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Dreams Come True 

A guide to luxury gifts

Taste and Beauty
-- Give a gift that is intriguing to the eye and tantalizing to the taste buds: a 16-piece box of handmade Belgian chocolates in a host of flavors with edible retro designs silk-screened on the top, $32; and handsome tins of hot chocolate powder mix, $16.95, both by MarieBelle (and recently featured on Oprah Winfrey's "The O List," from Arabella Fine Gifts & Accents (3902 Hwy. 22, Mandeville, 985-727-9787).

Holiday Spirits
-- Choose from a variety of special liquor gift sets such as a "tasting set" featuring Belvedere vodka, an ice bowl and six 3-oz. tasting glasses, $26.39; or a bottle of Martini & Rossi Asti champagne with two lovely blue-swirl glass flutes, $17.99; both from Lakeview Fine Foods (801 Harrison Ave., 482-7333).

Gem Bag -- She'll give her lips a workout with thank-you kisses when you give her a barrel-shaped "gem bag" hand-crafted with freshwater pearls, large crystals, gold wire artistically strung around a dupioni silk liner, $850; and a 23-inch necklace made with oversized, faceted lemon-quartz crystals that are hand-knotted between each stone with gold vermeil rondelles-and-toggle clasp, $525; from Mary Viola Walker Gallery (3652 Magazine St., 891-4122).

Gifts of Warmth -- Keep your loved one warm and comfy in a luscious, reversible, chocolate and sky-blue quilted throw by Lily Juliet, $110.95; then sweeten the deal with L'eau de L'Artisan, the signature fragrance from L'Artisan Parfumeur of Paris, $95 for 3.4 ounces; and seal the deal with a warm muffler, $48.95, and toboggan hat, $30.95, in maroon with tan, beige and maize stripes and fringe by Micco; all from Earthsavers (3301 Veterans Memorial Blvd., Lakeside Shopping Center, Metairie, 835-0225; 5501 Magazine St., 899-8555; 434 Chartres St., 581-4999; 3414 U.S. Hwy. 190, Mandeville, 985-674-1133).

Vintage Beauty
-- Make her eyes sparkle and her heart pitter-patter with a vintage black velvet French handbag with gold embroidery and real jade and garnet gems on it, $275; or choose wrist cuffs from the 1960s that are embellished with semi-precious stones and hide a watch, $295 each (both in mint condition); all from Ladybug & Chocolate (6107 Magazine St., 899-8120).

A Perfect Match
-- Pink and red will be her favorite holiday colors when you wrap up jewelry made from garnet-colored Swarovski crystal beads paired with glass rose beads and gold chains in a necklace, $275, with matching earrings, $155; from Sabai (3115 Magazine St., 899-9555; 924 Royal St., 525-6211).

Season's Greenings
-- You can't go wrong with enameled and jeweled perfume bottles with a cut-crystal screw-down top with a dipping wand by Two's Company, $28.95 each; or a lime crystal lariat by local artist Olga, $28.98; all from Bliss Day Spa & Shop (200 Metairie Road, Metairie, 828-1997).

Call of the Wild
-- Answer calls for refreshment stylishly with animal print serving pieces that will drive them wild: leopard-design glass pitcher, $27.95; and tumblers, $9.95 each (also available in martini and wine glasses); from Audubon Zoo gift shop (6500 Magazine St., 861-5111).

Holiday Treats -- A meticulously detailed ceramic Santa in a vintage touring car instead of a sleigh with a bag of delicious chocolates is really a bank, $26; and a collectible painted wooden box with a lid is filled with gourmet Italian cookies, $38; from Blue Frog Chocolates (5707 Magazine St., 269-5707).

All the Frills -
- Help her strike a beautiful pose in a fancy, wide-brim taupe hat with a champagne band, features and flowers, $100; a mid-century cobalt blue Austrian cut crystal necklace with rhinestones, $100; a vintage Goudchaux's chevron-cut fur coat with a subtle collar and silk lining, $200; all from On the Other Hand (8204 Oak St., 861-0159).
Puppy Love -- Pamper your best friend with an round pillow bed with a zipper closure for easy cleaning and cream piping for style by Snugga Luvs, $67.50; outfitted with a red crown rubber toy, $6.75, and an oversized dog bone romp toy by Orbee Tuff, $17; a white ceramic food bowl, $43; a bucket of Scaredy Cats dog treats (for clean teeth), $20.50; all-natural peanut-flavored Trick Dog treats, $13.50; liquid nutritional supplement for healthy coat and skin by Harry Barker, $22.50; and "bow-wow bouquet" coat spritzer by Pet Aromatics, $10.50; all from Belladonna Day Spa (2900 Magazine St., 891-4393).  

Winter Warm-ups
-- Perfect for the ski slopes -- or just chilly days at home -- are a wool-blend knitted ski sweater with a black, stone and vanilla design by Couloir, $95; with a coordinating striped scarf by Nils, $42; white beanie with a stone-colored pom-pom by Nils, $24; and a luxurious shoulder bag made from a nutria pelt by Skea Shimmies, $149; all from Massey's Professional Outfitters (3363 Severn Ave., Metairie, 885-1144; 816 Hwy. 190, Covington, 985-809-7544).
 Dazzle Her Senses -- Choose a traditional ring that features a 2.5-carat antique-cut diamond with channel-set sapphires and flat-set diamonds in platinum, $15,000; or a more contemporary 1.32-carat trillion-cut sapphire with .32 carats of countersunk diamonds in 18-karat white gold, $3,000; both by jewelry artist Tom Mathis, from Symmetry (8138 Hampson St., 861-9925).

White Christmas -- Stay in her dreams long after the holidays with this luxurious gift: a winter-white Italian-made shearling jacket with white rawhide stitching and closure ribbon by Donald J. Pliner, $2,000, from Saint Germain (The Shops at Canal Place, 333 Canal St., Suite 208, 522-1720).
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