Guys, I’m awful, it’s a mere seven days until Christmas and I have bought a total amount of ZERO gifts. Actually, I lie, I’ve bought one. For me. That counts, right? In the spirit of all things un-organised I’ve pulled together a last-minute Christmas Gift Guide full of fail-safe heroes from a range of prices that won’t disappoint.

What Neil Did’s Last-minute Christmas Gift Guide

Earl of East London Candles

I never thought I’d be a scented candle fan, but I’m a convert. Turns out the problem was buying cheap supermarket candles; while they smell nice to sniff they don’t have the power to properly through the scent while burning. I came across Earl of East London on a couple months ago. I received one of their Smoke & Musk soy wax candles as a gift and I’ve been obsessed since. It’s the most intoxicating scent that fills my whole flat with the bespoke blend of green balsam fir, alongside wood smoke and deep, musky patchouli. I’ve also added Elementary to my list of faves; it’s filled with tobacco leaf, amber and leather notes, inspired by the grandeur of old London.

Better still, if you want to dive further into the brand, they over the most awesome workshops from their store in Hackney, London. I got taken for by birthday (November 10, FYI) by a friend, where we learnt how to make the candles and add the scent. I, of course, made another Smoke & Musk candle. You can also do an advanced course and make your own scent, which I’m hoping to do in the New Year! These candles make great gifts for family members, those hard-to-buy-for friends or a healthy dose of self-gifting.

Earl of East London Candles start from £16, available online and in various stores. Workshops start from £45 per person.

Larsson & Jennings Watches

I was first introduced to Larsson & Jennings when I started at my current job and instantly fell for their simple yet sophisticated designs. Born with London and Stockholm origins, the brand infuses its designs with the best of both worlds, meaning these watches are an easy-win, timeless gift idea. Anyone who opens this a gift to reveal this watch on Christmas morning is going to have a smile on their face. The designs are re-imagined classics that are built on quality; Swiss made watch movements and locally sourced leather from Anglo-Swedish tanneries, Larsson & Jennings use only hand-finished materials to deliver premium detailing and durability. The ideal gift for discerning gents the world over, and for a special someone.

Available from harveynichols.com

Jack Black Grooming

There’s nothing more satisfying that finding a cool skincare brand that does everything you need. If you’ve got a man in your life who’s afraid of words like ‘moisturizer’ and ‘beard lube’, then Jack Black is a great way to get him on board. Your one-stop shop, it’s easy to introduce any man to a simple and effective routine, using products made from the best ingredients on the market. The unique gifts and sets are a great stocking filler idea for Christmas morning. My personal recommendations is the beard lube – yes, a joke name but there’s nothing funny about this product, it’s one of the best out there for softening coarse beard hair, and it smells good too!

Jack Black, available at mankind.com

Amyris by Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Fragrances can be tough one for gifting, unless you know what your man likes. Amyris is an around winner for me, it’s a refined scent born from the flamboyant encounter between the amyris tree from Jamaica and rare Florentine iris. A scent ideal for sophisticated gent of any ages, Amyris also features notes of Moroccan rosemary, Sicilian Mandarin, Brazilian Tonka bean and modern woods. It also help that the bottle is beautiful and will look slick on any side shelf. If you want to go one step further, the Maison also produces a super cool gunmetal Globe Trotter atomizer (available at harveynichols.com) for travelling. Just simply by the refills of your favourite scent and you’re good to go.

Available from franciskurkdjian.com

Check out some other fragrances you might like here.

Alexander McQueen Wallet

Small leather accessories are a no-brainier when it comes to men’s gifts. Every man uses a wallet, so why not invest in some serious style kudos for him. Offering a modern twist on a classic black bi-fold style, this Alexander McQueen wallet is given new life with the brand’s signature peacock motif print. The wallet features eight internal card slots, two slip pockets, two note sections, and is fully lined.

It’s also just gone into Sale, so bag yourself a bargain and shop now!

Booze Gifts to Raise Your Spirits

Mr Black Cold Drip Coffee Liqueur 

I love Australia. I love coffee. So when an Aussie makes coffee I’m in heaven. Introducing Mr Black Coffee Liqueur. Founded in 2012, this award-winning cold-press coffee liqueur was created by designer tom Baker and Philip Moore (one of Oz’ most decorated distillers). Mr Black is entirely cold extracted and contains no additional flavourings meaning it tastes like a true specialty coffee. Its chilly -32 degree extraction temperature means Mr. Black is less acidic with a rounder mouth-feel and big coffee flavour. Winning. Mr Black is perfect for the man who makes his spirit selection based on style as well as substance. The big glass bottle showcases the liqueurs rich black liquid, while the bold typeface will stand out on any drinks shelf.

£39.95, harveynichols.com

 

Appleton Estate Rum

Like a lot of men, I’m not impartial to the odd tipple, and with age I’ve found myself more and more interested the what I’m drinking. I want to know about the flavour profiles and why one spirit works with a certain mixer of cocktail. Born in Jamaica, Appleton Estate Rum is the latest additional to my collection (like a good fragrance, the beautifully shaped bottle makes it a prized addition to the drinks cabinet). This Rare Blend 12 Year Old is a ‘minimum age’ rum that offers a constantly evolving taste experience. You’ll discover deep oak, fruit and cocoa notes followed by delicate molasses, orange peel, vanilla, coffee and a hint of toasted oak and almond. Bittersweet and luscious, Appleton Estate is best enjoyed with company, of course, as a sipping rum or as part of a cocktail such as an Old Fashioned. Check out the recipe.

£33, Waitrose.com

Conker Gin

There’s nothing quite like home-grown produce, so I have special affection for Conker Gin. Produced in my home county’s first gin distillery, Conker Dorset Dry gin uses a unique and intricate blend of ten select botanicals. Produced in small batches using British wheat spirit and New Forest Spring Water, while still a classic gin, conker is led by a dry Macedonian juniper heat. The flavour profile has a subtle elderberry samphire and New forest gorse Flower (hand-picked, naturally). An easy gift for gin fans, this unique gin will make a welcome surprise and offer something different to the usual class of commercial spirit gifts. For added points once opened, let them know it’s good enough to stand alone, recommend serving alone over ice.

This gin is also available in a half bottle size for added gifting genius!

£25, harveynichols.com

So there you have it, my last-minute Christmas Gift guide! What are you loving from my list? What last-minute wonders have you found? Let me know in the comments below!

 

 

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Written by Neil Thornton
London-based coffee drinker. Editor by day, blogger by whatever time he finds spare.