Style and Design: Items and Icons for boys

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Indy Lifestyle Online
Shopping for Christmas gifts is supposed to be fun, but is more often a stressful ordeal. What to buy for Mum? What to buy for fussy best friend? Oh no, I've forgotten boyfriend's sister! At this point giving up on the whole idea of yuletide seems the logical solution, but there is an easier alternative. It is a service the Body Shop and large department stores have been providing for years: the ready-made gift pack. These kind of packs are often seen as a last resort Christmas present, the sort that say "I couldn't think of anything better so here's a year's supply of vanilla essence". I beg to differ. Ready-made gift packs can be the most wonderful presents (all that unwrapping to enjoy) and as the ones here prove, they can be inventive, thoughtful and very stylish. Admittedly they are easy purchases, just a case of "that one please" (unless you decide to make up your own, which is possible, too), but in the main, Christmas cheats can claim hours of deliberation went into choosing the products, even if the purchase took place over the phone. Now that is a luxury, and one that thankfully can be enjoyed with several of the products on these pages.

Shaving kit (above), pounds 64.95, by L'Occitane, from 237 Regent Street, London W1. Call 0171-290 1421 for stockists and mail order enquiries.

Massage oil with hot peppers (right), pounds 18, skin reviving lotion, pounds 28 (a bit like Clarins Beauty Flash Balm for men), peppermint hair treatment, pounds 22, and body cooler, pounds 24, all by Nickel, available exclusively through Beauty Quest mail order; call 0541 505 000 or 0800 731 5703. Zinc box, pounds 7.95, by Muji, 187 Oxford Street, London W1, or call 0171-437 7503 for a mail order catalogue.

Palmerosa kit (above left), pounds 39.50, by Espa, contains restorative massage oil, body brush and mineral salts (six other boxes available) from Harvey Nichols, Knightsbridge, London SW1, and Liberty, Regent Street, London W1. For nationwide stockists and mail order call the Espa hotline on 01252 741 600.

Pampa hamper (above), pounds 42, by Hampers by Design: box contains loofa, Japanese mini-scrub, mustard bath salts, vanilla candle, two soaps, and a choice of three seasonal bath foams - burnt toffee, mulled wine and crystallised ginger. Call 0171-387 7772/3 to order. For UK deliveries order by 15 December. Calvin Klein gift pack (above left) containing 100ml cK be eau de toilette,100 ml cK be body wash and a black nylon branded CD case with 12 pages, pounds 42, by cK Calvin Klein. From the cK Calvin Klein shop at 55 New Bond Street, London W1 and department stores.

`So Tiger' beauty box (above), pounds 45, by Vincent Longo from Selfridges, Oxford Street, London W1, contains a selection of cosmetics by Vincent Longo. Call 01252 741 600 for nationwide stockists and mail order. Objects of Desire gift box (right), pounds 60, by Philosophy, contains six products for hands, body and nails, available at Harrods, Knightsbridge, London SW1, Liberty, Regent Street, W1 and from Space NK Apothecaries, 0171-636 2523 for local stockist and mail order enquiries; allow two weeks for delivery.

Le Sortilege (top) limited edition bottle of Lanvin's Arpege, pounds 190, contains 15ml of pure perfume, available exclusively from Harrods, as before. Safari gift box (above, middle), pounds 40, by Ralph Lauren, contains 50ml eau de parfum spray, 50ml body lotion, 50ml bath and shower gel and 4ml bottle of pure perfume, approx pounds 40 from major department stores and larger Boots chemists. Make-up gift box (above), pounds 35, by Stila, contains matching lip gloss, nail varnish and eye-shadow, from Space NK Apothecaries (0171-636 2523), as before.