Friday 31 October 2008

March of the pumpkins

Happy Halloween

all pictures courtesy of (searching under pumpkin)

Thursday 30 October 2008


when you suddenly feel that you understand, or suddenly become aware of, something that is very important to you or a powerful religious experience

Yesterday evening I had a perfume epiphany, sniffing Voile De Fleur by Tom Ford again I realised I don't just like it, it's delicious! I admire the idea of Black Orchid and that Tom Ford was brave with it but it doesn't work on me. When I tried Voile De Fleur I thought it was much nicer but I wasn't in love.

Last night for some reason, I'm not sure if it's the very cold, crisp weather we're having or the fact I have been quite scent free in recent weeks, I took a spritz of VDF and whoah- I was turned, it's fabulous.

Once I had got over by need to keep sniffing the VDF I started thinking about if I had ever had perfume epiphany's before- and yes I have.

Certainly I struggled with Mitsouoko to begin with. I think my route to loving it came through loving L'heure Bleu. With L'heure Bleu it was an instant love but Mitsouoko took a couple of tries and really to start with I wanted to scrub. Then one day I spritzed it on my wrist, and when I came back to it about twenty minutes later the peach moss nectar had turned into something bewitching that I felt I understood and was distractingly wonderful.

It's not that I wanted to train myself to like Voile De Fleur or Mitsouoko. I just routinely try scents and with these I have found when I returned to them I was happily taken aback by what I had missed.

definition from:

Voile de Fleur picture courtesy of:

Orchid picture courtesy of:

Tuesday 28 October 2008

Wear your poppy with pride

For this years Poppy appeal the Royal British Legion have asked three jewellery designers to make pieces based on poppies.

My favourite jewellery designer Alex Monroe has made this lovely gold and jewelled poppy broach, as worn by the fabulous Judi Dench.

Luxury jewellery Theo Fennell has made this piece (as modelled by the also fabulous Dame Helen Mirren)

and Kleshan, loved by the stars, have made this broach, again seen on Dame Judi Dench:

Bids can be made for the jewellery here. I think this is a lovely idea and although these are a little out of my price range I hope they raise lots of money. I will be wearing my normal paper poppy with pride on Remembrance Day.

Alex Monroe broach picture courtesy of

Theo Fennell and Kleshan Poppy pictures courtesy of:

Monday 27 October 2008


I have been tagged by Scent of Abricots and The Daily Connoisseur two of my favourite blogs.

When tagged, one must:

1. Link to the person who tagged you (above)

2. Post the rules on your blog (here)

3. Write six random things about yourself

a) I have a borderline phobia of tinned tuna and particularly tuna mayonnaise. A tuna mayonnaise and sweetcorn melt is my room 101 food.

b) I worked at Buckingham Palace after graduating.

c) I am not actually from London, I am from Surrey, although I live in London now. I have that love for London that many people who weren't born here have, a more intense, wide eyed love born out of coming as a child and just being drunk with wonder instantly. The wonder still hasn't diminished even though there are clearly lots of things that aren't perfect. Of course I love Surrey too and do not hold that you are either town or country.

d) I have shoes ranging from size 37 to 40

e) My first perfume was L'air du Temps by Nina Ricci

f) I have never seen Beaches all the way through

4. Tag six people at the end of your post and link to them

I am not going to tag anyone as I think most of the blogs I regularly contribute to have been tagged

6. Let the tagger know when your entry is up.

Will do!

L'air du Temps picture courtesy of:

Apple Day

Yesterday it was to Apple day at Borough market.

Before receiving the apple day flyer from the market I didn't know about apple day but having looked into it I think it's a fantastic idea.

It was established by Common ground in 1990 as 'a way of celebrating and demonstrating that variety and richness matter to a locality and that it is possible to affect change in your place'. You can read more about it here. There is also an Apple source book if apple day inspires you into cooking many appley recipes.

It was a rainy day but I had great fun at Borough Market's apple day. We walked from Waterloo along the south bank past lots of my favourite places, the national theatre, tate modern, the globe and the little houses next to it. Then onto the cobbles past Sir Francis Drakes's ship and the Medieval prison and into the market. It's a walk I often take but it never dissapoints.

We had apple fritters from Fish and cups of piping hot mulled cider and wine and celebrated all things apple and harvest.

Then it was on to Covent Garden for roast lamb and our thoughts turned from harvest to Christmas as the day turned to night.

Apples picture courtesy of

Monday 20 October 2008

Dream job

I enjoyed this interview with Sylvaine Delacorte, the fragrance director of Guerlain.

I couldn't agree more with the writer, her job sounds dreamy indeed. Saying that I don't particularly like the bestsellers she has produced that the article refers to, L'Instant, Insolence and so on. Still I think it's interesting to read about how she got to the position she did. Plus I always like to read about Guerlain and see bee bottle pictures in the mainstream press!

Friday 17 October 2008

Stop and smell the roses

Before I jumped down the rabbit hole into a whole new world of niche fragrances and more unusual combinations I was a real rose scent lover.

I've realised that as I have become more interested and sometimes obsessed with other notes I have tended to rather ignore my old favourite- and namesake.

I still use quite a lot of rose based skincare as it seems to work on my English rose (for that read very pale and sensitive) skin. It was while testing the delicious Jurlique rose scented products I realised I had forgotten to appreciate rose of late.

When I thought about why this is it's because the beauty industry has had such a crush on it for the last few years. I am particularly thinking of the fragrance industry here as skincare has contained rose for years because of it's benefits to skin.

The new crush is obviously woody and all of the scent companies are bringing out their woody scent now (Magnifique, Sensuous etc).

The more I thought about this the more angry this made me. Scent companies (and I mean the more mainstream ones here generally) are literally using up all our interested in a note or type of scent and then will just fling the throw away scents they have created aside when it suits them (I don't think Valentino Rock and Rose is going to be talked about in fifty years time...)

Stop and Smell the roses and other lovely retro prints available from:

Wednesday 8 October 2008

Dans Tes Bras

Yes I finally got my wish fulfilled and tested Dans Tes Bras (In Your Arms) by Maurice Roucel for Frederic Malle last night.

I am very happy to report that I very much enjoyed being in these arms. I do have a cold but I am having much more trouble than is usual breaking down the scent components but the overall effect of wearing this so far has been a happy inner glow at smelling so good! I definitely get violet and musk and heliotrope. The lady at Liberty said that the scent is supposed to smell like skin that has been in the sun- and to some extent it does- but not at all in the way of scents that smell of someone who has been on the beach wearing sun cream. The scent isn't heavy but it's certainly blooming on my skin in the quite crisp autumn weather we're having today and I am thinking of it as more of a winter scent.

I think this has great sillage but in a whispering rather than shouting way. Sitting on the bus last night I did keep thinking what is that lovely smell, thinking I could smell the perfume but also someone else's that was mixing with it as the smell in the air wasn't the smell on my skin. I soon realised that the captivating scent was the perfume and that it smells better from a little distance than when your nose is pressed up against your wrist! So I suppose it is a little like walking around being wrapped in a wonderful embrace, what a wonderful idea.

Sadly this is all but washed off today but it lingers on my coat- and my nose is often to be found buried in my sleeve! My coat's scent has already been complimented as well!

Dan Tes Bras picture courtesy of:

American Soldier and English Girlfriend Blissfully Embracing on Lawn in Hyde Park originally from LIFE archives and found courtesy of:

Tuesday 7 October 2008

Seasons of mist

Well really it's more seasons of rain so far but I am getting Autumnal urges to hoard food and bake. I feel like a mouse in the Brambly Hedge children's books and want to pick fruits, pot relishes and pile the shelves high with stores for winter.

I also want to sleep lots more than usual (so virtually all the time really) and listen to lots of Radio 4.

I'm testing spicy, heavy perfumes after a spring and summer of citrus and florals and my nose couldn't be happier, it's as if it's smelling some of the scents for the first time.

I am a total believer in eating seasonally and I think perfuming seasonally makes sense too. Well that's my excuse anyway.

I am off to Liberty tonight to finally sample the new Frederic Malle, then it will be back to the burrow for some Radio 4 before bed!

First Brambly Hedge picture courtesy of (which is a great new blog I found looking for these pictures)

Second Brambly Hedge picture courtesy of

Wednesday 1 October 2008


Does anywhere in London have some Essie Mademoiselle nail varnish?

I don't want Vanity Fairest and it's all every shop that stocks Essie sells in the way of natural pink. I'm sure it's very good but I am used to Mademoiselle and I prefer the name, which shouldn't matter but it sort of does. What I would really like is the sort of nails that look perfect just buffed and filed and I'm afraid mine do look better with polish on them. I know I can get Essie on the internet but I wanted it last weekend for a wedding and there was no time.

Why haven't I seen the original Brideshead Revisited before?

It is being repeated on an obscure channel presumably because the new film is coming out (it's not getting very good reviews but I reserve judgement). The two episodes I saw on Saturday (when recovering from the country wedding I couldn't get nail varnish for) were wonderful, I was totally gripped. Jeremy Irons' narration is wonderful, his voice is so like melting dark chocolate I could listen to him reading the shopping list and be entranced. I see a box set purchase on the horizon. My amazon wish list is heaving with weight.

How much longer can my perfume no buy continue?

It's been about 4 months without bottles or samples and it's becoming a real struggle. The scents testing my will particularly are Sel De Vetiver and Guerlain Winter Delices. There are many more testing my will but these two have my finger itching for my credit card.

Essie Mademoiselle picture courtesy of:

Brideshead Revisted picture courtesy of:

Harrods perfume department picture courtesy of: (they say it's Liberty's old perfume room but it looks like Harrods to me)