Isn't that what the metrosexual revolution was about?) Body Time, with multiple locations in the Bay Area, provides not only the option to add custom scents to lotions and perfume bases but also nubby wooden massage tools and everything else to make it your body's time, all the time. Check out the one en route to dinner in charming North Berkeley.
1942 Shattuck, Berk. (510) 841-5818, www.bodytime.com
If you don't mind riffling through the pack ratstyle holdings of Oakland's charmingly disheveled Antique Centre, head over with a car a large one. Vintage furniture and home furnishings clutter the house, and you'll often see full, undamaged wooden dressers or bookshelves for less than $10 (and sometimes free) on the front lawn. It's a calamity of objects on the cheap and dirty.
6519 Telegraph, Oakl. (510) 654-3717
OK. So shopping in the Marina can be expensive and you may have to dodge assaults by sales associates desperate for a commission. But when you're looking for that high-end dog collar or superstylie serving platter, there's really nowhere better to look.
CATNIP AND BONES
This cute little pet shop features just the right mix of well-made necessities and ridiculously high-end luxury items for your giftee's pets. Try the basic cat toys for the down-to-earth pet lover in your life or buy the angora sweater for the friend who carries her puppy in her purse.
2220 Chestnut, SF. (415) 359-9100
This store, one of several owned by a small local chain, is famous for its knowledgeable staff. Not sure what to get your grandparents or your best friend? Find out what they read last, and let Books, Inc.'s staff help you decide.
2251 Chestnut, SF. (415) 931-3633, www.booksinc.net
There's always that time in the gift-giving season when you need to buy housewares usually because they're a safe bet. Why not try Modica, an eclectic shop full of cute items that look vaguely European, including a selection of gifts made by the owner's sister?
2274 Union, SF. (415) 440-4389
This lingerie shopboudoir simply rocks, thanks to helpful staff and a small but quality assortment of sexy items. How about getting your lover candles that, when burned, melt into massage oil? Or, for the girlie girl (or boy) who still blushes at the mention of sex, try a condom compact, complete with a mirror and a secret compartment for you know what.
3047 Fillmore, SF. (415) 563-1202, www.intima-online.com
This is the kind of place where you can feel good about spending too much money on clothes. The fashionable, comfortable clothes here are all ecofriendly, and a portion of the profits goes toward running wildlife conservatories in Africa. Plus, it has a killer 60 percent off section.
1849 Union, SF. (415) 738-8544, www.wildlifeworks.com *