What to Give an Earl?

Yesterday Amanda stole Gerard Butler from me, to use as the model for Conlan, her hero in Duchess of Sin. Today I’m taking him back!!

Take a look at this soon-to-be commercial.


Only a manly man can hawk moisturizer!!!

Will you put L’Oreal’s Men Expert, new Hydra-Energetic, Anti-Fatigue Moisturiser on your shopping list for the man in your life?

If this were Regency England, what might you purchase for that special Earl in your life?

Would you go to Floris at 89 Jermyn Street in Mayfair and ask them to create a special scent for your man?

The Floris Shop was founded in 1730 by Juan Famenias Floris. England from his native island of Menorca to seek fortune. Shortly after his arrival in England from his native Menorca he secured premises in Jermyn Street, where the shop still uses the mahogany counter that was purchased directly from the Great Exhibition at the Crystal Palace in Hyde Park in 1851. Beau Brummel used to discuss scents with Floris. Mary Shelley sent an order to Floris to send her two brushes and a toothbrush during her time abroad when she wrote Frankenstein.

Perhaps your dear Earl is a studious sort of man. He might prefer a book from Hatchards, the oldest surviving bookshop in London. Hatchards, on Piccadilly since 1797, has served such famous historical figures as Wellington, Byron, Queen Charlotte.

What book would you buy him? Endymion: A Poetic Romance By John Keats, perhaps? Or something educational, like The History of England: From The Earliest Times To The Death of George II by Oliver Goldsmith.

Maybe you cannot give your dear Earl such a personal gift such as scent or a book of poetry. You can always fall back on the holiday standby. Food. He might delight in some tea or spices or preserves from Fortnum and Mason, right next door to Hatchards.

Fortnum and Mason have been selling quality foods since the 1700s, started by a footman to Queen Anne, who enterprisingly remelted and sold the candle stubs, supplementing his income.

I can hardly believe we have to start thinking of holiday gifts! I don’t know about you, but I wish I could be doing my Christmas shopping in Mayfair.

Where in the world would you like to shop?

Come to Diane’s Blog on Wednesday, not Thursday, this week to learn about the exciting Harlequin Historical Holiday Giveaway, with 22 days of prizes and a Grand Prize of a Kindle, complete with several Harlequin Historicals to start your ereading!

About diane

Diane Gaston is the RITA award-winning author of Historical Romance for Harlequin Historical and Mills and Boon, with books that feature the darker side of the Regency. Formerly a mental health social worker, she is happiest now when deep in the psyches of soldiers, rakes and women who don’t always act like ladies.
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Elizabeth Kerri Mahon
11 years ago

Oh, Diane, I’m sure that Gerard would love to be fought over by you two lovely ladies. I had never thought of what a Regency lady would give her beau or husband for Xmas. What good suggestions not just for back then but also for now. I love Floris. I once bought a gift box of all their scents.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Elizabeth, on my 2005 trip to England, my sister asked for something from Floris. When I walked in the shop I was sure I couldn’t afford anything, but the young gentleman in a black suit, white shirt and tie, found me just what I needed at the right price. It is a shop so beautiful, one should go in just to see it.

Susanna Fraser
11 years ago

I’d love to visit any one of those shops…but here in 2010 I’m glad I can do all my Christmas shopping online and avoid the crowds!

Beth Elliott
11 years ago

I very much enjoyed reading this post. Shopping figures a lot in my Regency stories – more than in my real life.
Recently I visited a corkscrew museum [in the south of France]. Over half the corkscrews were of English make and most ingenious – the origin of the boy scout’s penknife. I particularly liked a solid gold travelling corkscrew in its silk and leather case. It was made in 1790 so I have earmarked it as a gift from my heroine to the hero -if it is an appropriate gift. This is the ideal place to ask if you think so?

11 years ago

I had to laugh at the special scent made just for your man. When I was 18 (12 years ago) I was with my mother and her best friend in New York City. We were walking down 5th Avenue and this very attractive black man walked out in front of us. My mom’s friend said “I wish I knew what cologne he’s wearing because I’d buy it for my husband.” So I said I’d ask him. So I said “Excuse me.” And he turned around looked at me, quickly crossed the street and started walking down the other side. So I took off after him (running on the opposite side of the street). I finally caught up to him and asked him what type of cologne he was wearing because I thought he smelled amazing. His response was “This is 5th Avenue.”
I said “No, I want to know your cologne.” So he said Gucci and slipped into the back of a dark sedan. We went to Gucci and bought the cologne (Gucci Envy although it’s no longer made sadly). Later that night after an evening of theatre (the musical Titanic) we went to the Four Seasons to have an after theatre drink. The guy was there. So we quickly left and went to the Plaza instead. We found out later he was a professional football player, but I can’t remember his name. So that’s what I’ll do for a scent for my special earl.

I also made truffles today: white chocolate lemon, caramel rum, Kahlua milk chocolate and dark chocolate peppermint….I am an amazing baker….I think it’s the only way I’ve ever gotten a boyfriend. 🙂

11 years ago

I couldn’t get the link to work but I’m sure I’ll see the commercial. I’m allergic to a lot of scents so I think I’d opt for Hatchards – my husband likes historical topics. Really I’m not much of a shopper and I always get stressed as to trying to buy the perfect gifts or at least something I know they want (within my price range lol).

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

I would LOVE to do my Christmas shopping in London – Regency London would be even better!

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Susanna, I’m doing a lot of shopping online, too! Although I’d visit shops if it could be in Mayfair.

Beth, I think a golden travel corkscrew would be a lovely Regency gift. Perhaps it would be a bit unusual–monogrammed handkerchiefs would be more typical, or a book–but I think the corkscrew would be very unique and unexpected and would make a great detail in a novel.

Rachel, that story is hilarious. I can just imagine what he was thinking as you are chasing him down the street–“crazed fan.”

Your truffles sound worthy of Fortnum and Mason!!!! Yum.

catslady, the link is fixed now. You can see Gerry in all his glory. I think the commercial is intended for the UK. (another reason to travel to the UK!!!)

Louisa, wouldn’t it be grand to shop in Mayfair together????

Janet Mullany
11 years ago

Other than books by Tom Paine and Mary Wollstonecraft …?

11 years ago

Always would have liked to go shopping at Tattersalls… sigh…

Louisa Cornell
11 years ago

Yes it would, O Divine One! We must plan a trip to do so. Do we think we could persuade Gerard to accompany us and carry our packages. Just the thought of him in his footman’s livery makes me smile (and drool!)

Amanda McCabe/Laurel McKee

Hmmm-what would the Regency equivalent of Target be? I’ve been spending far too much money there lately. 🙂

And thanks for letting me borrow Gerard for a while! That moisturizer seems to be working for him 🙂

Isobel Carr
11 years ago

Do I forfeit my girl parts by saying Butler does nothing for me? I sure hope not (his jawline is too soft for me to go all weak in the knees).

Personally, I like watches, fobs, guns, swords, horses, dogs, and books as gifts for my heroes.

And I’m totally intrigued by shops that existed in the Georgian era and are still around today. I get my dad Truefitt and Hill shaving soap as a stocking stuffer every year.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Janet, I would love to be a fly on the wall at your house Christmas morning. One must open gifts with some trepidation.

Amanda, a bit late in the Regency but perhaps the Burlington Arcade???

Judy, I would love it if you could purchase a horse from Tattersalls!!!

Louisa, I would love Gerry to carry my packages….

Isobel, I suppose I could forgive you for not swooning at the very mention of Gerard Butler. I am curious as to what actor might cause your pulse to race.
I do understand. I cannot, for example, figure out the appeal of Brad Pitt.

11 years ago

The facades on these stores are wonderful. Very Dickensian. It would be very pleasant to stroll through Mayfair just window shopping. I think I would most likely select something special from a variety of stores and put together a hamper of goodies for him.

Susanna Fraser
11 years ago

Isobel, I’m with you on Gerard Butler. I am also unmoved by Colin Firth. I admire his acting, and he seems like a nice person, but he just doesn’t have the sort of sharp-chiseled intensity of feature I go for in my Secret Celebrity Boyfriends.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

Susanna, now you have me curious about your Secret Celebrity Boyfriends….

librarypat, I suspect the storefronts had a Victorian facelift, but that’s okay with me. I think they are beautiful.

I also looked up the store Isobel mentioned, Truefitt and Hill. I’d not heard of them before.

Susanna Fraser
11 years ago

Susanna, now you have me curious about your Secret Celebrity Boyfriends….

Well, there’s Christopher Eccleston, Nathan Fillion, Sean Bean (but more as Sharpe and Boromir than now), and Ichiro Suzuki, to name a few. Back in my Buffy and Angel watching days, James Marsters and Alexis Denisof.

And then there’s the ones that are more about personality than looks–Stephen Colbert, John Oliver, Adam Savage, Grant Imahara, etc.

Diane Gaston
11 years ago

it is a good list, if a unique one!!

Megan Frampton
11 years ago

Oh, I wish I could get Scott one of those ‘naughty’ snuffboxes!

As it is, I am having the hardest time finding something for him this year!

11 years ago

Had a great laugh here. England is a fun place to travel.

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