Wednesday, November 25, 2009

'Tis the Season: Gifts for Mom

Every week, a lucky Bryant Park Corporation employee gets to explore The Holiday Shops at Bryant Park to give you a glimpse at what this year's vendors have to offer. Catherine discovered some great gift options for moms.

As much as I love my family, it has expanded in the past few years and buying Christmas gifts for everyone is no longer practical. We've become a name-drawing family, and this year I drew my mom's name from the hat. I've already picked out her main gift, but wanted some fun accent items, too. Candles and olive oil are among the items on my mom-approved gift list, and I spotted some great options on the 42nd Street side of the park. 

Long Island Candle Factory offers all sorts of treats for your senses, like all natural soy candles with cotton wicks, reed diffusers, bath salts and scented oils. They blend all the oils themselves, so you're guaranteed one-of-a-kind products straight from Long Island (they even create a “Bryant Park” scent exclusively for The Holiday Shops). After smelling no fewer than 15 delectable candles, I opted for a Cinnamon candle with an aroma that made me want to eat it! Candles are priced between $12 and $20.

One of the closest kiosks to the 42nd Street mid-block entrance of the park, Sabon features a variety of products in amazing scents that are delectable enough to entice passersby off the sidewalk and into the park.

You can find everything from lotions and soaps to aftershave and baby bath care. Their body scrubs are made from Dead Sea salts and macadamia and almond oils, and with a working sink in the shop, you can even try the products before you buy. The colorful candles are made of beeswax and come in warm scents like Vanilla Coconut and Amber, priced between $5 and $28.

Candles aside, my mom is Italian and she loves a good olive oil. Carter & Cavero is a nirvana of oils and vinegars from across the globe. These oils weren't just made for sauting; they certainly stand on their own as dips. Their chipotle and basil olive oils are delicious and unexpected, but I was sold on a simple garlic olive oil from California. Flavored oils I'm familiar with, but I was surprised at the vinegars in flavors like fig, apple and tangerine. Ask a sales associate and they'll create a fantastic mixture of oil and vinegar based on your tastes. Most oils and vinegars come in small or large bottles for $12 to $20, and the best part: samples of all flavors are available for taste testing.


Long Island Candle Factory : G07 on the venue guide, 42nd St. side of the park

Sabon: J01 on the venue guide, 42 St. side of the Upper Terrace

Carter &Cavero: G03 on the venue guide, 42nd St. side of the park

For additional information about these vendors and more, visit, become a fan of The Holiday Shops on Facebook, or follow them on Twitter.

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