News WrapGet Handpicked Stories from our editors directly to your mailbox

What to gift the rich?

What to gift the rich?
Scuba Diving lessons: Photo Courtesy: Sonia Pinto

Mithila Mehta shares some unique gifting ideas

It’s gifting season again, and you must think of a suitable gift for that one dreadful person who has, well, pretty much everything. What do you give a person who is on top of every new luxury product launch, and who owns every possible branded article ever created? I’ll let you in on a secret. A great

gift for someone who has everything is all about the personal touch. Don’t think only of gifts that are expensive. The trick lies in conjuring up something that is intriguing, rare, has special significance for the receiver and is not available off the shelf.

Made for you

Forget how much money you have in the bank–nothing makes a person feel more special than a gift that’s been created especially for them. Whether it is a bespoke piece of clothing or a custom-designed article of jewellery, we are unlikely to part with anything made for us and us alone. According to Aditi Pai, Director, Vallonne Vineyards (India’s first boutique winery), “Wines are being increasingly given as gifts for various occasions. But people really enjoy customised gifts that make them stand out. To cater to this need for bespoke gifting, we offer an innovative concept called ‘Own a Barrel’. It lets people book a barrel of wine (either a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot) with us for a specified period of time and then have the contents of the entire barrel, which have been aged for 12 to 15 months, bottled exclusively for them. Each barrel translates to around 300 bottles of wine. The person can have custom-designed labels with special messages on the bottle and turn this into a high-end luxury gift.” Bespoke perfumes are another novel gifting option. Perfumer Lyn Harris, who pioneered bespoke perfumery, lets you gift people a bespoke luxury Miller Harris fragrance. The creative process begins with a personal consultation, during which Lyn will determine the theme and style of the fragrance. Creating the bespoke fragrance takes a minimum of three months. When the formula is finalised, it is delivered in a hand-engraved bottle with a name or message etched onto the glass. The perfume becomes a reflection of the wearer and his, or her, personality. If you want to take personal gifting into a different orbit, consider naming a star after the individual! Various online star registries legitimately allow you to name a star–giving you an official certificate and the telescopic coordinates of the star.

A visit to a volcanic crater- Photo Courtesy: Peter Anderson

Buy moments, not things

Experiences are something that money can’t buy. They make for a truly wonderful gift—priceless moments to be cherished for life. Gifting a travel experience can be a fabulous idea, especially if it is a unique experience. Says Alexander Sanchez, Founder and Director, Travel Unbound, “Luxury travel experiences to never-before -seen places are a fantastic gifting option. Imagine watching the beautiful Northern Lights in Norway or climbing a live volcano in the Philippines! We could arrange a cruise to Antarctica, a holiday to the gorgeous Bora Bora or a stay in an iconic castle in the Scottish Highlands. For a truly luxury experience, you could book a private island exclusively for you and your guests! You will stay at the best places and dine at the best restaurants, yet will not miss out on the authentic local flavour. The best part is that the trip can be personalised to suit the people going on the trip and their interests. We don’t believe one-size-fits- all.” A relaxing spa experience also makes for a thoughtful gift, given the extremely stressful lives we lead. Various spa resorts across India and the world offer exclusive, luxury experiences that allow you to detox and destress. For those with not much time to spare, a visit to a spa closer to home can also work wonders! Consider gifting an exclusive spa treatment. For example, guests to Myrah Spa could pamper themselves with an exotic treatment containing gold (to regenerate and deeply moisturise the contour areas) or diamond (to reduce fine lines and circles). You could also gift someone an opportunity to learn something new. Initiate him or her into the wonderful world of art through an art appreciation workshop with a renowned artist or art historian.

Short courses in the fine art of brewing beer are apt for those passionate about craft beer. While sailing classes are quite popular, a scuba diving course (with PADI certification) or flying lessons in a twin-seater micro-light aircraft could make an apt gift for the true adventurer.

Arts and antiques

Art is a great gift, as it hangs on your walls forever and makes for a good talking point. Artist Bal Krishna Murthy explains, “Specially commissioned works of art are becoming increasingly popular.

The best part about gifting bespoke art is that it is timeless and invaluable, because you cannot put a price on it. Whether it  is a live portrait  that I do or a work inspired by the individual and his or her personality or interests, the options are plenty. This trend is especially noticeable for wedding gifts, as new couples set ting up their homes probably don’t own too much art. Antiques can make a beautiful gift as well–especially because you can’t buy them off the shelf anymore. An interesting twist would be to choose an antique in keeping with the person’s interest. An advertising junkie would love vintage ad posters while a traveller might enjoy historic maps and globes. Someone who loves to write would be blown away by a working vintage typewriter. Antique pocket watches and compasses make for great gifts for men.