Valentine’s à la française

Nearly 30% of the French believe that Valentine’s Day shouldn’t be ignored. Are you romantically inclined too?

Valentine'sLast Valentine’s Day, Americans collectively spent around $3.5 billion on a romantic evening even though 82% said they would’ve preferred an “experience” to a gift.

In the UK, a third of couples decided to forego gift giving all together last year to save money. Fortunately in France, where they still speak la langue de l’amour, 51% of women and 43% of men feel that February 14th is without a doubt “a day dedicated to love” and a chance to prove their commitment to a loved one. According to a survey published by Spir Communication, a third of French men (against 25% of woman) expected to spend between 60 and 100 euros on Valentine’s Day, mainly on flowers or perfume (41%), followed by lingerie, clothing or jewellery (29%).

Whether you think this is just a commercial ploy to make you spend money or you’re going to use the occasion to propose, here are the top ten common Valentine’s gifts with a romantic, erotic, playful, kinky, juicy ... twist on tradition.

For a start, forget about “buying” a gift, and begin by thinking about what it is that you’re giving. What is the message you would like to express? Whether a dream or declaration, affirmation or perhaps it’s just to keep someone happy, it’s the underlying thought that counts.

1. Flowers

Opt for one rose and some (fresh) rose petals to spread on the bed or in the bath. Create a path to wherever you’d like to lead your partner.

Créatif Fleurs, Antibes - http://creatif-flowers.com/nos-services.html

2. Chocolates

Create an assortment or get a set of rich body paint to spread on your lover as a gourmet treat. Some kits have a brush for teasing or a pen to write poems with.

Patisserie Canet, Nice - http://patisseriecanet.com

3. Romantic meal

Close your eyes, what do you see? Most likely a few candles over a nicely set table, scrumptious food, good wine – but most importantly, just the two of you, away from the kids, and the hustle and bustle.

Louis XV, Monaco - http://www.alain-ducasse.com/en/restaurant/le-louis-xv-alain-ducasse

Value this time together to connect as a couple. Why not even prepare a meal at home and be sure to include some powerful aphrodisiacs (oysters and ginger, for example but don’t forget asparagus, avocados and figs).

4. Perfume

A powerful link to memory and emotions, the olfactory sense is one of our most primitive. Try a perfumed candle or better still a scented “massage” candle to set the ambiance and increase erotic and sexual awareness. Once lit, the oil will melt and can be used for a warm sensuous massage.

Fragonard, Grasse - http://www.fragonard.com

If you really want to please your squeeze, try a DIY perfume. An offering of perfume might seem rather banal but less so if you can claim that it was you who created the product at Galimard’s Studio des Fragances at 5 route de Pégomas in Grassse - http://www.galimard.com/index.php/en/create-your-perfume/in-grasse.html. You can get through the whole business in a two-hour workshop under the helpful supervision of a Galimard “nose” (as the pros are called). You select and sniff from a range of dozens of essences and come up with a blend which is bottled, given a name and for €45 it’s yours.

5. Jewellery

A piece of jewellery is difficult to get wrong, but add a touch of poetry or a few simple words while offering this and the gift will be even more special.

Thomas Sabo, Galeries Lafayette Nice & Cap 3000

6. Cuddly toy

Just add sex between these two words to give some vibrations to your lives. There are a few couple oriented gadgets to engage into playful embraces.

EasyLove, Villeneuve Loubet - http://www.easy-love.fr

7. Lingerie

It’s important to get the size right! So check first. And for the mischievous, why not add an edible candy G-string to the gift?

Sage ou pas Sage, Nice - http://www.lingerie-nice.com

8. Night in a hotel

To make it a little more special, make the surprise preliminaries last longer with sexy SMS and short notes, revealing things you will do and how amazing and special your partner makes you feel.

3.14, Cannes - http://www.314cannes.com

9. A short break

Once passed the initial flame, spending quality time as a couple is a rare and valued gift. Unglue yourselves from the phone, computer or TV and try taking a bath together, playing sexy games and erotic dares. Being “there” isn’t enough, you need to pay attention to your spouse and this requires a conscious effort. (There are really helpful local seminars and workshops for couples to help deepen intimacy and feelings.)

Hotel La Mirande, Avignon - http://la-mirande.fr

10. Beauty treatment

Usually given by a man, it’s an appreciated and safe bet to take time and be pampered! In addition to this, you can create your own love coupon to your partner promising your full undivided attention, being at their service for a specified period.

AYAME, Mougins - http://ayame-beauty.fr

Don’t forget Fido

Every year American consumers spend around $367m on Valentine’s Day gifts for their pets.

Star Dog Boutique, Nice - http://jophicotedazur.com

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