Say it with?

Local stores offer up ways to say

By Saundra Sorenson

"And when love speaks, the voice of all the gods makes the heavens drowsy with harmony"

–William Shakespeare

From the heart

Warning: these soapy nuggets look good enough to eat. And judging by who makes them, they just may be. Gianna Rose’s Atelier line of cleansing cosmetics include flavors like spiced Aztec, crème brulée, café caramel latte and royal jelly. Shown here, the heart-shaped 4-ounce soaps are as delightful and inviting as a box of truffles and they may last longer). Body Essentials, 891 Ventura Ave., Suite C, Oak View. 649-2620

Burning bright

Think of the Healing Tree as one of the last true apothecaries. Stop by this Thousand Oaks treasure and you'll find enough to outfit the most romantic evening in: TubTea bath infusers and, our favorite, True Grace’s beautiful soy- and palm-oil based candles from London. Scented with fig, English lavender and dozens of other fragrances, this clean-burning candle suggests elements from the natural world without overpowering. Candles are essential for a romantic evening and these are perfect for lighting up the night. The Healing Tree, 2711 Thousand Oaks Blvd. (in Palm Plaza), Thousand Oaks. 497-4438

A spa day only a bathtub away

We have nothing against offering your ladylove (or gentleman friend) a day at the spa, but what if your Valentine can’t afford to take a day away from the office? The Bath Accessories Company offers the takeout version of pampering with the Spa Weekend Getaway Basket: a waffle bath robe (textured for comfort), bath pillow, Dead Sea bath salts, body scrub, relaxing gel mask, soaping sponge, milk soap, body lotion and silk sleep mask, all wrapped up in a linen-lined basket made of seagrass. Rituals, 1899 E. Main St., 643-0739

Silky massage

For some, nothing says Valentine’s Day – and pampering the one you care for – like a good massage. Ditch the baby oil and pick up a bottle of Intimo’s body products for a good rub down. Their Aromatherapy Massage line is made from only the most natural, vitamin-enriched ingredients. In true aromatherapy style, the oils and products are blended for a variety of moods, from a stress-relieving ginger and bergamot mix to a more stimulating cedarwood and patchouli. These seductive recipes will leave that special someone relaxed and scented. Diva Passion Boutique, 265 S. Laurel St., Ventura. 653-5675

Socially conscious skivvies

These lacy briefs stand alone as the best of French-inspired lingerie, using delicate frills to feminize the thoroughly modern boy-short. But on closer inspection, they also bear a noble print: dozens of tiny pink breast cancer awareness ribbons. Honeydew Intimates craft undergarments with a conscience, small tokens of affection that pull double duty as cherished unmentionables and a reminder of solidarity for any woman in your life. It's Just a Girl Thing, 2281 Thousand Oaks Blvd., Thousand Oaks. 496-0055

Frame yourself

It’s one of the oldest Valentine gift ideas, but that makes it one of the most romantic. Give your sweetheart a framed, portable reminder of you, your relationship or the dog that stole your collective heart. Tizo offers these beautiful silver frames (perfect for engraving). These frames will give a casual elegance to that desktop institution. Calais & Co, 212 B E. Ojai Ave., Ojai. 640-0994

Photographic truffles

Perhaps it's time to personalize the typical box of Valentine’s Day sweets. Enter Port Hueneme's Isle of Chocolate, a store that offers customers the chance to savor every bite of a cherished photo with their Images in Chocolate service. Prefer to keep your pics permanent? Isle offers whimsical collections of candy bouquets, dipped fruits or good old-fashioned truffles, made on premises. Isle of Chocolate, 547 W. Channel Islands Blvd., Port Hueneme. 985-6500

Mocha my heart

If coffee is the new first date, perhaps decadent hot cocoa is the first step toward wooing a sweetheart. Invite a new friend over and cap off the cold season with a smart twist on a Valentine’s Day institution. Each cup of Intemperantia’s all-natural blend is, essentially, a mug full of melted Swiss chocolate. This decadent fusion is made from cocoa bean extract and mixed with cocoa and cocoa butter. Casually romantic (and organic.) Courtyard Spa, 321 E. Ojai Ave, Ojai. 640-9911


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