Friday, 24 April 2009

I heart tea

I really do.

T- shirt from Howies (I'm not affiliated I just love it!)

Monday, 20 April 2009

By Redo: Gypsy Water

The By Redo scent I was always most curious about was Gypsy Water- of course I wasn't alone in this and it's been the hardest one to get a sample of- but now I have one courtesy of the ever delightful Les Senteurs.

I was initially fascinated by the name, Gypsy Water. Les Senteurs describe it as 'The smell of a lost childhood, of a vanishing race'- yes, yes I am totally drawn in by the words as always.

Happily the scent is as good as the words. I would agree with other reviews I have read that say this might not be what you think of when you think of a 'Romany lifestyle'- but I think that might have more to do with what you expect than the scent itself. The official notes are:

Top: Bergamot, Lemon, Pepper, Juniper Berries
Mid: Incense, Pine Needles, Orris
Base: Amber, Vanilla, Sandalwood

By Redo finally have their own site and they describe the scent as smelling of: 'The scent of fresh soil, deep forests and campfires'.

This is a scent that seems to be inspired by and redolent of the place where you might find Romany people living- rather than of the 'lifestyle'. The top and basenotes are particularly noticeable and the lemon stands out. This has something in common with Shalimar Light- in it's various forms and editions- again not what I expected but it's what I found.

I enjoyed wearing this. Lemon is always uplifting and energising but this is a happy scent with a cerebral quality- it's not just here are some bright shiny Italian lemons mixed with vanilla. It is a little cooler and more contemplative than a normal citrus. It's very wearable but it's not an 'easy' fragrance. It doesn't shout and it a scent you can enjoy for yourself. It has a slight touch of En Passant in that it has a whispering soulful quality that is known to it's wearer and only those who get extremely close to it.

Sunday, 19 April 2009

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

The books I'm lusting after

French Home

A Certain Slant of Light

Metrostop: Paris

Perfume: The Alchemy of Scent

Just when I get some way towards taming the wish list beast I find another four books to add. I am especially salivating about the Jean Claude Elena book which I read about courtesy of Now Smell This.

Monday, 13 April 2009

Bank holiday rage

As children a very close friend and I used to hate bank holidays. Now that we have grown up we have changed our minds- because a day off work is always nice and also because more is now open. Our chief complaint with bank holidays as kids was literally everything was shut (I think we must have been quite strange children though because surely a day off school was always highly desirable).

I am now thinking my ten year old self wasn't so silly. I have had a good weekend up until today but bank holiday Mondays are tricky, if you ask me. If you do go out you run into traffic on an epic scale and much weekend/ hungover driving (this is not just true of London it is also true in Surrey where I have spent my weekend). So it takes ages to get anywhere and you need eyes everywhere.

There are also literally thousands upon millions of cyclists everywhere but not the usual arrogant but quite well equipped, speedy ones. No these are the ones without helmets who ride in the middle of the road at 2 miles an hour, all red faced and looking like they're about to drop. When you do get anywhere you can't park, even though the being able to park on yellow lines should improve the situation. You have to leave wherever you go early because you know the roads will be even worse by 4pm when things will get literally biblical and you may have to sleep in your car if you try and use the A3/ M4/ M25.

On top of the roads and parking you have the Sunday feeling- but on Monday. By Sunday feeling I mean that nagging in the back of your head saying 'you have work tomorrow', 'better not have another glass of wine you have to be up early', 'you'll have lots of work on tomorrow' and 'what about all that stuff you put off on Thursday because it was a bank holiday the next day'. Hmm.

So I decided that after several nice outings over the weekend- and many hundreds of mini cream eggs- today would be the day to stay in, stop eating out constantly and finally set up my i-pod.

Now the reason I am still in the dark ages and don't have a pod set up is when I did try 2 years ago it was apparently impossible and I gave up and probably went out or watched a dvd. The other reason is that I like to listen to the sound of town around me on buses and trains and have never really felt the desire to have a pod on- but I did miss having one on holiday- hence the decision to try and have another go.

Today I discovered that 2 years have not healed the pod and they have not made me any more patient with technology. I actually consider myself to be not bad with computers in general but the pods seem to have been made by aliens and are beyond my abilities.

The pod is back in the drawer and I'm about to drink wine, even though tomorrow will be an excessively busy school day- and I'm going to watch Twilight on dvd and revel in it's wonder as if seventeen and a hater of bank holidays again.

I hope everyone had very happy Easters.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Miller Harris: Fleurs De Bois

Strolling through my beloved Liberty I found to my surprise and happiness the new Miller Harris fragrance Fleurs De Bois available a month earlier than I had thought it would be. It is I now find exclusive to Liberty for the month of April.

I have been waiting to try this fragrance since I read the first reports that it was inspired by a walk through Regent's Park. I now read that is inspired more specifically by a walk through the secret gardens in Regent's Park. I confess that although I think of myself as having a fair amount of the knowledge I didn't know of a secret garden in Regent's Park- which I think makes the idea of the scent even more interesting to me.

The Liberty website describes the scents as having: 'Crisp top notes of galbanum and green grass, lemon Sicily, tangerine green and rosemary [that] give way to a traditional English bouquet of rose, jasmine and iris. A base of oakmoss, patchouli, santal, vetiver and accents of birch complete this green and woody bouquet'.

Initially I found the grass and rosemary scents most pronounced and as the scent dried on my skin the rosemary continued to be very detectable together with the lemon and some grass- but all in a more mellow, woody base softened by a hint of florals as is described.

Fleurs De Bois has excellent staying power, is beautifully packaged (as all the Miller Harris scents are) and I find it a very interesting perfume. It is not something I fell instantly for but the more I sample it the more I think I could fall for it.

My one point of contention with Fleurs De Bois is it's name. I don't find it unusual enough and it most definitely doesn't sound like what it smells of. I know the company has a tradition of using french names but I'm sure something relating to a secret garden in French, or even to the park, would have been much more romantic and appealing.

Sunday, 5 April 2009


Sorry to bang on about the holiday but...

The photo's are starting to filter through, to my computer and to the worldwide internet monster- where people I might not want to see pictures of being looking pale and larger than I might like in swimsuits can do just that.

There are also some pictures of me post sea sickness, hungover, in the process of getting a hangover and many where I look like I need a whole bottle of frizz ease applied to my hair immediately.

I like to think I am a good sport about photo's, I don't untag from any unless they are truly terrifying. However all this has got me thinking- do I not like photo's because they tell a truth I don't want to hear? When I look in the mirror I don't hate what I see, yes I could be taller, slimmer, more white teethed, sleeker haired etc but basically I tend to leave the house thinking I look fairly good. When I see photo's I wonder do I have the opposite of body dismorphia- do I see myself in the mirror as smaller and more attractive where some people see themselves as bigger and less attractive?

Sometimes I really hate the camera.

On tanning

I have decided holidays can change who we are- either just for the time we are away, or in a much more permanent way.

For the most part I just turn into a much more relaxed version of myself when away- and I would imagine therefore a much pleasanter and more patient me.

This time around I became fairly obsessed with tanning in a way I hadn't ever been before. Sure we all feel better when we're browner, it's slimming, it hides imperfections, it makes us look more attractive- but I had always accepted that I was one of life's pale and (hopefully) interesting types- because even after 2 weeks in burning sun I am normally a faintly gold colour at best.

On this holiday for the first time I found myself tempted to ditch the sun cream and get a really dark colour. I didn't do as I wished and kept faithfully layering on the factor 5000 but it did worry me that I started to think maybe sun beds or layers of orange fake tan weren't so bad after all.

Now that I am back it doesn't seem as important at all to be brown- and the idea of applying endless after sun is becoming more and more boring. but I do quite like the 'aren't you a lovely colour' type comments and it does give me more of a swing in my step to be sun kissed.