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7 Not-So-Obvious Valentine's Day Gifts

Skip the cologne, roses and lingerie, and get your sweetie something more creative this V-Day. Here are seven ideas.

Instead of Cologne:
Turn your man into the suave, debonair type you’ve always loved by gifting him with an old-fashioned shaving kit. The straight razor is back in style, but unless he’s a pro, he’ll appreciate this 
compact shaving set with a pure badger brush, stand, and five-blade, nickel-plated razor. $195 at The Art of Shaving, 287 Geary St., 415-677-0871.

Instead of roses:

Skip the roses, and order ahead from the talented Petals by Bike gals. Their bouquets are made of rare, organic, and heirloom flowers that you simply won’t find at the florist. This Valentine’s Day, expect an exquisite arrangement of fabric flowers, carnations, peonies, and feathers. $20–$50, 1 Ferry Plaza, 415-999-2542.

Instead of jewelry:

If she’s not a jewelry girl, aim instead for the sensual route and enchant her with the fragrance of faraway lands. A close second to a chic Diptyque, the exotic scent of the Marrakech candle by local company Robindira Unsworth will transport you both straight from the couch to the souks of Morocco. $45 at Margaret O’Leary, 2400 Fillmore St., 415-771-9982.

Instead of champagne:

Drink up romance like the Europeans do. Surprise her with Lillet Blanc, served on the rocks with an orange twist, and tell her that James Bond took a dash in his martinis. Or tempt her with St. George Absinthe—anise is an aphrodisiac. $18 and $62 (respectively) at Cask, 17 Third St., 415-424-4844.

Instead of lingerie:

Maker her feel sexy with the tranquility cocoon treatment at Nob Hill Spa. The 50-minute session consists of a wrap that uses aromatic extracts of rose, vanilla, rosewood, cedar, orange, and palmarosa essential oils, plus a full-body massage. You can double the pleasure with a couples’ treatment. $140, 1075 California St., 
415-345-2888.

Instead of chocolate:

Forgo the predictable box of chocolates for a sweet treat that’s a bit more creative. Impress your honey with these dark chocolate-dipped orange peels by French chocolatier Michel Cluizel. $30 for a half-pound bag at CocoaBella, 845 Market St., 415-896-5222.

Instead of a card:

If Hallmark can sum up the your feelings toward loved ones, you might want to rethink your relationships. Penning a poem is the real deal, but since iambic pentameter is a hard nut to crack, hire local poet Silvi Alcivar. Pick your paper and your theme, and voilà! Within minutes, you’ve got instant emotion on page. Starting at $10.

*Published in the February 2011 issue of 7x7. Subscribe to 7x7 magazine here.