The 2022 Commons Gift Guide
A month ago
I can guarantee you that our gift guide hits differently.
First, it’s not littered with Commons products. We’re pretty great but other brands are doing some great work, too.
Second, no one paid us to mention their product. Rest assured this list comes from a well-honed perspective on stuff that’s truly worth buying, owning, and gifting to others.
So here it is…five affordable holiday gifts that will make you look like you have better taste than everybody.
First: Candles from Santa Maria Novella ( varies but candles start at $38)
Do yourself a favor and place an order to Santa Maria Novella, a Florentine purveyor of the finest scented goods that literally started in the 1200s. Smaller candles are $38 and everything from this brand smells incredible.
Santa Maria Novella embodies classic Italian sophistication that’s hard to come by.
For the fine drinker in your life: La Gritona reposado tequila (about $37)
You’ll impress people because it looks fly in that vintage green glass bottle, it feels under-the-radar and authentically Mexican (instead of being pushed by a Kardashian), and the fact that it’s well under $50 will be our little secret.
The brand has such a cool story. It’s woman-owned and operated, they have thoughtful sustainability efforts, and they just balance authenticity and progressive thinking perfectly.
If you can’t find it locally, order it from any of the big online sellers.
Number 3 is for the chocolate lovers: Chocolaterie Mary (price varies, lots under $50)
The Mary store has been called one of the happiest places on earth. I’ve been to one and I can confirm. There’s a few locations across Belgium but none in the US. Never fear, they ship the states via DHL and in my experience, it takes about a week.
Just look at the Google images - I really don’t have to describe too much. Around for 100 years, classic Belgian craft, interesting flavors. Some of the best chocolate on the planet, period.
Fourth - perfumes and colognes at Penhaligon’s (prices vary, scent libraries start at $40)
Special, non-mall scents are expensive. Usually. But I'm giving you a bit of a hack here.
Go to Penhaligon’s and buy one of the scent libraries or discovery sets. You'll get a set of large sample sizes for about $40. They last a long time, and your gift receiver has the benefit of a perfume or cologne “flight” over the course of months.
A full-size Penhaligon’s scent is easily above $200, so these sets are an easy and less-pricey way to experience a storied high-end scent house.
Not cheap, but affordable for what it is. And what it is, is a nice watch. When it comes to bang-for-the-buck timepieces, I highly recommend this brand. Glycine has some cool heritage and thankfully, Fossil has left the brand alone to do its thing.
This is not luxe horlogerie. BUT you get build quality, a Swiss movement (automatic or quartz, your choice), and a knowing look from watch aficionados. I personally love the Combat series. The designs are on point - I got my wife a rose gold combat sub and she absolutely loves it.
You can find these online for around $200, maybe a bit more. In my opinion it's fine to use gray market retailers like Ashford at this price point.
A Glycine makes a great knock-around or travel watch for true collectors, or a perfect entry-level timepiece for someone just getting started with nicer watches. If you buy one, send pics. That Vintage 42mm Combat Sub is pretty fetching.