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A Cherry Centennial to Cheer For

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2012 marks a special occasion for Washington, DC – the 100th anniversary of the gift of 3,000 cherry trees to the city of Washington by Mayor Yukio Ozaki of Tokyo. Held each spring, the festival celebrates all things cherry blossom with parades, benefits, parties – even cocktails – as these beautiful trees become the focal point of the DC landscape, and with good reason. Stretching along the mall and down around the Tidal Basin, cherry blossoms create one of DC’s most memorable spring images, and thousands of people flock here to witness peak blooming days and take part in all the fun. Fittingly, many brands have recognized the beauty of these special blossoms – check out these cherry blossom inspired gift ideas.

Health and beauty

For a truly indulgent treat, splurge with a Cherry Blossom Champagne Body Treatment at the Four Seasons Hotel in Georgetown, an 80 minute beauty indulgence that will leave your skin unbelievably soft and smooth. The treatment starts with a gentle dry brushing of the skin to remove dead, dull skin cells, after which you are immersed in a deep soaking tub to relax and soften skin. Next, your entire body enjoys a head-to-toe champagne followed by an application of a rich body butter to seal in moisture. And if that doesn’t leave you feeling as delicate as a cherry blossom, I’m not sure anything will! For further information or to schedule an appointment, please call the Spa at: 202-944.2022.

Pick a pint of cherry-fresh skincare with the L’Occitane Cherry Blossom Collection, available locally at L’Occitane stores. Offering a limited edition eau de toilette, as well as shimmering body lotion, bath and shower gel, a trio of hand soaps, and a limited edition Petal-Soft Hand Cream, the products feature shea butter and vitamin E to hydrate and heal dry skin, as well as protect against free-radical damage.

Then, keep the light touch of cherry blossoms close at hand when doing dishes or working in the kitchen with the Bath and Body Works Japanese Cherry Blossom Collection.  The line includes a deep-cleansing hand soap, gentle foaming hand soap and a moisturizing hand soap, and each one also offers anti-bacterial protection, making them useful in the bathroom, as well.  In addition, the Cherry Blossom line also includes creamy body wash, shimmering body mist, body butter and candles.

If you have dry skin, a body wash enriched with healing and hydrating oil will help keep your skin satiny soft, and ward off dryness. And even better when inspired by cherry blossoms! Dove Cream Oil Body Wash Creamy Cherry Blossom and Almond Scent is a budget-friendly, lusciously hydrating cream wash enriched with moisturizing cream and sunflower seed oil. The formula is safe for daily use and can even be used as bubble bath for a soothing soak.

For a local take on the blossoms, head down to Eastern Market and visit Aurora Bath & Jewels, where Kim Downes will introduce you to her Capitol Cherry Blossom bath creations: soap, bath salts and candles, as well as Cherry Blossom Zen Tea. These products are all locally hand-crafted, and the soap – fragranced with a bouquet of spring flowers – is packed with shea butter and olive oil to keep skin soft and hydrated.

Jewelry

Tree of Life Fused Glass Cherry Blossom Pendants are as gorgeous as they are unique. All hand-made, these delicate pendants feature an image of a Cherry Blossom tree pressed between clear glass and secured with Argentium silver wire to ward-off tarnishing.

The mod-est of them all surely has to be San Francisco’s own ModCloth, and luckily for us east coasters, the bounty of this amazing site is just a click away, such as this cute Cherry Blossom Pendant.

Silver Reversible Stained Glass Cherry Blossom Pendant by Plum is a peach of a find. A gorgeous silver medallion with etched cherry blossoms on one side and muted stained glass on the other, this beauty can be customized to suit your color preferences, with eight colors of stained glass available. Handmade.

House and Home

It can be cherry blossoms all year with these pretty plates, napkins and cups.  Geometric square shape and sturdy paper, these plates are pretty enough for everyday use and a snap to clean up! Or, if you prefer the real thing, check out Corelle’s beautiful and practical everyday dishware collection in Cherry Blossom. Then, set the mood and with these beautiful square cherry blossom candles by Kate Aspen. Scatter them around the room for a soft, fragrant glow.

Still like to write hand-written thank-you notes? Try these elegant and simple Cherry Blossom thank you cards.  Or, for even more cherry blossom stationary, stop by the gift shop at the National Gallery of Art for this gorgeous set of 12 cherry blossom note cards.

Finally, don’t forget to stop by the National Cherry Blossom Festival website and browse their large selection of cherry blossom merchandise including clothing, ornaments, hats, jewelry, tote bags, home goods and artwork, and to plan your visit.

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