The hours are ticking down to the most amorous holiday of the year. Still searching for a gift? Don't panic. We've got seven local boutiques for making it seem like you pulled out all the stops (while only making a few) this Valentine's Day.
Stop by the downtown purveyor of all things paper for correspondence and signage that say you did more than scan the drug store greeting-card aisle. We especially love the shop's letterpress dance step cards for upping your waltz game. File under: New loves, literary types, and anyone you only get a card for.
If anywhere in town screams (or perhaps sings like an angel) "romantic and thoughtful giftables," it's Fremont's Essenza. The delicate boutique curates scents, jewelry, and any number of French-feeling luxuries for men and women. In a hurry? Run in, close your eyes, and grab just about anything for the win. File under: Rosewater colognes, classy candles, and soaps and suds for pseudo-Parisians.
The downtown house of haute underthings carries sexy (not sleezy) V-Day lingerie from coveted lines like La Perla, Andres Sarda, and Eres. Other elegant options around town: Zovo in the U District and Fremont's Bellefleur. File under: Gorgeous sets of occasion-y unmentionables; a good excuse to buy a $300 bra.
The Fremont chocolate shop has two special bars for the holiday: My Cherry Baby and Cinnamon Love Crunch. Or, for one-stop sensual sweets, pick up the eight-piece Aphrodisiac Collection that includes Champagne and ginger ganache. File under: Organic, fair-trade treats for chocoholic locavores.
Designer and shop owner River Burke houses an eclectic collection of jewelry and gift items at her Madison Valley shop. Pieces are one-of-a-kind (like your Valentine) and inspired by Burke’s global adventures. File Under: Special someones, world travelers, and those who scoff at Kay Jewelers commercials.
Hammer and Awl
The Madrona men’s boutique covers everything from wool bow ties, waxed canvas dopp kits, and cozy scarves for long-time loves; and hand-painted folding knives, custom terrariums, and vintage key chains for that guy that “it’s complicated” with. File under: All the gents in your life and ladies that like a little musk.
Marigold and Mint
The experts at the Melrose Market floral shop could spend hours crafting a bouquet to match the exact persona of your Valentine. Or you could swing by and pick up a gorgeous spray premade for the occasion. Make it a spread with wine from neighboring Bar Ferd’nand and artisan cheese from Calf and Kid. File under: Green thumbs, flowery friends, your English Rose.