Though holiday shopping may be trending toward digital, one-seasonal tradition has held its tangible ground: the holiday catalogue. This shoppable form of editorial escape into the world of tinsel and tartan remains as fanciful as ever.
In the holiday books of retailers such as Le Bon Marché, RH (the former Restoration Hardware) and Gracious Homes, outrageous gifts of extravagant whimsy are available for sale — at equally extravagant costs.
A $37,000 bottle of perfume, a $7,000 vintage skeeball console, and a $1,100 contraption that shapes blocks of ice into artisanal spheres are among the season’s outrageous indulgences.
And one can always count on The Christmas Book from Neiman Marcus for a helping of nonessential exorbitance. This year’s best buy? A balloon trip to the edge of space, at a cool $90,000 — for six guests.
1. Williams-Sonoma: Cirrus Ice Ball Press Kit, $1,099.95
For connoisseurs of rare scotch, average straight-out-of-the-icemaker cubes don’t suffice. Enter the Cirrus Ice Ball Press Kit, which turns ice blocks into perfect spheres that melt slower than a mundane cube. williams-sonoma.com
2. Le Bon Marché: Delvaux et Magritte Bag, $7,000
The accessory brand pays homage to its native Belgium by teaming with the foundation of homegrown surrealist créateur René Magritte for a capsule collection of enchanting bags. lebonmarche.com
3. Harrods: Salvatore Ferragamo Signorina Eleganza Unique Edition, 1,000 ml., $39,960
The supersized flacon of Ferragamo’s signature Signorina perfume was made by Italian craftsmen of pure crystal, 18-karat yellow gold, and 1.27 carats of diamonds. Note: It is not eligible for returns. harrods.com
4. Neiman Marcus: Balloon Trip to the Edge of Space, $90,000
This fantasy trip for six to the edge of space by pioneering astro-tourism firm World View includes accommodations at the Miraval Resort in Tucson, Ariz., for three nights, where guests will spend time with the flight crew, plus two nights for the Voyage trip in 2017 at a luxury resort near the launch location. The ride lasts about six hours, in a luxury pressurized capsule lifted by a high-altitude balloon 100,000 feet — 19 miles — above the earth. neimanmarcus.com
5. Mackenzie Childs: “Moose on Parade” Figurine, $450
At just over two feet tall the curious “Moose on Parade” figurine is decor with built-in convenience — it’s situated on wheels and features a removable neck wreath. Says the brand: “Remove his neck-attire when you put away the holiday decorations; he might look fabulous garlanded with flowers, waiting for spring.” mackenzie-childs.com
6. Mitchells: Nam Cho Hoop Earrings, $6,500 to $27,000
For women whose taste in candy has graduated from gumdrops to precious gems, these fully studded hoops by New York designer Nam Cho fit the (costly) bill. mitchellstores.com
7. RH: Vintage Arcade Skeeball, $6,995
Available by custom order, the fully operational skeeball machine features a Thirties-style oak encasement. Note: Some assembly required. restorationhardware.com
8. Gracious Home: Christofle Mood Silverplate Flatware Set, $1,000
Nothing says fine dining like a shiny egg full of flatware. This case of six, four-piece settings include designs from Cristofle’s Mood collection. Gracious Homes recommends using it at “casual dinners and brunches.” gracioushome.com