The holidays seem to come around faster this year—probably cause of the pandemic time just moved a little faster. This year I have picked an even greater variety of gifts and I think that I’ve got everyone covered from the beauty product fanatics to gourmands to techies and back again! There are great promo codes or cash back ops out there for a lot of these brands so do a search on a discount app like Retail Me Not or Rakuten before ordering. Happy holidays—and let’s hope that 2021 is a lot better than 2020, LOL!Need a quick and classic holiday food gift that is a real crowd pleaser? Olivieri 1882 is bringing its ultra-premium panettone artigianale stateside. Olivieri 1882 is arguably the most famous baker of panettone—one large loaf is $70, shipping included, and it will arrive incredibly fresh to anyone in the US either as a gift or to satisfy your own cravings in less than 48 hours. They not only have their classic panettone available, but exotic variations like Three Chocolate, Peach And Amaretto and Apricot And Salted Caramel. I predict that on Christmas morning, I will be devouring an entire panettone and not offer a single morsel to anyone else, LOL! For more info and to order, go to www.usa.olivieri1882.com.
A truly special holiday gift for just about anyone would be to book them an at home chef session on the Umama app. Umama was created by Vincent Chirico, executive chef of the super popular and revolutionary “no menu” resto Coarse on West 13th Street—which serves lavish eight course dinners that include wine and some pre-meal Prosecco for under $100 per person. Chef Vincent is easily in my Top Five Chefs list for all of NYC and he and his staff will work with you on the at home menu that you desire from Umama. The app is simple to use—you just choose food preferences in terms of both ingredients and food styles that will become your profile for future use, book a date and amount of diners, and then give in credit card details. You will hear from a staff member to confirm and fine tune the details—then your chef will turn up a couple of hours before you want your food served. The talented chefs available can create meals that be stored for days or just eaten that night—at a price that is equal to or less than eating in a moderately priced New York restaurant. Also, when your assigned chef leaves you will notice that your kitchen is cleaner than when they arrived! Umama caters to all kinds of diets from vegan to Kosher and back again, and takes “special requests” if there is something you really want to have that you cannot find anywhere and cannot make yourself. On my most recent birthday, Umama sent out Chef Matthew Curatola to create a memorable feast for two friends and yours truly at their Chelsea apartment. Chef Curatola not only currently works for Coarse but was a sous chef at the lavish Baccarat Hotel for three years—the food (which included duck in brown butter sauce and homemade mascarpone gelato with berry granitee) was not only ultra fresh and tasty but was artfully presented. Umama will create both nouveau and tradition holiday items for clients, so be sure to take a look at the app before Christmas and New Year’s come along! Roughly, pricing per individual meal tends to be about $15 and there are 30 per cent discounts now for parties of two who want a chef to come over and do his or her thing in their kitchen! Here are the two best ways to check out Umama (besides downloading the app from the App Store on your iPhone): go to https://www.umama.io or https://apps.apple.com/us/app/umama/id1502870717.My favorite jewelry line for items that work for day or night and provide a polished look to even the most worn out pair of jeans is Pono By Joan Goodman. I have been wearing her 50 mm size Resin Buckle Bracelet in Tortoise Shell for the past few days and do not want to take it off. It really goes with everything and I am a huge fan of both buckle bracelets and tortoise shell—it is almost as if this piece was just designed for me so I am thrilled to death to have one. There are actually a variety of sophisticated resin bracelets available on the Pono site that will melt your heart—as well as large resin chain link necklaces and bracelets, which made Pono famous in the first place! My buckle bracelet (pictured above) retails for a very reasonable $120 and you can get it at www.ponobyjoangoodman.com. All Pono items are made in Italy so you just know that they are built to last! Until December 24th, there is a buy one get 20 per cent off, buy two get 25 per cent off and buy three and get 30 per cent off on everything! You get free shipping as well if you spend over $100. What the heck—I am heading over there right now to treat myself to some jewelry Christmas gifts!
I recently heard from the fine folks at Nextbase Dash Cam and learned all about the benefits of installing a dash cam in the front of your vehicle. Nextbase Dash Cams are priced from $100 to $400, come with an easy to use magnetic mount and can call for aid in an accident. Your accident will also be on video which will prove whose fault it was to police. Here is the company’s official info on their latest line: “Series 2 products are packed with great new features such as Nextbase Emergency SOS. This makes Nextbase the world’s first Dash Cam manufacturer with emergency response in alerting paramedics to your location, along with your medical history and blood type in the unfortunate event of an accident.” All info on your dash cam is recorded on a Nextbase 32 GB microSD card which supports 4K Ultra HD and is sold separately. (The card records up to four hours of HD footage before overwriting old footage and can be inserted into your PC or laptop for later viewing.) In a nutshell, a Nextbase Dash Cam captures any on the road incident ensuring that you have the evidence that you may need; it can be used in the front or rear of your vehicle. I am testing the 322G model now (retailing at only $132) and loving it! New York has some crazy drivers so we all can really use a dash cam. It is also fun to have the dash cam to record fun road trips videos that you might want to share with friends and family or post on social media. For more info, go to www.nextbase.com. Nextbase products are available at Best Buy, Amazon and Kohl’s.
I plan on starting to use the new Lights Lacquer Holiday Special set this week to start getting in the holiday spirit! Featuring a variety of six shades with glittering shimmers and luxurious creams, each color is said to represent “enchanted holiday dreams.” The six colors that you get are Lucy, Hoping To Be Kissed, I’ll Be Home, Fuzzy Socks, Misfit Toys and I’m All Toasty Inside! There really is a holiday color here for every mani maniac whether they are a traditionalist who loves a true holly berry red with a pearlescent finish or a bold rebel who loves a hunter green with a metallic glow! Lights Lacquer nail color lasts a long time and go on super evenly with strong color “payoff”—and that’s why this brand is so beloved! You can purchase the Lights Lacquer Holiday Special set for $52 at www.lightslacquer.com. By the way, I am trying Lucy (the true red color) in the set first because it puts me immediately into the holiday spirit!I have been a longtime fan of Sugar Wish since I met their team at an editors’ holiday gift guide event at the Hilton in midtown about eight years ago. They allow sugar maniacs to go on their website and select a real sugar wish for another sugar maniac—by that I mean that for as little as $20, you can send your friends an email gift card that lets them pick out four or more of their favorite candies and get them mailed out. Sugar Wish has actual stores as well but I prefer to go on their site www.sugarwish.com, put in how much I want to spend and my friend or loved one’s email and in several seconds, have an email in my recipient’s email box saying they are being gifted candy and that they get to custom pick it! There is a huge assortment of sweet including some old time favorites from “back in the day” like jelly beans, gummy bears and shoestring licorice but you can also pick popcorn and a few other non-candy sweets. The best thing is that the recipient really tailors their box to their sweet tooth and their Sugar Wish box gets mailed out so fast that it will be anywhere in the US in two to three days. I am a bit of a freak that likes a box entirely of black candy including jellybeans and licorice and I will be treating myself to one this Christmas! Just to give you an idea of the size of the basic Sugar Wish that you get for $20: you get to gift four 4 Oz portions and postage is included. Sugar Wish also creates giant fifty-pound play boxes for parties! For more info, go to www.sugarwish.com. (Be sure to do a search online for Sugar Wish coupon codes to get discounts!)
The best beauty “bang for your buck” holiday gift this year is the BEAUTY BOX: Caboodles Edition found exclusively on www.ulta.com! When I got mine in the mail last week, my eyes turned the size of saucers! I can’t believe that you get a grand total of 58 items including eye shadows, blushes, lip oils, primer, brushes and more in an adorable reusable Caboodles box for only $29.99! It is like paying about 50 cents per product! I have already swatched many of the shadows and the color payoff is phenomenal. Ulta’s beauty products are so economically priced and of incredible quality (as a lot of professional makeup artists will tell you). Remember that you can only get this online and not on Ulta stores so it is only a matter of days before they sell out! Get yours ASAP! I have spent countless hours dreaming of the zillion different ways that I am going to mix and match all these great colors! I am sure there are millions of makeup addicts like me that would get equally big thrills out of the BEAUTY BOX: Caboodles Edition! The glittery clear handle and front button on the case give it a really fun vibe, too!
What is my favorite 100 per cent virtual gift card for holiday giving? It’s Giftya—the personalized, meaningful, safe, secure, no loss, no waste monetary gift card. With Giftya, consumers can safely give a gift for hundreds of well-known merchants or restaurants in the U.S., personalize the gift with a fun video message or filter then securely message it to a recipient’s phone pronto. It’s also great to know that Giftya’s never expire, and are always available for use at any retailer/resto initially selected for you, making it far more versatile than a traditional gift card. I love the fact that not only can you select from a giant list of brands and personalize your card with a video, but that the gift card becomes active once your giftee goes to check out! Yes, the amount gets attached to the credit or debit card of the recipient’s choice and the funds really just magically appear upon checkout! This is truly futuristic gift card giving. For more info, go to www.giftya.com. (You’ll find vendors that you could not purchase individual gift cards from in the past including local merchants, by the way.)
If you’re a fan of effective skincare with a conscience, I cannot recommend FACTORFIVE enough! FACTORFIVE formulates their products with humanity in mind—there are no parabens, mineral oil, sulfate detergents, phthalates, urea, DEA or TEA (and nothing is tested on animals). Their Eye And Lash Cream was their most recent launch and it works so fast! It is pleasant to use and does not irritate your eyes like a lot of growth serums do! The FACTORFIVE Eye And Lash Cream will increase eyelash volume and length as much as 23 per cent, with initial results in four weeks and full results in 12! FACTORFIVE’s skincare products have reached legendary status in 2020–for noticeable change in skin’s texture and firmness, try the FACTOR FIVE Regenerative Serum and FACTORFIVE Anti-Aging Cream, both with human stem cells and a wide array of natural moisturizers. For more info, go to www.factorfiveskin.com. (Their fantastic Five Piece Minis Gift Set priced at $125 makes a great holiday gift for the anti-aging skincare fanatics in your life!)
My favorite traditional “hard” gift card that offers multiple experiences for recipients is Happy Cards (whose website is simply www.happycards.com). (Well, to be honest, you can also get their cards via email!) They really tailor their cards—which can get loaded with funds from $20 to $500–to different audiences whether it is ladies who are really into beauty to foodies of all ages and demographics! I absolutely adore the fact that the money on each card can be used at six different places and choices range from Sephora to The Cheesecake Factory and back again. The two big introductions for the holiday season are the Holiday Favorites and Giving Good cards. Holiday Favorites gives the recipient a choice Macy’s, Ulta, Lowe’s, Grubhub and other popular retail spots and it is truly a fun mix of food, home improvement and shopping. Giving Good not only gives your recipient a big range of places to use their cards but three per cent of proceeds go to five charities: Feeding America, Habitat For Humanity, Make A Wish, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital and Wounded Warrior Project. The best place to buy Happy Cards is www.giftcards.com, www.giftcardmall.com or the Gift Card Mall display at select retailers nationwide (including Sephora).
Gamers need great headphones—I recently was introduced to the Turtle Beach brand and it blew me away. I tried the Stealth 700 Gen 2, which works with the new Xbox. I used them with my 12-year-old neighbor who just got the new Xbox and let him use them for a bit! He did not want to give them back, needless to say! What makes the Stealth 700 special is a number of features: they fit easily over glasses, have a 20 hour battery life, are wireless and have blue tooth connectivity, are durable and comfortable and most importantly, give spatial sound for gaming on Xbox Series X and Xbox One. Go to www.turtlebeach.com for more info; available for $149.99 at Target and Best Buy.￼
I also tried and strongly recommend Turtle Beach’s Roccat ELO 7.1 Air headphones. To say these are sturdy is an understatement as they have a steel frame. The ELO 7.1 has many remarkable features including superior memory foam in the ear pieces, a 24 hour battery life, a self-adjusting metal headband, a detachable microphone, on-ear audio controls, rotating hinges, a USB-C type charging cable and my favorite, superhuman hearing! Yes, you can actually switch on SuperHuman Hearing for stereo or 7.1 modes to boost important in game sounds! As Turtle Beach advertises, “With a combination of 7.1 surround sound, 50 mm drivers and SuperHuman Hearing, be ready to have an unfair advantage on the competition!” These headphones are also eyeglass friendly! Go to www.turtlebeach.com for more info. Available for $84.99 at Target and Best Buy.
Ladies, it’s finally time to find your keys with ease! Attach a Finders Key Purse® key finder to your keys and then just hang them on your purse. When you need to use your keys, just grab and go! Finders Key Purse® key finders come in the most adorable shapes and colors which make them an ideal gift (and they are priced under $30.) My favorites are the key finder shaped like a little black dress officially called Gold & Black Dress and the quilted bag shaped key finder officially called the Gold & Black Purse. (Those two are only $7.95 each, making them the perfect stocking stuffer or “take away gift” at a ladies’ holiday luncheon.) There are other handy products on the www.finderskeypurse.com including small cans of pepper spray on a key ring and purse holders, so be sure to have a good look around!Looking for fun and whimsical food-themed household items and masks that come in at under $20? Washington, DC based graphic designer Jodi Kostelnik has designed her own fabulous line of gift items called The Neighborgoods. The superstar items in this line (at least in my humble opinion) are the adorable dish towels–there are many fruit and produce designs but the wine and pizza styles really tug at my heartstrings (possibly because I am not the healthiest eater). There are even masks that match some of the dish towels and I must say right here and now that teaming a dish towel with its matching match is the ultimate hostess/host gift this holiday season. And just so you know, 10 per cent of proceeds from the newly introduced Pease On Earth dish towel (which you can see on the bottom left of the photo above) goes to the wonderful charity No Kid Hungry. Go to www.theneighborgoods.com to see the whole line and see if you can resist ordering something for every “foodie” family member and friend that you have! Be sure not to miss the fine art prints, greeting cards or tote bags!One of the hottest holiday gifts for artists and just regular folks like you and me who love to doodle ‘n destress is the Wacom Intuous CLK1400WLKO Wireless Graphic Drawing Tablet. Intuos’ pressure-sensitive pen delivers both precision and control. Wacom’s EMR technology inside means the pen never needs to be charged—so it is ready to go whenever you are. By the way, this tablet only responds to the pen itself, so there is no possibility of fingers or palms causing errant touches like when you are drawing freehand. I am totally new to the world of drawing tablets and never touched one until I got my Intuous CLK1400WLKO. I fell in love instantly and now find myself using it all the time instead of doing work, LOL! It is great to be able to draw wirelessly, then be able to save all your work and go back to it later. Let me add that if you are someone who likes to touch up your photos, Intuous is the way to go. It works great with Photoshop and is so much easier than trying to correct your photo on a smartphone. The price for the Intuous is about $100 and you can purchase it at Best Buy and Amazon along with other mass market retailers. This is considered to be Intuous’ smaller tablet but the screen size is actually very generous, measuring in at 7.9” by 6.3”! For more general info on this amazing product and it’s sister drawing tablets, go to www.wacom.com.
I just stumbled upon the perfect black backpack that will undoubtedly be a beloved gift for ladies from 10 to 100! Pop Bag USA’s sleek Greta backpack is lightweight despite being constructed of genuine pebbled calf leather and features lots of stunning gold studs and other chic hardware. I love the flat top handle, the threaded drawstring closure, the adjustable leather straps and the zippered pouch that attaches to the inside of the bag to keep things organized. This backpack is a just a whole lot of good things–and best of all, you get a lot of room to store your stuff even in size Small. Not surprisingly, a bag if this quality is made in Italy. Here are the three sizes available: Small (11-3/4″H x 10″W x 4-1/2″ D), Medium (13.4″H x 15.7″W x 6.3″ D) and Large (15.8″H x 16.1″W x 6.7″ D). The small Greta (which I have faithfully been wearing the past week) retails for $195–which is very reasonable since you will get years of wear out of it. Go to www.popbagusa.com for more info and to order. Pop Bag USA even gives you the opportunity to design your own bag with snap on leather pieces if you are so inclined (it’s quite revolutionary)!The holidays are really not celebrated right without fine chocolate and Vosges’ new limited edition 2020 Holiday Collection is here to satisfy your sweet tooth and give you and your holiday guests an eyeful! The Healer Collection is a collection of 17 magically inspired and highly creative truffles—it is a masterpiece even amongst the most artisanal of chocolate brands. Each truffle in the box has been infused with rare and exquisite healing ingredients. The Healer Collection resembles the solar system (if it was more colorful, anyway). I guarantee that this is the most Instagrammable collection of chocolates available for the holidays and you might actually feel bad about digging in because it’s such a stunner. As the folks at Vosges so succinctly put it, the Healer Collection is “a most extraordinarily delicious way to reset and explore the alchemy of chocolate.” Price is $80 (with free shipping included) and is available on www.vosgeschocolate.com. Sign up for emails on the home page and get 15 per cent off. I say to get one box for yourself to eat in private and another one for guests! Who really wants to share something this magical and delicious, LOL?
Since the pandemic started back in March, people have turned to home baking more than ever—that’s why the time is now to check out Cookie Countess, which was started by a baking couple named Jon and Hillary Ramos from Warwick, RI! This creative duo has come up with an all-inclusive cookie baking site—they have everything you need to make gorgeous and tasty cookies including their own patented airbrush decorating system to their special butter cookie recipes and instructional videos. No stone is left unturned (or maybe I should say “no cookie is left I decorated”)! You can even email the owners with problems or suggestions! I am personally enthralled by The Cookie Countess’ large cookie cutter selection which includes a huge variety of animal shapes, and occasion-based themes! The Cookie Countess’ all-natural food colorings selection is something that is another stellar highlight of their business! This company has had 12 years of success at this point and it is no wonder—it provides the easiest way for home bakers to get professional results! (There are even already iced cookies that you can order and color in yourself–and I think that is the perfect item to put next to each place setting at your holiday table this year!) For more info, go to www.thecookiecountess.com.
I have written about Persona Nutrition several times since it first came on the nutrition scene about two years ago and have been using it almost since the beginning. All the claims you have been hearing in the media are true–while taking your Persona packs diligently, you will feel your energy and mood levels raise. I love how you get to take a ten minute assessment of your current physical state, illnesses and medications and you immediately get your own custom vitamin list sent to you that says what you will be in your twice daily packets and how much is going to cost. The most shocking thing is that most people expect to pay more per month than if they bought all their vitamins at a health food or grocery store, but actually Persona is cheaper. Most people are taking seven or eight types of vitamins or supplements per day and the cost is 50 to 80 dollars per month. The quality of Persona’s products are premium–plus everything is made right here in the US with as many natural ingredients as possible. I also love having nutritionists to chat with 24/7 on the Persona site. Join now and save 50 per cent on your first month–if you get a friend to join, you both get $25 credit on your next purchases. For more info, go to www.personanutrition.com.
So you need a holiday gift for a friend with truly funky style but who values quality and durability above all else? I can’t think of a better gift that Dr. Martin’s all-time classic, the black Jadon 8-eye boot. They have recently been updated with chunky platform soles and rugged treads that let the wearer tread through piles of NYC snow if necessary! My favorite touches are the grooved edges and yellow stitching! As the piece de resistance, they have the Dr. Martens famous “bouncing” AirWair soles which are comfortable, oil and fat resistant and provide good abrasion and slip resistance! The leather upper and sole are heat-sealed together for exceptional wear. I have known people who have kept their Jadons for decades and they still look great! They are reasonably priced at about $180. As a side note, I was recently able to join in on Dr. Martens’ fabulous online press preview of their spring/summer lines. All I can say is wow–there are some of the most chic yet sturdy looking sandals that I have ever seen (you will really dig the bold stitching and timeless look). I guess that their designers are very inspired by the fact that this month marks the legendary shoe company’s 60th anniversary (they are three weeks younger than yours truly)! All the DM classic are in the spring/summer line as well, many in fun updated versions. For more info or to purchase Dr. Martens, go to www.drmartens.com.
Being a longtime fan of Kerrygold’s butter products made exclusively with milk from grassfed cows, I recently discovered their phenomenal cheeses in the Gristedes by my apartment on the Upper East Side. Before you ask–yes, the quality of all four cheeses is as great as the butter. (I think that I actually might be New York’s most ardent consumer of Kerrygold butter because I am doing a low carb diet and melting it on steaks at least three times per week!) Anyway, I want to say that bringing over four Kerrygold cheeses along with a classic brand of water cracker like Carr’s and a nice wooden cutting board would be a killer hostess gift for a holiday get together (one that is socially distanced, of course)! The rundown of the four Kerrygold cheeses most conveted for holiday entertaining is as follows: the Reserve Cheddar Cheese is aged over a year and has a distinct sharpness to it and is great to pair with Merlot and Cabernet, the Dubliner Cheese is a robust cow’s milk cheese with a distinctly nutty flavor and pairs well with Sangiovese, Chardonnay and Irish Stout, the Skellig Cheese is a creamy, nutty and sweet Cheddar cheese that was made for baking or spreading on a crusty bread and the Blarney Castle which is in the smooth and mild Gouda style which is a real crowd pleasure and pairs well with your more mellow wines and which I personally like to put in ham and cheese sandwiches. For more info including where to buy these very reasonably priced artisanal cheeses, go to www.kerrygoldusa.com. There are all sorts of recipes and serving ideas on there that you will love!I have been a longtime fan of the super-hip speakeasy-themed 18.21 Man Made Wash products. When I first met a couple members of the team a few years ago at an independent beauty expo, the only scent available was Sweet Tobacco–and I became a fan instantly because it was such an unusual sweet and earthy scent and I had never really encountered it in any sort of body care line before. I started using the original 18.21 Man Made Wash shortly thereafter–not just because of the memorable scent but because the wash is a multitasker! The bottle states that it is a shampoo, conditioner and body wash but I also use it on delicates because the scent really lingers in fabrics. If you go on the 18.21 Man Made site you will see all sorts of new and creatively packaged items including the new Absolute Mahogany Man Made Wash and wonderful soaps like Grit Bar (which exfoliates while having the Absolute Mahogany scent) and the Detox Bar (which deep cleans with activated charcoal while having the Sweet Tobacco scent). I think an ideal skincare present for the guy in your life would be to team one of the washes with their respective soap. Both soaps and washes are priced at $24 and are extremely generously sized. For more info go to www.1821manmade.com but use this link for 15 per cent off your order: https://1821manmade.com/discount/1821MANMADE15. What body products are flying off the shelves faster that you can say the word ”kale”? It’s Ahava’s Superfood Collection which retails for $23 to $31 per item but last for months! It goes without saying that these days, skincare fanatics want their products to be as natural as possible and they do not get any more natural than this! The main components of Kale and Turmeric make a real and immediate difference to skin’s health and protection. Kale and Tumeric are known for their powerful wellbeing and skin smoothing properties–Kale enhances antioxidant protection against premature skin aging while Turmeric guards epidermal cells against oxidative stress and UVA damage. Ahava’s philosophy these days is ”power and nourish your skin naturally” and all four Superfoods Collection products used in combination are the perfect place to start. The four products in the line are Renewing Body Peel ($27), Shower Gel ($23), Soothing Body Lotion ($31) and Soothing Hand Cream ($24). You will love the results and their fresh natural scent. Use the code WEBINAR35 at www.ahava.com for 35 per cent off now through 1/1/2021.Lorac has always been one of my favorite cosmetics brands because their eyeshadows are very pigmented and last forever (even if you have oily skin). Not surprisingly, they have a lot of great gift sets full of unique eye and lip products this year and they are super bargains as well (you are getting more than twice the product you would normally get for the money). Some of my favorites that you see pictured above are Lorac Pro Palette Vintage Glamour (my very favorite Lorac item this holiday season), Glamour Icons Lip Collection Premiere,Glamour Icons Eye Duo, Glamour Icons Mascara Duo, Glamour Icons Lip Gloss Wardrobe and Glamour Icons Lip Collection Nude Scene. The Glamour Icons Lip Collection is possibly Holiday 2020’s biggest bargain where you get a stunning mauve-hued lip gloss, lipstick and lip color that normally run $54 for $18! The shades here all work together if you want to mix and match and this shade known as Alter Ego is slightly different on each of the three products but was chosen because it would work with any skin tone! I think that every ladies’ holiday stocking should have one of these it in! For more info on Lorac products or to order the products that I have bragged about here, go to www.lorac.com. Complexion products are 50 per cent off for the holiday when you use the code COMPLEX50 (you get a free gift, too)!If you like everything from clothes to personal scents with a rock and roll edge like I do, then I bet you are a huge fan of designer John Varvatos. He really manages to combine sophistication and a rebel edge in everything that he does! If you have not yet experienced any of the great JV men’s fragrances, you are in for a real treat because these elixirs are downright intoxicating—I wear some of them and don’t care that they’re made for the opposite sex. There is always a surprise kick to every JV scent and he even uses some unconventional elements not commonly favored by the “noses” in the fragrance laboratories. The latest is John Varvatos XX Edition which is available in both regular and artisan packaging. XX is a woodsy floral scent but the first thing that you notice is red apple that eventually turns into an orange blossom scent–and somewhere along the line you a get a geranium and cedar wood vibe! There is really nothing quite like it on the market right now! Just to make my description of this amazing men’s fragrance a little more official, the top notes are Red Apple, Black Currant and Cardamom while the mid notes are Orange Flower, Geranium and White Violet and the base notes are Cedarwood, Sandalwood and Coffee. John Varvatos XX Eau de Toilette (125 ML/4.2 fl. oz.) is $94 while the smaller size (75 ML/2.5 fl. oz.) is $74. John Varvatos XX is available on JohnVarvatos.com and Amazon.com, as well as at Macy’s and Nordstrom.