Eros Meets Amour: Valentine’s Day Gift Guide 2012
It’s not easy for everyone on Valentine’s Day.
There are a lot of Miss Lonelyhearts out there - and Valentine’s Day is the perfect opportunity to show them some love.
Freed from the burden of creation myths, Valentine’s Day is about nothing so much as Eros and Amour.
Look around and celebrate those who put the amorous and erotic in your life - and make them love you a little more with any of these sensuous (and sensual...) gifts.
Jouany: St. Barthélemy
If you can’t take your Valentine to St. Barts for the holiday, then maybe you might consider the next best thing: the fragrance that brings the fabled island right into your own bedroom, Jouany St. Barthélemy.
Fragrance takes us deep into memory, returning us to places where we left a piece of our heart and soul. For Christophe Jouany, a celebrated fashion photographer for more than twenty years, the scents of his hometown on the island of St. Barthélemy in the Caribbean moved him to create his first fragrance. Jouany’s desire to evoke St. Barts’s refulgent beauty resulted in a perfume as elegant as its namesake.
As anyone who has spent time on St. Barts knows, the journey there requires patience and fortitude - but once situated on the luxuriant isle, the rewards are abundant. In spite of an invasion of A-listers and Russian oligarchs, St. Barts retains a casual elegance.
Refined and sophisticated, Jouany St. Barthélemy opens with a splash of white grapefuit before melting into heart notes that mingle jasmine and cedarwood with a hint of vanilla. Imagine walking Shell Beach early in the morning, the water lapping your feet and the air redolent with tropical flora. You might brunch later in Gustavia, at which point Jouany St. Barthélemy will have settled into its base notes of patchouli and sandalwood. Lifting your Champagne to your lips, you can’t help but inhale your wrist again, once more, for the scent of white musc that lingers on your skin.
For more than a decade before the perfume’s public launch in 2011, Jouany wore a fragrance of his own creation. The fragrance generated such enthusiasm from Jouany’s friends and family that he created his own line. An eau de parfum, Jouany St. Barthélemy is made in France of 68% pure essential oils of the highest quality. The fragrance was listed as an "Editor’s Favorite" by Allure magazine in December 2011.
Sometimes we can’t easily get to where we want to be - but with Jouany St. Barthélemy, an idyllic island life bursts into being.
PRICE: $125.00 / 1.7 fl. oz.
Parker Pen: Ingenuity Collection
All the great lovers in history wrote letters to their beloved. Where would the Marquis de Sade have been without a writing instrument? He needed a second implement with which to seduce his prey - and he used his words to conquer. (Of course, there’s also Abelard whose love letters to Heloise resulted in his castration - but that’s another story...)
For Valentine’s Day, let Parker Pen’s innovative new writing system help get you into the groove. The Parker Ingenuity Collection pens write as fluidly as a fountain pen - and as smoothly as a rollerball. Parker Pen employed cutting-edge technology to create an innovative refill tip with an engraved metallic hood - and the result is a collection of writing instruments that combine the classic beauty of a fountain pen with the precision and smoothness of a rollerball. Available in two categories, Classic and Daring, Parker Pen Ingenuity Collection is as tempting as it is timeless.
Founded in 1888, Parker Pen Company is one of the oldest names in American business, and for much of the twentieth century, Parker was the largest writing instrument company in the world. The Parker Ingenuity Daring Collection features a metal and texturized soft-touch rubber finish, with ring detailing and chrome trim. Presented in a premium Parker gift box, the Parker Ingenuity Collection is certain to put all sorts of ideas in your head.
Go ahead, put a Parker Pen to paper and tell your inamorato all the wicked and wonderful things you intend to do to him tonight. Be specific. Be creative. Let your Parker Ingenuity pen lead you into temptation...
PRICE: $160 - $190
LINK: Parker Pen Ingenuity Collection
Ormonde Jayne: Tolu
South American sex. That’s where we go as soon as we inhale Ormonde Jayne’s mesmerizing Tolu. This must’ve been the fragrance that Madonna was wearing when she seduced her Brazilian boytoy Jesus. This is what Casanova would’ve bathed in - and what the Marquis de Sade would’ve doused between his legs.
Recently, we met a most engaging fragrance professional who confessed that, à ce moment, she was intensely interested in "dirty" perfumes. The ones that smell like sex and skin and the scent of hotel sheets on the morning after. With Tolu, you can smell the cognac on the nightstand and the roses whose petals rained down on your face the night before.
Tolu opens with the brightness of juniper berry and clary sage, which is just enough flirtation to quicken your heartbeat. To the best of your recall, the seduction continued in the elevator with a light muguet and a hint of Moroccan rose - and when the resins floated in, tolu and tonka bean, alongside the amber and frankincense, you were completely captivated. Pushed onto the bed, silken ties around your wrists, resistance was futile; you were captured by Tolu.
Ormonde Jayne’s perfumer Linda Pilkington has created a sophisticated ode to autumn and winter sex that is as opulent as a penthouse suite at the Park Hyatt Buenos Aires. Named for a Peruvian balsam resin, Tolu is as golden as gingko leaves in autumn and intoxicatingly spicy with base notes of frankincense and amber.
It’s those base notes that linger - in the air, on the bedsheets, in your wake. You’re seduced and satisfied.
PRICE: $125.00 / 50 ml
LINK: Ormonde Jayne Tolu
Caffè Bomrad: Premium Italian Coffee
For some people, the fragrance of coffee is akin to an aphrodisiac. You can see it in their eyes, which widen and nearly roll back with anticipation.
If your Valentine is one of those who loves premium coffee - the best of the best, esoteric brands from around the world - one who thinks nothing of dropping a hefty sum on a pound of coffee beans, then you’d be wise to consider Caffè Bomrad.
A premium whole-bean Italian coffee, Caffè Bomrad uses only 100% Arabica beans. Favored by true coffee aficionados, Arabica beans provide a more intense aroma, acidity, and flavor than Robusta beans, which are often used in instant coffees.
Roasted and packed in Italy, Caffè Bomrad bears the imprimatur of an Italian-Argentinean family. For years, the paterfamilias roasted the finest coffee beans from Colombia and Brazil for his family and friends - and now his grandson, Marcelo Bomrad-Casanova, has launched his own company to produce what he believes is "the best coffee in the world." (With a name like Casanova, you’re going to dispute him?)
The slow roasting system, ranging from 18 to 22 minutes, liberates the fragrant oil called coffeol, which provides the resultant coffee with an ambrosial aroma. Unlike the currently popular "burnt" coffee that seems to have conquered the globe, Caffè Bomrad has a delicate, smooth body and a fragrant, fruity flavor.
Available in the US, exclusively at Amazon, Caffè Bomrad’s 2.2 pound bag is good for more than 140 espressos.
In short, if your Valentine is the kind of person who races to Sant’ Eustachio upon arrival in Roma, then Caffè Bomrad will insure that your Valentine stays where s/he belongs - right next to you in bed.
PRICE: $49.00 / 2.2 pounds
LINK: Caffè Bomrad Premium Italian Coffee
(Valentine’s Day Gift Guide continues on next page...)