Valentine's Day gift guide: For men

Los Angeles Times Staff Writer

Here's a news flash, folks: No matter what your guy says, when Valentine's Day arrives, he so does not want that heart-festooned necktie, cupid-covered hot water bottle or I.O.U. snuggle coupon. After briefly recalling the grisly fate met by the holiday's namesake 3rd century martyr, he will, however, smile broadly if gifted in such a manner. His lips will form the words: "You shouldn't have," but said gifts will disappear, never to be seen again.

That doesn't mean you don't have viable gifting options. There are plenty of ways to add a dash of panache or a smidgen of style to the XY who's the apple of your eye. And, yes, some of them are even festooned with hearts.

For the good catch

You could send a subtle reminder that he's not catch-and-release material by hooking him up with a manly bracelet, necklace or key chain from Miansai by Michael Saiger, an accessories line that marries enamel, silver or gold fish hooks with cords of chunky leather or braided rope. (Miansai by Michael Saiger hook bracelets, $65 to $80 at and Fred Segal Trend, Santa Monica)

For the plain waisted

Napper Tandy's recently launched line of boldly colored belts is an eye-catching departure from hum-drum leather. Made in California, the belts are 1,000-pound test climbing webbing on the inside, nylon boardshort material and contrast stitching on the outside and surf trunk meets preppy ribbon belt chic all the way around. (Ntandy belts, $32, at and Elevation Sports, 2929 Santa Monica Blvd., Santa Monica)

For the guy who needs to chill

Go ahead and chuckle, but who wouldn't appreciate a pair of medical-grade stainless-steel spheres that, after 90 minutes in the freezer, will quickly cool a glass of whiskey (or any other potent potable). The best part is that the Newport Beach-based Balls of Steel, which just hit the market in December, also have a charity angle, with a percentage of profits going to testicular cancer research. (Balls of Steel, $19.99, at and Hi-Time Wine Cellars, 250 Ogle St., Costa Mesa and Red Carpet Wine, 400 E. Glenoaks Blvd., Glendale)

For the scents-less

The best way to get a guy to amp up his fragrance game is not to call it a "fragrance." The second-best way is to give him something so madly masculine he can't resist — think MCMC Fragrances' Hunter perfume oil (hints of tobacco, vanilla and balsam fir) or Juniper Ridge's line of soap, room sprays and colognes that not only bear rugged woodsy names like Steep Ravine, Big Sur and Cascade Glacier but are made from field (and forest) harvested saps, essences and oils (think redwood, laurel and sage) and using equipment that includes repurposed juice presses and converted whiskey stills. (Hunter perfume oil, 9 milliliters for $45, at and Tradesmen L.A., 1807 Lincoln Blvd., Venice. Juniper Ridge soaps, $35, and room sprays, $25, at and Mohawk General Store, 4011 W. Sunset Blvd., L.A. and General Store, 1801 Lincoln Blvd., Venice)

For the skater boy

For spring, Vans has collaborated with Curtis Kulig for a capsule collection that puts the artist's signature "love me" heart scrawl as a pink paint splatter across the brand's iconic black-and-white checkerboard slip-ons ($50) and red lace-up Authentics with white all-over embroidery ($55). ( and Vans retail stores)

For the football fan

With this year's Super Bowl a week in the rear-view mirror, your armchair quarterback would probably appreciate a tangible — and tossable — reminder that another one is only 12 months away. Go old-school and high-end with a rugged, regulation-size, made-in-the-U.S.-of-A. football crafted from genuine bison leather from the plains of the American West. (Orvis Bison Leather Football, $98, at and Orvis, 345 S. Lake Ave., Pasadena)

For the low-profile fellow

With its line of low-profile vegetable-tanned leather wallets, Australian company Bellroy manages to de-bulk the billfold without jettisoning a sense of style. One of the most versatile, the Slim Sleeve, can stow upward of a dozen cards thanks to two quick-access slots, a pocket for folded bills and a pull-tab feature that accesses less frequently used cards. It also comes pre-loaded with an instruction card offering pointers on how to lighten the load. (Bellroy Slim Sleeve Wallet, $79.95, at Fred Segal Man in Santa Monica and Patagonia in Ventura and

For the bristly chap

If the only thing that's come between you and him is his glorious, grizzled throw rug of a beard, tame the beast with a bottle of beard oil. There are multiple varieties on the market, and most are formulated to both soften and scent the chin whiskers. MCMC Fragrances' Dude No. 1 jojoba and hempseed oil blend smells of peppercorns, coriander and cedarwood, and Portland General Store's version is redolent of tobacco and flowers. (Dude No. 1, 30 milliliters, $65, available at Tradesmen L.A., 1801 Lincoln Blvd., Santa Monica, Portland General Store Tobacco Beard Oil, 30-milliliter vial, $68, at and Steven Alan in Venice and Earnest Sewn in Malibu)

For the memory-challenged

Who couldn't use more memory — especially if it's in the form of a USB thumb drive attached to a Swiss army knife? Victorinox offers a range of colors and storage sizes (4GB to 64GB) with or without knife blades (the latter for the frequent flier). To make the gift a little more memorable, go ahead and pre-load it with a folder full of forget-me-not photos. (Victorinox Swiss Army USB, $9.99 to $220, at and Victorinox Swiss Army at the Beverly Center)

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