East of Paris Bookstore

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Little Luxuries

When traveling, I like to find souvenir gifts for my friends -- little luxuries ... ordinary things that are made into something special.  

Through years of trial and error, I have developed a few rules when shopping for souvenir gifts.  The gifts should be light-weight, not liquid, and unbreakable.  They should not too expensive (in case they disappear en route and not to make anyone feel uncomfortable) and not too personal (can't exchange the wrong size or color once you get home). 

Thus, my souvenir gifts tend to be specialty soaps, candles, stationary, candies, chocolates, and linen items. On my last trip, the little luxuries that I brought home included perfumed soap, lemon drops, candied orange peal, chocolates, and an apron decorated with embroidered lemons.
In Pompeii, I was thrilled to find a chocolate bar al peperoncino -- sprinkled with hot chili pepper flakes. It made me fell a lot better about (mistakenly) adding cayenne to my home-made halva a few months ago, which I posted about here.
P.S., a full disclosure about the lovely packaged perfumed soap. I kept it in my library along with the other gifts. For some reason, every time I walked into the library I thought I was smelling some kind of insect repellant. When I took the soap away, the smell disappeared as well. Lovely as that packaging was, this was not a little luxury to be given to anyone!

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