Fun, Frivolous and Fruitful Gifts

by Cynthia Sin-Yi Cheng
December 1, 2010

5 gift ideas for this holiday season — from the useful to the purely frivolous:


Marvis toothpasteCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Jasmin Mint Toothpaste from Marvis ($11)

all Manhattan locations

Who: Anyone who likes the unexpected.
Why: If you like jasmine tea, you’ll get a kick out of this. The flavor combination of jasmine and mint is so unexpected and indescribable. I still get a kick out of brushing my teeth with this toothpaste every day — it keeps things interesting.

P.S.: Get the mini size ($6) so you can travel in style.

Radius toothbrushCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Radius Intelligent Toothbrush ($10)

Whole Foods
Union Square branch
4 Union Square South
@ Broadway
New York, NY 10003
Radius Toothbrush

Who: A type-A personality or kids you want to whip into shape.
Why: The timer on this toothbrush beeps when you’ve reached the dentist-recommended two minutes of brushing, and the meter will turn red when you reach 180 uses and should replace the brush head (two replacement brush heads come with the toothbrush).


VisionareCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Visionaire ($175 to $3,000)

Paul Smith
108 5th Ave
@ 16th St
New York, NY 10011

Who: Those who admire the rare and beautiful.
Why: These limited-edition fashion-meets-art albums suck you in with their vastly diverse topics and formats, ranging from the blingy “Gold” issue (no. 17), each with a hand-folded origami goldfish, to the “Taste” issue (no. 47), which explores the flavors of concepts such as power and guilt with breath film strips developed by IFF (International Flavors & Fragrances Inc.) that are intended to be literally tasted with the tongue. There are 58 unique themes to choose from. Not all issues are still available, but you can still peruse them at the fabulous Visionaire site online. Selected copies are available at Paul Smith’s 5th Avenue store.


iWalkCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

iWalk ($60)


Who: Any iPhone owner whose battery is always running low.
Why: This extended battery for your iPhone or iPod provides a sense of security while you are Twittering away from home or listening to your iTunes on a long flight. I take mine everywhere.


Squirrel Bobble HeadCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

Animal-motif Bobble Heads ($12) and A Box of Smile ($350)

No. 8a
Ace Hotel
22 W 29th St
(Broadway & 5th Ave)
New York, NY 10001
Project No. 8

Who: Kids or adults with a penchant for the silly.
Why: The Ace Hotel outpost of Project No. 8 is centrally located and has a well-curated list of gift items. Let’s just say it’s a dream of a hotel gift store. The B. Shackman bobble heads are exquisite. I especially like the squirrels. And, for those who are into precious collectibles, Yoko Ono’s “A Box of Smile” (reproduced by Tobias Wong) is just the thing. You open the box to see your own smile reflected in the glass lining at the bottom. It’ll keep you smiling for a while longer.

A box of smileCynthia Sin-Yi Cheng

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