reflect a sense of style that could fit up and downtown. For the walking obsessed person in your life, try out their fashion forward but walkable styles as you stomp out those steps.
FitFlop Skatebootie with Shearling, $170 at FitFlop.com
It took forever for some piercings to be acceptable in mainstream environments, but you can thank New York culture and jewelers like Maria Tash for this. Making the bold beautiful and mastering the understated but unexpected is her well-tread realm. Jewels like these will have you turning your head to appease curious passers by.
¼” Opal Single Spike Non-Rotating Ring in Yellow Gold, $230
House of Correia is the go-to at Hester Street Market and many other popular street fairs for one-of-a-kind vintage pieces that have been reworked with creativity and care. Grab a pair of their legendary sunnies for someone who needs to hide in public with style.
One-of-a-kind Sunglasses, $125 on Houseofcorreia.com
What better way to sum up the mantra of the street than imprinting it on your manicure. Kiss Products collaborated with Christian Siriano to bring a sexy, genderless, and bold press on nail to market — ImPress Manicure Press. “People are People” is the most on-point statement you’ll hear about New York this year, coming from the Project Runway vet known for radical acceptance on the catwalk, it rings truest.
ImPress Manicure Press on Nails, $7.99 on Impressmanicure.com
Fanm Djanm is a Harlem-based headwrap company for all of the colorful people in your life. Wraps with African prints, florals, solids, and statement jewelry are their specialties. Headed by blogger Paola Mathe, you also get an eyeful of artistic presentation with every new release they drop.
Rust Headwrap, $38.00 on Fanmdjanm.com
Known for their high quality mani pedis, Van Court Studio has a chic deal happening where you can pre purchase appointments. For the perfectionist in your life, this is a gift that’s more than material, for you’re providing structure and taking their mind off of one less task.
Gift Card Available at Vancourtstudio.com
It’s no secret that sometimes to get the best view of the city, you have to leave it. A scant few miles from the Lincoln tunnel and conveniently serviced by a free shuttle from 42nd street, Sojo Spa Club is quickly becoming the off-duty relax and playground of choice for many Manhattanites. With massive hydrotherapy pools overlooking the entire skyline and plentiful delicious food, this may be city-adjacent, but it’s essential. Give at least 150 dollars for your guest to enjoy a service + admission.
Gift Card Available at Sojospaclub.com
Doctors in New York tend to develop devoted followings if they’re good. Dr. Elena Ocher, neurosurgeon and holistic medical professional specializing in pain management, has taken that step into building a product line, starting with this unique and miraculous healing balm — Chuda Healing Hydrating Cream. Slather on anything and rejoice, for this New York dermatologist has found the cure for radiator heat problems.
Chuda Healing Hydrating Cream, $150 at chudaskincare.com
Rossano Ferretti is known as one of the most luxurious and high demands stylists about town. New York is one of the only places in the Northeast where the top people from the entire world maintain a New York specific clientele. If you don’t have the time or money to secure one of these coveted appointments, our dazzling department stores carry these beautifully scented products to give you a taste.
Vita Rejuvenating Shampoo, $54 at Rossanoferretti.com
Chinatown’s beauty shops are as numerous as they are well stocked. In the face of the big brands saturating of the hood, indie beauty brand Gingerchi has staked out a cute corner in Two Bridges, selling jade GuaSha scrapers, rollers, and ginger infused products for every part of the body.
So hit the streets in search of a gift, or the web, for the New Yorker or New York lover in your life, but don’t get them any old thing when you know the possibilities. Be creative and spread the creativity of others!
GuaSha Jade Blade, $18 at gingerchi.com
Illustrations: Danielle Guercio