Monday, 29 April 2013

Everywhere else

This Laura Marling interview blew my mind a bit, well that's strong, I was surprised certainly. It made me think about places we live, again.

That a person like Laura Marling could love LA in the way she clearly does was the shock to me- because aside from the hotel I stayed in- which I must say was lovely- I really didn't like LA (beyond thinking the shopping was quite fun and pretending to be in Pretty Woman for the afternoon on Rodeo Drive). You have to get in a taxi to go everywhere, or wait for a bus for a really long time; there are miles and miles of boring roads with traffic jams, life is just films and shops- but not good films, big blockbuster films that they clearly take very seriously. I'm sure my experience shows the difference between being a tourist somewhere and living there, I hear there are great gigs and bars but I didn't find them. I can see the weather would lift the mood- but I even found that a bit relentlessly pleasant.

I have often suspected that what Marling has clearly found to be true though- that we might find a happier or easier version of ourselves somewhere else. Or perhaps more accurately we would be a different person somewhere else. Is it losing the burden of people knowing things about you that makes that so? When you move to University it's a chance to reinvent the you from school, even if you liked that you, it's a chance for change- any kind of move is like that I suppose- be it from East London to West London or London to California.

I occasionally think about moving, I love London and I always knew I wanted to move here as a little girl. For the most part I absolutely love my life here and it would break my heart to have to leave- but I do find more and more when I leave London to go elsewhere in the UK it feels like I'm visiting a different country, I love both countries, or all of them if I'm visiting Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland- but there is an increasing gap. I think finding love anywhere but London is easier, I think you will work less anywhere else. People are very demanding in London in some ways, not considering you to be interesting if you don't have a certain handbag or live in a certain post code on the one hand- then on the other it's perhaps the most tolerant part of the UK and embraces all manner of glorious eccentricities. London is hard but I wouldn't be without it. Sometimes though, I just wonder, what would my life be like somewhere else? What if when I graduated I'd headed off to Brighton, or Scotland- or another country completely.

Thursday, 18 April 2013

The Diary of a nose by Jean-Claude Ellena

The Diary of a Nose: A Year in the Life of a Parfumeur is a delightful publishing anomaly. This gem of a book was penned by Jean-Claude Ellena, a real artist in the world of perfume- in my opinion- and of course the Hermes in house perfumeur/ superstar.

This book isn't new but, as mentioned below, last year was something of a blur. Reading wasn't something I didn't do but I seemed to gravitate towards books I had read before and strangely perhaps to heavier books in terms of tone and content. I have read that the reason that the crime genre is so eternally popular isn't that we all like mystery but that we like the distraction from our own lives- well I certainly read a lot of Agatha Christie.

This book is a different and less intense kind of distraction- an utter delight for a perfume geek certainly- but probably also for anyone who appreciates reading the diary of someone who truly loves and is good at their work.

Ellena shares all kinds of anecdotes, from his early career to what he ate that day. For me it's like visiting a life I'd love to have, if I was a) any good at Chemistry and b) French- it's a pleasure to read.

The English edition comes in a small hardback book with a lovely dusk pink dust jacket that is about as pretty as a book can be- without being too feminine I hasten to add. I read this in virtually one go but I felt so happy and sophisticated having it in my hands on the bus, at the table in the cafe and lastly tucked up in bed.

My favourite Ellena perfume is Eau des Merveilles- and this book is a wonder, to me. 

Published by Penguin in the UK and available from Anthropology on Regent Street in London- and I'm sure other lovely book shops

Poor neglected blog

Despite the odd appearance to write about the odd dress or frivolity or for the occasional tweet I have been very absent online for quite a long time.

People are so lovely and kind online but I think to just announce something bad happened would also be rather strange- and of course it's not just your life you'd be writing about.

Still I have missed being online a lot- and now I hope things have settled enough to be back! I have been fine, continuing to do fun stuff yes but there was also a very difficult time where I worked 12 hours a day and then dashed to hospital every night. Suffice to say I've revised my thoughts on being an only child
and while I still think being an only is wonderful in many ways it is also a responsibility. It can also leave you feeling isolated

So anyway,back to the perfume- and the happy!