Sardine Incense Holders and Spanish Sea Salts: Our Editor-At-Large 2023 Gift Guide

Welcome to what just so happens to be our 10th annual Sight Unseen gift guide series! Though Sight Unseen itself is celebrating a different milestone next year — 15 years since we founded the site back in 2009 — we only began sharing all the objects on our covet lists in 2013, back when United Bamboo was making cat pillows, we had some very cute Waka Waka bookends in our online shop, and you could still buy an Alma Allen bowl for $425 (ugh!). Our tastes may have changed quite a bit since then, but our gift guides still have the same spirit, which is above all highly personal: They reflect the objects we really want and the objects we think you might want, either for yourself or a loved one. Today’s guide comes from our far-flung contributing editors, who are excited about Surrealist sardine incense holders, Spanish sea salts, and a Poog-endorsed air fryer that might change your life. See — and shop — their lists below!

Dana Covit, West Coast Editor

“A good gift splits the difference between function and whimsy — the type of delightful, slightly indulgent thing your rational side might talk you out of buying (see: solid bronze incense holder in the shape of a sardine, or book jewelry to crown your page count). These days, and perhaps always, I’m drawn to texture, sculptural forms, and a skoosh of surrealism.”

Sardine Incense Holder by Spiritual Objects, $165

Magical Grapes Edibles by Rose Los Angeles, $45

Moss Lace Candle Holder by A History of Frogs, $400

Beaded Scrunchie by Merrma, $68

Silver Simple Coffee Pot by Natalia Criado, $585

Small Oval Sempre Hoop by Leigh Miller, $145

Yona Kohen Beaded Waist Chain, $550

Brancusi Belt by Déhanche, $450

Là-Bas Eau de Parfum by Régime des Fleurs + Christophe Niquet, $240

Book Jewelry by Rest Objects, $58

Dan Howarth, Editor-at-Large

“TBH, my gift-giving philosophy tends to revolve around experiences rather than things. But sadly I can’t take everyone out for dinner, or on a trip to the Caribbean, so in those cases I usually select pieces that I already have myself, love and use a lot, and want others to enjoy too — which most of these picks are!”

Ignis Scented Candle by And Objects, $117

Sal de Menorca Salt, $11.50

Bearaby Weighted Blanket, $249

Dishoom Cookbook, $19

Your Sensory Kit by Kits in Kind, $110

LRNCE Jugs, prices vary $146$287

Flamingo Estate Terrazzo Soap Box, $120

Anything from the Soledre Collection, prices vary

Deborah Shapiro, Editor-at-Large

“As a novelist and amateur cook, I tend towards things that help make the practice of both a little more fun or magical. I love to imagine carrying that squiggly metal candleholder down a darkened hall to my ‘study’ — and I know from experience that the Dusen Dusen kitchen stuff can actually motivate you to cook, the patterns are so fun!”

Morgan Peck Stretch Vase, $395

Dusen Dusen Oven Mitt, $24

Pond Bookends by Ferm Living, $105

Le Grand Corail Flamboyant Vase by Sophie Lou Jacobsen, $750

Jenny Pennywood Tea Towels, $35

Valse Candleholder by Ferm Living, $35

Mia Mini Vase Trio, $55

Dreamlike Cups by Lameice, $50

Our Place Wonder Oven, $195

Computer Brush by Iris Hantverk, $28

Maison Balzac Carafe, $75