Indulge someone with one unforgettable treatment or a sybaritic series.
The Ultimate Salt Glow
This mind-and-body melting massage leaves you with silky-smooth skin and a tension-free body. It starts with a gentle sea salt scrub and morphs into a sixty-minute, hydrating massage with custom-blended oils. If you can stand afterwards, you leave lusciously scented and light as a feather. ($130, at Joseph’s Salon and Spa at 3938 Dutchman’s Lane, Josephssalon.com)
A Facial that Feels as Good as it Works
There may be no more luxurious skincare treatment than the extended, ninety-minute Healthy Skin Facial session at Massage Envy. Once the esthetician has exfoliated and cleansed to the depths of your pores, she mixes and massages in custom masks, then finishes with a slow, soothing neck, shoulder and scalp massage that leaves you feeling as radiant as you look. ($93, at Massage Envy at four Louisville locations. Go to massageenvy.com for info.)
A massage for two
A shared hour (or hour and a half) of blissful relaxation is the ideal gift for a busy couple. Aromatherapeutic oils and soft music start melting away tension before the massages even begin. ($130 for sixty, $190 for ninety minutes at Body RX at 601 S. Hurstbourne, 502-974-3447, BodyRXLouisville.com)
Give an Unforgettable Girls Night
Who knew that a group of girlfriends could take over so many fun local boutiques for a private evening of shopping and socializing? Arrange one in her favorite neighborhood.
Start the party at Six Sisters
Buy a gift card, call ahead and make arrangements for her to host her next girl-gathering or club meeting after hours at this cozy NuLu boutique. The location makes this a fun first stop on a trek to galleries, restaurants and bars. Groups of ten or more get three hours of shopping, socializing, wine, sweets, and a twenty percent discount-- or donation to favorite charity. (Six Sisters, 804 East Market, 502-690-9986. Ask for Katie and mention TOPS.)
Bring your Book Club to Apricot Lane
Move her book or wine club into this comfortable East End boutique; you won’t be the first! Just buy a gift card in any amount to be used the during her private shopping night and tell her to round up her friends and check their calendars. Apricot Lane will supply the wine and cheese and offer twenty-five percent discounts to the host and twenty percent to her guests. (Apricot Lane, 1301 Herr Lane, 502-708-2823.)
Sip and Style at Liv Boutique
Five friends and a gift card in any amount are all it takes to have an after-hours VIP shopping party at his comfy St. Matthews boutique. Private parties here include personal stylists, bourbon or wine and cheese and a twenty percent discount for everyone. Give a gift card and a calendar date. (3704 Lexington Road, 502-654-7337.)
Transform someone’s sleep rituals with cozy bedding that turns their bedroom into a sanctuary.
Layers of luxury
Velvet quilts, faux fur throws, silky European sheets add up to a dreamy night’s sleep. At Bedded Bliss, they can help you design the kind of bed you can’t wait to fall into. Let them help you do just that for someone who would never do it for themselves. (Left: Pillows, $74 to $292; fur throw, $125; velvet quilt, $518, all at Bedded Bliss at 3936 Chenoweth Square, 502-899-5153.)
A Magical Mattress
Why not give someone you love the incredible comfort of a five-star hotel mattress every night. You can find a huge selection of fabled Tempurpedic mattesses starting around a thousand dollars at the many Sleep Outfitters around town. (Go to Sleepoutfitters.com for locations and info.)
It’s the perfect antidote to tossing and turning: a beautifully sculpted glass aromatherapy diffuser that emits the soothing, natural scents while you sleep. The Paradise illuminating diffuser also emits soft, colored light that turns a bedroom into a tranquil oasis. ($69.99, at zaq.com.)
These gifts will keep someone smiling long after the tree comes down.
A LEXUS-- WITH A BOW
It’s not just a memorable commercial. The sparkling Lexus with a bow is indeed a real gift-giving option and, according to Lexus of Louisville Managing Partner Walter Weibel, it happens all the time. “We have the bows, we can deliver it to your house in the middle of the night and help you create that moment,” he says. According to Weibel, the most popular models for gifting include the RX 360 and GX . “They’re SUVs that drive like cars.”
His advice to anyone attempting to gift a car is to find casual ways to discuss car preferences before you buy. Go out and car shop just for fun or leave brochures around the house so you can discuss favorites. “Of course, if for any reason the person wants another color or model, we have 72 hours to exchange.” he says. And if you can’t commit yet, you can wait for Valentine’s Day. That’s when the new RX with the third row will be introduced. (Lexus of Louisville is located at 2400 Blankenbaker Pkwy, 502-410-1737. Ask for Walter Weibel or General Sales Manager Simon Fields.)
A BARREL OF MADE-FOR-YOU WINE
It’s just what the wine enthusiast in your life needs for their wine cellar or next big, special occasion: one barrel (twenty-four cases or 288 bottles) of a wine made just for them at our critically-acclaimed downtown winery. 502 Winery has come up with the dream experience for wine drinkers— a chance to sit down with a winemaker and create a personally-blended red wine. (It’s like having a winery without the maintenance.)
The process begins with a half-day meeting with a 502 Winery winemaker-- tasting blends, nibbling charcuterie and concocting that perfect, personal formula. The wine would then be aged in an oak barrel for a month to nine months. (Timing would be discussed during the initial tasting session.) As the wine matures, the lucky gift-recipient will enjoy follow-up tastings and discussions about their label design. Once the wine is ready, twenty-four cases— or 288 bottles— with custom-designed labels, will be delivered to their home for many happy toasts to come. ($9,995, at 502 Winery, 116 South 10th St, 502-540-5650.)
FRESH FLOWERS, ALWAYS
Why should floral deliveries be saved for special occasions? Let someone you love have the pleasure of enjoying floral arrangements that arrive weekly, daily, or as often as you like for as long as you like. You can pre-select the types of arrangements and schedule the regular deliveries or simply give them a gift card and the suggestion. Either way, they’ll have a home filled with the aroma of fresh blooms for weeks or months to come. (Call 502-526-5528, or go to nanzandkraft.com to order.)
The Neiman Marcus Christmas Book doesn’t corner the market on creative, over-the-top gift-giving ideas. Here is our own, unapologetically luxe, extremely local version. Happy giving.