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Late Summer Host/ess Gift Guide

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Wednesday Aug 22, 2012
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Pity the poor owner of a summer house: friends from yesteryear descending upon him or her like a plague of cicadas emerging after a thirteen-year hiatus. Family arriving by the carload: camping in the backyard and setting off fireworks in the front lawn.

If you’ve a friend fortunate enough to have secured a summer sanctuary and if you’re fortunate enough to have secured a weekend invitation, then at least have the decency to arrive with a host/ess gift - and without a list of demands.

A bottle, a case, a basket - anything to show that you’ll be a good guest and not expect breakfast in bed, at least not more than once.

Give a gift that brings a late summer smile to your beleaguered host’s face.

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STUNglasses: Director’s Cut Tortuga

Please, aren’t we all tired of trampling on our $300 sunglasses after tripping on the beach while carrying an armful of cocktails? Who doesn’t want a more reasonably priced pair of shades that work the jerk and talk the walk?

How does less than twenty sound? That’s how much it’ll cost you for a pair of STUNglasses.

Ever since the summer of ’83 (yes, that’s right: way before you were born, ahem, ahem), STUNglasses has been...in development, you might say.

1983 was the year of the birth of the founders of STUNglasses, who have spent their life trying to look fresh while keeping Miss Piggybank happy.

These days, Miss Piggybank must be euphoric, for STUNglasses have been seen on numerous celebrities, including Zac Efron, Jessica Alba, and Snoop Dogg. The point is, who can resist a pair of STUNglasses that rock classic style for less than the price of a cocktail.

We’re partial to the Director’s Cut in Tortuga (which, of course you know is the Catalan word for "tortoise"). These oversized frames are as large as your ego, insuring that everything looks good while everyone’s looking - at you. Featuring a boxed hinge foundation with alloy hinges, and UV 400 gradient amber lenses that are scratch- and shatter-resistant, STUNglasses can weather the weight of you and your cocktails the next time you find yourself face in the sand.

Looking pretty, as usual.

PRICE: $18
LINK: STUNglasses Director’s Cut Tortuga

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Strange Invisible Perfumes: Hydro-distilled Frankincense & Coriander Body Wash

What with all the guests passing through your summer share, it’s nicer for everyone if, at the very least, they smell good. One way to make that happen is to leave a good body wash in the guest shower.

Something by Strange Invisible Perfumes, for example, something from their new line of bath washes and body lotions. Perhaps Frankincense & Coriander Body Wash? Doesn’t that sound like a gift from the magi? And given how many queens walk through your guesthouse door, it’s probably perfect for you.

Suitable for all skin types and formulated with frankincense from Oman, this body wash has a fragrance evocative of an Egyptian garden in summer. Inhaling this while showering, you might find yourself reminded of Lawrence Durrell’s heroine Justine from his magnum opus "The Alexandria Quartet."

Founded in 2000 by botanical perfumer Alexandra Balahoutis, Strange Invisible Perfumes is dedicated to creating fragrances and beauty products from real botanical essences. Balahoutis utilizes 100% certified organic, beverage-grade grape alcohol alongside her proprietary blends of ethically sourced essential oils.

The line of bath washes and body lotions are handcrafted, with the most nourishing base ingredients and the purest botanical aromas. Strange Invisible Perfumes uses ingredients that are certified organic, wildcrafted, biodynamic, and pesticide-free.

The company’s fragrances are designed, hand-blended, and bottled in Venice, California, which is also where the Strange Invisible Perfumes boutique is located.

Shower with this and you might start thinking you’re Cleopatra.

PRICE: $40 / 8 fl. oz.
LINK: Strange Invisible Perfumes Hydro-distilled Frankincense & Coriander Body Wash

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Hipstripes: Boxer Brief

There are decided advantages in giving a gift of underwear. For one thing, that pair of sexy briefs might get you a private fashion show. And then, of course, there’s always the pleasure of ripping off new undies with your teeth.

Let’s face it, everyone feels more sexy when they’re packing it into something snug and suggestive. Hipstripes new boxer brief is made from 95% cotton and 5% spandex (for that snap back into place that always give you a little thrill).

Most suggestive of all, however, is the woven waistband in a yellow and black caution tape jacquard print that can be personalized with messages like "Caution Protruding Objects" or "Heavy Equipment."

Feel your inner construction worker coming out? How about "Objects Are Bigger Than They Appear"? That might get you more than you bargained for at the next Underwear Party. We’re less keen on "Wide Load" (don’t go there); however, "Explosives" makes its point perfectly clear.

One more advantage in giving a gift of Hipstripes is the striking gift box, which is colorful and stylish enough to wear as a hat (after you’ve finished a quart of vodka). Next thing you know, you’ll be directing traffic in your Hipstripes undies.

PRICE: $30.00
LINK: Hipstripes Boxer Brief

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Lacoste: Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Energetic Red

Summer heat equals hot summer sex. It doesn’t get more basic than that.

If you’ve had enough of those fragrances that smell like clean laundry on an outdoor clothes line, if you like Febreze - but you don’t want to wear it, then you might think about Lacoste’s latest addition to its Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 collection: Energetic Red.

Introduced by Lacoste in 2011 and now numbering four scents marked by color (Blanc, Bleu, Vert, and Rouge), Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 is an homage to French tennis player René Lacoste and his timeless savoir-faire. The L symbolizes the eponymous founder, followed by the numbers 12, which represent the piqué material, the classic short sleeves, and the twelve original prototypes.

Lacoste chose the color red for masculinity, energy, and confidence - which are basically synonyms for virility, passion, and fiery loins. What else does red mean but sex, sex, and more sex?

A gift of fragrance is a personal thing - and a gift of Lacoste: Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Energetic Red is equivalent to an invitation to bed. A burst of spices makes this the rooibos of fragrance, the chai for your pulse. Black pepper and cardamom swirl with ginger, evoking a tropical drink you imbibed at a bar called RumFire - with a volcano in the distance. With a smoky base note of agar wood, seduction lingers in the air.

Choose carefully upon whom you gift this fragrance - for lava is all but certain to flow.

PRICE: $62.00 / 3.3 oz spray
LINK: Lacoste Eau de Lacoste L.12.12 Energetic Red

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(Late Summer Host/ess Gift Guide continues on next page)



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