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Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

December 28, 2007

Marketers roll out a tasty array of Valentine�s Day gift options.

Sweet Treats for Valentine's Day

Marketers roll out a tasty array of Valentine’s Day gift options.

By Melissa Meisel
Associate Editor

While love may not cost a thing, consumers will be opening their wallets to show their sweeties how much they care this Valentine's Day.  According to the National Retail Federation's (NRF) 2007 Valentine's Day Consumer Intentions and Actions Survey, conducted by BIGresearch for the NRF, the average consumer spent $119.67 on Valentine's Day last year-up from $100.89 in 2006.

This year, consumers will dedicate the bulk of their Valentine's Day budget to buying for their sweetheart, with the average person planning to spend $80.29 on their significant other or spouse. While overall spending on the holiday is up, consumers will be spending less on the other people in their lives, including family members, friends, children's classmates and teachers and co-workers.

“Consumers of all ages have shifted their priorities when it comes to holiday spending,” said Phil Rist, vice president of strategy for BIGresearch.  “We are seeing people dedicate the majority of their budgets to the people closest to their hearts, while using creative, inexpensive ways to show the other special people in their lives how important they are.”

Chocolate and Roses

Two of the most popular token gifts for Valentine's Day-chocolate and roses-have taken different incarnations as bath and body products tailored to the holiday.

For centuries, chocolate has been revered for its powerful antioxidant and aphrodisiac qualities. From the ancient Aztecs who first discovered the hidden pleasures of the cocoa bean to King Louis the XIV who drank chocolate late in the evening for vitality to present day Valentine's Day revelers-the sweet stuff is always a hit. Marketers have caught on to this trend with an array of chocolate-infused holiday offerings.

Bath & Body Works introduces Chocolate Amber to its Signature Collection this month-a honeyed chocolate and rare vanilla orchid fragrance embraced by golden amber. Created exclusively for Bath & Body Works by perfumer Calice Becker of the Givaudan fragrance house, it celebrates the intoxicating spirit of love.

“When creating Chocolate Amber I thought back to memories of my first serious romance,” says the perfumer. “I chose notes that would stir those same feelings of excitement that come from being in love, notes inspired by romantic desserts of scarlet red berries and chocolate and precious flowers given as symbols of affection.”

Housed in a square bottle with an elegant and whimsical chocolate brown design, Chocolate Amber is a gourmand oriental targeted toward chocoholics everywhere! Chocolate Amber Eau De Toilette will be available in January 2008 for $19; this fragrance is also available in a body lotion, shower gel, body splash and body cream.

Diana B. is also rolling out the Chocolate Collection just in time for February. The chocolate sugar scrub is an oil-free formula that combines chocolate essence and maple syrup to produce powerful anti-oxidant benefits that nurture and nourish the skin. Safe for use on the face and the body, it tones and softens the skin thanks to exfoliating natural sugar crystals. The complementary chocolate body lotion is a blend of chocolate, coconut, almond and amber notes.

Sweet Beauty, a marketer of gourmet chocolate skin care products, is releasing a Dark Chocolate & Rose Petal Body Scrub for Valentine's Day.  According to the company, the aphrodisiac and mood enhancing properties that have historically surrounded chocolate have contributed to its reputation as the food of love.

The newest dessert-tinged offering from Palmer's
is a Cocoa Butter Formula Dark Chocolate & Cherry Lip Butter. This antioxidant-rich lip butter proves one can splurge on the two most popular flavors among women-delectable dark chocolate and scrumptious cherry-all day long without feeling the slightest bit guilty!

 Tea rose soaps are all the rage this holiday.
As for floral fans, Crabtree & Evelyn
formulated its Tea Rose Glycerine Heart Soaps for the holiday-a set of three ruby red heart-shaped glycerine soaps scented with a delicate tea rose fragrance. Another marketer, Linden Leaves, took the concept further with body oil containing freeze-dried real roses. This product features a moisture-rich blend of rose, geranium and ylang ylang oils.

Red Flower introduces its Moroccan Rose collection this month, featuring body washes and body lotions infused with extracts including, of course, the rose. Its “Falling in Love” gift set includes the bath and body products as well as a rose-scented candle extracted from the petals of the Moroccan rose topped with dried red roses.

Organic Bath Company, known for being “obsessively pure” in the ingredients used in all the product line, is debuting its Specialty Bath Bubble Bath Petals for Valentine's Day.  Its exclusive, patented formula creates a luxurious bubble bath simply by sprinkling a handful of petals and leaves into the tub under running water. The petals completely dissolve, providing rich, skin softening bubbles and the heavenly fragrance of pure, distilled essential oils. Scent options include white tea, lavender vanilla, pomegranate fig and honey chai.

Love is in the Air

Fragrance is a popular token of affection in Valentine's Day presents. After all, who can resist smelling sweet for his or her special someone?

Lush, a marketer of fresh handmade bath and body products, added a few special Valentine's Day-themed items in its collection. The new Fever solid perfume is a small pot scented with a tantalizing blend of rose absolute, sandalwood oil and jasmine absolute.  Apply to skin and let the enticing fragrances set your loved one's pulse racing in a fever. The solid perfume is also available in Silky Underwear-a jasmine absolute, jojoba and vetiver oil blend. A complementary dusting powder is also available in this scent story.

Banana Republic delivers roses with a signature fragrance.
Banana Republic's Rosewood Fine Fragrance Gift Set is centered on the company's popular Rosewood fragrance. This two-piece set, which comes packaged in a round, brown linen keepsake box with a beautiful blush-hued satin ribbon adorning the lid, includes two Rosewood-scented products-a 50ml bottle of fragrance and a body soufflé.

QVC's popular Tova collection features a Love Everlasting 3pc. Layering Set of fragrance and body product. It contains a 1.7oz. eau de parfum, 5oz. body soufflé and 6.7oz. shower gel scented in Love Everlasting-exotic notes of cloudberry, arctic snowflower, champagne roses and black raspberry.

And for those looking to nurture the soul, Buddha Nose has a formulation especially for the season-the Buddha Nose Heart Spray. According to the company's founder Amy Galper, “I named after the heart center in yoga, that area in the body right in the center of the sternum.  I created it with the intention of soothing emotional and nurturing the spirit, and thinking of times in our lives when our heart needs comforting:  during loss, or grief, heartbreak, anxiety.”

The Heart Spray blend is composed of rose hydrosol, also known as rose water, and the essential oils of sweet orange, sandalwood, chamomile and ylang ylang, says Ms. Galper.

Light It Up

Candles are also a staple for Valentine's Day. Avon Mark brings some creativity to the table with its new customizable candle. According to a spokesperson for the company, it comes with a small bag of wax beads in pink (orchid fragrance) and brown (chocolate fragrance) as well as a glass jar with a removable wick. All you have to do is place the wick in the glass jar, pour in the beads in whatever design you prefer, light and enjoy!

Illume is marketing a candle for the holiday that appeals to both men and women called 65 Hours of Love. The aroma is a blend of sweet vanilla and musk.  The candle is packed in a red floral metallic box ready to bestow on loved ones.

Soy candle marketer Jimmy Belasco is rolling out a complete collection of fragrances for Valentine's Day. Scents include PomPassion, a mix of pomegranate and passion fruit; Baby Love, a clean, fresh scent of a baby's room; Oriental Musk, filled with rich, basal notes; and Absinthe, a concoction of lime peel, patchouli, amber, anis, lavender and sandalwood. Chesapeake Bay Candles is also releasing holiday-themed offerings-the Romance Collection. Set the mood with a heart-shaped candle in Vanilla Dreams or wine glass votive set in Chocolate Kisses. 

Beauty Goodies

Assorted arrays of miscellaneous beauty items are becoming desirable as little tokens of affection. From Valentine's Day-themed nail collections to lip products to craft the perfect pout, marketers are catching on to the marketability of the holiday.

For example, the E-Romance collection by OPI features three new “wired for love” nail lacquer shades for that Valentine date, in person or cyber-style. Offerings include Log on to Love, a shimmery red; Met on the Internet, a magenta and Text Me-Text You, a glitter clear coat.

“We wanted to put a fresh new spin on Valentine's Day apart from the usual 'candlelight and roses,'” says Suzi Weiss-Fischmann, OPI executive vice president and artistic director.  “E-Romance is modern and fun, and is for any woman who has ever sent or received an e-love note. These rich reds and glitter clear coat are perfect for the winter season-as a Valentine treat for yourself or your BFF!”

Celebrity manicurist Deborah Lippmann has also assembled a list of her favorite sexy shades from her eponymous care collection line. As with all the shades in her company, each is named after a popular song. The selection includes Kiss From A Rose, a bold merlot named for the famous song by Seal; My Funny Valentine, a golden red named for the popular jazz tune; My Old Flame, a classic old Hollywood true red named for the song by Etta James; Prelude To A Kiss, a sheer misty pink named for the song by Duke Ellington; Secret Love, a silvered dusty rose named for the song performed by Doris Day; and Since I Fell for You, a shimmering shiraz named for the jazz standard.

For Valentines in need of hair rescue, Philip B's new White Truffle Nourishing Hair Conditioning Crème features exquisite white truffle oil from Italy blended into the formula to add a truly aphrodisiac-like quality to the conditioning experience. It complements a white truffle shampoo also in the line.

And for some companies, Valentine's Day is a time to give back to the word. Cargo's Plant Love line is packaged with compostable flower paper infused with real flower seeds. Simply moisten the packaging and plant and in weeks, a beautiful arrangement of wild flowers will bloom. Each purchase also donates $2 from the sale of every shade to St. Jude Children's Research Hospital.

Peacekeeper lip color also features V-Day Lip Gloss, a sheer burgundy red created by the company in honor of V-Day, a global movement to end violence against women. PeaceKeeper donates all of its profits after taxes to support women's advocacy and human rights issues-talk about having a heart!

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