[Editor’s Note: I forgot to publish this one!!! But I felt that the advice was still valid, even post-Valentine’s Day.]
As a certified weirdo, I have spent the vast majority of my Valentine’s Days single. And with only one exception, those single Valentine’s Days were all superior to those in which I was in a relationship. Nothing perplexes and enrages me more than the expectation that single women are supposed to spend Valentine’s Day sobbing into their Ben & Jerry’s while watching a Nicholas Sparks marathon. Please! We’re not Stephenie Meyer characters!
I know that my single readers are absolutely fabulous women and men who no doubt already have equally fabulous Valentine’s Day plans. But just in case you really were planning on going the Ben & Jerry’s route, I’ve come up with some ways to spend Valentine’s Day single, each of which is infinitely more exciting than a dozen red roses and the same damn French restaurant. This list also includes perfume-related Valentine’s Day gifts to yourself, since Valentine’s Day is supposed to be all about giving to the ones you love!
The Plan: Going to movie theaters by yourself is so awesome that I’m not sure why anyone chooses to go with other people. No one to steal your popcorn or Sour Skittles. No one to make fun of you when you start crying during the “The Hobbit” trailer.
The trick is to NOT choose a romantic comedy. Of the movies currently in theaters, my recommendations are: Hugo, Sherlock Holmes, and, of course, the 3D rerelease of Star Wars Episode I- The Phantom Menace. George Lucas’ massive plot holes, now in 3D!
The Present: For perfumes that smell as vast and as grand as the plot holes in Star Wars, nothing beats this Amouage Mini Perfume set.
The Plan: Daniel Radcliffe has recently admitted that he struggled with alcoholism while filming the Harry Potter movies. We at Scents of Self recognize that alcoholism is a terrible disease, and couldn’t be prouder of Mr. Radcliffe for overcoming his addiction. However, I would be lying if I said that I will not be playing the resulting Harry Potter drinking game. This game consists of inviting your friends over for a Harry Potter marathon and having everyone drink each time you suspect that Harry Potter is totally drunk. Personally, my money’s on the classic “pincers” scene in Half-Blood Prince.
The Present: Boozy scents, of course! (Lord, I am a bad person.) “Cocktail” is one of the eight scents included in this Gorilla Perfumes sample pack. Lush is also British, just like Daniel!
3) A local cooking class is the perfect place to act out your Top Chef fantasies.
These are offered both by individual restaurants and by cooking schools. The D.C. area is home to both L’Academie de Cuisine and CulinAerie, which used to offer classes taught by the delightful Top Chef contestant Carla Hall. Also, according to the movie Hereafter, you might meet Matt Damon there. I’m just sayin’.
The Present: La Cuisine des Nez, an aromatic cookbook full of perfumer’s favorite recipes. Olivier Polge’s smoked sea scallops sound truly divine.
The Plan: What could be a better choice for a perfumista than a perfume-related event? DSH Perfumes and Ormonde Jayne are two brands that offer one-on-one perfume consultations with the company founders; Guerlain and Ayala Moriel offer workshops that teach you about the materials used in perfumes and help you create your own fragrance. Bergdorf Goodman and Scent Bar also occasionally hold perfumer meet-and-greets.
The Plan: Google your favorite older celebrities. There is a 65% chance that they have turned to live shows in order to pay the bills, which means that you get to see them in person! For example, Carrie Fisher is currently on her “Wishful Drinking” tour, William Shatner has an off-Broadway show, George Takei is about to start a Broadway show, and Patrick Stewart is always doing some Shakespeare play.
The Present: Someday I may stop finding the Star Trek colognes hilarious, but it is not this day. Available in Pon Farr, Red Shirt, Sulu Por Homme, Tiberius, and the delightfully named Shirtless Kirk.
The Plan: At any other time of year, this list would include lots of outdoor events. Unfortunately, in most parts of the world, February weather is not exactly conducive to spending time outdoors. A notable exception: hot springs. They are pretty much the greatest thing ever, and winter is actually the best time of the year to experience them. U.S. readers might be surprised to know that quite a few states have hot springs, including New York, Virginia, Georgia, and California.
The Perfume: When searching for hot springs-themed beauty products, I came across Israeli brand Ahava. Let’s set the record straight: Ahava, the “definitive Dead Sea cosmetics brand”, is a total sham. Their products DO NOT come from the Dead Sea, which is shrinking every year from the lack of rain in Israel. There is no way in hell that anyone would be allowed to extract or harvest its water or plants. That being said, Ahava is one of Israel’s premier brands and does have some very nice spa products! Their salt scrubs are fabulous.
The Plan: Your local zoo, aquarium, or animal shelter is an ideal place to spend Valentine’s Day. It is significantly harder to feel grumpy about one’s marital status when you are watching a dolphin do flips. The Smithsonian National Zoo is free, accessible by metro, and has baby pandas. You’re welcome, America.
The Plan: Make someone else’s Valentine’s Day special by donating your unwanted perfumes and cosmetics, either to a women’s shelter or to the Beauty Bloggers for Charity auction. 100% of all winning bids goes to Doctors Without Borders. Please note: I ask that before you good-heartedly try to follow this suggestion by buying products sponsored by breast cancer charity Susan G. Komen, you read this plea for Planned Parenthood.
The Perfume: The Black Phoenix Alchemy Lab Charity Drive donates the proceeds from several BPAL scents to some seriously exciting-sounding charities, such as the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund and Bat Conservation International.