Distinctive Father's Day Gifts

Finding a gift for dear old dad on Father’s Day can either be spectacularly easy when you have a father that doesn’t have discriminating taste (a run of the mill tie, some Old Karate, a knitted vest). Or maybe you have an extraordinary father who appreciates the finer things in life, or you want to introduce your father to some of your marvelous finds. If its the latter then this blog is for you.

The Local Artisan Guide recommends the following for distinctive Father’s Day gifts that he will appreciate you went to all the effort for.

D.S. & Durga is a fragrance brand that specializes in scents that recreate experiences. Many of the scents are unisex in nature, however for Father’s Day, “Burning Barbershop” is the perfect scent for dad. The description of Burning Barbershop is as follows: A fire broke out in the Curling Bros. barbershop in Westlake, N.Y. in 1891. All the shaving tonics with their spearmint, lime, vanilla and lavender burned. A charred bottle was found half-full. It smelled like this.

Australian motorcycle brand, Deus Ex Machina, created this trucker hat designed specifically for the dads that want the most out of the warm weather ahead—a cushioned crown, meshed back, and quick-drying design keeps blocks out the sun, keeps ya cool, and looks great in the process.

How stylish and comfortable will your dad be when he slips into his C’H’C’M’ Yogi Elijah Negative Heel Boot. This very affordable suede boot is made in Portugal using the finest suede leathers in Europe.

St. Frank is a home decor brand that features home accessories made from artisans around the world. This St. Frank iPhone case depicts a vintage Kuba cloth from the Republic of Congo, a unique textile featuring complex designs that are created when various geometric raffia pieces are stitched to a plain raffia background. The resulting rough surface is punctuated by repeated geometric patterns with unexpected interruptions in design. Men cultivate the raffia palm and weave the raffia cloth; women then create the patterned textiles. Traditionally, Kuba cloth was used as a wrapped skirt worn during burials. Later, it was incorporated in ceremonial dress for ritual dances and other celebrations.

Rowing Blazers, the brand that focuses on rediscovering and reinventing preppie also offers collections of vintage watches. Here is the Rolex Day-Date reference 1803 dates to circa 1967 and includes its chronometer certificate (a.k.a. "COSC papers") and an extremely rare "The Day-Date" promotional booklet. The dial is beautifully preserved and the case is crisp and full. Wind Vintage purchased this watch from Heritage Auctions in April for $8,437.50, just so there is full transparency on its origin and what was paid. It is understood that the consignor to the auction was the original owner. This watch is currently on view at the Rowing Blazers Clubhouse at 161 Grand Street in New York City. Curated by Wind Vintage.

Nomad Tribe, the sustainable clothing brand has the perfect Father’s Day gifts for the “Woke” dad, here is the Mutuba Organic PlayNomad Shirt, their softest polo yet. Did you notice the musical prints and the 2-tone buttons? (Have another look. Perfect for on the run or the golf course, easily paired with khaki pants, shorts or jeans.

Our picks range from high luxury to extremely affordable and should make dads of all ages pleased you put so much time and attention show them how much you appreciated them being your dad.

Click onto the captions for more product information.

Happy Father’s Day!

By Natalie Rivera

Unique and Romantic Valentines Day Gift Ideas

When you walk around cities and towns constantly on the lookout for artisans and small independent brands you eventually start to acquire a rolodex of gift ideas in your head for all occasions. Valentines Day is no different so we here at The Local Artisan Guide are quite happy to recommend some of the gems we have discovered over the years for special, unique and romantic gift giving for Valentines Day.

Why be like everyone else and settle for red roses, mass produced chocolate and run of the mill gifts with no time or thought given to them. Here are some suggestions in all price ranges for all genders and relationships that can be bought in New York City or online.

Atelier d’Emotion calls itself a “jewel box” of a boutique and they are right. It’s the perfect place to shop for a Valentine’s Day gift. It’s a small, intimate, beautifully decorated romantic boutique that is highly curated with jewelry, home decor, candles and even artisanal chocolate. You can’t loose if you pick any item from the shop as a Valentines Day gift, however may we recommend the Vitae Ascendere Melting Heart Charm Necklace in 18k Yellow Gold with 17 inches Yellow Gold Chain with Karabiner Clasp. 3D printed, designed and manufactured in NYC.

Artisanal chocolatier MarieBelle is one of the first chocolatiers to add modern eclectic graphic designs to her chocolates along with unusual and delicious flavors. You can buy online but please visit her shops if you can as they transform you to a cafe in a romantic European town. The chocolates are sold in various sizes with her signature MarieBelle New York ganaches in special romantic designs. Each ganache combines the finest single-origin chocolate with eclectic ingredients and artisanal techniques. Offered in a signature red box and wrapped in grosgrain ribbon for an extra special gift.

When you care enough to send the very best in New York City you go to Emily Thompson Flowers. Each arrangement is unique and designer's choice. All arrangements are designed with the finest seasonal materials with a preference for local and specialty flowers and foliage. Emily Thompson welcomes design requests, but *cannot guarantee specific materials*. Design notes and gift messages can be entered at checkout. For guaranteed delivery for Valentines please order by Tuesday February 12th. In honor of love for all, 10% of all proceeds will be donated to Planned Parenthood.

Olfactory NYC is a perfume boutique that lets you customized your very own fragrance for yourself or for that special someone. Create your fragrance by choosing one of their recommended specific accords that emphasize certain emotions inherent to each scent to create a final design that is all your own. Choose a bottle, color and name your fragrance. All for an affordable $75 (they also offer a travel size for $25).

Escaping to a romantic destination is a great way to celebrate Valentines Day. If you are really going for it, grab your passport and escape to a destination across the borders and while you are at it dress his passport in an Anson Calder small leather good. The Passport Wallet conveniently stores all your necessary travel cards and documents in one place. The minimalist construction fits all passport sizes and offers space for boarding passes, customs forms, visas, or any other travel documents. The minimalist design and patent-pending push slots reduce bulk by removing the need for multiple pockets. These cutouts make it easier than ever to access various cards on the fly. By fanning the cards out, you can identify and remove the one you need while leaving the others in place. For an additional $15 you can have it monogrammed too.

Hearts are everywhere and a special gift to give to anyone in your life that you care about are Jan Burtz Porcelain Heart Dishes. Exclusively at ABC, these heart dishes are made by hand from creamy porcelain and a homemade glaze. Their irregular, organic forms bring us back to the basics, accentuating the fluidity and grace of hand-formed wares. Made in Jan Burtz's Connecticut studio, no two pieces are alike, though all are food, dishwasher, and microwave safe. Available in Gold, White and Blush.

Want to give the gift that keeps on giving and giving? The gift that shows your love of the earth and its environment? Why not gift a 4ocean bracelet? By purchasing this bracelet, you will remove one pound of trash from the ocean and coastlines.  Its unisex design is adjustable from 2-5” in diameter, its made with 90% recyclable content post consumer and hand assembled on the island of Bali.

Here is another version of the French tickler. Let’s not forget the romantic, sexy part of Valentines Day with some love paraphernalia. French lingerie brand Maison Close offer besides sexy, beautiful lingerie, an array of tasteful love accessories to make your night of love an unforgettable, sensuous experience.

When giving that romantic gift, don’t forget the romantic greeting card. You can forgo the Hallmark card and go artisanal with Greenwich Letterpress’s selection of Valentines Day cards. They are unique, artistic, romantic, flat printed in the USA using 100% recycled paper, paired with a matching envelop and blank inside so your lover hears your words not some cheesy quote. Even better is that they are quite affordable at $5.

So hopefully you are inspired by our selection of Valentines Day gifts. Just click on the captions for product info.

If you are an original and your loved one appreciates that you think they are unique and deserve the beauty of artisanal craft and design, then these are gifts they are bound to love and cherish.

Happy Valentines Day!


Natalie Rivera

Olfactory Experiences in NYC

Once on a date with a fairly new boyfriend a few years ago my new beau presented me with a beautifully wrapped package. As I tore into my unexpected gift I uncovered to my dismay a fancy bottle of perfume. I was quite frankly a little insulted. “Is he having a problem with the way I smell?” immediately went through my mind. He sensed my reaction and tried to put me at ease by saying he was gifting me the perfume because the scent I was wearing reminded him too much of an ex-girlfriend he would prefer to forget. He gave me a very expensive bottle of perfume that at the time I had never heard of, Annick Goutal’s Eau’d Hadrien (yes my new beau was loaded). I was ignorant at the time of the great gift he had given me, obviously he thought if he was going to ask me to change my scent it would be less offensive if the perfume was one of the world’s most expensive at the time. Since our sense of smell is the sense that brings a memory back the most vividly, I didn’t want him remembering his ex when we were together so I gave up my mixture of Issey Miyake’s L'eau d’Issey with a base of Fresh’s Milk Body Lotion (now discontinued) and started wearing the Eau’d Hadrien

I was not exactly thrilled about this because my signature scent of L’eau d’Issey and Fresh’s Milk Lotion was my calling card at the time, one that had strangers telling me how wonderful I smelled. The Eau’d Hadrien did not mix well with my skin chemistry, it smelled like bug spray when it hit my skin so after awhile I just went without scent. My new boyfriend turned out to be a playboy and we broke up so I gave the bottle of Eau’d Hadrien to a friend of mine and she smelled like a lovely citrus and orange grove the moment it hit her skin (which I believed is what you ideally smell like when you use Eau’d Hadrien). 

Once you find a perfume, fragrance or cologne you love, you claim it as your own and state to the world, “this is my signature scent!”. Well that is fine but for the last few decades there is a great chance that many people around you are shopping around the same places to buy their scents (department stores, Sephora, airport duty free shops) so as you walk into a crowded room don’t be too surprised if your scent is not as original as you think it is. 

That is why I recommend you start looking off the beaten path for a scent that is your’s truly and also offers an olfactory experience when seeking it out. 

In the last few years there have been a few brands both old and new that have created a magical, lovely and at times a bespoke experience when seeking out your signature scent. Many of these brands have gone back in time to how fragrances were created hundreds of years ago and have followed the model of the apothecary. Some brands have gone into the future and have reinvented fragrances by creating them to recall olfactory experiences from around the world that are more unisex in nature. 

Here are a few picks of artisanal brands and olfactory destinations located in New York City but available world wide that are making it easier to truly find a signature scent that you can feel quite confident no one else in the room is going to be wearing.


Aedes Perfumery - 16A Orchard St., Lower East Side, NYC

On the cusp of the Lower East Side and Chinatown, as you walk down gritty Orchard Street with its small contemporary art galleries and fashion forward independent brands there you will find Aedes Perfumery. The shop is petite, dark and romantic. You almost feel trepidatious by entering but once you do you enter you are immediately enveloped into Aedes’s world of highly curative perfumes from over 75 small independent brands all over the world. Their excellent staff is trained to educate their customer on different olfactive groups and let you explore their scents and what works for you. Aedes also has their own perfume, AEDES DE VENUSTAS. Housed in aubergine glass that is baroque yet futuristic, AEDED DE VENUSTAS offers nine very different scents and experiences, it is definitely a boutique you can lose a whole afternoon in. They also offer candles and home fragrances which make for unique gift giving.


Claus Porto - 230 Elizabeth St., Nolita, NYC

In neighboring Nolita, the neighborhood has lately become a destination for artisanal perfume and fragrance brands lining the small streets along with other high-end independent boutiques. One of the latest brands to join this unique enclave is Claus Porto. Just entering the shop is an experience in itself with a 42 ft long archway made entirely from Portuguese cork, which visitors can step into and admire Claus Porto’s signature products. The brand is over 130 years old and stems from Portugal and built its name on hand-crafted, artisan fragrances which draw on ingredients from Portugal’s lush countryside. All the artwork is from their decades old archives and besides fragrances you can find soaps, candles, diffusers, bath and body and stationary, all which make for perfect gifts.


Olfactory NYC - 281 Mott St., Nolita, NYC

Its easy to step into Olfactory from the outside as the boutique is an explosion of all the colors of the rainbow. That is when the Olfactory adventure just begins. The friendly staff will guide you into their process for creating your very own perfume. First you will explore their core scents that  are created using the finest and natural and sustainable ingredients. Second you will explore different variations of your core scent by adding accords that help enhance and customize the scent. Third you will chose the color of your of your bottle and help personalize it and like magic you have your very own custom scent! A plus is that the ingredients are vegan, organic, sustainable sourced, Phthalate And Paraben Free and the packaging is sourced locally. Scented candles, body lotions, body wash and gifts are also available so you can shop for yourself and your loved ones in a sustainable manner.


Le Labo - 233 Elizabeth St., Nolita, NYC

Is a perfume brand founded in New York City in 2006 and has a mission to customize your scent with a made-to-order bottle to ensure the freshest fragrance at the time of purchase. Created in collaboration with the world’s top perfumers and using only the highest-quality essential oils, Le Labo creates scents that are vegan and cruelty free. The brand’s fragrances, hand-dipped candles, and body products are designed to enrich the senses. Once you select your scent they will freshly blend your bottle and then personalize and engrave your bottle for you. There are also grooming, hair, body, home accessories and an eclectic set of oddities available at this rustic and earthy shop that helps ensure you are creating a unique experience for yourself. 


Atelier Colognes - 247 Elizabeth St., Nolita, NYC

When Christophe Cervasel and Sylvie Ganter first met, little did they know that their love for cologne and scents would spur a brand that is dedicated entirely to cologne. Hence Atelier Cologne was created so colognes could be worn as pure perfumes. With six olfactory groups they have created over 38 scents that range from flowery scents to nights full of the essence of tobacco. All made in France using ingredients native to France. Atelier Cologne products are with 0% paraben, paraffinum liquidum, GMO, animal derived ingredients, colorants, sulfates and made by artisans and craftsmen. Their charming boutique also offers candles, bath and both, travel sizes and gift sets. 


Malin+Goetz - 235 Elizabeth St., Nolita, NYC

Malin+Goetz is a skincare brand that operates like an apothecary using the simplest ingredients to provide a healthy product for your skin. They have a curated collection of fine fragrances, each inspired by a traditional perfumery ingredient with a modern interpretation and are perfect unisex scents. The shop shares its owners spare, less is more philosophy with clean minimal lines that is reflected in its packaging. The brand also offers besides skin and fragrances, candles, hair, body products, soap, beauty and gifts.


Deceim/Avestan - 26 Prince St., Nolita, NYC

Deceim, the beauty brand that has been revolutionizing the beauty world has created a brand of unisex perfumes and fragrances called Avestan. And just like Deceim has brought new concepts to beauty, Avestan has brought new concepts to fragrances by focusing on experiences and scents that bring back memories from world travels. Wonder what an aromatic visualisation of firewood near a tent in Tanzania smells like? Or what the inside of a violin atelier smells like? The smell of copper in a Budapest architecture? Well with Avestan you will be privy to these unisex fragrances that work with the magic of olfactory memory. Currently they have over 15 scents that all included besides fragrances, candles, body and hair products. 

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Santa Maria Novella - 285 Lafayette St., Nolita, NYC

Santa Maria Novella is a apothecary brand from Florence, Italy that can trace the beginnings of its formulation from 1221 with the official pharmacy opening in 1612. Thus the Officina Profumo - Farmaceutica di Santa Maria Novella (Perfume and Pharmaceutical Oficine of Holy Mary Novella) was born with an emblematic name that gave precedence to perfume or the ephemeral rather than the curative aspect of more spiritual inspiration, the medicinal or pharmaceutical. They catered to royalty, nobles and merchants worldwide and today Santa Maria Novella offers a multitude of aromatic waters, colognes, candles, home accessories for both men and women (even pets). Its a brand draped in history and with a staff that is more than happy to help explain the centuries old formulas that have been past down the ages.


MiN NY - 117 Crosby St., Soho, NYC

MiN NY is a fragrance brand that operates on a conceptual philosophy of our definition of what constitutes a fragrance. Set in Soho’s Cast Iron District, MiN NY have created over 17 fragrance with such names and experiences as “Shaman” for mystical time travelers, “Moondust” because the moon it is said the moon smells of gunpowder after a desert rain. “Old School Bench” to bring back memories of pencil shavings and vintage desks. The brand also offers candles, haircare, gifts, eyewear and a highly curated selection of artisanal perfume brands from around the world.


Fueguia - 21 Crosby St., Soho, NYC

Fueguia is an Argentinian sustainable perfume brand that uses only certain natural ingredients, being often very unique and used for the first time in perfumery. These ingredients being used in perfumery are also a great challenge due to the fact that climate change affects the availability, quality and prices of the different botanical species. Because of the scarcity of these ingredients, Fueguia 1833 produces only limited series of fragrances, using the finest natural ingredients available at the time of production. Each bottle shows the year and the lot number of the fragrance that is enclosed – a progressive number from 1 to 400 being engraved on a crystal bottle of each perfume. The boutiques are dark with well crafted vitrines highlighting the scents and adding to the luxurious and unique event of sampling the limited edition fragrances.


Marianell Soap Bar and Spa - 102 Thompson St., Soho, NYC

Marianella Soap Bar is the brainchild and passion project of mother and son team Marianella and David Foote who recreate the soaps and scents of Marianella’s nostalgic travels and her Venezuelan childhood spent making soaps and beauty products by hand in her grandmother’s kitchen. The fragrances and soaps makes the most luxurious one of a kind bath and body products with no Sodium Lauryl Sulfate, No Parabens, No Harsh Chemicals and No Animal Testing, all made in the U.S.A. Their beautiful, light, airy and cheerful shop features their custom fragrances, soaps, beauty, bath and body, home fragrances and gift sets (they just started a monthly subscription box). 


The Scentarium - 85 Franklin St., Tribeca, NYC

The Scentarium is by appointment only and once there, its owner Sue Phillips will help you create a bespoke signature fragrance that captures the essence of you and gives you a custom perfume to wear and cherish. Whether its just you or a party of 50, Sue Phillips will educate you on perfumery and help you decide what is right for you by introducing you to groups of scents and then mixing and matching to get the unique scent that you desire. Sue also offers her own scents that she has created throughout the years.


Bond No. 9 New York - 9 Bond St., Noho, NYC

Bond No. 9 New York is the first American parfumerie to be headed by a woman, Laurice Rahmé, who gives homage to New York City by giving every New York neighborhood a scent of its own. The brand is very civic minded, campaigning for and spreading peace internationally and raising funds for the cause via their universally loved “Scent of Peace”. The store itself is a Alice in Wonderland experience that will have you browsing through the city via your olfactory senses. 


Kilian - 946 Madison Ave., Upper East Side, NYC

Founded by Kilian Hennessy, Kilian is a luxury perfume brand that seeks to create perfume the way it was made in the late 19th and the early 20th century, but adding a contemporary twist at the same time. Kilian’s concept of their “eco-luxe” philosophy that each bottle can be refilled and kept for a lifetime help put them on the map worldwide. There are over 35 scents in the collection, each telling a story with names like “Arabian Nights”, “Asian Tales”,  and “In the Garden of Good & Evil”, every scent evokes ultimate sophistication and timeless luxury.


Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, 898 Madison Ave., Upper East Side, NYC.

Think of Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle as a publishing house for the industry’s very best Perfume Designers. As their editor, Frédéric Malle guides them individually through their creative process to ensure that they are always transcending their limits. Together they create works of art that will be the perfume classics of tomorrow. With a team of 13 perfume designers, the shop resembles an elegant home, a contemporary interpretation of a 1930s Parisian apartment with the clinical design of a fragrance laboratory. There are celebrated features including Frédéric Malle’s own signature smelling columns and refrigerated perfume cabinets. Besides helping educate the customer on olfactory elements, there are limited editions, candles, home scents, beauty and gifts. 


Twisted Lily - 360 Atlantic Ave., Boerum Hill, Brooklyn, NYC

Twisted Lily is a unique fragrance boutique and apothecary featuring hard to find niche, indie and natural fragrances from all over the world. This Brooklyn bright and cheery boutique curates fragrances that are created from just a few blocks away to the far side of the globe. Twisted Lily also features modern apothecary products such as skincare, grooming and beauty lines. 

So there is a small sample of olfactory experiences in New York City. There are also a few honorable mentions such as Alchemlogie, Joya, Annick Goutal and more.

Besides finding your signature scent, all the brands mentioned are perfect destinations for thoughtful, unique, beautiful gift giving for the holidays.

I am now confident when I walk into a room that my scent is as personal and unique to me as my fingerprint. I will not reveal the brand or formulation I chose because this is truly “my signature scent”. My fragrance will forever bring up vivid memories of just..me.

By Natalie Rivera