Bring home the world with these unique and exotic gifts from off-the-beaten-path boutiques.
Brimming with mohair throws, argyle scarves, and antique teapots, this cheery store, spread across 12,000 square feet, epitomizes Ireland’s centuries-old craft tradition. Named for the village in County Wicklow where company founders Donald and Hilary Pratt rescued a blighted weaving mill more than 30 years ago, Avoca still makes most of its wares in Ireland, including its gorgeous woven scarves and Jameson whiskey-spiked honey, employing some 650 people across the country. Having browsed through the vast array of blankets, soaps, and cake pedestals galore at this flagship location, refuel with carrot-coriander salad and curried parsnip and apple soup at the informal basement café. 11-13 Suffolk St., Dublin 2. 011-353-1-677-4215, avoca.ie
Aesop is a rising skin, body, and hair care star thanks to its botanical-packed blends: among them, Parsley Seed Antioxidant Eye Cream, Geranium Leaf Body Scrub, and Rosehip Seed Lip Cream. Originally founded in Melbourne in 1987, the company now has 10 stores, each with a compelling design aesthetic. Drop by the Gertrude Street shop, in the emerging Fitzroy neighborhood. A hub of indie design and inventive food, the area proved to be so inspiring that a Gertrude Street gift kit soon followed. Outfitted in raw materials like plywood and polished concrete, the space’s minimalist feel echoes Aesop’s apothecary-like packaging. Even better, tubes and bottles are often inscribed with musings from writers who inspire the company, such as Albert Camus, Emile Zola, and Aldous Huxley. 242 Gertrude St. 011-61-3-9419-8356, aesop.com
Abdulla Natural Products
At first glance, the sea of eggshell-white and oatmeal-hued towels and scarves at this dimly lit linens boutique feels like a sharp contrast to the riot of bold colors that fill Istanbul’s Grand Bazaar, where the store is located. But the simple beauty of Abdulla’s handmade wares lies in natural fibers — cotton, linen, silk, hemp, goat hair. Owner Metin Tosun sought to preserve centuries-old Anatolian weaving traditions, so most of Abdulla’s goods are made in western Turkey. Tosun also runs Fes Café next door — an ideal spot for an afternoon break; the café’s incredibly smooth Turkish coffee is served with almond liqueur. Halicilar Caddesi 62. 011-90-212-526-3070, abdulla.com