Looking for a knockout gift? Why not bestow a one-of-a-kind item that is precisely tailored to the personality, experiences or aesthetic of your loved one? We’ve rounded up ideas for bespoke items that make wonderful gifts. What could be better? You’ll have the fun of knowing that no one else in the world has exactly the same item as your gift recipient. That’s some serious luxury.
Happily, though, there are several bespoke items that make wonderful gifts. They can be designed and created to suit the desires of just one recipient. They show thoughtfulness on the part of the giver, and the recipient never has to wonder if they’ll see someone else with the same item.
Whether for the holidays, a house-warming, an anniversary or a birthday, we’ve identified four areas where bespoke items can work beautifully for gifting: fine jewelry; home decor; luxury travel; and fragrance.
These items are way more personal than a set of monogrammed towels. Have a look at some of the options for truly special artisanal bespoke gifts:
1. Fine Jewelry.
Who: Khazzam was the sole in-house jewelry designer for Asprey for eight years. For over 20 years since then, she has designed bespoke jewelry under her own brand name.
How: During an initial consultation, Khazzam will share selections from her collection of precious gemstones, and seek to understand the details of the client’s lifestyle, the intended use of the new piece, and also which of their features they are most hoping to showcase. Khazzam then creates an original sketch, and after additional discussions crafts the jewelry itself by hand in her New York studio.
How Long: The bespoke process can take as little as 4 weeks once the order is placed (it can also take a year, depending on the complexity of the piece). If time starts to runs short, you can find her permanent collection at Barneys New York (as well as signature events in-store throughout the months of November and December), Isetan and Mitsukoshi in Tokyo, and Ylang 23 in Dallas.
How Much: Prices for a pair of earrings start at about $7,500; bracelets are $8,000 and up, and necklaces are $15,000+.
Who: This NoHo jewelry designer has built her reputation on ready-made yellow gold amulets. Based on one of the core jewelry styles from medieval times, the amulets are designed to mark significant life events and to bring good fortune to wearers.
How: While you can find her designs at Saks and Bloomingdale’s ranging from $2,000-$10,000, you can also have have St. Clare create a customized amulet. The process involves sketches and 3-D molds to design a piece that is truly unique.
How Long: The process of design can take several weeks, so be sure to factor that into your gift planning.
How Much: Prices for bespoke pieces are on request.
2. Home Décor.
Who: This nautical shop will create a customized coastal map based on nautical charts to render the underwater topography of your gift recipient’s favorite waterfront location. Lake, river or ocean, majestic estate or thatched hut, you can commemorate a special place or a special memory in a creative way. Martha’s Vineyard, anyone?
How: The custom maps are made from birch plywood and acrylic, and can be created for any location in the world. They’re unlabeled, so the actual location can be as opaque or as transparent as you like. The maps arrive framed in a plywood box.
How Long: It may take up to 28 days following confirmation of your order before your map is ready to be shipped (the design and layout require final customer approval before any materials are cut).
How Much: The price is $390 for an 18” square.
Who: In addition to offering customized scents to their business clientele (the roster includes Valentino, Lady Gaga, FENDI and Harrods), the brand offers customized home fragrances for private clients looking to distinguish their homes from standard stereotypical scents.
How: The process includes a client interview about colors, style and decor in addition to a smell test. The fragrance itself is manufactured in France.
How Long: It can take 2-3 months to create a fragrance from start to finish. If that’s too late for your special occasion, you can get the bespoke process started, and in the meantime, gift one of 12.29’s candles on their website or at Barney’s.
How Much: The standard scents are available at retail for $150-$185. Bespoke prices are upon request.
3. Personalized Luxury Travel.
How: Both companies organize intimate group and private journeys, and can cater to almost any need or interest your gift recipient might have. They could join an expedition cruise to the Arctic to see the polar bears. Or go glamping in a luxurious tent in the Moroccan desert under the stars. It’s the perfect way to leave all of the planning to the experts, so all your gift recipient need do is relax and enjoy a truly one-of-a-kind experience.
How Long: That’s up to you.
How Much: The sky’s the limit.
4. Bespoke Fragrance.
The Perfumer’s Story
Who: Azzi Glasser is an award-winning perfume designer and owner of The Perfumer’s Story, who specializes in creating bespoke fragrances for the world’s top fashion designers, beauty brands, Hollywood actors, musicians and artists. The fragrance is presented in a beautiful crystal bottle engraved with the name and formula number of the unique perfume, encased in a luxury handmade box, along with 20 travel-sized bottles.
How: Glasser captures the client’s character, personality and style and then composes an exclusive perfume using handpicked rare ingredients from around the world. Consultations take place within a studio at Glasser’s private residence and are strictly by appointment only.
How Long: from the first appointment to having the finished product in hand, the average lead time for a bespoke fragrance is 3-4 months. According to a representative from the maison, it can be quicker than that – it entirely depends on the individual. The other hurdle you’ll have to jump? There’s a waiting list for consultations with Glasser. You can book through the Harvey Nichols Concierge Service at the Knightsbridge store, via Net-A-Porter’s EIP Atelier Service or directly at the brand’s website.
How Much: The personalized service comes with a significant price tag: it’s reported that each fragrance costs about $20,000. In the meantime, should you want to experience at least a piece of the dream, you can make an appointment with the Harvey Nichols Concierge Service at the Knightsbridge store and meet with a “fragrance stylist” that will match individuals with one of the eleven scents from Glasser’s permanent collection, The Perfumer’s Story. A bottle costs $150, and a scented candle is $80.
Who: Sarah Horowitz Parfums is a Westlake Village, CA-based fragrance house. Horowitz is known for creating private label and custom fragrances that have attracted a cult following among fashion industry insiders and celebrities.
How: Horowitz taps into memories, personality quirks and recent experiences when creating each client’s unique scent.
How Long: There are three options. The first is a private appointment with Sarah at her studio. You’ll be able to leave the studio that day with your customized perfume in hand. The second is an abbreviated session (at a fraction of the cost) with the team at the LA Fragrance Bar. You can also expect to take your fragrance home that same day. Finally, you can customize a perfume online with the brand’s Fragrance Journey. After completing a series of questions on likes and dislikes, you’ll be sent three samples from which you can choose. Or you can opt for another round, until you find the exact fragrance you’re looking for. The latter option takes a few weeks.
How Much: Bespoke fragrance prices are on request.
There you have it. A unique gift for your loved ones is definitely possible to do. And even if you don’t actually create one of these, isn’t it fun to dream?
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Happy gift giving!