Joan LeMay Pandemic V-Day
Valentine's Day

A (Gift) Guide to an Unprecedented Pandemic Valentine's Day

Strap in for what promises to be a very unique holiday of (self) love.
February 1, 2021, 5:35pm

Valentine’s Day: Generally content to grab a pizza when partnered up or drinks with friends and then drunkenly eat tacos while standing over my kitchen sink when single, I’ve never given the holiday much importance. But this year feels different—sharper, maybe. The pandemic has wreaked havoc on every aspect of our lives, with so many of us experiencing unprecedented levels of isolation, loneliness, burnout, and exhaustion. Add that to what is, for many, one of the most notoriously pressure-filled and/or depressing holidays of the year, and…oof.

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But the good news is Valentine’s Day should never be solely about romantic love—it’s a much-needed moment in the bleak mid-winter to wrap ourselves up in the love of our friends and families as well. Our psyches are stretched to the absolute limit and everyone needs to be blanketed in any and all kinds of love. If there ever was a time to lean heartily into whatever little pockets of bliss can still be found, it’s now. This is the time to really dig in and find contentment where we can, and since many of us have spent so much time alone this last year, it is also very important to fill the void in our souls with material objects. 

So take a bit of the pressure off the gift hunt this year with our handy pandemic Valentine’s Day gift guide. Everything below works well as a gift for oneself, for a lover, for a friend, a mom, and beyond. Pick up a little something to surprise, nurture, and delight that special someone in your life, even if that special someone just so happens to be you. 


Flowers and Plants from Bouqs

Prices vary

You can’t skip flowers on the most romantic holiday of the year, and The Bouqs Co. is a no-brainer when it comes to Valentine’s Day blooms. Their farm-fresh bouquets are always grown with love, gorgeous, and longer-lasting. The folks over at The Bouqs are serious flower nerds, so they go hard when it comes to sourcing eco-friendly flowers from locales such as mineral-rich volcanoes, tropical rainforests, and coastal climates. What’s more, they also make sure their flowers are responsibly sourced, have personal relationships with their farmers, and are committed to protecting not only the environment but also farm workers’ well-being. The importance of these priorities simply cannot be understated during these difficult times! You can feel good knowing your purchase doesn’t come at the expense of anyone or any place.

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Red roses may be a classic when it comes to Cupid, but their Venice Peach Bouq is a cheering, beautiful assortment filled with succulents and whimsical peach and spray roses. It’s as eye-catching as it gets. The sunset-inspired hues are a nice break from traditional Valentine’s Day shades, offering a cool, beachy vibe. And the best part? The succulents are plantable, making this a gift that keeps on giving.

If your special someone is even more of a plant person, check out their Desert Love Hoya Set. This pair of heart-shaped cutie-pie plants come in matching desert-chic pots with pink rocks. You can gift both as a set or split them up à la a friendship necklace, how adorable is that?

Joan LeMay Vice Bouqs 1.jpg


Morning Ritual Ground Matcha

$55

Is anyone else clinging to their daily rituals with the fervor of a person who knows their last remaining ties to sanity hinge on the tiny rites that get you through the day? Cool, same. Going through the process of making some delicious matcha every morning is the perfect way to help you or your loved one start the day feeling centered. Let this ceremonial stone ground matcha be a lovely little indulgence during a very heavy time. Matcha is a great caffeine alternative, since it gives you a burst of energy that lasts longer than coffee. Rich in antioxidants, devotees swear by its many health benefits, including improved heart and liver health. Could this be the perfect antidote to the nightly pandemmy bottle of wine?

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Maison Margiela Bubble Bath Perfume 

$135

You really can’t go wrong with the gift of fragrance on any gift-giving occasion—it’s a thoughtful way to treat someone to a luxury they wouldn’t normally splurge on for themselves—especially when said fragrance calls to mind the calming, luxurious spirit of a bath. Self-soothing is at an all time high during the pandemic, and many of us don’t have access to a bathtub in which to melt our cares away.

Maison Margiela’s latest perfume is evocative of a night spent soaking in the tub, with notes of soap bubble accord, a floral blend (rose, jasmine, and lavender), and white musk. It’s a fresh, clean scent that manages to capture the essence of a bath without smelling childish—this is not the Sesame Street bubble bath smell of yore.  As with all of Maison Margiela’s REPLICA scents, it comes housed in a chic glass apothecary jar and sports a cotton label with black ink text, making it as lovely to look at as it is to inhale.


Boysmells Fleurshadow Candle

$39

You’re either obsessed with candles or you aren’t, there is simply no in-between. Those who are in the candle-know are probably already familiar with Boysmells, the oh-so-cool brand that brought us the intoxicating fan-fave candle Kush and a collaboration with Kacey Musgraves. Candles live in a similar vein as perfume, in that it can feel overly self-indulgent to drop some coin on an expensive one—which is why it’s such a pleasurable gift to receive. They're romantic, sweet, and always much appreciated, especially since we’re spending so much time trying to make our homes as cozy as possible during these unprecedented times. (My kingdom for a chance to live during precedented times again.) 

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Boysmells is dropping its latest addition to the wildly popular Hypernature collection, Fleurshadow, just in time for Valentine’s Day. It’s a deeply passionate floral and incense scent with notes of geranium, rose bud absolute, violet, dark patchouli, and benzoin that will fire up the senses and get those tingles going. 

Liweli I Melt For You CBD Cherry Melts 

$24.99

The news cycle this past year has been devastatingly crushing on a near daily basis, to say the least. Everyone’s trying to find the best way to relax and get their mind off their troubles and a touch of CBD just might be the answer! Liweli’s I Melt for You CBD Cherry Melts contain 20mg of CBD with which to zen out no matter what is going on in the outside world. 

The melts are a cute little gift for a friend or partner—and it won’t feel like it’s too much too soon if you’ve only been on a few FaceTime or park dates. It’s easy to give into the pressure of feeling like you have to go big or go home on Valentine’s Day, but you really can’t go wrong with something that will help a stressed soul chill out. It’s actually delightfully considerate.

Dame Arc Vibrator

$115

Listen, after the last ten months everyone has had, there’s a good chance it’s time to upgrade to a new vibrator. I’m not saying mine pathetically sputtered to it’s bitter end last fall from overuse, but I am saying I heard this is a thing that has happened in the past year. So, whether you burned out your last one and want to get a chic little treat or are looking to add a little spice in a relationship, Dame’s Arc vibrator can’t be beat. 

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The Arc is a g-spot vibrator but also features a cute squishy bulb for external stimulation and a curved handle for maximum ~exploration~. It’s also waterproof and has five different patterns and five intensities so you’re really getting quite a bit of bang for your buck here. It’s sexy, practical, and prioritizes self-care—which, regardless of how you feel about that word, everyone desperately needs right now

Richer Poorer Sweats Set

$72

All hail the sweatpant, long may it reign. But just because we’ve all spent the better part of a year sitting around in sweats doesn’t mean they always need to look a mess. Of course there’s nothing wrong with a much-loved pair of ratty leggings, but there’s nothing like a smart little sweatsuit to elevate the lounge experience. And as much as we cherish the collective cultural embrace of the sweatpant as everyday clothing, one can acknowledge that not all are created equally. 

Richer Poorer’s Recycled Fleece sweatpant and sweatshirt set is most certainly an investment, but rest assured it is worth every penny, whether it’s a gift to self or for someone else. It has a comfy classic fit, though the cut is incredibly flattering. It’s slimming and elongating, which is quite the feat if you happen to be 5’1 like some of us. The pants have deep pockets to stash your phone or wallet and the sweatshirt has a roomy front pocket as well, which happens to be the perfect size for storing a bag of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos.