Determined to find a gift (or two) for yourself this Christmas? We've curated some of the best locally handmade gifts to help you reward yourself, just in time for year-end gift-giving.
OLFAC3 Perfumes’ “Ombak”
OLFAC3 Perfumes’ Ombak. OLFAC3 Perfumes is a luxury artisanal perfumery house offering original, exquisite fragrances created in Malaysia. Photo credit: www.olfac3.com
If you couldn’t make it to Penang this year, we think we’ve found a solid substitute. Topping our faves list this year is OLFAC3 (pronounced OLFACTORY) Perfumes’ Ombak. True to its name, a spritz of Ombak (Malay for waves) will instantaneously whizz you off to Penang’s gorgeous shoreline. The handcrafted perfume is inspired by pristine beaches, and the gentle waves of the sea. It is simultaneously fresh, classic and modern, thanks to its fresh and uplifting blend refined with top notes of mandarin, lemon, lime, ginger and green apple; heart notes of gardenia, jasmine and lily with amber, musk and cedarwood base notes.
Don’t take our word for it; get your free samples online here. You just need to pay for shipping.
Kraak Creation’s Wearable Artifact
Pendant. Photo credit: Kraak Creations' Facebook.
Kraak Creations' range of jewellery is the perfect gift for history buffs with a penchant for fashion. Wear a piece of history with these sleek and cleverly designed pendants, earrings, and even money clips. The accessories are fashioned from hand-painted ceramics salvaged from the Wanli shipwreck dated 1625. The ill-fated Portuguese ship, carrying blue and white ceramic from the late Ming dynasty, never arrived at its intended entrepot destination and lay buried in the seabed near Terrenganu's Tenggol island for almost 400 years. The shipwreck was legally recovered together with Muzium Negara Malaysia. Then, founder of Kraak Creations' Ben Rongen gave these 400 years old ceramics shards new lease of life by creating a range of jewellery from them. Each piece of jewellery has a serial number and a certificate of authenticity to verify that all pieces are from the Wanli shipwreck dated 1625.
Either / Or Design (Peranakan-inspired earrings)
Either / Or Design’s Peranakan-inspired earrings. Photo credit: Either / Or Design Facebook page.
We’re always lusting after Either / Or Design’s Peranakan-inspired earrings. This Penang-based brand bridges the gap between heritage and craft, with exquisite offerings of Peranakan-inspired polymer clay earrings and necklaces. The mind and hands behind the brand, Teoh Su Ling, 33, is a true-blue Penangite who’s proud of her home state, and it is Penang’s Peranakan heritage that genuinely resonates with her.
Polymer clay accessories involve the laborious process of designing, cutting, and molding the clay before cutting them into wearable pieces. And because they are handmade, they are made with love! We’ve bought three pairs of 'em and can't wait to see what's coming next.
MariMask WR/AB Face Mask
Hand-drawn natural indigo masks by MariMask WR/AB. Photo credit: MariMask WR/AB
It looks like we're going to be wearing cloth face masks for a while, so why not stay safe with a MariMask? These gorgeous batik masks are an innovative product by Chemdyes Sdn Bhd, providing protection for your face masks and other fabrics. When correctly applied on masks and fabrics, its anti-bacterial and water-resistant effects on fabric last up to 30 washes per application! It’s the only cloth mask we’ve been wearing since the start of the pandemic, reminding us to spread love, not germs, while keeping us safe!
Better Than Blouses' Skirts and Blouses
Better than Blouses' Navy of the Orient Blouse. Photo credit: betterthanblouses.com
The end of the COVID-19 also means getting back to the office, and Better than Blouses has the perfect skirt or blouse for your busy workday. Kang Pei Shern is a designer from Penang who is known for bringing a modern twist to the traditional batik by turning them into minimal and stylish blouses, skirts and dresses suitable for daily and corporate wear! The creative behind this homegrown brand has been tailoring her designs in small batches. Each piece is made from fabrics found around South East Asia and is designed to highlight the details of the batik.