Scribbler in Seville

Crafty tasty scented Christmas gifts in Seville

Lip salve, for orange-scented kisses.

Delicious lip salve, for orange-scented kisses, made in Seville.

Beautiful bamboo pens..

Beautiful bamboo pens at the Christmas Craft Market, which is on till 5 January.

Hand-bound notebooks covered with Japanese fabrics.

Hand-bound notebooks covered with Japanese fabrics from Lirandy.

Looking for Christmas present ideas in Seville? Whether you live in Spain’s southern city, or you’re just visiting, Seville has plenty of great offerings as always.

The craft market in Plaza Nueva, Mercado Navideño de Artesania, has delightfully original pieces, in its annual show of local talent. Nearly all are handmade by the very same people who are manning the stalls, or their friends and families.

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In a quick scout, I found some old favourites – especially the handmade wooden toys from Granada – and plus ones I hadn’t seen before. The fabulous market on till 5 January 2016, giving you plenty of time to browse for gifts for both the giving holidays which we have here in Spain: Christmas Day, 25 December, and Los Reyes Magos on 6 January.

Taller de Bambu make pens, rollerballs, pencils, and even fountain pens, in different designs, carved from bamboo; they will engrave a name on your pen for free, on the spot. This is an unusual but very personal present, in a natural, light and resistant material, and the refills are Cross, so excellent quality and easy to find.

Hand-made colourful ceramics at the Christmas market in Seville.

Hand-made colourful ceramics at the Christmas handicraft market in Seville.

Ceramica Enusa - original designs.

Ceramica Enuso – bold, original designs.

These colourful ceramic pieces are made in Seville by Ceramica Enuso and are very reasonably priced. They have bold, unusual designs and make very striking table pieces.

Scented natural soaps from Malaga.

Naturally-scented olive oil soaps from Malaga.

Bella Natura produce cosmetics from entirely natural and environmentally-friendly ingredients – no parabens, synthetic fragrance, nothing derived from petroleum, and they’re not tested on animals. Plus, they smell divine! This is another small company which handmakes all its products, this time based in Malaga. Their fragrant creams and lotions include rosa mosqueta (musk rose) facial cream and argan and jojoba night cream, plus pretty swirly soaps of calendula and shea butter.

Hand-printed and bound paper notebooks by Lirandy.

Hand-printed and bound paper notebooks by Lirandy at the Christmas Craft Market in Plaza Nueva.

All of these products are handmade, and in some cases handprinted – Lirandy, a dream team of graphic designer, book binder and printer, use a traditional letterpress machine, like ones used centuries ago to print the first books. They make beautiful notebooks, using original kimono fabric from Japan to cover them, sewn together by hand, or with a intriguing designs and amusing comments.

And then a couple of gourmet goodies I’ve come across over the past year:

The purple carrot.

The purple carrot – zanahoria morada, grown in Malaga province.

Dried mora, or purple carrots.

Dried Mora, or purple carrots – sweet and crunchy.

Vinegar, dried carrot snacks, and chutney.

Vinegar, dried carrot snacks, and chutney.

Purple carrots are only grown in the village of Cuevas Bajas near Antequera. These colourful,healthy snacks are deliciously sweet and tasty – I found them at Andalucia Sabor, the food exhibition in Seville last October full of fabulous, often innovative products from around our region. The name, Mora, is an an Andaluz version of Zanahoria Morada, purple carrot. In Seville you can buy them at Surcreativa on calle San Esteban.

Delicious flavoured salts from Cadiz.

Delicious flavoured salts from Cadiz.

Flavoured salts have been big for a while, and some of the best I’ve found are by Halos, also discovered at Andalucia Sabor. Mediterranean and truffle & black olive are both wonderful additions to pasta and rice. The sea salts come from El Puerto de Santa Maria in Cadiz province, and you can also find them in Aldi, Dia and Carrefour, as Halos makes these supermarkets’ gourmet versions.

Bitter-orange-scented soaps.

Bitter orange-scented soaps scented with the citrus fruit for which the city is famous.

And finally, one of my personal Seville favourites for presents is the delectable orange-scented goodies from Benditaluz. This local company makes soaps, lip salve, hand and body cream from olive and coconut oil, scented with the city’s traditional fruit – the bitter orange, or naranja amarga. Their smell is totally natural, not overly sweet or artificial. The other scent is azahar, orange blossom. You can find their products in various shops around Seville, as well as other cities such as Carmona, Cadiz, Granada and Malaga – see their website for stockists.

All that remains is to wish all my dear readers a very Happy Christmas and a wonderful 2016!

10 thoughts on “Crafty tasty scented Christmas gifts in Seville

  1. Mad Dog

    That’s great stuff – I particularly like the look of the carrots, ceramics, olive oli soap and no doubt the lip balm would come in handy on New Year’s Eve after the grapes 🙂

    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      Mad Dog, it’s all fab stuff and even better that you’re supporting local artisans in our now-even-more f***ed economy!! Yes, orange smackers sound great!

    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      The smell of the Benditaluz orange products is gorgeous – I keep the lip balm to hand as much to sniff it as to put it on my lips!!

    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      What good taste you have, Cat! Apparently the cinnamon ones are very popular in the US, though my favorites are the orange ones.

  2. Pingback: Making the festive fun of the fair last – Scribbler in Seville

    1. fionafloreswatson Post author

      My pleasure Bellanatura! I bought them as Christmas presents and everyone loved them!

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