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light their fire on Valentines Day

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Valentine's Day is nearly here, but the dark days of Winter are going to stick around for a while longer. While you're thinking about what you might buy for your special someones for Valentines' Day that isn't fattening (chocolates yummy) or won't stick around for long flowers, beautiful but they die quickly) , why not consider lighting someone's fire, literally, with a candle?

I have often suggested candles as one size fits all holiday (or other occasion) gifts because everyone likes them and they're the kind of thing you can give without worrying that you'll offend someone with the wrong message. But when it comes to the "day of love" the candle takes on an entirely different meaning. Nothing says "you set my heart aflame" like a candle. And nothing sets a more romantic mood than a beautiful, flickering, flame of a candle (or lots of them). And while buying fragrance for your special someone is risky, especially if you don't know what s/he really likes, a candle fragrance scents the room (not his/her skin) so even if it's not the perfect scent, there are plenty of enjoyable ones that don't stick around on skin for hours.

So, in the spirit of Valentine's Day. here are two candles that I think are particularly special to light up this special day, and EVERY day!

Back in the Fall, before there was snow on the ground and we were bundled into warm Winter coats, I gingerly made my way (in new, 3 1/2" heels) to a launch event for a really cute candle by Bella-J. The candles were not quite ready for sale, but they were displayed in lots of colors and scents. Ok, that makes them nice candles, so great! But what makes the Bella j. Candles really special is the promise of something special inside...as the candle burns brightly you'll find a foil pouch revealed --within it a secret -- a lovely little charm ( Gold or silver plated, and dyed quartz,) that you will only discover as the candle burns down. That charm will delight you -- a little gift in the form of a talisman you can wear as a necklace or bracelet. But wait! It could be something else. Something really special! If you are really really lucky yours will be a diamond charm worth $10,000!

Guys (and ladies) A lovely way to show the women in your life know just how much you care for them this Valentines' Day by giving them (a fat-free and non-wilting-able) gift of a Bella j. candle in a scent that you know will please them, or better yet, the Lotsa Love Candle ($24.99) . The lipstick red wax in the clear votive has an almost powdery but seductive fragrance with hints of freesia, jasmine, sandalwood and warm amber. Just FYI: each candle provides between 60-65 hours of burning time, although you can find the surprise within revealed within a few hours if you are "antsy." The candle doesn't even need to be wrapped with red and pink "LOVE" words and hearts on a white background on the outer carton (and the same is repeated on the candle's label), with the packaging was designed by Sujean Rim (who does chic illustrations for the likes of Daily Candy, Barneys and Tiffany’s). Ok, add a big, red bow....and offer it with a kiss.

To learn more and to order Bella j, candles, visit: http://www.bellaj.com

For the true sophisticate a candle to gift or to set the mood is one from Kim Myles. she is a designer and lifestyle expert who won national fame when she became HGTV’s Design Star. Recently The Advice Sisters were tipped off to the fact that Cocomia’s “For The Home” Collection offers three high quality soy candles designed by Kim, with a 4-hour burn time. There are three fragrances: Orange & Ginger, Sweet Berry and Lavender. The candles arrive in soft and lovely taupe boxes rimmed with a tiny bit of white, then splashed with a bold, fuchsia satin ribbon to tie top to bottom. The packaging just screams "there's something precious inside!"

Untie, the silky ribbon, lift the lid of the box, and discover a clear white round glass votive holding a creamy, ivory candle with a taupe logo sporting the designer's name in "burnout" letters. The effect is stylish, modern , luxe, and unisex.

Since lavender is a calming fragrance, and I was initially thinking of reviewing this candle for a spa night article (but then decided to include it here as a way to enhance romance, instead), I chose the lavender candle to review. French lavender is combined with lotus petals, rose and sage to create a scent that is surprinsgly not so much the kind of lavender you normally associate with candles or spas, but one has more floral notes (you can smell that hint of rose) and smells quite fresh. It would make any room smell like you've put a bouquet of fresh flowers in it, and yet, you'll get the effects of the lavender too. Perhaps for a night at home with someone special.

Kim Myles’ luxury candles are available (exclusively limited time) at www.CocoMia.com with free shipping for $34.95. CocoMia is a boutique e-retailer specializing in fashion accessories and home décor items designed to inspire you, keeping up with ever-changing fashion trends.

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