In Defense Of Smellies: Why The Gift Set Is One Of The Best Christmas Presents Going
Image by: ESPA
Once relegated to the re-gift pile, the beauty gift set is now the height of luxury - if you get it right, that is. Here Port shares the notable skin and beauty bundles that would be a joy to receive.
"Smellies" - even the blanket term for beauty gifts at Christmas is unbecoming. In living memory, the combination of individual products housed in a ceremonial box has always come off as less appealing than buying or receiving the product alone. Somehow it always felt like the other additions - a redundant hand cream, or body lotion perhaps - were just filler to the one thing you actually used or wanted, like being allowed to go to the party but only if you brought your little brother along with you. Maybe in a world increasingly obsessed with presents filled with personality and meaning, the beauty bundle felt a little thoughtless by comparison and subsequently fell out of favour. But times have changed, and the world has moved on - particularly in the grooming department - and we stand here today to champion this failsafe set, whoever you're buying for this Christmas.
Quite simply, gift sets have gotten better. Gone are the Lynx Africa duos or Royal Jelly miniatures for dear old Grannie, and in their place are routines, steps and capsule collections tailored to our every beauty whim. In the right brand's hands, a gift set values quality and logic, understanding above all else that its customers desire effortlessness, luxury and necessity - and absolutely no waste. Christmas gift sets are no longer frivolous or pointlessly packed with things we don't need, but are the perfect way to replenish a loved one’s beauty stash—or your own - with a snapshot of a favoured brand's cult classics and bestsellers, sometimes at a more accessible price point. And if there's one brand that is proving all these points and more, it's ESPA.
Discover more from ESPA
Since its launch in the early 90s, ESPA has become the chosen brand among the world’s leading spas and skincare obsessives. Stocked in world-leading spas all over the world including India, America, Paris, Marrakech, and London, their products are especially lauded for their aromatherapy effect - but in a way that never once feels remotely twee. ESPA pride themselves on being guided by a holistic philosophy, with naturally effective products (plant extracts, marine actives, and essential oils) that deliver sensory results. That means expertly crafted formulas that are a joy to use, from ultra-luxurious textures to mood-enhancing aromatics, making them a natural gifting choice. While there are plenty of universal options intended to elevate the every day, we're particularly enthralled by their artfully-curated products set with an intention - to encourage a feeling of positivity, to aid in a good night's sleep, or to celebrate the "jewel" ingredients of nature - which only add to the potential personality of a gift.
Looking to rebrand the humble smelly? Discover Port's edit of the very best gift sets from ESPA below, each one almost guaranteed to elicit a squeal of delight on Christmas morning.
For The Low Maintenance Man
Hard-working, effective and easy to use, these men's groomers will refresh, smooth, nourish and protect for stronger, healthier-looking and revitalised skin. Start with the shave mud and follow with the rescue balm after a close shave.
For The Luxury Livers
Inspired by world-renowned ESPA spas and treatments from around the globe, this indulgent chest is filled with top-to-toe luxury. This exclusive selection holds the secret to nature’s most precious jewels, designed to enhance inner calm. The rose quartz Gua Sha is a particularly nice touch.
For Visible Results
Tackle visible signs of ageing and achieve a more youthful finish with the Tri-Active™ Regenerating collection, the perfect collection of Retinol-infused products to diminish early signs of ageing from day to night. The refreshingly honest 5 star reviews speak volumes on the individual products, with customers into their sixties waxing lyrical over the difference this routine has made to fine lines and large open pores in particular. The smell, in true ESPA style, is also a big selling point.
For The Crystal Lover
Inspired by ancient global traditions and a collective desire for a greater sense of connection and compassion, the Gems of Modern Alchemy fuses ancestral wisdom, sacred rituals and revered ingredients with powerful actives to realign the delicate balance between skin, body and mind. It's the smelly of choice for any discerning spiritualist - complete with grounding crystals for the bath.
For The Alternative Advent
Half the problem with advent calendars and bumper beauty gift sets is that it's usually full of tosh. However, hidden within each magical drawer of this beauty advent is something you'll find use for on a daily basis, or at the very least for a weekly bath time treat. The hand-selected edit of brand new products and some ESPA signatures spans skin, body and mind - our particular standouts are the Optimal Skin Rejuvinating Night Booster for an overnight glow, and the Restorative Bath and Body Oil.
For The Minimalist Home Owner
Let ESPA’s new Aromatherapy Essential Oil Diffuser Pod scent your home with seasonal aromas during the festive period, without imposing any garish Christmas colours or labels into your carefully curated space.
For The Early 30s
For those looking to dip their toes in the realm of anti-aging without going the full hog, ESPA’s adored Active Nutrients range harnesses the power of some of nature’s most prized miracle workers to create youthful radiance without needing to bring in the big guns.
Discover more gift ideas from ESPA
For The Candle Enthusiast
Moving beyond bath and body, candles and fragrances can be a cut above your average smelly. In the spirit of a luxury spa, ESPA candles transport you to a place of tranquility and calm - while the festive Winter Space adds a suitably seasonal flourish that'll last you through to spring.
September 02 2021 by Camilla Hunt