After what has seemed like an interminable 2020, the festive season is finally bringing some much-needed cheer. And like most other experiences that have gone online, so has gifting. Recent reports in Business World and India Retailing state that the overall sale of digital gift cards has increased by 80% compared to last year. The most popular ones? Big Basket, Grofers, Myntra, Nykaa and Urban Company, as well as travel, OTT and retail brands.
If these are just too practical, and you want to add a personal touch, or some old-school glamour, read on. There is something for the coffee lover or fashionista in your life, a practical salon substitute from Dyson, and others treats for the pandemic work desk.
Gul by Ekaya
The brand known for its Banarasi work draws inspiration from Ukraine for their festive collection, Gul. In these lehengas, for instance, the poppy flowers and geometric stripes have been woven using the kadwa technique (in which each motif is individually woven). Traditional cholis have been swapped out for a Ukrainian folk-style embroidered shirt. There is also a line of saris featuring these cross-cultural patterns. From ₹2,500 to ₹2,33,975 on ekaya.in
Chirp Teal by Glass Forest
Bird calls are welcome WFH ambient sounds for many of us these days. These tinted hand-blown borosilicate glass jars have teak wood stoppers, and the different shapes were inspired by images of birds sitting along wires. Store small essentials (like candy) or simply use as a décor piece that will add some whimsy to those Zoom meetings. At ₹2,850 each on glass-forest.com
Hermes New York Meteorite limited edition watch
Arceau L’heure de la Lune by Hermes
The New York Meteorite — discovered by a fishing boat and first sold by its captain in 1965 — finds itself encased in this US exclusive watch, with a limited-edition run of 16 pieces. The 43-mm dial features two time-and-date display subdials that move to reveal the current phase of the moon. The strap is made of Havana Matte alligator with a platinum folding clasp. At $69,950 (approximately ₹51.8 lakh). Details:hermes.com
Save the Wild Lion Brooch from Tiffany
Save the Wild Lion Brooch by Tiffany
Since launching the Save the Wild collection in 2017, Tiffany (recently taken over by LVMH) has raised more than $8 million to help protect elephants, rhinos and lions through the Wildlife Conservation Network. All proceeds from this 18k gold brooch embedded with 1.52 carats of round yellow diamonds will go towards the same cause. At approximately ₹26 lakh on tiffany.com
Porcelain box from Gucci Home Decor
Porcelain Box by Gucci
Creative director Alessandro Michele has designed the latest décor line from the Italian luxury house. 'Souvenir from Rome' includes furniture and decorative pieces like this Broche print porcelain box with hand and ring. This recurring design comes in pink and blue, with gold-toned trim. Handmade in Italy, it is priced at approximately ₹44,000 on gucci.com
Topaz Gift Box by Araku Coffee
Without access to artisanal cafes and Starbucks, caffeine connoisseurs spent the pandemic experimenting, and went from whipping up dalgona to investing in serious brewing equipment. Araku Coffee’s gift set taps into this new segment, with a bright yellow moka pot and matching espresso set of two cups and saucers. This is paired with their Selection 100% Arabica, with notes of toffee, chocolate and sugarcane. At ₹5,600 on arakucoffee.in
Busa & Friends by Anavila
Following the popularity of the sari doll, Busa, which she created in 2018, the designer has added a range of friends. A naughty monkey, a cuddly dog and a rabbit couple, as well as elephants, fishes and giraffes handcrafted using organic fabrics are available. Starting at ₹650, on anavila.com
Dyson Corrale Straightener
Corrale by Dyson
The lockdown period saw a surge in popularity for this British tech company’s vacuum cleaners. Following the runaway success of their personal care products like the Supersonic hair dryer and Airwrap styler, is the Coralle straightener which was released in September in India. The cord-free equipment comes with grooved plates that help gather one's hair more precisely — this also supposedly uses half the heat (and is therefore said to be less damaging). At ₹38,900 on dyson.in
L’Occitane Gift Box
A personal consultation with L’Occitane’s in-store professionals might make those gifting decisions easier. Schedule an appointment on in.loccitane.com, and they will help you choose from their combos (the most popular is the Almond Shower Oil and Scrub, paired with moisturisers and hand creams, we are told) or create your own set. Also get skincare consultations via WhatsApp video and voice calls. Prices range starts from ₹4,260 to ₹13,500.
Foundree 3D printed earrings
3D Printed Earrings by Foundree
This Mumbai-based studio creates wearables through 3D printed pieces that are then hand-painted and embellished. Our pick is the three-layered Monolith earrings featuring a sphere, teardrop and cube-shaped elements. At ₹1,200 on foundree.in, with 50% of proceeds from each sale supporting stray animals.
In the last couple of years, there have been a string of retail concepts catering to a growing market for niche perfumes. After exclusive boutiques in New Delhi and Mumbai, Scentido has launched their third perfumery in Banjara Hills earlier this week. Their foray into the South Indian market brings a curated collection of over 30 different fragrance brands from the US, UK and Europe, including Clive Christian, Floris London, Jovoy Paris, DS & Durga and the Spirit of Dubai. With up to 25% off on perfumes for the festive season, both online and in-store, there is good reason to splurge. On scentido.com
Crosley Bluetooth Radio
Mockingbird Bluetooth Radio by Crosley
The American brand known for its vinyl turntables and jukeboxes has something ideal for your pandemic travels. The portable Mockingbird Bluetooth Radio comes with AM/FM and the option of lithium-ion (18650) battery power. Perfect to take camping or on a road trip, you can stream music from your phone or any other device. We love its soft-touch vinyl pops, circular speaker grill pattern, 50s-inspired dial, and honeycomb backsplash. ₹5,188, on crosleyradio.com
Meander Floor Lamp - Oorjaa
Meander Floor Lamp by Oorjaa
This nature-inspired lamp is reminiscent of a butterfly’s cocoon, whose colourful resident has flown away. Created by Bengaluru-based lighting designer Jenny Pinto, the hand sculpted piece is made from handcrafted banana fibre paper, and is ideal to create mood lighting in any corner of your home. ₹35,207, on oorjaa.in.
Nanoleaf Canvas Light Panels
Smart lights by Nanoleaf
Make your lights smart this festive season with Toronto-based home solutions company, Nanoleaf’s canvas smarter kit. Comprising light squares, a controller, and linkers for connecting the panels, the product is modular and easy-to-use. Install the canvas squares on any flat surface and sit back and enjoy the compliments. Did we mention you can operate it using an app? Setting the right mood doesn’t get easier than this. ₹14,842 on shop.nanoleaf.me
Smart Garden 9 by Click and Grow
Hands off, this garden takes care of itself! Just place the bio-degradable plant pods — choose a combination of flowers, herbs, or vegetables — fill the water tank, and plug in the power cord. Its Smart Soil (inspired by NASA technology that ensures the right water level, pH level, nutrients, etc are maintained) and LED grow lights will take care of the rest. ₹15,253.79, growsmartgreens.com