A brief post, with a brief overview, of things I’m briefly, or lengthily, loving.
- Matt bought me some filing boxes – lovely little faux suede beauties – for my decants and samples. It’s a delight to have things organised alphabetically by house. Next, I’ll be wanting all those little bitty vials to stand up. Goodbye, scatterbrained self.
- All things Annick Menardo. It must be the onset of darkness here in northern Europe, but suddenly her fragrances seem just so right. Now, I don’t know all of them and one or two I use as air fresheners (I know, I know, but you can get things like Jaipur Homme cheaper than Glade, or nearly. And heliotrope smells better in the air than on my skin). Hell, I don’t even own Bvlgari Black anymore. But currently, I’m all about Le Labo Patchouli 24: that dark smokiness with a lick of vanilla fits right about now to perfection. It’s all the bonfires, plus the slight candy waft of the funfair. Bvlgari Black is urbane and chic; for some reason Patchouli 24 is rustic and mucky and glorious. I’m also stumping up for Bois d’Armenie, a perfume that’s danced a slow waltz of seduction with me, to which I have finally succumbed. It’s a perfect comfort scent, even if the price is a joke.
- Bottles rather than decants. I’m not a bottle lover really, but somehow, a decant rarely satisfies properly, even if I know I’m unlikely to use more than 10mls of a scent in as many months. What is this? Greed? Fetishisation? My own version of conspicuous consumption?
- Saving money. Matt has got me hooked on savings, and even though I now work part-time and bring in less money than I have for over ten years, I’m somehow saving like billy-o. And yet, still buying new perfumes all the while. Dressing in rags helps. At least I’ll be a snazzily dressed pensioner at this rate.
- Streamlining my scents. In spite of number 3., I’m determined to keep only the fragrances that I truly love as I reduce my mound of full bottles from 100 to nearer 50. I think I’m 65ish now, though this fluctuates depending on what arrives (sometimes, temptation’s hard to deal with, ain’t it Louise?).
- Belle and Sebastian. I’ve stopped buying music for some reason, but the winsome vocals combined with the mordant wit of this Scottish group has always held a place in my heart, and they seem to have shifted to the fore once more. Love them. ‘Stars of Track and Field’ has to be one of the best songs evah, alongside ‘Wrapped up in books’, ‘The boy with the arab strap’ and too too many others.
- Rousse by Serge Lutens. I haven’t worn it for a while, and had a little spray earlier today. Oh yes.
- The Stuff of Thought by Steven Pinker. Sometimes, intelligent non-fiction books that don’t journey from A-B in their analyses irritate the hell out of me. Fortunately, I guess, Pinker’s anecdotes are so engaging that I don’t mind too much if I forget what they were there to elucidate in the first place. He’s a writer who makes the journeys to C,D,E,F,G,H,I,J,K,L,M,N,O,P,Q,R,S,T,U,V,W,X,Y and Z a pleasure even when it leads to aporia… (that’s for Marina).
- Radio 4. I wake up to the Today programme, and even though it’s often filled with the standard geopolitical despair of our times, I thank the heavens that the BBC manages to produce such incisive and impartial news, beset by scandals or not. And it has truly wonderful comedy that you can listen to again whenever you want via the website. Favourites of mine are spoof radio phone-in show Down the Line and I’m Sorry I Haven’t a Clue. You have to listen to at least one episode of each now. Though neither is exactly PC, and Humphrey Lyttelton manages to get away with the smuttiest jokes you’ll ever hear at ‘tea-time’…
- Where I live. The other day, I chatted to a holidaymaker who was out walking his daft little dog (that’s a compliment). He took in the view of the expansive village green across to Melford Hall and with a sigh told me how lucky I was to live where I do. It’s easy to forget the beauty that surrounds you, whether that’s people or places. We tend to be so absorbed in doing that we fail to sigh and feel the pleasure – unless we go elsewhere deliberately to do so. I’ve been guilty of this a lot the time, and often my perfume obsession (let’s be honest here, right?) can lead to a ‘What’s next?’ mentality, as I forget the wonders that are already in easy reach for those that are yet to arrive. It’s the one area of my life where promiscuity has free hold, and sometimes I worry that I all to easily end up forgetting to look at the view. So, for that reason, I’m determined to spend more time sighing at the beauty of life as it is, rather than as it might be. That’s, if you like, an early new year’s resolution.
What are you loving right now?
(Image of bonfire night at Melford Hall from the BBC; image of Melford Village Green from beenthere-donethat.org.uk)