As I walked to the tube this morning with my husband, he turned to me and said: 'be honest: will you really not be even slightly annoyed if I don't buy you anything for Valentine's Day?' I considered his question for all of two seconds before answering: 'actually, I'd love some Salted Caramel Booja Booja Ice Cream and maybe a couple of Raw Chocolate Coyos. Can you get me them?' My thinking: I may not be into Valentine’s Day, but I’m sure as hell not going to turn down an opportunity to guzzle down some sweets.
My stance isn’t born of the desire to stand against the commercialism of Valentine’s Day that’s often touted by those who don’t celebrate it – I’m simply not a fan of showy romance. I don’t love things with hearts on, I balk at the idea of schmaltzy displays of affection, and have always heavily discouraged beaus from buying me the traditional dozen red roses. To me, they all remind me of the humiliation of being a teenager at school, of rushing down aged 16 to find my pigeon hole contained only two roses from ‘admirers’ (one from a boy I’d been trying to ditch, another from my house mistress – I sheepishly shuffled off to my classes blushing for all the wrong reasons).
The scars of that memory might also explain my spectacular disinterest in a 'romantic' proposal ('if you were going to pop the question,' I told hubs, 'don't do anything that'll make me cringe. No sunsets, onlookers, exotic locations or hidden rings.' He ended up proposing late one Tuesday night by a phone box on Westbourne Grove, which suited me just fine).
Rather than turn my back entirely on V Day, however, I’ve found a good purpose for it. I buy myself something – to paraphrase Oscar Wilde, I'm in a lifelong romance with myself, and that's really worth marking. In the spirit of self love, my evening plans tonight consist of a session of acupuncture before settling into a warm bath that’s fragrant with the Aromatherapy Associates Deep Relax Bath & Shower Oil that I intend on picking up on my way home. Before bed, I’ll tuck into the Booja Booja I hope I’ll find in the freezer later; after all, I may be immune to Valentine’s Day, but I can’t resist chocolate.
If you want to join my camp, here are some choice cuts of brilliant beauty buys that scream treat and, thanks to their rose scents and sheer decadence, also nod at the occasion.
Jurlique Rose Hand Cream, £18
Few hand moisturisers successfully moisturise parched hands without making them greasy, but this one truly does. Also: smells like fresh roses, not those of the granny variety.
By Terry Baume de Rose, £39
Lips flaky and dryer than dry? Get this balm immediately. It softens, soothes and does away with flakes after about a week’s use.
Molton Brown Rosa Absolute Sumptuous Bathing Oil, £39
Not only will this one make the bathroom smell like heaven, but it’ll also soften your skin thanks to the argan oil content.
Oskia Skin Smoothing Massage Candle, £36
A candle and rose-scented body oil in one, just light this up, kick back and massage into your skin after blowing it out. Clever.
Sisley Phyto Blush Twist, £43
Nothing lifts the face like blush, and these sticks make easy work of it – just swipe onto the apples of cheeks and blend the edges with fingers. Extra points go to Sisley for including skin-loving Shea and camellia oil in the mix.
Jo Malone Red Roses Candle, £42
If the smell of roses does it for you, get your hands on this. Not only is a Jo Malone product a thing of joy, but this one will throw scent across a room in a jiffy.
Penhaligon’s Portraits, The Coveted Duchess Rose Eau de Perfum, £178
Not only is the bottle of this outrageously covetable, but the scent is fresh, uplifting and undeniably romantic thanks to the blend of mandarin, rose and a soupçon of musky wood.
By Madeleine SpencerOriginal Article