BlackBook Exclusive: A Très Romantique ‘Oddities’ Valentine’s Day Gift Guide

Above image: arrangement by Wicked Florist

It’s often forgotten amidst the avalanche of bright red and expensive gold that has come to characterize Valentine’s Day – but throughout the 18th and 19th centuries, the words “romantic” and “gothic” were literarily intertwined. The worlds depicted in those stories were the antithesis of dull pragmatism and mercenary pursuits, and were often characterized by the rush of fear and danger. Shelley, Byron, Poe…and of course, the apotheosis, Bram Stoker’s Dracula.

With that in mind, BlackBook has once again enlisted that renowned impresario of all things mystical and macabre, Ryan Matthew Cohn for our très romantique 2019 Valentine’s Day Gift Guide. Should you require edification, RMC was the star of the fantastical Discovery Channel show Oddities, and is currently the co-founder, with his wife Regina, of the Oddities Flea Market Curated by Ryan Matthew Cohn. He is also the co-owner and curator of Brooklyn’s iconoclastic House Of Wax bar.

(N.B. – There will be a Brooklyn Oddities Flea Market at Brooklyn Bazaar April 6-7, and a Los Angeles Oddities Flea Market at The Globe Theatre May 18-19.)

The BlackBook Oddities Valentine’s Day Gift Guide


Wicked Florist

Flower shop specializing in morbid arrangements (top image). Obviously, skulls and black roses are involved.

Scientific Woman

If you’re hoping to convey how much you love someone in a uniquely “heart”-felt way, how about an actual anatomical heart?! Scientific Woman features art that will make anyone’s ticker skip a beat. Flesh is coupled with scientific artistry to create a stunningly unusual taxidermy gift. Each mount is quality crafted to stand the test of time…just like your love.


Image by Glenn Jones, @ikona_photography

Vegan Treats

If you are like me, you are sick to death of happy looking hearts, boring blue boxes of jewelry and tired looking Cupid iconography. So consider some chocolate severed body parts by Vegan Treats. The “Fatally Yours Chocolate Box” is a custom designed heart shaped box by Cecilia Granata, featuring 18 pieces of handmade vegan chocolates with gold leaf, including gems like: White Chocolate Fingers, Swiss Chocolate Stomachs Filled with Peanut Butter Cup, and Vanilla Bean Caramel Filled Ears.

This Shit Blinks

I only have eyes for you…doll eyes! Brooklyn based jewelry designer KT Ferris creates an eclectic, wide array of eyeball related jewelry, using real antique dolls’ eyes as components.

MM Fabrications

Every queen deserves a crown. Make a true statement while wearing one of these hand-made dark & deviant head-pieces made by MM Fabrications from Los Angeles. You can become a cross between Baphomet and Snow White’s worst nightmare!


Gotham Taxidermy

Nothing screams “I love you” more than a preserved specimen in a glass dome. Check out the genuine “orb-weaving” spiders delicately climbing the stem of a real, preserved rose, adorned with antique brass filigree. These arrangements (sustainably sourced and professionally preserved) are mounted beautifully in a Victorian glass display dome. Your significant other will either kiss you with excitement or run for the hills screaming in horror! (Obviously not recommended for lovers suffering from arachnophobia.)


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