In the winter months, I tend to favor candlelight over electricity in the evenings. If I have to endure the season’s early sunsets and freezing temperatures, at least I can make it cozy (and complexion-flattering) inside. Scented candles can grow cloying after a few hours, so I prefer scented matches — they still lend a sense of occasion to lighting up, but their smell won’t linger long enough to give you a headache. The yuzu incense matches from Hibi are my favorite — the brand was created by Kobe Match Company, which has been producing matches in Japan since 1929. Each one lasts about 10 minutes, and a pad for safe burning is included in the box. I also like Bohème’s Marisol fragrance — its notes of cardamom, clove and sandalwood are infused into extra-long matchsticks. For a touch of old-world charm, Buly is a classic choice: The brand’s perfumed matches come in eight signature scents and are housed in beautifully illustrated boxes. Any of these options would make a charming Valentine’s Day gift paired with a whimsical candle from Wednesday Company. Handmade by the Bronx-based Grace Battista, these playful depictions of croissants, baguettes and fruit look good enough to eat. And they’re unscented, so you can enjoy them long into the night.
Dutch Ovens Show a Sweeter Side
The name Dutch oven is a bit of a misnomer; it was actually the English foundryman Abraham Darby who patented the process of casting iron cookware in sand molds in 1707, though to be fair he was inspired by a trip to Holland, where he observed similar methods for making brassware, which he recreated back home using much cheaper iron. (In Dutch, the pots are simply called braadpan, meaning roasting pan.) Almost two centuries later in 1891, Johannes Berk Van Kampen (himself a Hollander) began coating the pots in enamel, making them easier to maintain and allowing them to be painted in vivid hues. That tradition continues this Valentine’s Day with a pair of limited-edition Dutch ovens made by the kitchenware supplier Great Jones in collaboration with the New York-based ceramist and illustrator Laura Chautin. After she connected with the Great Jones co-founder Sierra Tishgart on Instagram, Chautin created a series of botanical designs that include daffodil, tulip and lily of the valley flowers hand-printed on two sizes: The larger Dutchess comes in white enamel and the Dutch Baby (half the size of the Dutchess) is in a bubble gum pink. Culinary-inclined sweethearts are likely to swoon; Chautin herself recently used one to make spaghetti pomodoro with mushrooms for a dinner party, to rave reviews.
Without my husband to nudge me to take my Estradiol tablets each morning, I wouldn’t be half the woman I am today — hormonally speaking, at least. His routine reminder has become a kind of everyday love language, a small and simple gesture that tells me he cares about my health and well-being. But when he’s not around, or if he’s slept through his alarm, I turn to my pill organizer, one of those flimsy plastic cases with slots for every day of the week, that I picked up from a pharmacy down the block from my apartment. Various brands have updated this classic form — Port and Polish’s iteration comes in lilac, mint and blush pink with compact mirrors inside — but this year, I’m eyeing something a little more imaginative. Casa Shop, a home-goods boutique in Richmond, Va., stocks vintage silver pillboxes shaped like candy and strawberries. Tiffany & Co. also offers luxurious sterling silver cases (with the option to personalize them with engraving), as does the Los Angeles-based jewelry designer Sophie Buhai, who fashions hers as a nautilus shell. And Judith Leiber Couture riffs on its signature crystal-clad minaudière handbags with surreal pillboxes disguised as lipsticks, martini glasses and gummy bears. Millions of Americans take prescription medication, so I can’t be the only one in need of a better vessel; these pillboxes are hard to forget.