31 January 2022
A Heart of the Matter – Traditions of St. Valentine’s Day
The traditions of St. Valentine’s Day, which are so familiar to us today, evolved from the vestiges of both, Christian and ancient Roman customs, however the day became definitively associated with romantic love within the circle of Geoffrey Chaucer in the 14th century, a time when the ideal of romance and courtly love flourished. By the 18th century, it had grown into an occasion in which both, men and women expressed their love for each other by presenting flowers, offering confectionery and sending greeting cards.
Not everyone knows however, that Valentine’s cards were not always the pleasant surprises we expect them to be today and that their content often mischievously blended flirtation and romance with satire, which ranged from whimsical to often biting and sometimes, downright derogatory.
In the past, Valentine cards were not only exchanged between friends, sweethearts and lovers, but were often used as missives directed at unwelcome suitors or even foes. As such pranks proliferated and, no doubt otherwise respectable men, and one would suspect women, thought nothing of posting downright nasty Valentine cards - anonymously, of course! Even more widespread behaviour during the Victorian period, involved anonymous posting of ‘Vinegar Valentines’ with grotesque caricatures and rude verses to individuals the sender disliked. One such card read: ‘Tis a lemon that I hand you; And bid you now ‘skidoo’; Because I love another, There is no chance for you!’ Interestingly, by the middle of the 1800s, the Valentine cards was almost evenly split between the traditionally romantic cards expressing love, known as ‘sentimentals’ and the ‘Vinegar Valentines’.
Another rather unpleasant Valentine’s trick was dependant on the fact that prior to the introduction of Uniform Penny Post in 1840, all recipients were obliged to pay the postage on the delivery of their mail. Thus this spiteful prank involved sending insulting cards or packages filled with heavy, but worthless objects to a target of one’s dislike, who then had no choice, but to pay the postage charges, doubtlessly adding insult to injury!
Happily, habits have very much changed over the years and St Valentine’s day enjoys today enormous popularity, with romance and affection very much at the heart of this special day’s celebrations. While we continue to send (loving!) cards to our friends, family, and sweethearts on this special day - a day when many of us feel comfortable with sharing of our emotions, amorous flirtations and affections – many of us feel that the plethora of suggestions on how to make this day extra special can be somewhat overwhelming.
So taking an inspiration from Aristotle, who famously once said that love is composed of a single soul inhabiting two bodies, we curated a very special offer of one scent inhabiting two wonderful products! Pair up your favorite fragrance with matching Aftershave Balm and receive a complimentary shaving cream, a product combination bound to put a smile on any well-groomed face and ensure that your loved one can put your best face forward this Valentine’s day.
Whether you are purchasing as a Valentine’s gift for the man in your life, or are a gentleman treating yourself with a view to sprucing up in time for the special day, there’s no better way to charm all the senses!
Let’s spread fragrance and love this Valentine!
17 March 2022