“Dear Santa…I mean Cupid. I have been a sexy, hot girlfriend all year…” Hmm. How exactly does one write a Valentine’s Day gift wish list? Now, I think I speak on behalf of 99.9% of all women when I say that men just don’t seem to get the significance of Valentine’s Day. All too often, they wimp out on the gift department or ignore Valentine’s Day all together. Not cool. Negative cool. Think ‘Saudi Arabia in the summer’ cool. Valentine’s Day, albeit a Hallmark Holiday (proof in the pudding - every year around 1 billion Valentine’s cards are sent around the world, making Valentine’s day the second most popular greeting card–giving occasion after Christmas), is of utmost importance to women and simply cannot be ignored if you’re a man in a relationship or actively pursuing one. I know you guys hate shopping, so here’s a list of the five most popular Valentine’s Day gifts. No need to think outside the chocolate box with this one; they are the top five, because they get the job done!
1. Perfume: Don’t worry; she won’t think you want her to shower more often. Perfume is always appreciated. Go for something with a little class, not your drugstore special. Bulgari Red Tea is one of my favorites, but tough to get since they discontinued it (try eBay); another great one is Viktor & Rolf Flowerbomb or any of a number of Chanel fragrances (leave Chanel No. 5 to your mother, it’s a little matronly and dated). And ladies, men always like a good bottle of aftershave. I’m particularly fond of Chanel Allure Home Sport.
2. Chocolates: The perfect noncommittal gift. If you’re fresh into a relationship, this will suffice. Quality over quantity is particularly important when wooing her with something high in fat content. Give her the uncut, high-octane cocaine of chocolates. A small pretty box from K Chocolatier, some amazing caramels from Woodhouse Chocolate or even two of her favorite Sprinkles cupcakes with a funny card will go over far better than a monstrous heart-shaped box from the local drugstore or (God forbid) Costco.
3. Flowers: Flowers are well received in a new relationship. For a long-term relationship, make sure you give roses - at least a dozen long stem variety. Don’t buy them from the guy at the freeway entrance. You may make the seller’s day, but if your girlfriend finds out (which she will – we have a sixth sense for cheap), she’s gonna make peanut butter out of your nuts. In Los Angeles try The Empty Vase. Hot tip: order flowers early or you may not get any. Even though over 200 million roses are sold in the U. S. on Valentine’s Day, they do sell out and the good ones get picked over early.
4. Luxury Lingerie: The gift that keeps on giving. Set the precedent for playful fun this Valentine’s Day with a gift that you can both derive pleasure from. Don’t just go for the usual Victoria’s Secret fare. She probably just stocked up on all that during their semi-annual post Christmas sale. Here are some great ideas where to go to add a little spice to your Valentine’s Day: Kiki De Montparnasse has a limited, but very classy high-end selection of items and including various instruments of pleasure such as the Soraya Vibe - the Maybach of vibrators; Agent Provocateur provides fantasy fun – from corsets and garters to bras and panty numbers – in an upscale manner; a third option, for the more adventuresome, is the erotic luxury of Coco De Mer. Don’t feel you have to get red lingerie. Anything sexy and will do. If you are not sure on her cup size, there are plenty of ways to work around it and I’m sure the salesgirls will have fun helping you find your way. If you really want the lingerie option but are at a loss on what to get her, arrange for a private appointment at Kiki De Montparnasse where they will ply you (and your credit card) with champagne or scotch while you watch your woman model various outfits. Just never take a woman shopping without coughing up the credit card. That’s unforgivable.
5. Jewelry: This is where a man can never go wrong. Just make sure it’s the real McCoy. Marilyn Monroe had it right when she said “diamonds are a girl’s best friend”. None of that cubic zirconium crap! That’s what she’ll buy the Vegas airport when she’s pissed that her boyfriend never got her diamond studs for Valentine’s Day. In Los Angeles, a great place to get affordable, authentic gemstones is XIV Karats where every day is half price day. If you are thinking about popping the question, you might want to check out the award-winning bridal jewelry designer Michael B in Studio City, CA. Another great option for glimmery gifts is David Yurman, offering Valentine’s suggestions on their website. And of course the old faithfuls: Cartier, Bulgari or Tiffany. Even Saks Fifth Avenue has a decent jewelry department (in stores, not online) with everything from simple diamond studs to a Graff heart shaped yellow diamond engagement ring (if only the universe were listening).
In conclusion, the worst thing a guy can do on Valentine’s Day is give no gift. That’s grounds for divorce. So if you’re looking to end your current relationship, opt out of the Valentine’s Day hoopla. Otherwise, it’s time to bite the bullet and warm up the plastic.