What Women Want is an early ’00s rom-com starring Mel Gibson in a Freaky Friday-esque turnabout that, somehow, turns a barely-likeable protagonist into an only-just tolerable romantic lead. Only just! (What A Girl Wants, starring Amanda Bynes, is a better film on all fronts, by the way.) But “What Women Want” can also be the howl you toss into the ether, as you frantically Google: “Best Gift For Girlfriend” a fortnight before the gift exchange.
Now, she might have hinted, might have nudged. Might have shot straight and already emailed you an itemised list of exactly what she wants two months ago, alphabetised and highlighted with the gifts you Must Not Miss. She knows what she wants! But still. The gift isn’t the gift, you see. The gift shows you listened. Shows you noticed; remembered. Shows you care. That’s all there is to it.
If you’re really, really drawing blanks, let’s hope the following seventeen gifts will muscle out something from your subconscious. For your sake, really.
17 Thoughtful Gifts For Every Kind of Girlfriend
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- Polo Ralph Lauren’s Bear Intarsia Wool-blend Hoodie
- Burn After Writing
- JIA JIA's Celestine Geode Heart
- Anissa Kermiche's White Nose Ear Ceramic Bowl
- Diptyque's Baies Scented Candle and Rose-gold Carousel Set
- SAINT LAURENT's Leather Shoulder Bag
- CircleDNA's Family Planning DNA Test
- Faye Toogood's Roly Poly Armchair
- Rosewood Asaya's Winter Wellcation
- Burberry's Jacquard-pattern Blanket
- Charlotte Tilbury's Pillow Talk Dream Come True Make-up Vault
- Holga's 120N Plastic Camera
- A Disney+ Subscription
- Mandarin Oriental Staycation
- Penhaligons' Rose Dreams Gift Set
- LELO's TIANI™ 3
- Van Cleef & Arpel's Alhambra Earrings
For the girlfriend who wears your pants
This is, really, a gift for you, too. Her very own hoodie, purchased in the size, shape and silhouette you’d most prefer. And it’ll sit on your side of the wardrobe because that’s where her fingers get twitchy; where she likes to make yours her own. Any significant other-shaped hoodie is great (it’s you!), but this Polo Ralph Lauren bear hoodie is especially adorable — a knitted wool-blend upgrade from the fleece-lined cotton French terry make you’d normally expect a hoodie to feel like.
Start your Polo Bear collection this season — and make it a recurring thing.
For the girlfriend with a TikTok account
It’s a trending favourite on TikTok with a simple premise. You answer whatever prompt as honestly as you can muster (brace yourself: it’s going to be hard-hitters like “A Memory I’ll Never Share” and “The Last Time I Felt Happy” — oof); then, burn the book. Throw it in a roaring fireplace. Set it aflame in a campfire. Whatever it is, instructions are set for the recipient to be As Honest As Possible. So, no peeking; her eyes only.
For the girlfriend who charges her crystals by moonlight
Look, here’s the thing about love. You don’t have to understand it. You don’t even have to like it. But you do have to respect it. And if she feels that much more confident with a thing of quartz tucked into every pocket she owns, well, at least it’s not something more illicit. JIA JIA’s one-of-a-kind Celestine geode shimmers from within, and is meant to bring tranquility and mindfulness to whatever space it occupies. It’s also heart-shaped!
For the girlfriend with a lot of loose change
Cue coos. This is so cute. “Why does something functional have to be boring?” asks Anissa Kermiche. “I want to bring artistic shapes into daily life.” And so she did.
Jutting out with a pair of little ears, (One is pierced! It’s functional! You can slip a hoop earring on it!), this ceramic bowl is just the kind of thing that will bring such levity to a boring, no-nothing entryway table. Gift it with jewellery — and whatever trinkets you can imagine her piling up in this.
For the girlfriend who likes to sniff
Baies for your bae. Diptyque’s Baies scent is iconic — there are most likely a couple already littered along her vanity with wax frozen, then unearthed to be used as little jars for her whozits and whatzits galore. Get her another one; the burn time is just 60 hours! Get her two, even. This limited-edition holiday version comes with a rose-gold crown that spins when heated, casting beautiful shadows around the room. Practically magical.
For the girlfriend with a big bag problem
Take it from a girl who is also someone that trawls through product pages day-in, day-out and through the night, too. Market research! This SAINT LAURENT bag is perfect. It’s so good. It’s nostalgic for the ‘90s but not enough where it’ll already be dated next season. It’s structured but not enough for it to be a difficult hold by shoulder or by hand. It’s big enough to be functional (no teeny-tiny one-lipstick-only purchases! We’re being mindful this year); small enough to be an everyday number. It’s in black (or cream, if she leans toward the beiges). See: perfect.
For the girlfriend who might be more, soon
“Start trying” is a phrase people use when they, you know, “start trying”. And before you “start trying”, make good on your future offspring, cute as they will be, with knowledge that can prove to be life-saving with CircleDNA’s Family Planning DNA Test; a genetic test that susses out any conditions you or your partner may have that can be passed down. Nothing more romantic than a well-researched arsenal of science-backed knowledge about your future! More useful than a bouquet of roses, that’s for sure.
I’m just putting this out into the ether: I would like this chair. But I digress. You would’ve seen this chair loitering in the background of many, many Inspirational Instagram Posts. Most probably alongside the iconic and exorbitant Ultrafragola mirror (it retails for approximately HK$93,000 on second-hand sites!) and an artfully arranged Cloud Couch.
British artist Faye Toogood’s Roly Poly design is, sorry, too good not to buy. It’s all curving lines and thick, chunky polyethylene, seated on a graceful arc that looks like a scoop a fluffy cat would like to curl up in. Or, you know, me. I would like to curl up in it.
For the girlfriend with knots in her back
Rosewood Asaya’s wellness programmes come very well-reviewed. Honestly, a single dip in that astounding Asaya infinity pool would, most likely, do wonders for my brain. For my body. My heart. My soul. Whatever else there is here.
Crafted specifically for the holidays, Asaya’s Winter Wellcation programme combines skincare treatments and guided sessions with experts of Naturopathic Medicine, Singing Bowl Therapy, Expressive Arts Therapy and more. And, drum-roll please, access to the pool.
For the girlfriend who’s always, always cold
It’s not just a blanket — it’s Burberry. There’s a unicorn soaring through cumulus overtop, which officially makes this piece an objet d’art. A piece to be framed, if you have that kind of inclination and means. But for the rest of us, this beautifully fringed, cashmere-wool blanket is an indulgent, luxurious way to get cosy as re-runs of the Lord of the Rings trilogy play on ahead. Just be careful not to get pizza grease on it. And if you do, spot clean immediately, please.
For the girlfriend who loves Pillow Talk
Not that kind. Or, yes that kind too, but also the kind made oh-so famous by Charlotte Tilbury. And if you’re not quite sure what Pillow Talk is, it’s a colour; a specific shade of nude-pink that’s very beloved — goes with everything, she’ll say!
The first-ever Pillow Talk came in the form of a lip pencil (Lip Cheat, as stylised by the brand). Then, it bloomed and blossomed into a product with a cult-like following; so much so the brand launched a lipstick with the same shade, named the same name. Now, this vault contains all Pillow Talk products, including the iconic Lip Cheat, original matte lipstick, palettes, eyeliners, mascaras, blushes — and more. 14-count, to be exact.
For the girlfriend with an alt-film Instagram account
She might’ve started with Dispo and then decided she’d, actually, really like to spend real time and real money getting film developed. Trust the process! Depending on your budget, there’s quite a wide range of vintage point-and-shoots to choose from. Do some research beyond this barely-researched, mostly-opinion gift guide. I don’t know much about cameras; I’m still cruising through Dispo filters. Thanks David Dobrik! But really, read up on apertures and angles and focal lengths — she’ll thank you for it.
For the girlfriend who Disney bounds
You know what’s great? Sharing. Sharing is caring. Sharing clothes is caring. Sharing passwords to streaming services is caring. Her laptop might be automatically logged into a Netflix account of some erstwhile acquaintance she no longer remembers the face of, but she shares. You can share, too, with a Disney+ subscription that’s all hers, from you, which means it’s all yours, too. All the Star Wars, Pixar, National Geographic and Marvel you can ask for. Sharing is caring! The happiest place on earth, now streaming at home for only HK$73 a month or HK$738 a year.
For the girlfriend whining for a vacation
Sorry, no vacations yet. Unless you’re ready to brave that 14-day minimum quarantine on your way back. But more than that, those two weeks in an extremely small enclosed space with only a bathroom to escape into. Love is love! But love also means space. Just a little.
Opt, instead, for the most luxurious staycation in town at the Mandarin Oriental, Hong Kong. There are, of course, rooms and suites and suites with balconies and suites Presidents and rock-stars and diplomats stay in. Pick your poison! I myself have nothing but very flattering words for the Harbour View Suite, in particular. I’d go again just for a soak in the free-standing bathtub — it’s gigantic.
For the girlfriend who likes compliments on how nice she smells
Scent is a personal thing, but it’s also an interpersonal thing. Tethered to a smile, it says: “Hello, I love you.” Tethered, rather, to a frown, it snarls: “Stop sniffing me, you creep.”
If she loves the scent of roses (and it’s not uncommon for someone to think of the rose scent as “granny”) then Penhaligons’ Halfeti scent — in the limited-edition Rose Dreams Gift Set, an Eau de Parfum and hand and body wash — might be for her. Named for the Turkish village of the same name, where roses so dusky they appear black grow along the banks of the Euphrates river, Penhaligons’ Halfeti is part of the brand’s ‘Trade Routes’ collection; this instance, think spices and leathers and beautiful sheaths of fabric.
For the girlfriend who likes to play
It’s not just a gift for her. LELO’s TIANI™ 3 is worn, well, during. It’s soft, flexible and entirely wireless — tangled limbs only here; no tangled wires. What scratches her back scratches yours, too. You get the idea. If you don’t, click through here for more information; this isn’t that kind of site, after all.
As with all adult toys, 18+ only, be kind, be communicative, ask for consent and all that good, sexy stuff. Proceed.
For the girlfriend who likes the finer things in life
No shame in it! Nice things are nice. Nice things from Van Cleef & Arpel are nicer. And if it’s a second-life gift from Vestiaire Collective — all the better; we love recycling.
These Van Cleef & Arpel earrings dangle into the jeweller’s iconic Alhambra clover, shimmering with a mother-of-pearl enamel that’s as stunning as it is, actually, extremely wearable. It’s a neutral! Dress the pair down with T-shirt and jeans — or wear it with a gown and a windswept up-do. Wear it to work! Wear it to dinner! Wear it to bed! It costs this much, might as well maximise that cost-per-wear ratio.