Whether it’s lighthearted hanky-panky or a dangerous liaison… a night on the town or pizza on the sofa… up-close-and-personal or virtual terms of endearment, Valentine’s Day exists to celebrate the people we love. Simple. So, ignore the voice inside your head demanding crazed February 14th perfection and follow your heart. However, if picking the right gift has you bewitched, bothered and bewildered, here are a hand-in-handful of beguiling options
Let sentimentalists wear their hearts on their sleeves, I’m planting kisses on my wall—several, actually, since Laura Richey, designer and founder of Pucker Up Paper Lips, didn’t stop at red when creating her awesome three-dimensional lip sculptures. Made from recyclable papers, Richey’s jewel-toned smooches run the gamut from gems and butterflies to bees and piano keys… plus Valentine-ready heart motifs. Info: puckeruppaperlips.com
Those skilled in romantic settings may begin with music and candlelight, yet never lose sight of the beautiful, tactile touches that heighten the moment. Clearly, the Indonesian artisans of Kasih Co-op had such sensual ambience in mind when crafting their sumptuous Ikat Pillow Covers. Color palettes incorporate saturated greens, golds, reds, blues and burgundy, while the handwoven ikat patterns are, in a word, exquisite. Info: kasihcoop.com
SWEETER BY THE DOZEN
While enmeshed in tradition, boxes of chocolates no longer reign the Valentine dessert scene. Bake Me a Wish, the online confectioner whose cakes and other gourmet goodies have yet to meet an occasion they can’t conquer with panache and ganache, is serving up amour-worthy red velvet, strawberry, and chocolate cakes, and cupcakes (mini and jumbo). And their heart-shaped cookies are as kid-friendly as they are naughty, naughty, naughty.
The word associated with full-body cuddles takes on new, albeit still sensual meaning every time a couple exchanges loving looks over a snifter of ice cream. If it’s 2/14, and the scoops are from eCreamery’s Ice Cream My Love for You Collection, we’re talking aphrodisiac. Four luxe, custom-churned pints, each aptly named (Tub of Hugs, e.g.), are shipped and sealed with a kiss (dry ice. actually). As much as I love my husband, sharing is a challenge. Info: ecreamery.com
Tis the season of Cupid, harbinger of passion: bow at the ready; quiver bursting with ardor-infused arrows – the inspiration, as it happens, for Ariana Rabbani Jewelry’s breathtaking line of diamond and gold (yellow, rose or white) arrow bracelets, necklaces and earrings. And while most pieces read fabulously femme, the Diamond Arrow Studs with their rock star cachet, are unisex bliss. Kudos, Mr. Cupid, kudos! Info: arianarabbani.com
“Innovative” doesn’t begin to cover Klasse14’s statement timepieces where minimalist, visionary gestalt is a given. Made for those who appreciate a slightly off-kilter vibe and/or unexpected silhouette, these watches—in a staggering number of neoteric designs—are bound to spark a surge of affection in the recipient. Gift solo or double down with a second for yourself. A bespoke symbol of the joys of sharing time together. Info: klasse14.com
LIBATION FOR LOVERS
Silken on the tongue, seductively creamy, a tantalizing pale pink, and adored by wine afficionados around the world, Château d’Esclans Whispering Angel Cotes de Provence 2020 is a superstar rosé from the region. Adding to its nuanced mystic, Whispering Angel creator, Sacha Lichine, notes, “In the Esclans Valley angels whisper. If you drink this wine, you might hear them…If you visit us, you might see them.” Info: esclans.com
That blissful first sip of Valentine vino will not… cannot… happen if you’re locked in mortal combat with a corkscrew. My own testy history with these persnickety devices has (finally!) led to Cork Genius, a sleek air jet gizmo that enables even hapless me the ability to uncork easily, sans residue. Go for the Care Set with bottle top aerator, vacuum seal stopper and wine foil cutter, and you’ll be set for copious toasts to come. Info: corkgenius.com
JUST THE TWO OF US
Burning with desire for an evening of free-spirited adventure, culminating with a mouthwatering grand finale? Sur La Table has a roster of Winter Date Night Cooking Classes (aka Table for Two) that totally fit the bill of fare. Just slip a saucy invite into his or her hearts and flowers. Flagged for flirtation: “From Paris with Love”, where hands-on techniques have you romancing herbed chicken, mashed potatoes and Crème Brûlée. Info: surlatable.com
Falling somewhere between effortless boyfriend shirt and fab femme top, the Bella Dahl Split Back Button Down’s attention to detail is impeccable. From its roll tab sleeves to its perfectly sized chest pockets and striking Sunkissed Coral pastel, it’s the sort of timeless wardrobe must-have that slips gracefully from work to casual—albeit sophisticated—Valentine’s supper.