Thursday, 29 March 2012

Perfume: Vivienne Westwood, Boudoir- Sin Garden

Vivienne Westwood's Boudoir Sin Garden is a lovely perfume, with a terrible name and a less than enticing box. I wonder if the latter two comments are the reason it doesn't receive more attention?

All scent lovers know it's all about the smell- and if for you it's a little bit about the bottle then I think Westwood's Tudor orb looks very pretty on dressing tables and in cabinets.

The great Dame's first perfume was Boudoir, a beautiful and truly sexy scent. The blush pink liquid is truly romance nectar and it's not to be worn without caution. I've rarely worn it without being complimented by men and women- however I also rarely wear it because frankly I don't often feel up to it. It is also absolutely not a perfume you could wear for anything other than a date or a very sophisticated party. You truly need a good black dress and to feel like Sophia Loren on the inside to carry it off. If you can it has untold influence!

Sin Garden (really who came up with that) is much more wearable while retaining some of the earthy aspects of the original. It is heavy on the oakmoss but that is lightened by top floral notes and the whole scent is green without the coldness that I find some green perfumes have.

I've been wearing this scent since Christmas- it was a good day and evening perfume in the winter, it has enough power to be worn in the cold. However it's really become interesting since the weather got warmer- it has enough freshness for higher temperatures but enough amber and oakmoss to be a little sexy too.

I know I'm starting to love a perfume when I start to worry about running out- and I'm two thirds of the way through this bottle. For a lady with as many bottles of scent as me to use that much since Christmas- I think that is a review in itself.

Image from Fragrantica.

Saturday, 24 March 2012

Wake up it's a beautiful morning

When the sun comes out in London (and in life) everything changes. I don't think I suffer from SAD syndrome and there are things I like about winter (wrapping up, roast dinners by fires in pubs on Sundays, reading books because it's raining too hard to go outside, Christmas, hot boozy drinks, hot non boozy drinks, not having to be quite as groomed- less plucked, waxed, shaved, moisturised and generally whipped into womanhood). However this morning I woke up and as the sun burst through the curtains instead of being angry about losing sleep I couldn't wait to get up!

The changes sun brings in me are subtle- I want a shower instead of a bath, a cold drink instead of a hot one (this post may feature too much talk of hot drinks), it reawakens my interest in the city too- I genuinely wanted to jump on my bike and go to Victoria Park for the first time in forever. I want to DO things not see them- in the winter I'm all about the cinema or if I'm lucky the theatre, today I don't want to be in a dark room, I wouldn't go if you paid me. I want a few inches cut off my hair and to wear sandles even though it's a bit cold.

So hello sunshine and hopefully goodbye hibernating.

Fun London print from The Shop at Number 57 Found via Tea for Joy

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Going Cuban

I went shopping at the weekend (believe it or not that's actually quite rare for me).

Cuban heels are the new thing aren't they? and it's taking my eyes time to adjust. I don't know if the style is a tip of the hat to the Queen's love of a block heel or a reaction to the laughably high hooker shoes that have been fashionable in recent years. There is certainly no doubt that they are much more comfortable then spike heels of any height because they spread weight more evenly and don't tip you forward. I'm just not sure about them. I like them on Audrey Hepburn- and the Queen. But Audrey looks good in everything and the Queen is the Queen.

I'm sure it'll be like footless tights (leggings) and I'll have 5 pairs in 2 months and wonder what I was thinking of but at the moment they just remind me of the bad shoes in the first season of Sex and the City.

Carla square toe court in navy blue, black and red (remember how much I love red shoes from Hobbs).

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture

David Hockney: A Bigger Picture at the Royal Academy is like a prescription for happiness. Better reviewers who know more about art than I do have written very eloquently about A Bigger Picture so I will just say go if you can, queue outside, go at 11pm- do what you must. The canvases just sing in the Royal Academy- the Grand Canyon up close is enormous and brimming with colour but it's only when you stand 3 rooms away that you see the fire of the sands burn and the paint almost become reality. The canvases are so vast- there is no way a poster reproduction on a wall could be the same- go, go!

What I wanted to say though is do stay and watch the presentation on the cinema screen near the end. Depending no when you arrive you will probably think it is just very slow moving images, which are pretty but a lot of people were moving on. Stay though as there is a ten minute section of dance which is just as life affirming and wide smile inducing as the exhibition. I was whistling and bopping down Piccadilly and all the way home!

Image of the exhibition catalogue from the The Royal Academy online shop.

Thursday, 1 March 2012


So of late I have found myself in something of a no- spend.

Like rain on a sunny day there seems to be no reason for my thrifty episodes occurring. It is usually at times when I really should be pulling my belt in that I suddenly need new clothes or to buy those must have theatre tickets to use in 6 months time that then clash with something.

At the moment I am embarking on something of an exciting adventure that will involve some investment so that is, in part, perhaps the reason for my fiscal reserve- but it isn't the only reason.

I could definitely do with some new clothes- or more realistically slimming into some of my old clothes (which would be both thrifty and healthy, I had a panic attack the other morning so I'm trying to get more sleep and look after myself, part of which is exercise but the other part of which is definitely sleep). There is also a definite case for me buying an ipad, I could even make a good business case for that kind of spending- but I'm not really interested.

I am turned off by most 'you must buy this' and 'this season we will mostly be wearing' articles. My desire for high end items is undiminished- I really did want the lilac Valentino peep toe shoes with about £500 off yesterday, but I have 100 pairs of shoes. Most of those shoes are beautiful heels that I don't wear and do I really need another pair of those? (I am still thinking about them, it is possible I really do need them).

I am also being quite thrifty food wise. I never scrimp on the quality of meat or vegetables but I do tire of throwing things away so I just shop as I go now. It does mean sometimes on a Saturday morning when you are too tired to move that you don't have any food in the house but it also means you don't put the weekly shop in the bin!

For a long time I've though of buying a home and though it will never be easy it is something I must find a way to do- and I know if and when I do there will be costs and consequences (and that I will definitely not be able to be thrifty interiors buying wise). Perhaps I am thinking about that next chapter.

As a woman now not a girl the obsession with buying the latest make up, the latest fashion, the latest download- well it is passing. I'm not sure what will replace it- or if this is just a phase.

The one area that I always have and always will spend on is books. I now own a Kindle (okay that did involve spending) which means I'm buying digital and print editions of books because I feel treacherous just buying the digital ones (and you can't lend them on). I literally can't think about how heavy the boxes will be if I do ever move.