I never thought giving a gift could appear offensive to the recipient. Imagine someone has invited you to their home for dinner.
You could bring flowers, but that might signal to the host/hostess that you thought they didn't have good taste in planning a tablescape. Also, flowers may be a hassle - the receiver may have allergies, may not have a place for them, or may have already planned a floral arrangement for the evening's festivities.
You could bring wine, but that may signal that you don't trust your host/hostess in planning the liquid portion of the evening's event. While the wine doesn't have to be consumed that evening, your simple gesture could be in poor taste.
As are other foods and desserts. Bringing food as a gift to a dinner or dinner party signal that you second guess the cooking of the evening. Be kind.
I know it seems confusing. You're trying to show thanks for the invitation and hospitality, not offend. So follow these surefire suggestions:
1) candles and home diffusers are always en vogue. Select a light, airy fragrance that suits the attitude or tastes of your recipient.
2) beautiful pottery. Think elegant vases. Decorative bowls. Something that will actually be used and appreciated.
3) one of the best gifts I received at a dinner party I through were actually kitchen gadgets. My guests knew I loved to cook, and actually did their homework to know which gadgets I didn't already own. I also suggest Illy espresso or coffees and whimsical cups.
A little thoughtfulness. A little homework. A huge impression.