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Cliche-Free Last Minute Valentine's Gifts
Christina Karem and Scott Lucas | Photo: Courtesy of Pashma, Delise Cafe, Ethos, Madarin Oriental, Le Labo, Paxton Gate, and Miette | February 13, 2013
If you've exhausted the flowers, chocolates, and jewelry, here are our upgraded Valentine's gifts. There's still time!
1. Cashmere scarf
A pearl necklace is nice, but one is enough. Instead, Pashma’s scarves are made from the wool of Changra goats in Ladakh. Though various styles draw on motifs ranging from Persia to Pop art, it’s hard to beat this colorful cashmere shawl—which could even double as a blindfold, for those so inclined. $150 at Pashma, 29 Maiden Lane (near Kearny St.), 415-738-8806.
2. Duck scones
Chocolate cake can seem too much like what one would serve at a ten-year-old’s birthday party. On the other hand, almost nothing is sexier than a little graisse de canard. To make the savory switch, try the duck scones from DeLise Dessert Café. The Chinese New Year treats are made with duck bone-infused buttermilk, duck fat, and bits of roasted duck meat, served with green onion and hoisin sauce. $1.50 each at DeLise Dessert Café, 327 Bay St. (near Powell St.), 415-399-9694
3. Leather handbag
When bracelets seem blasé, opt for a buttery soft Afrique leather handbag from Parisian designer Jerome Dreyfuss. His designs are famous for their form and function, packed with thoughtful details like a mini flashlight, multiple zippered compartments, double handles and the option of a cross-body or shoulder strap. $1,085 at Ethos, 333 Sutter Street (near Grant Ave.), 415-800-6707.
4. Couples spa day
Why should she have all the fun of a spa visit? The Mandarin Oriental offers a Couples Harmony spa suite, complete with complimentary cocktails in February. Those who book the couples’ Time Ritual treatment will receive Elizabeth W Bath Fizzes to take home. $375 at the Mandarin Oriental, 222 Sansome St. (near Pine St.), 415-276-9608.
Why not forgo overpriced roses for something with a longer shelf life? Perfumery Le Labo’s Rose 31 massage oil or body lotion make the ultimate Valentine’s Day bouquet, while the sultry Rose 31 scent is fit for gents and ladies alike. What beats a geranium rub-down? $65 each at Le Labo, 2238 Fillmore St. (near Clay St.), 415-931-3212.
6. Worry-free greenery
Terrariums offer a funky, creative alternative to typical flower arrangements. With a variety of choices like Venus fly traps, orchids, and ferns, Paxton Gate’s mossy mini-gardens are easily customizable to your sweetheart’s perennial style. Made-to-order at Paxton Gate, 824 Valencia St. (near 19th St.), 415-824-1872.
7. Truffle-trumping chocolate bars
Upgrade your chocoholic’s favorite foiled square with Mast Brothers’ decadent Dark Chocolate with Black Truffle bar. This combination of chocolate and Italian-imported black truffles is chocolate outside-the-box, and the bar comes dressed up in gold wrapping fit for a queen. $12 at Miette, 449 Octavia Blvd. (near Fell St.), 415-626-6221.
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