What are you getting your Valentine this year? A bouquet of blood red roses? Or maybe a batch of chocolates neatly packed in a heart-shaped box? Before you purchase, do us a favor: Don’t. Sure, your sweetheart will love the sentiment (and probably anything you get him or her), but why not opt for something less generic? If this person is your special someone, they deserve something special. And fortunately, there are cool, swoon-worthy gestures that won’t cost you a fortune. If you’re in a gifting bind, we can assure you that the five presents below are sure to wow your significant other.
1. A fragrance built for two
They say that love is blind, but nobody (no matter how smitten you may be) is oblivious to scent. Sure, your partner may already have their signature scent, but Calvin Klein’s new scent, CK2, is simply too good to pass up. With dual-faceted scents — wasabi, mandarin, and violet leaf are this concoction’s top notes — we wouldn’t be surprised if this mix is as big of a hit as the brand’s predecessor, CK One. As an added bonus, this scent is dubbed gender-neutral, which means you can even give yourself a spritz if you’re spending the night at your better half’s place. After all, couples that smell good together, stay together.
2. A grand (but affordable) gesture
Deny it all you want, but there are some definite milestones that suggest your relationship is entering the “it’s serious” category: meeting your significant other’s extended family, referring to yourselves as “we,” taking extended trips together, and leaving clothes at each other’s places. The act of gifting your loved one a roll of drawer lining sounds like the most utilitarian, unromantic, Type-A thing to ever do; however, the subtext is swoon-worthy. This Valentine’s Day, assure your partner that things are actually serious by giving your partner a section in your drawer (the lining, of course, is to make his or her new drawer a little more stylish). This white and grey shelf liner will inject some fun into your drawers without ruining your place’s man-cave aesthetic.
3. Sophisticated sweets
As yummy as those heart-shaped chocolates you can easily buy at the mall are, you have to admit that they’re a little juvenile. In fact, we wouldn’t be surprised if you once purchased an older iteration of these for your second grade glass. While sweets of any variety are always a crowd-pleaser, your significant other will go crazy for McCrea’s adult-approved alternative. Caramels are instinctively a more creative option than Russell Stover’s milk chocolate variety pack; however, these are infused with Ardmore scotch. Need we say more?
4. Celebrate the greats
Since the beginning of time, the world has been filled with unstoppable, hopelessly romantic couples that define #relationshipgoals: Adam and Eve, Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton, Kimye. Honor the greatest romances of the past, present, and future — and give your special someone a gift that will tug at his or her heart strings — with Artists in Love: From Picasso & Gilot to Christo & Jeanne-Claude, A Century of Creative and Romantic Partnerships. Featuring every artistic twosome from from Frida Kahlo and Diego Rivera to Lee Krasner and Jackson Pollock, this book is perfect if your partner is a complete culture connoisseur, and even suitable if he or she is in the market for an exquisite art book.
5. Get touchy
No matter the couple, all Valentine’s Day dates end up eerily similar: a candlelit dinner, followed by some candlelit drinks, and finally cuddling up to a movie. One thing to add into your mushy evening? Massages. Not only is there something indisputably sensual about giving your loved one a back rub, but he or she has most likely had a long week at the office and deserves one. Romantic and thoughtful? A definite win. Not only does this pick from skin care brand REN help moisturize and combat signs of aging, the hint of rose is sure to help spice up the mood.
Follow Kelsey on Twitter @KMulvs