The past week felt very odd. Too many things to be stressed about; very grey and humid weather which wasn’t terribly pleasant; badly handled school results for 18 year olds (a friend’s daughter who was predicted very high grades missed out on the course she wanted because of one grade, so tears and frustration).

In addition, in general, the fragrances I picked to wear were all wrong for the season and the weather and I have no clue why I kept choosing them. They were clearly much more appropriate for colder, dry weather. I’m hoping I do better this week.

But, a few lovely and pleasant things that did occur last week.

Number 1. My son and some friends finally managed to arrange a camping trip for the end of this month. They’ll surf and eat poorly and just have fun together. The best thing about it though to my mind (beyond them getting to spend time together before they all go off to different cities) is a trip to the Eden Project ( If you live in the UK and have never been it’s well worth the faff of getting to Cornwall. If you don’t live in the UK and manage to come here on holiday at some point in the future it is worth a detour. The train down from London skirts the Atlantic Coast and has amazing views. I would not drive unless you’re used to driving in the UK. There’s a short bus journey at the end of the train ride.

Number 2. I received my Daylesford Farm Vine Tomato candle (I discovered there was a small version which only set me back £14). And it is wonderful. Fruity and green. Plus, it comes in a sort of mason-like jar, so will still be useful after the wax is gone. Looking forward to lighting it when we’re in rainy season and through the winter (which is mostly rainy season, just colder). Last Christmas, the guy I work for (he doesn’t call us his workers, rather his colleagues) sent a Daylesford box. It was tremendously good, full of lovely things packed in a wooden crate that I plan to re-purpose for planting (if the builders haven’t made off with it – I left it in the back garden).

Number 3. Joe the Lab is booked into a new dog day camp for an assessment, so he has somewhere to go on moving day. He loves hanging with other dogs, though he is not partial to small dogs or dogs that bark a lot and loudly. I am looking forward to hearing the assessment because while he is wonderful and we love him to bits, he tries to jump on people who are not us. He did puppy class, but that lesson didn’t stick. So, unless we’re in a deserted field, he has to walk on a lead, which I think he has turned into him walking us, keeping us safe.  So much responsibility.

Number 4. Almost every day I walk past a house – either on the dog walk or the solo walk – which has what I think is a magnolia tree in front of one wall. The blossoms smell incredible: citrus-lemon with a bit of honey mixed in. And they are huge and beautiful. Is it late for a magnolia to still be blooming? I think it’s a magnolia grandiflora (but correct me if I’m wrong – see pic) and I would love to have one of these in my garden, but it (the garden) is way too small.

Number 5. I finally (after several months of looking) found a vertical wall-mounted coat rack for the house-house. This is a narrow house, with a narrow entry way leading straight to the stairs. So, I can’t have anything that takes up space. There are hooks under the stairs, but I needed something to toss coats and scarves on to that are used regularly – and I didn’t want to spend the earth which I didn’t have to with this.

In any case, wish me luck in getting my fragrance choices right this week. Hope things haven’t been stressful for you and your weather has been pleasant and enjoyable.

  • Patty says:

    I have jumping dogs too. Louis is the worst, but if I can get a slip leash on him quickly before someone comes in, he is an absolute angel, and then all the others fall in line too. Love tomato vine scent. I had my sisters smell it – the Cb one – the other day, and she loves tomatoes, and she just goes ewwwww. Huh? It’s such a great scent.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Ah, but does your dog weigh 65 lbs? What didn’t your sister like about the CB fragrance? On a different note, I tried Parchment and it is truly awful on me. An overly sweet and powdery Bois Farine (I like Bois Farine). Had to wash it off.

  • Dina C. says:

    Dear Cinnamon,
    Yes, that’s a magnolia grandiflora. We have them all over the place here in Virginia. Aren’t they wonderful?! They smell gorgeous. A little bit lemony and sharp/sour too. Our dog sounds like your dog. He’s been through some courses, but he still gets so excited when he sees other people and wants to jump up. We’re working on that. The tomato vine candle sounds yummy. Love that green scent.

    • Cinnamon says:

      There aren’t that many of them here of that size — lots of smaller and pinker ones. I am wondering what the people at camp will say about Joe after the assessment — ie, this dog needs some training please. We shall see. It is a wonderful candle at a very manageable price.

  • Portia says:

    Hey Cinnamon,
    BUMMER about your frag choices, fingers crossed for happier choices this week.
    That vertical coat rack is fun.
    We have an IKEA photo shelf with a row of hooks underneath as you walk into the apartment. It’s cool. Full of family photos and some art. It’s the first thing you see as you enter our place. Higgledy piggledy bags, coats and scarves hang below. I love the way it all looks.
    Dogs are like children, you can only show them the right way and then they make up their own minds.
    Portia xx

    • Cinnamon says:

      Tx. I’m trying to consciously think to myself ‘weather is X today — find something appropriate’. I love the idea of those shelf and hook things but the more I looked the more I thought ‘that really won’t work’. Looked all over etsy and finally for some reason plugged vertical into google and low and behold, exactly what I needed at a decent price. The dog thinks he’s my son’s brother, rather than the ‘pet’. It’s too bad we don’t know how to speak his language…

  • Musette says:

    that is definitely a magnolia – I love the scent (wear AdParma’s Magnolia Nobile in Summer) – the only magnolia I have is a small star magnolia I nursed from a spur (a $5 find at the nursery) – it’s now a gorgeous 7′ masterpiece but only blooms in mid-Spring.
    What is this Dog Day Camp of which you speak? – just joshin’ – I know what they are – I just never am able to utilize them, always having huge, predatory, unsociable-as-hell dogs. The Girl is confined to her own kennel at The Lodge – there is no way on earth she is allowed to mingle with other dogs. Though she does have a 6 yr old human girl (the granddaughter of the kennel owner) who adores her (and vice versa).

    Bonne chance on the perfume choices! xoxoxo

    • Cinnamon says:

      Wow! How do you root something like that? I’ve managed clematis but that’s it. Fingers crossed on camp. I expect he’ll be fine but they’ll tell me he’s wonderful but poorly behaved. Sigh. I hope the Girl’s kennel area is huge. Tx on perfume. So far so good (Philosykos — much more appropriate to weather).

  • March says:

    Magnolia, what a wonderful smell. I love that coat rack, and the rest of your good news…. we have racks and hooks all over the house, and I have those over-door racks. Great in an old house with minimal storage. Sounds like the move into the house-house is getting close?

    • Cinnamon says:

      Tx on the coat rack. I kept looking at horizontal ones and thinking, really, that’s not going to work in the space. A standing rack won’t work at all. Indeed old houses and storage. Didn’t they need to store things years ago? When I moved into the house it had an understairs area and a closet in one bedroom. That’s it. And moving back second week in October. Have booked removal date. There’s still a lot to do it seems though. Fingers crossed builders will finish. If not, the dog will be going to camp till they do.

      • rosarita says:

        That rack is very cool. My tiny house was built in 1900 and has 2 closets, his and hers, and I’m with you, horizontal racks just don’t fit in here very well. The closet issue – especially living in a climate that has distinct and extreme seasons – makes me shop very carefully.

        • Cinnamon says:

          I am planning to try to be quite careful about what enters the house when I return. It will help that my income is now lower than it was before I moved to the rental and that I’m going to be pretty much shielding through winter once I’m back there. The garden is going to get a lot of attention.

  • kayceebee says:

    Yes, that is definitely a magnolia. They are wonderful.
    Here in the US we have a variety called Little Gem southern magnolia which stays small, compact, and is not too wide. It is for small gardens. No idea if it might be available to you. I have a small yard and have 5 which form a screen to the view beside me. And yes, they are still blooming although not as much as earlier in the summer.

    • Cinnamon says:

      Can’t find that variety here. There are some smaller ones but unless I can do them in large tubs I don’t think there’s room in the garden really. It’s a nice idea though.

  • Kathleen says:

    I love the scent of magnolia blooms, and they are so beautiful. You described the scent perfectly: citrus-lemon with a bit of honey mixed in. When I lived in Dallas 20 some years ago, they were all over. Sadly they don’t grow where I live now in Colorado.
    I hope you find great fragrance choices this week!

    • Cinnamon says:

      these are dessert plate size. just extraordinary. I stopped to smell the blooms each time I passed but yesterday I couldn’t put a finger on it and had to read some reviews before the a ha moment.