May the force be with your casserole

Star Wars cookware, Christmas scents and a masterclass in present wrapping

Come dine with Darth Vader 
The idea of putting cookware on a Christmas list may sound like something out of the 1950s, that is until you see the new Star Wars x Le Creuset collaboration – a delightful set of casserole dishes that includes a Death Star trivet, a Han Solo pan, a large casserole dish with Darth Vader's mask on the lid and three smaller cocottes which look like the droids C-3PO, R2-D2 and BB-8, all enamelled with robotic details.

Many of the pieces are limited editions. A cast iron lidded pot enamelled to look like the landscape of Tatooine, the home planet of the character Luke Skywalker, is an edition of only nine and numbered. Sold via a lottery it includes the planet's two suns and binary sunset.

No prices have been mentioned but on the French cookware’s website it says that “the demand for the products has been unprecedented but we will be getting more stock”.

And here’s where the idea really becomes box office gold. Le Creuset says that if you sign up to its newsletters, giving the firm your email address, it will let you know as soon as they arrive. As a data-gathering exercise this is pure genius. When you sign up you get a thank you that says “May the Force Be With You”.


Christmas in the air 
Pine, cedar, clove, cinnamon, ginger, allspice, nutmeg, orange – the scents of Christmas are in the air. Create home-made aromas by making Christmas pomanders – oranges spiked all over with cloves and left to dry. A small heap of these decorated with ribbons will scent a room all winter long. A well-chosen scented candle will deliver more fragrance, and there's plenty of seasonal ones to choose from including Brooke & Shoals' limited edition Christmas candle made from a blend of cinnamon, spices with the fresh, woody notes of cedar to create an uplifting Christmassy atmosphere.

Brook & Shoals' founder Alison Banton has spent time time in the south of France studying fragrance creation and the Wicklow company uses high-quality fragrance oils with natural essential oils to create its hand-poured natural wax candles. The standard Cinnamon and Cedar candle costs €22 while a three-wick version is also available at €46.

Since launching in Ireland last year Benoit Nicol's essential oils are now available in 60 shops around the country as well as online, and the Dublin 1 based company has just launched a new diffuser called the Mael. The cute dome-shaped diffuser is made from recycled bamboo and a few drops of essential oil added to water creates a cool mist that permeates a room with a light scent.

The company sources its oils throughout Europe and the world with cedar oil coming from Morocco, rose from Turkey, frankincense from Somalia, geranium from Egypt and peppermint from the US. Oils cost from €6.50 to €33 while the diffuser costs €49 and is available from

Christmas workshop 
Hedgeroe Home is hosting a Christmas workshop at its Carrickmines showroom on November 21st when guests can find unusual gifts, pick up tips on Christmas flower arranging and food, and learn how to wrap presents beautifully without having a meltdown.

Food and bubbles will be served at the event which is being run by the mother and daughter team Rhona and Rebecca Roe in aid of the Peter McVerry Trust. A limited number of tickets are available from priced at €35.

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher

Alanna Gallagher is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in property and interiors

Orna Mulcahy

Orna Mulcahy

Orna Mulcahy, a former Irish Times journalist, was Home & Design, Magazine and property editor, among other roles