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Daddy Love: Father’s Day Gift Guide

by Mark Thompson
EDGE Style & Travel Editor
Tuesday Jun 7, 2011

Who doesn't love a daddy? There are silver daddies and gay daddies and daddies who take you to the ball game. Daddies who taught you right from wrong - and daddies who spanked you when you were bad. (You know you deserved it...)

Some dads always sat at the head of the table - and always made sure there was food on your plate. They went off to work every morning - and sometimes they took you with them to the office and sat you in the anteroom, where you eyed the secretary's shoes.

Whether you called him "Dad" or "Daddy" or "Father" - or "Sir," the man deserves to be celebrated. Fete him with something thoughtful that reminds him of the years you've shared and how you've grown into something of which he's unequivocally proud.


Every Man Jack: Double Play Kit

In all likelihood, it was your father who bought you your first razor. Maybe he also taught you how to shave (or maybe he left that razor on your pillow and let you figure out the rest...).

Or maybe you were one of those kids who stood on a stool next to your father and lathered up your baby face while he shaved. (Or does that only happen in rom-com chick flicks?)

The point is, shaving is one of the occupational hazards of being male - and something you’ll always share with your father. That’s why Every Man Jack’s Double Play Kit is almost a no-brainer as a gift for Father’s Day. Packed with items from Every Man Jack’s shave and body collections, the Double Play Kit includes fragrance-free face scrub; rich, low-foam shave cream; and face lotion loaded with marine extracts and Shea butter.

From the Every Man Jack body line, there’s a naturally-derived, witch-hazel-based deodorant; a body wash with marine extracts; a four-pack of 100% vegetable-based body bars; and a bonus lip balm. That’s enough booty to last right through to next year’s Father’s Day. And best of all, that’s $40 worth of product - for only $25 (sold exclusively on-line).

Founded in 2006, Every Man Jack produces affordable, high-quality men’s products that are eco-friendly and free of dyes, parabens, and other unsettling ingredients. In short, Every Man Jack has the same simple, no-nonsense philosophy of some of the world’s greatest fathers: what you see is what you get. And what you get is as good for your skin as it is for the environment.

PRICE: $25 / exclusively on-line
LINK: Every Man Jack Double Play Kit


Kusmi Tea: Sweet Love

Some fathers sip Scotch - and some others like nothing so much as a nice cup of tea. If your father prefers a good book to a round of golf, then it’s likely that he’ll enjoy one of the finest teas in the Western world.

Kusmi Tea opened its first teahouse in St. Petersburg in 1867 - and by 1901 was one of the three largest tea companies in Russia. Born of a Russian peasant boy’s ambition (your father will love that part of the story - very Horatio Alger, "pull up your bootstraps"), Kusmi Tea opened its first Maison Kusmi-Thé in Paris in 1917, which is why Kusmi Tea’s motto is "Born in St. Petersburg, Raised in Paris."

Of course, this entire provenance wouldn’t matter a whit were it not for the fact that Kusmi Tea has been adored by tea aficionados for over a century. Russian tea has long been celebrated for its excellent quality - and what better tea to celebrate your father than Kusmi Tea "Sweet Love" tea? A stimulating blend of black China tea, with licorice roots, spices, guarana seed, and pink pepper, "Sweet Love" tea is loaded with antioxidants - to help keep your father looking as young as he is at heart.

The ginseng and guarana provide energy and vitality, while the spices aid in digestion. You’re not only giving your father "Sweet Love," you’re giving him a clean bill of health.

Share a cup of tea with your father - and ask him to tell you, one more time, what it was like when he was a boy.

PRICE: $19.50 / 4.4 oz. metal tin?
LINK: Kusmi Tea Sweet Love


Organic Male OM4 : Microblended Bionutrient Face Wash

Of course, some fathers are as sexy as Anderson Cooper - and they work to keep it that way. Some fathers love looking good - and as one New York-based dermatologist recently stated, more and more men are recognizing how their appearance impacts their professional lives. Let’s face it, Roger Sterling didn’t get where he is looking like a slouch.

If your father is the kind who loves good skin, then he’s going to love the Organic Male OM4 skin care system: four products, four step, four minutes a day. That’s all.

Start him off with the Organic Male OM4 Microblended Bionutrient Face Wash. This is a deliciously effective gel-like elixir comprised of red raspberry, wild cherry, alfalfa, and oats, all from Oregon, and all blended into a fine Belgian ale for the benefit of the skin. Although it sounds like a micro-brewery and smells like a fresh sangria, it’s meant for your face, thanks to the oats, which are a natural antioxidant, thereby soothing and cleansing the epidermis. The Oregon grapes help heal skin disorders, while the red raspberry is an anti-irritant - and the alfalfa is a natural astringent.

The products are all packaged perfectly for traveling - as lightweight as they are durable - and the entire collection derives its bio-nutrient strength from the mineral-rich, antioxidant-packed berries, grain, and wine extracts from Oregon vineyards and agricultural fields. As you might imagine, OM4 utilizes natural and organic botanicals of food grade quality - and none of their products contain harmful chemicals, parabens, or additives. In short, you could probably serve this to your father in a glass - but why deprive him of such an effective facial product?

Besides, the younger your father looks - so do you.

PRICE: $35.00 / 150 ml / 5.072 fl. oz.
LINK: Organic Male OM4 Microblended Bionutrient Face Wash


Coby: Vitruvian Speaker System CSMP175 for iPod and iPhone

Let’s face it; your father’s musical tastes have never been yours, which is one reason why you’d rather drive him in your car than his. It’s not that you don’t enjoy Frank Sinatra, but the next time he plays Steve and Edie, you might blow a gasket. Maybe if you bought him a new speaker system, he’d let you control the music in the car.

Using the name of a Leonardo Da Vinci drawing for an iPod/iPhone speaker system might smack of hubris - and yet, Coby’s Vitruvian Speaker System CSMP175 brilliantly evokes the iconic "Vitruvian Man" drawing done by Da Vinci of a male figure inscribed in both a circle and a square. You know it; you’ve seen it in every art history text - as well as in countless cultural references - and the Vitruvian Speaker System makes you see it anew.

The Vitruvian reference is to the rotating, motorized iPhone/iPod dock: with a touch of the button atop the unit (or by using the full-function, infrared remote control), your iPhone/iPod rotates ninety degrees onto its side, thereby switching to Cover Flow to enable the browsing of your albums or the viewing of movies in widescreen video playback.

Meanwhile, a built-in universal dock charges your iPhone/iPod (as well as any other portable) during play - and there’s also a safety arm to reinforce a horizontal iPhone.

Sleekly designed, with adjustable ambient light in bluish-purple, the Vitruvian has power, volume, and lighting buttons on top, and auxiliary and power ports in the rear, and comes with a 3.5 mm stereo input for use with any portable audio device.

As for the quality of the sound, the Vitruvian boasts full-range speakers with 20W total output power (thanks to two one-inch tweeters and two 2.75" full-range drivers), as well as bass boost. By attaching the auxiliary cable, the Vitruvian can also be used as computer speakers.

Perhaps best of all? The Vitruvian is about the least expensive iPhone/iPod speaker system out there (it won’t even cost you a Benjamin...) and yet, with its solid performance and chic styling, the Vitruvian looks like it belongs in a glossy, shelter magazine - as well as in your father’s home.

PRICE: $59.99
LINK: Coby Vitruvian Speaker System CSMP175 for iPod and iPhone


(Gift Guide continues on next page: Mrs. Meyer’s, televisions, Frownies, La Famiglia DelGrosso, and Yala...)

Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: Rosemary Kitchen Basics Set

We know a father who is so immaculate in his habits that he prefers his wife stay out of the kitchen. "Go smoke a cigarette in the yard," he’ll tell her - while he cleans the floor. He’s so good in the kitchen that we’ve sometimes imagined him in a French maid’s outfit. It’s a frightening image - but fun nonetheless.

If your father is remotely like this man, then he’s certain to enjoy Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day household products. Inspired by an Iowa homemaker (and mother of nine - they don’t make families like that anymore, not unless you’re Mormon...) who got tired of harsh chemicals, Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day is named after that Iowa homemaker’s mother who practiced common sense in child-rearing and cleaning.

Introduce your father to Mrs. Meyer’s with the Rosemary Kitchen Basics Set, which includes Rosemary Liquid Dish Soap, Rosemary Countertop Spray, and Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap. The all-natural fragranced Rosemary Dish Soap, made with soap bark extract, is rich and thick, and the Rosemary Liquid Hand Soap contains aloe vera gel, olive oil, and natural essential oils for a non-drying, softening cleanser. As for Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day Rosemary Countertop Spray, this is the cleanser that Joan Crawford would have used - for everything.

Some fathers live to clean - and they should be celebrated.

PRICE: $9.99 / 3 items
LINK: Mrs. Meyer’s Clean Day: Rosemary Kitchen Basics Set


Coby: 15" Class LED High-Definition TV

Fathers love television; it’s on their gene code. Fathers and televisions go together like steaks on a barbeque. Think about all the times you watched TV with your dad: the Oscars, Miss America, "Project Runway"... Your poor father. Now it’s time for you to get him a TV of his own.

Since its founding in 1991, Coby Electronics has been producing some of the more innovative consumer entertainment products on the market - and then offering them at extremely competitive prices. With a number of design awards, as wall as US patents, Coby’s team of inventors, engineers, and designers have proven that a company can price competitively, without sacrificing quality.

A prime example of that innovation is Coby’s revamped LED TV line, which is focused on smaller screen televisions and TV/DVD combo products. Coby’s extremely portable 15.6" LED TV features a brilliant picture, as well as HDMI digital connection and a PC VGA connection for use as a television or computer monitor. With built-in dual ATSC/NTSC tuners for exemplary reception of digital signals, this baby is DTV-ready. Connect the Coby LEDTV1526 to Apple TV, via the HDMI cable - and your father can stream Netflix and iTunes anywhere he wants.

This is one of the more portable widescreen televisions on the market (weighing in at about seven pounds) - and one of more sexy with a super-slim profile of less than one inch. That’s the difference between LED and LCD televisions: the LED televisions are lighter and thinner, and way more environmentally friendly, thanks to being mercury-free, and utilizing about 40% less energy that LCD televisions. Furthermore, LED televisions provide a much more dynamic contrast level than LCD televisions.

With two speakers, multi-language on-screen display, headphone jack, and sleep timer, you might even get one of these for yourself.

PRICE: $169.99
LINK: Coby 15" Class LED High-Definition TV


Frownies: Immune Perfect

If your father was one of those guys who’s always onstage, telling jokes at a party, and ready to break into soft-shoe at the drop of a hat, then he’s no doubt the kind of guy who’s always cared about his appearance. Maybe he’s the sort who always wears a tie or French cuffs. The point is, he likes looking good when he’s in the limelight.

Ever since 1889, Frownies has been eradicating wrinkles and reversing the signs of aging for men and women the world over, particularly those in the entertainment industries. Gloria Swanson famously wore Frownies in "Sunset Boulevard" - and Olivia de Havilland had them sent to her hotels around the world. Even the Kennedy women used them. ??And women like Raquel Welch (ask your father - he’ll tell you) and Rene Russo use Frownies as an alternative to invasive skin treatments.

One of Frownies most popular products for men is Immune Perfect, a daily moisturizer that helps to reduce fine lines and correct skin discoloration while firming and toning skin. Immune Perfect is a gel cream with bio-active plant-based antioxidants such as aloe, natural vitamin E, amino acids, and plant-based, water-soluble melanin, all of which protect and regenerate skin cells with continuous active hydration.

Tell your father to apply Immune Perfect at night on his face and neck area - and leave it on under the greasepaint before his next show. Your father: once a star, always a star - and that’s why you love him.

PRICE: $59.00 / 50 ml jar
LINK: Frownies: Immune Perfect


La Famiglia DelGrosso : Aunt Mary Ann’s Sunday Marinara Sauce

If your father has a little of the Italian in him - you know, the kind of guy who likes to break into an imitation of Tony Soprano or Michael Corleone or Al Pacino’s Scarface - then he’s going to love La Famiglia DelGrosso.

One of the oldest family-owned pasta sauce companies in the States got its start in Altoona, Pennsylvania back in 1911 when a railroad worker sat down at Mom’s Cafe - and promptly fell in love with the proprietor’s daughter. "What a little Italian love story, right? Sounds like a Billy Joel song - don’t it, Paulie?"

Fred and Murf got married and opened DelGrosso’s Cafe - and now in its third generation, La Famiglia DelGrosso are purveyors of "The Finest Sauce Made."

Don’t believe it? We dare you to defy any one of the eight colorful DelGrosso characters. Aunt Mary Ann, for example, has created a "Sunday Marinara," based on her grandmother’s recipe with whole San Marzano plum tomatoes, while Aunt Cindy has a killer "Sun-Dried Tomato Sonata." Uncle Bo has a lip-smacking "Roasted Red Pepper Tour" and as for Uncle Fred’s "Fireworks Sauce," let’s just say, it’s going to make you sweat and smile at the same time.

All-natural and gluten-free, DelGrosso sauces are still manufactured in Pennsylvania, where the story began. Tell your father to grill some vegetables alongside those steaks - and top it all with La Famiglia DelGrosso’s Aunt Mary Ann’s Sunday Marinara sauce and some fresh grated parmesan cheese.

Then sit back and get ready for your father’s "Goodfellas" imitation.

PRICE: $24.00 / Gift pack of three classic flavors.
LINK: La Famiglia DelGrosso Aunt Mary Ann’s Sunday Marinara Sauce


Yala: Bamboo Dreams® Organic Cotton Ribbed Towels

If your father was one of those global nomads, traipsing around the planet during his peripatetic youth, then he’ll surely be interested in the backstory of Yala. A family-run company, including husband, wife, and daughter, Yala is the consequence of a rustic trip through China in 1987. Two sheets sewn together became a DreamSack®, which harbored the couple through long nights, while nurturing their dreams of travel and sustainable entrepreneurship.

Yala became a family business in 1996 - and since then, the Oregon-based company has become well-loved for their eco-friendly and bamboo-inspired bedding lines DreamSacks® and BambooDreams®.

As a card-carrying environmentalist and granola-lover, your father will be happy to hear that Yala’s ribbed bath sheet is woven from 70% organically-farmed viscose bamboo and 30% organic cotton. These are sumptuously soft towels, absorbent and luxurious - and perfect for watching the sun set over the pool.

Spring for a couple Yala towels - so you can stretch on a chaise next to your father and listen to him wax nostalgic about that year he hitchhiked all around Europe, eating nothing but pizza.

PRICE: $69.00 / Bath Sheet (Single) 36" x 72"
LINK: Yala Bamboo Dreams® Organic Cotton Ribbed Towels


A long-term New Yorker and a member of New York Travel Writers Association, Mark Thompson has also lived in San Francisco, Boston, Provincetown, D.C., Miami Beach and the south of France. The author of the novels WOLFCHILD and MY HAWAIIAN PENTHOUSE, he has a PhD in American Studies and is the recipient of fellowships at MacDowell, Yaddo, and Blue Mountain Center. His work has appeared in numerous publications.


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