Rose-themed Valentine’s Day gifts with an emo-pop twist

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On an occasion like Valentine’s Day, is it worth avoiding the cliché? The chanting poems, the chocolates, the pink and red gifts that line every bakery, lingerie shop, and pharmacy: you can smash your way in or you can lean in sneakily. Love, after all, is universal. We might just fall or fall or something copacetically in between. We love your neighbor, your sister, your best friend. And sometimes, in the case of EuphoriaCassie, hungry for adoration (played by a radiant Sydney Sweeney), we love Your Best Friend’s Ex-Boyfriend – an exercise in agony and ecstasy that a recent episode rendered in a particularly exquisite tableau, involving tears rolling slowly against a profusion of roses. Love hurts, to quote a familiar verse. It hurts so much.

Isn’t that what earned the rose its lover status in the first place – the heady scent and velvety soft petals, countered by bloodthirsty thorns? The standard dozen rods are not for everyone. (For one thing, there’s a cost to all those off-season blooms, ranging from labor issues to carbon footprints.) But the urge to give roses and rose-inspired things reflects the tenderness and brutality of the whole proposition that we call love.

Such is the spirit of this token collection. There are choices on the nose, like a salty rose candle from DS & Durga, wild rose tea from Washington Coast Masha, and a beaded bag from Susan Alexandra for sartorial kitsch. There are also offbeat versions of the rose palette, like a Sophie Lou Jacobsen decanter and the pretty pre-rolls of Pure Beauty. With this series of Valentine’s Day gifts, it’s all about multi-sensory stimulation, right down to Fly by Jing’s Spicy Zhong Sauce. What’s not to like?

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