Luxe Valentine’s Day gifts at non-fancy prices with

This Valentine’s Day comes at a tough point in the US economy, but still, you want to make it special for your loved ones and you! has a number of presents that will satisfy that craving for luxury and pampering. I was happy to be hosted to experience it!

Maybe you know a recipient who stares at ads for the latest It bag, designer clothing trends, articles about beauty secrets from abroad, jewelry for which the price is available “upon inquiry”. You can still show you respect and admire her style — without breaking the bank.

Boucheron is a French jewelry and fragrance house dating from 1858. Many famous royals have cherished their exquisite taste. carries several of their scents, as well as coordinating body products. Some even have online coupons! One even has a jewelry name: Jaipur Bracelet. It has a bottle shape like a domed jeweled ruby bracelet. Scent-wise, I experienced it as a spare, spicy citrus fragrance. It’s not blowsy — you lean in for sweet florals. It’s soft and feminine. This is how they describe it: “Launched in 2012, citrus spicy notes of this exotic fragrance are a breath of fresh air. The first whiff reveals notes of Basil, Lemon Verbena, Violet Leaf and Bitter Orange while the heart dazzles with vivacious notes of Lily of the Valley, Hyacinth and Carnation. A mysterious blend of Cashmeran, Iris and Cypress make the dry down enticing and give it a woody character.”

The eponymous Boucheron for women mini has the same jeweled bottle theme, very cute on a dresser. You could up the cuteness factor by getting a doll that looks like a butler or a prince, holding the bottle. Fragrance-wise, I experienced powerful florals and some wood, very upscale for a special night out. This is how they describe it: “Introduced in 1988, this scent comes from the design house of Boucheron. At the start are top notes from tagetes, tangerine, orange, bitter orange, asafotida, basil, cassia, lemon, bergamot and apricot. The heart of this perfume contains notes from Madagascar ylang-ylang, orange blossom, jasmine, narcissus, geranium, orris root, Lydia broom, lily-of-the-valley, cedar and tuberose. The base contains hints from civet, sandalwood, Indian vanilla, benzoin, tonka bean, oakmoss, musk and benzoin.”

Pantone has a new color for 2023: Viva Magenta. Pantone has a strong influence on the makeup, clothing, design and household product colors for a given year. I went to a party this fall — year of “Very Peri” — where, not to be unkind, a lot of people were wearing dumb-looking periwinkle suits. There are other ways you can tip your toe into the declared color, which strikes me as having an 80s vibe.

Clarins, the French luxury skincare line, has a color that’s right on trend: Lip Comfort Oil Shimmer #4 Pink Lady is a great way to get up to date. It is a rich, soothing blend of 3 plant oils, with that on-point magenta color and multi-colored micro shimmer. It has a medium level of color deposit, so I’d say it’s perfect with photos and you don’t have to be terrified about creating a precision shape. The bottle has a metallic rose red cap and conveniently clear lucite oblong cube. The doe foot applicator is soft and flexible. I noticed a faint fruit fragrance.

So, with bright lips, they need to be in shape — not cracked or peeling. Dr. Brandt was a highly regarded plastic surgeon who made products so that you wouldn’t need him! Needles No More 3-D Lip Plumpfix is an ingenious dual product, both AM and PM. The AM cream is light and lemony, with a quick dry-down. Your lips are still soft, just not wet. It doesn’t interfere with makeup application. The PM side has no flavor. It’s a little richer, but not waxy or goopy. Even if you lick your lips, it stays on well.

Another product that’s capable of serious lip repair is Clarins Extra-Firming Lip & Contour Balm. It’s a soft wax balm with a faint candy fragrance. It has shea butter, raspberry oil and Vitamin E. Use it for overnight or harsh weather!

Elie Saab designs gem-encrusted gowns and wedding dresses. So, maybe you’re not gifting any wedding dresses this year, but you can give beautiful scents! Elie Saab Girl of Now (Forever) has a coupon on the site. It’s packaged in charming periwinkle paper with peach, coral and metallic gold flowers. The bottle has peach colored fragrance with peach enameled petals. Scent-wise, I noticed lush, tropical type fruit, florals and vanilla. The initial note has a bright floral — makes it great for daytime. It would work for all ages; it’s not some heavy, grande-dame fragrance.

Maybe you’re wanting to keep that thought that counts or want to slip a little something into a Valentine card. There are Elie Saab mini spray vials that come enclosed in a cardboard tag. Girl of Now (Shine) has a sugary flower scent: cheerful and charming. Girl of Now (White) has bright floral and aqueous notes: great for spring and summer.

There are some other options for minis that are a little larger in size and give that touch of luxury. Ferrari Noble Fig is by the folks behind the uber-luxe cars, so that’s certainly upper-crust. I think it could be unisex as a gift. The tan and silver metallic box is gender neutral. The glass bottle is as sleek as a sportscar. The fragrance has ripe fig with aqueous notes, a sea of fig. It’s understated, with a warm skin dry-down. They describe it like this: “The aromatic fragrance of Noble Fig is a fresh and compelling fragrance for both women and men. Launched in 2015 by the design house of Ferrari, this scent features notes of Mandarin Orange, Pink Pepper and Fig Leaf. The heart is captivating with notes from Iris and Clary Sage. The base is scintillating with hints from Patchouli and Musk.”

Cartier Baiser Vole (“Stolen Kiss”) is by the world-renowned luxury goods house. On the glass bottle, there’s a gold sketch of their hallmark store. The bottle’s a sleek, almost modern apothecary bottle. Scent-wise, I notice piney woods and light floral. It too could be unisex. It’s crisp for office, elegant. This is how they describe it: “Release the tempting aroma of Baiser Vole by Cartier when getting ready for the day. This vibrant eau de parfum spray exudes femininity, offering a powdery fresh hint of floral notes, ideal for the bold yet subtle woman. Launched in 2011, this signature scent begins with sweet and tangy citrus notes that blend with flowery white floral. Leading to a sensual heart of lily notes that evokes the freshness of a garden in bloom, this women’s scent dries down to green notes for a captivating finish.”

How about some glam ideas with unusual applications? Cartier has a hand cream in its La Panthere scent. In a sexy black and gold tube, the oil-rich balm has a soothing texture. It smells like a rich bubble bath to me! Your hands are well-perfumed, which is classically romantic. They describe it as having notes of Gardenia, Pear, Orange Blossom, Rose, Leather.

So, the gal who seems to have everything probably doesn’t have Givenchy L’Interdit hair mist! The fragrance was created as Audrey Hepburn’s private scent. Housed in a simple lucite bottle that fits well in the hand, it provides just that hint of the beloved, classy scent with notes of Jasmine Sambac, Tuberose, Vanilla, Orange Blossom, Vetiver.

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