Bubbling Over

31st January 2009

Mary Linehan offers some suggestions for pampering presents this Valentine's Day

Now. What’s not to love about chocolate and flowers (tip: not from a garage forecourt)? A little imagination, though, can go a long way to make your St. Valentine’s Day more romantic, or at least lighthearted. Here are a couple of very special gift ideas to raise the romance stakes. (These are hints for the boys, of course; according to my research, it seems the girls will already know what to get!)

Abahna is a luxury aromatherapy bath range created to celebrate ancient bathing rituals. It uses pure, fragrant and therapeutic essential oils, blended with organic and natural skin friendly botanicals and has everything from bath oils to sensual candles. Gift-sets are beautifully boxed and bow-tied with ribbon and they’ve just launched a special personalised online gift service. The delicious Frangipani & Orange Blossom Bathe by Candlelight Gift Box – one of many – contains bath foam and a scented candle, and currently has a special Valentine’s price: £32 instead of £42. Visit www.abahna.com for info.

The fabulous Cowshed range is a favourite of the Soho House set and was initially formulated for the Cowshed Spa at the wonderful Babington House retreat in Somerset. (The name comes from the original ‘guests’ in the outhouses, now turned into spa rooms on the historic estate). The range is effortlessly stylish and fun, but takes its formulations and ethical credentials seriously with an abundance of beautiful organic, wild crafted botanicals and therapeutic and fragrant essential oils, keeping the use of synthetic ingredients to a minimum.

Cowshed Horny Cow collection comprises an exquisite blend of the aphrodisiac rose absolute, patchouli (said to arouse desire) and warming, stimulating cinnamon. There’s a bath and shower gel and body milk to nourish and moisturise the skin, a sexy massage oil and a romantic scented candle. Check out www.cowshed.com or call 020 7534 0875.

You can play it safe though. Major department stores and chemists have great gift sets to choose from at this time of year – Estee Lauder, Chanel, Givenchy to name but three. And, of course, there’s always champagne. Whatever you choose (or hint at), there are plenty of bubbles to go round.

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