Let Love Rule

Photo: Mitchell Feinberg

The Best Bet
Aphrodisiac that it may be, chocolate is the obvious—and usual—Valentine’s Day choice. But those carefully assembled boxes come off a little tightly wound for what’s meant to be an exuberant celebration of love. Jacques Torres Chocolate Cheerios are giddy playfulness in candy form, reminiscent of childhood snacks but infinitely more sophisticated, fun to eat, and (at $5 a bag) very affordable. So what if you don’t have a valentine this year? That just means you get to eat them all yourself (350 Hudson St., nr. Charlton St.; 212-414-2462).

Photo: Finn O'Hara/Getty Images

Kiss the Chef
Top off Valentine’s dinner with a dessert you made in cooking class the day before (Make and Take Valentine’s Day Chocolates and More, $95 at the Institute of Culinary Education, 50 W. 23rd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-847-0770).

Photo: Davies + Starr

Words of Love
Convey the sentiment of the day with a classic borrowed from Love Poems ($12.50 at Three Lives & Company, 154 W. 10th St., nr. Waverly Pl.; 212-741-2069).

Photo: Davies + Starr

Cast Your Spell
Enchant your crush—literally—with a witch’s candle decorated with your name, sign, and romantic longing ($20 each at Enchantments Inc., 341 E. 9th St., nr. First Ave.; 212-228-4394).

Photo: Sam Haskins/Courtesy of Kiki De Montparnasse

Eye Candy
Lingerie is sexy. Photography is sexier. A print from Sam Haskin’s black-and-white “Cowboy Kate” series is $2,000 (at Kiki De Montparnasse, 79 Greene St., nr. Spring St.; 212-965-8150).

Photo: Davies + Starr

Go for Gold
Buy her simple (and affordable) jewelry like Helen Ficalora’s customizable yellow-gold initial-charm necklaces (from $85 at Helen Ficalora, 21 Cleveland Pl., at Kenmare St.; 212-219-3700).

Photo: Davies + Starr

Stronger Than Roses
Select a fresh-blended scent labeled with your loved one’s name (from $45 at Le Labo, 233 Elizabeth St., nr. Prince St.; 212-219-2230).

Photo: Chris Buck/Courtesy of Sacks and Co.

iPod Playlist: Stephin Merritt of the Magnetic Fields

That Great Love Sound
Sneak a secret playlist onto your valentine’s iPod with romantic song suggestions from avant-pop musician Merritt:

“They Were You,”
by Jones and Schmidt, from The Fantasticks.

“What Makes Me Love Him?,”
by Harnick and Bock, from The Apple Tree.

“Be Careful, It’s My Heart,”
by Irving Berlin, from Holiday Inn.

(The Magnetic Fields’ 69 Love Songs three-CD boxed set, $37.99 at Other Music, 15 E. 4th St., nr. Lafayette St.; 212-477-8150).

Photo: Courtesy of Just Calm Down

How to…Double the Pleasure
Experience parity in pleasure with a Moroccan Couples Massage on a heated waterbed ($310 at Just Calm Down, 32 W. 22nd St., nr. Fifth Ave.; 212-337-0032).

Photo: Courtesy of the Mercer

Take the Plunge
Submerge yourselves in one of the Mercer’s bathtubs built for two ($595 to $750 a night; 147 Mercer St., nr. Prince St.; 212-966-6060).

Florists’ Tips on Deli Flower Survival
To give deli roses a longer life, cut the stems on an angle using a very sharp knife; change the water every other day; use room-temperature water spiked with about a tablespoon of sugar or a splash of 7-Up.

Let Love Rule