Speed Reads

oh, to be rich!

With a Maserati and trip to the Oscars, the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book is more opulent than ever

Do you have hundreds of thousands of dollars to burn and a desire to show off? Then crack open the annual Neiman Marcus Christmas Book and get started on your holiday wish list.

The upscale department store went all out for the 88th edition of the book, released Tuesday. While there are some items that are actually affordable, the real joy comes in perusing the Fantasy Gifts section, which features a 100th anniversary limited edition Maserati, a $425,000 weekend at the Academy Awards (with bonus entry to the Vanity Fair party), and a $35,000 cocktail shaker.

If you enjoy going to Europe and smelling nice — and who doesn't, really — there's the House of Creed Bespoke Fragrance Journey for $475,000. You get two first-class tickets to Paris and a one-on-one meeting with Master Perfumer Olivier Creed, who will create a custom fragrance just for you. A few months later, 24 six-liter flacons gilded in 14-karat gold and 12 leather atomizers filled with your very own scent will be delivered to your home. That's a lot, so if you realize you've spent all your money on perfume and now can't afford to go out and have people smell it, funnel the fragrance into smaller containers and sell them on eBay.

There's also the Ultimate Mardi Gras Experience for Six Couples. This trip includes a visit with voodoo storytellers and and tickets to the black tie Orpheus Ball, plus some meals and historical tours. That all sounds delightful, but for $125,000 (with airfare not included!), it also better include a ton of beads and beignets.

If flowers are more your speed, order one of Preston Bailey's Peacock Floral Sculptures. For $65,000, a bedazzled 6-foot-tall peacock with a 10-foot-long tail can be yours for the backyard. The cost of plant materials and shipping is not included, and that's likely to set you back thousands more, but the look on the FedEx guy's face when he delivers a gigantic blossoming peafowl to your house? Priceless.