Each week, Brokelyn.com’s in-house etiquette expert, Dear Penny, tackles your recession-related stumpers. Send her questions at DearPenny@Brokelyn.com.
I’ve got three ideas for you. The first: CB I Hate Perfume in Williamsburg sells small sampler sizes of elegant custom-made fragrance. And their scents are inspired. Take “Mr. Hulot’s Holiday,” named for the Jacques Tati film: “The salty breath of the breeze of the Mediterranean, driftwood, rocks covered with seaweed and the smell of old leather suitcases.”
Very nice. Sample bottles run about $14. 93 CB I Hate Perfume, 93 Wythe Ave., 718-384-6890
Number two: Bam Rose Cinema offers gift certificates in $20 increments, called “BAM Cash,” and they’re beautifully designed. BAM, 30 Lafayette Ave., 718-636-4100.
Finally, I love giving soundtracks as gifts; those still typically clock in less than $20. I called Halcyon Records in Dumbo for a few recommendations—he wouldn’t give me any. The guy at Fifth Avenue Records and Tapes in Park Slope recommends the classics (“So many good ones!”) like Saturday Night Fever—still a classic, it’s got quality with camp appeal—or West Side Story. I recommend the soundtrack for Breathless, the French New Wave film directed by Jean-Luc Godard. The music is early-’60s uber-chic.