October 13 2011
It is, of course, primarily known for its exclusive, 24-hour, worldwide concierge service, but you don’t have to be a member of Quintessentially to enjoy its slick new e-boutique, Quintessentially Gifts. Naturally, it tends towards the über-luxurious and the limited edition, so now the run up to Christmas has begun it’s perfect for those who want to look at swish stuff for their loved ones – but browsers might be surprised to find there is plenty on offer for under £100.
I clocked the following as presents for my nearest and dearest: the dainty gold-plated Leaf drop earrings with silver and green aventurine by Catherine Zoraida for the best friend (£68); Penhaligon’s Lavandula Gift Set for Mum (second picture; £212, for bath oil, bath/shower gel, hand/body cream and a beautiful amethyst-coloured crystal atomiser); Kate Moss by Mario Testino, a book for the goddaughter (Taschen, £45); a Damien Hirst custom-printed Supreme spots skateboard deck for the godson (£480); and the superb leather Wave Briefcase by Williams British Handmade for my other half (£2,940) – the last two, sadly, are in their dreams.
Each category – Brands, Men, Women, Watches & Jewellery, Accessories, Children, Beauty, Occasions and Interiors – is divided into helpful sections, eg, Men has 19 subjects including Technology, Humidors & Smoking and Games & Sporting.
Quite a few items are “POA”, aka super-pricey: Richard James’s bespoke crocodile loafers, Bamford Watch Department’s Rolex Explorer I (first picture), right up to the torpedo-style Quintessentially AeroSpeed 18 ultra-high-speed boat (it can exceed 55 knots and just 10 are planned, taking two years to build). For these you have to enquire via email, as you do for some iconic Hermès bags (“Whether it’s a Laurier Evergrain or Fuchsia Crocodile Birkin or a Mykonos Togo Kelly, you can skip the queues with Quintessentially Gifts”) but the vast majority is click-to-buy.