Thursday 9 November 2023

Christmas Gift Guide | The Best Gifts For Big Boys


This festive season is packed with great gifts for men, from big boys toys to grooming must-haves. Here are the ones I recommend the most...


The Oxford Artisan Distillery | Ashmolean Dry Gin
For the gin guys, I recommend gifting the Oxford Artisan Distillery Ashmolean Dry Gin (£41 theoxfordartisandistillery.com).

This limited-edition gin is a collaboration between The Oxford Artisan Distillery and the Ashmolean Museum, the University of Oxford's Museum of Art and Archaeology and one of Oxford’s most prestigious institutions.

The Ashmolean Dry Gin is inspired by the Museum's collections from around the world and is crafted with 17 botanicals including exotic jara lemon, rose, jasmine, and spices from the Middle East and Asia. Full tasting and juniper-led, with notes of cardamom and myrrh, the finish is clean with a lingering taste of orris and lemongrass. The bottle illustration is Spray of 'Morning Glory', by Takeuchi Seiho (1864 - 1942), a must-see in the museum’s Eastern Art collection.

As with all Oxford Artisan Distillery spirits, the Ashmolean gin base is distilled from ancient heritage grains, grown exclusively for the brand within 50 miles of Oxford. Free of pesticides and chemical fertilisers, all crops used are grown sustainably, contributing to an abundance of wildflowers, insects, and birds across the farms.


Melitta | AromaFresh II Therm Pro
If you want something really special to gift the guy in your life this year, make it the Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro (£289.99 melitta.co.uk).

The Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro is a high-tech coffee machine that is hard-wearing, easy to use, and quick to clean. Most importantly, it delivers freshly ground coffee that is tasty, every time.

It features an integrated ceramic grinder with eleven different grinding fineness settings, enabling you to choose fine to coarse according to personal taste. You can also switch the grinder off when using pre-ground coffee.

The Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro optimally balances both the ratio and contact time between the water and coffee guaranteeing the flavour no matter how much coffee you prepare (2–8 cups). In addition, the brewing strength can be very easily set to your personal taste with five settings ranging from mild to medium and strong.

The machine boasts a high-quality colour TFT display, making it much simpler to use, as well as an integrated descaling program, to make cleaning effortless. There are also two timer functions, enabling you to schedule your next coffee fix. You simply set the required time, fill the water tank, and insert the coffee filter. The appliance switches on at the respective programmed time and automatically starts the grinding and brewing process.

The coffee machine has a practical hinged filter with removable filter insert. This makes inserting the coffee filter particularly easy and, after brewing, you can easily remove the filter insert to dispose of the coffee filter. The integrated drip stop also prevents the coffee from continuing to drip when you remove the jug.

If all of that isn't enough, the Melitta AromaFresh II Therm Pro comes with a three-year manufacturer’s guarantee, giving you peace of mind over your purchase. 


Harry's | Christmas Winston Gift Set
For men that love the cleanest of shaves, you can't go wrong with gifting the Harry’s Christmas Winston Set (£35 harrys.com).

The star of the Winston Set is the limited-edition Christmas Winston handle, which boasts an ergonomic shape, rubberised grip, and weighty, die-cast zinc body. Alongside the Christmas Winston handle is three German-engineered blade cartridges, each with a flex hinge and lubricating strip, foaming Shave Gel, and a travel cover to protect the blades.


ClarinsMen | Hydration Collection
For the grooming-obsessed guys, I recommend gifting the ClarinsMen Hydration Collection (£44 debenhams.com).

The ClarinsMen Hydration Collection features all the essentials needed for a daily grooming routine, packed in a useful wash bag. The limited-edition gift set includes a full size ClarinsMen Active Face Wash, travel size ClarinsMen Shampoo & Shower, full size ClarinsMen Super Moisture Balm, and a full size ClarinsMen Shave + Beard Oil, all adapted to the specific needs of men’s skin.


Aesop | Heartful Harmonies
For the stylish bachelor who wants his body care as aesthetically pleasing as his home, Aesop is the perfect brand to gift. And no gift is better for a bachelor than the Heartful Harmonies Home Kit (£77 SpaceNK).

The Heartful Harmonies Home Kit features three products guaranteed to elevate any bathroom, including the Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash (500ml), Istros Aromatique Room Spray (50ml), and Aesop's bestselling Post-Poo Drops (100ml).

The Reverence Aromatique Hand Wash is a citrus, woody, and herbaceous scented wash that is formulated with orange, rosemary, and lavender oil to effectively cleanse the hands without drying them out. The Istros Aromatique Room Spray features an ambrosial blend of sweet and wild florals layered with cedar, sandalwood, and a lingering hint of tobacco, to freshen any living space. Finally, the Post-Poo Drops is a botanical toilet deodoriser that effectively masks disagreeable smells with crisp notes of citrus peel and discreet florals.


YSL | MYSLF
You can never go wrong with gifting a fragrance at Christmas and one of the best on offer this year is MYSLF, the latest offering from Yves Saint Laurent.

MYSLF (£72 The Perfume Shop) is Yves Saint Laurent’s first woody floral scent. It combines radiant freshness with earthy woods and patchouli, creating a provoking and ever-evolving aroma. It features top notes of bergamot, middle notes of orange blossom, and base notes of patchouli and Ambrofix.

This sexy, ultra masculine eau de parfum has great projection and impressive lasting power. It is available in two sizes, 60ml for £72 and 100ml for £95.


MALIN + GOETZ | Dark Rum 
Another great fragrance to gift is the MALIN + GOETZ Dark Rum Eau De Parfum (£78 libertylondon.com). Described as a modern interpretation of old-world bay rum - first used by sailors traveling through the Caribbean and later popularised by barbershops – Dark Rum is a bestselling fragrance that has an intoxicatingly rich and spicy aroma.

Sweetening the spicy spirit of dark rum with fruity and sunny accents, MALIN + GOETZ's Dark Rum EDP features top notes of ripe plum, anise, and crisp bergamot, middle notes of leather, rum, and vanilla, and base notes of patchouli, amber, and milk to both alleviate and intensify the heat the aroma exudes.

Dark Rum has good projection and equally as good lasting power. In addition to the eau de parfum, the scent is also available in a number of MALIN + GOETZ products, including a candle, soap bar, perfume oil, hand and body wash, and body lotion.


Burberry | Hero Gift Set
My final fragrance gift recommendation is the Burberry Hero EDP Gift Set (£120 The Perfume Shop). It features a bottle of Hero EDP (100ml) alongside a Hero Travel Spray (10ml).

Hero is a woody scent that features a trio of warm cedarwood oils as its signature base. It contains top notes of pine needles and olibanum, middle notes of benzoin and incense, and base notes of Atlas cedar, Himalayan cedar, and Viriginia cedar. The eau de parfum has good projection and great lasting power.

For more fragrance gifting options, I recommend visiting The Perfume Shop. Whether gift hunting in-store or online, you'll have a choice of nearly 130 brands including Hugo Boss, Tom Ford, Paco Rabanne, Gucci, Ariana Grande, Mugler, Herm├Ęs, Maison Margiela, and Marc Jacobs. The UK’s number one fragrance-only retailer is loved for its competitive prices, so you'll likely grab yourself a bargain.


Chipolo | Chipolo One
Next up is a great gift for the forgetful tech lovers. It is the Chipolo One (£22 chipolo.net).

The Chipolo One is a small plastic trackable disc that can be attached to keys, bags, and any other possessions you want to keep track of. The tracker accesses Apple’s Find My network, enabling it to work in same way as a lost Apple AirTag. It can be tracked down with automatic, autonomous help from a network of a billion iPhones the world over, thanks to the app.

Chipolo’s replaceable CR2032 battery lasts up to a year and the device has an IPX5 water resistance, enabling it to survive a rain-shower. It also has a loud integrated speaker, capable of 120dB, making it easy to hear when you're on the hunt for your lost item.


Dann McDorman | West Heart Kill
For the aspiring detectives, I recommend gifting West Heart Kill (£16.99 Waterstones), an outrageously original and imaginative murder mystery that is both a love letter to the greats of classic crime fiction and a fiendishly brilliant puzzle.

It's the Fourth of July weekend at the prestigious West Heart country club. Gathered for cocktails on the first evening are just some of the guests: the club president, the treasurer and his pregnant wife, the snooping school boy, the bereaved father, the taciturn caretaker, the prospective member, and the private detective. There will also be a body and, with it, a fiendish mystery to solve. But everything else is all to play for. And you are about to find out that you have a role to play in this mystery too...


Montezumas | Starlight Express Gift Box
For the chocolate lovers, a Christmas gift guaranteed to get them going is the Montezumas Starlight Express Gift Box (£28.99 montezumas.co.uk). This tasty treat features some Montezumas fan favourites, all of which are made using the best quality ethical cocoa sourced only from plantations that meet the brand's strict 'Trading Fairly Policy'.

The gift box includes the Montezumas Grand Truffle Carton - a selection of tasty truffles, Hot Pickle Bar - a milk chocolate bar with chilli and lime, Splotch Bar - a milk chocolate bar with butterscotch, Lordy Lord Bar - a dark chocolate bar with cocoa nibs, and Milk Button Bag - a bag full of smooth and creamy buttons. What's not to like?!


Just Spices | Pizza Kit
My final gift recommendation is for the foodies and aspiring chefs. It is the Just Spice Pizza Kit (£59.99 justspices.co.uk).

Designed to turn any kitchen into a pizzeria, this DIY kit contains pizza essentials, alongside step-by-step instructions to help you make pizza just the way you like it.

The kit includes four fabulous Just Spices spice blends, including Pizza Topping (43g), Spicy Pizza Topping (40g), Tomato Sauce Seasoning (60g), and Italian Sandwich Seasoning (40g). When it comes to accessories, the kit includes one Fireclay Pizza Stone (with a heat-resistance up to 1400 °C), one Pizza Paddle (that is dishwasher-safe), one Pizza Cutter (which is dishwasher-safe), and one Recipe booklet.

All that's left to gift is a fancy pizza oven...


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