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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

1. Papabubble Hard Candy, $15; 2. René Redzepi: A Work in Progress, $60; 3. Massimo Vignelli Clear Mug, $12; 4. Pat Kim’s Soap on a Rope, $16; 5. Binchotan Charcoal Toothbrush, $7

6. Acne Studios Pajama Shirt, $320; 7. A Lab on Fire Perfume, $110; 8. Gabriela Artigas Tusk Ring, $195;
9. Lite+Cycle Vetiver Pillar Candle, $36; 10.Takahiro Kurashima: Poemotion 1, $25

Perfume Architecture by Comme des Garçons

As a limited edition collection, Comme des Garçons has made-over three of their house fragrances: Wonderwood, CDG2, and Amazingreen. At the hands of Frédéric Couderc, master carpenter and one of the minds behind Comme des Garçons’ spaces, and artist Lindy Foss-Quillet, the iconic pebble-shaped bottle remains, but for this incarnation, is suspended in an industrial-style setting of metal and plexiglass.

$140, available online at Dover Street Market.

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

1. Gizmon iCA Military iPhone case, $35; 2. Fort Standard Brass Bottle Opener, $70; 3. Thirdman Eau Profonde, $250; 4. Formosa Wall Calendar by Enzo Mari, $320; 5. Jonas Damon for Areaware Wood Tool Set, $95; 6. Cast of Vices Handcuff Bracelet, $250

 

6. Prospector Co. Burroughs Beard Oil, $28; 7. Molecular Mixology Kit, $59; 8. Arne Jacobsen Banker’s Alarm Clock, $150; 9. Acne Studios Snowdon Blue, $120; 10. Amy Glenn Safety Pin Lapel Pin, $210

 

 

Cousu de Fil Blanc

Cousu de Fil Blanc is a line of handmade soaps that are produced in the traditional manner by a master soap maker in France. Vegetable-based, color and paraben free, the line consists of a few specific collections, incorporating such ingredients as essential oils, mountain-made honey, clay, tea, and seaweed.

Each soap is wrapped in a sheath of paper with a line of stitching and minimalist tag. The brand’s interest in print and paper work, married with superior formulations, make for a refined and especially beautiful product.

Available at Cousu de Fil Blanc, as well as Colette, $12/bar

Brad Biophotonic Skincare

Brad Hunter originally began formulating his namesake line of BRAD skin care products to counteract the harsh effects of air travel to the skin. Having a history with such major names in the industry as Estée Lauder, La Prairie, and Lancôme, Hunter knew what worked, and combining that experience with his interest and knowledge of the science behind skin care, resulted in a pared-down, to the point line of effective products.

Using a combination of natural components and advanced-light science, referred to as biophotonics, BRAD’s potent solutions implement bio-fermentation, as well as self-stimulating rays of violet light. By taking advantage of the known healing and regenerating powers of these ingredients, this scientific approach restores vitality to the skin via stimulation of the dermal cells, activating collagen and elastin networks.

The unisex line is sleekly packaged in special density Miron glass, which blocks the spectrum of visible light, allowing only violet rays that both protect and improve the quality of the solutions. Bio-fermentation increases the natural value of the ingredients, and allows them to be more readily absorbed and, in turn, more effective.

Scientific jargon aside, most products with this sort of aim come with wildly inflated claims and promises, but I’ve been nothing but impressed by the BRAD products I’ve used; and during a recent visit to Woodley and Bunny in Brooklyn, employees were raving about the line and subsequent miracles it induced. I am especially a fan of the Anti-Fatigue Mist ($65), a concentrated wake up for the face with ingredients such as colloidal silver, geranium, and camu camu berry. Also worth noting are the clinical strength Ultra Elastin ($195) and Ultra Elastin Lift ($210), both of which produce near-immediate restorative results. Because there is no heavy perfume or old-fashioned fillers, the products are both corrective and preventive, without feeling mis-prescribed for a person just starting to show early signs of aging, but shudders at the thought of heavy creams or wrinkle reducers.

BRAD products are available online, as well as at the BRAD Studio in Los Angeles.

Above: Sea Minerals Purify, $45; Universal Cleansing Gel, $55; Ultra Peel, $175

Ron Dorff

Ron Dorff, the men’s sport and athletic-wear collaboration by Swede Claus Lindorff and Frenchman Jérôme Touron proposes a perfect medium between pure Swedish functionalism and simple French classicism in design. The carefully edited, highest-quality collection relies on the classic sportswear design of yesteryear, abandoning excess embellishment, and relying on smart, clean staples – gym clothes with considered design, but not overly-designed (as most big brand gym wear seems to be).  The Ron Dorff signature slogan “Discipline is Not a Dirty Word” finds its way onto several of the garments, and is clearly applied to the brand’s design philosophy, as well.

In addition to the sportswear collection, Ron Dorff also offers a men’s body care line, Skärgård. Developed exclusively by Face Stockholm, made in Sweden, and with a fragrance inspired by the bracing winds of the Swedish archipelago, Skärgård positions itself as line that fits perfectly into the lifestyle Ron Dorff clothing inspires.

The Ron Dorff collection is available worldwide at such stores as Colette in Paris, Harvey Nichols in London, and Jeffrey New York. The full collection is also available online at rondorff.com.

Above: “Discipline” Sweatshirt, $130
More at: Ron Dorff

Acca Kappa

Established in 1869, near Venice, Italy, Acca Kappa has built a reputation for fine Italian quality and dedication to simple, but luxurious product. Originally focused on the production of hair brushes and accessories (of which Acca Kappa is still renowned), the brand has developed a full line of bath and body product, as well as dental amenities. With a distinguished history, from royals to luxury hotels, Acca Kappa does not need to rely on any modern gimmicks or trends. Still in the family’s hands, Acca Kappa is presided by Ms. Elisa Gera, the great-great-granddaughter of the original founder, and the company’s products are still being made in Italy.

One of Acca Kappa’s primary draws is stately, simple packaging design, the ultimate representation of what is inside.

My favorite of Acca Kappa’s catalog is their Muschio Bianco (White Moss) line. Based in two of the most lauded Mediterranean plants: lavender and juniper, White Moss reads as warm and clean, with a subtle sillage, and no cloying soap smell, suited to both men and women. Also worth noting are their top-notch men’s shaving accessories – finished in chrome and badger bristle, and elegantly fitted with White Moss shave soap.

The commonality that runs through all of Acca Kappa’s product is that simplicity and integrity reign; from best-quality botanical ingredients, to the subtle impartation of fragrance in their products, everything translates as minimal, without being linear.

Above: Muschio Bianco Aqua di Colonia, $60; Ivory Shave Set, $225
More at: Acca Kappa

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

1. BeeRaw 9-Varietal Honey Flight, $78; 2. John’s Phone, $100; 3. Sachajuan Ocean Mist, $28; 4. Ecosphere, $79-$409; 5. Byredo ‘Fleur Fantôme’ Candle, $65; 6. Billykirk No. 95 Shoulder Satchel, $325

7. Aesop ‘Celestial Mechanics’ Skin Care Set, $115; 8. Papabubble Hard Candy, $25; 9. Cor Sine Labe Doli Ceramic Bow Tie, $175; 10. Le Labo Rose 31 Eau de Parfum, $220; 11. Lanvin Leather & Chain ‘Fleur Naturaliste’ Necklace, $890; 12. Chemex 6-Cup Hand-Blown Coffeemaker, $84

Interview: Linda Rodin

Linda Rodin is one of the most distinguished stylists in the fashion industry, and her name is becoming equally revered in the beauty market. As a young adult, Rodin modeled in Italy, then returned to New York, where she tried her hand at photography, discovering she was better at dealing with the clothing and styling aspect of the craft. She proceeded to open the first boutique in SoHo (Linda Hopp, in 1979), serve as an editor at Harper’s Bazaar, build a prolific freelance styling career, and, most recently, launch the very successful Olio Lusso face oil and corresponding product line.

Possessing an innate style and natural beauty, Rodin avoids the mess of fleeting fashion trends, but still has her finger on the pulse of what is relevant. She has become her own best spokesperson. A collector of beautiful things, accomplished entrepreneur, and self-admitted aesthete, Rodin graciously agreed to answer a few questions for The Aesthetic Post.

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Olio Lusso by Rodin

I’ve long been an advocate of proper men’s skin care. By skin care, I mean more than just standard grooming. The American man seems to be especially off-put by applying face products, but I believe things are changing for the better. The fact is that skin is important. Your skin is a major part of your appearance, and a man’s skin ages just the same as a woman’s. I see no shame in taking the time of day to ensure you are not only presentable, but keeping your body’s largest organ in good health. Of course, a healthy lifestyle is the most important factor in caring for your skin, but a few bottles and tubes can go a long way in keeping things in order. I’ve come to find that with routine comes result, but I’m always willing to try something new.

Unfortunately, the general market for men’s product tends to be saturated with excessively scented, ineffective product (refer to ingredient lists that consist mainly of chemical and filler). Luxury skin care and slowing the signs of aging are not fields limited to the ladies. Many labels have begun catering to the men’s market, and there is no doubt that the highest quality, most effective products are without gimmicky marketing campaigns.

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