Holiday Gift Guide 2021: amfAR

GALA for Women and GALA for Men, two perfumes created for amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, were launched last year when the AIDS research nonprofit was unable to hold its annual gala in person because of COVID-19 concerns. Both fragrances celebrate amfAR’s thirty-year history of fundraising in style and pay a heartfelt tribute to Dame Elizabeth Taylor, amfAR’s founding international chairperson. amfAR partnered with Paris-based perfume house and licensor Parfums Parour in order to share the fragrances with the world.

Tell Me More: According to press notes, GALA for Women is a “sensual fragrance” that offers “a fruity citrus mix of bergamot, blackcurrant and mandarin, with notes of jasmine, Bulgarian rose, white musk and sandalwood.” It was created by Created by Céline Perdriel.

GALA for Men is a cologne of “suave sophistication,” with notes of Australian sandalwood, patchouli, and black amber. It was created by Jérôme Epinette.

Who Benefits: amfAR’s AIDS research program and its COVID-19 fund. amfAR focuses its efforts on AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and advocacy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $600 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,500 grants to research teams worldwide. In light of the recent coronavirus pandemic, the nonprofit has temporarily expanded its research to include COVID-19 treatments and how the virus affects people living with HIV/AIDS.

How Much: 150 euros.

How to Order: Log on to: Parfums-gala-by-amfar.com. Also check out https://amfar.myshopify.com for amfAR’s PRIDE collection and other gift ideas.

As we approach the holidays near the end of this calamitous year, many of us may struggle to find reasons for celebration. It’s been a challenging year on multiple levels. Climate change set the West Coast on fire, while it drowned the Southeast and Northeast in freakish rainstorms. Even if the effects of climate change haven’t kept us awake at night, we’ve had to cope with the still-spreading, still-deadly COVID-19 crisis (and its accompanying epidemic of disinformation) for nineteen months. And of course these calamities have impacted the HIV community, with reduced HIV testing, the closure of many clinics, and a dangerous drop in funding for HIV/AIDS-related organizations and services.

It’s been an exhausting year.

Perhaps that is why celebrating the holidays this year is so important. For the sake of our sanity, we need some spirited revelry, some levity to light the darkness that has surrounded us. As Jerry Herman wrote for Mame, “For we need a little music, need a little laughter / Need a little singing ringing through the rafter / Yes we need a little snappy happy ever after.” We need the human contact of gathering together, sharing a holiday feast, toasting each other’s health, exchanging gifts.

In our 20th Annual Holiday Gift Guide, you’ll find a wide array of gifts that perform triple duty—they will delight the recipients of your gifts, you will enjoy the spirit of giving, and each gift helps to raise funds for one HIV/AIDS-related organization or another. Greeting cards, jewelry, T-shirts, hats, food stuffs, artwork, holiday ornaments—you name it, you’ll find the perfect gifts here in a broad range of prices.

So be of good cheer! Get out your gift list and get busy spreading love and joy among your friends and family. We sure could use some love and joy these days!
Happy Holidays!

—Hank Trout


Hank Trout, Senior Editor, edited Drummer, Malebox, and Folsom magazines in the early 1980s. A long-term survivor of HIV/AIDS (diagnosed in 1989), he is a forty-one-year resident of San Francisco, where he lives with his husband Rick.