Victoria & Albert Museum’s Glamour of Italian Fashion Exhibition


Preceded only by “I love you” and “You were right”, “Made in Italy” is my favorite three word phrase.  It never fails to fill me with a warm and fuzzy feeling (neither do the other two).  So amidst the chaos of new flooring being installed in my flat and uncertain weather, once again cursed by every newspaper in the country’s prediction of a “bbq summer”, I threw on one of my favorite vintage Pucci dresses, sprayed myself in 4160 Tuesdays’ Rome 1963, set my hair (bring it on, English weather!), and stepped out to take in The Glamour of Italian Fashion exhibition at the Victoria & Albert museum.

Barely escaping the carnage of a massive DIY project

Barely escaping the carnage of a massive DIY project

I managed to sneak a few photos inside the exhibition before getting told off by one of the security guards.

30th May 2014 002


Continue reading

4160 Tuesdays White Floral Perfume Day


I spent last Saturday, 24th May, at Sarah McCartney’s 4160 Tuesdays studio where I attended her one day workshop on my favorite fragrance family, white florals. I couldn’t be more pleased with having spent the day
there. The atmosphere was just as I had hoped it would be, and everyone was super friendly and welcoming, all brought together by our common love of perfumes. By the time I left later that day I felt more like I had been hanging out at a friend’s rather than attending a workshop that was extremely engaging, educational, and most importantly, fun. Sarah hosts a different Perfume Day each month. A full schedule of events can be found here. Definitely worth a visit!

25th May 2014 017

Continue reading

Coming to My Senses with Alyssa Harad


I had my first brush with London’s Perfuminati on Tuesday evening at the Coming to My Senses: Reading, Conversation and Sniffing event featuring the book’s author, Alyssa Harad, and hosted by Persolaise. I arrived about half an hour prior to when the event was scheduled to begin because I wanted to grab a seat close to where Alyssa would be speaking as I was planning to record the Q&A portion of the event on my iPhone and as it was my first time doing this (and as someone who is perpetually disappointed by the seeming limitations of modern technology) I wanted to be certain the app I had downloaded would be close enough to record clearly.

The full transcript of the Q&A with Persolaise and audience is available below my babbling 🙂

Alyssa greeted me as I entered the upstairs portion of the pub, and I immediately felt completely put at ease by her warm, welcoming aura. I had inadvertently emailed her a week prior to the event asking if it would be all right for me to cover on the blog to which she answered very encouragingly on the same day. She invited me to sit down with her and we spoke briefly about my budding interest in exploring perfume and writing about my experience, which I am documenting on this blog. She asked me about the types of perfumes I enjoyed the most and then she introduced me to the scent she wore on her wedding day, Annick Goutal’s Songes, which I found absolutely dreamy.

Alyssa greets a guest at the event

Alyssa greets a guest at the event

Continue reading

Miller Harris La Pluie Perfume Review


Perhaps this review is timely given the weather in London the past couple of days where the sun and clouds and rain have seemingly been chasing one another across the sky, but I found myself reaching for this fragrance today.  I was feeling a bit unsettled, wistful, pensive and lost in my thoughts, often catching myself gazing off out the window in a thousand yard stare into the gray sky thinking about nothing and everything all at once.

Coming to my Senses 006

I found my small sample of Miller Harris’s La Pluie and dabbed both of my wrists with this beautifully quiet perfume, laid down and began inhaling…

Continue reading

Deliciously Ella’s Buckwheat and Ginger Granola


It might sound a bit sad, but I was super excited to receive this recipe from Deliciously Ella in my inbox the other day.  I had been on the lookout for a recipe to use a surplus of buckwheat groats and cacao powder I had been saving like I was auditioning for an episode of Hoarders.  A recipe that was also a granola??  So making that!

new granola2


The recipe can be found at:

A few things that I did make note of as I was preparing the granola was that because I used dried dates they seemed to take a big longer to soften, and then I had a hard time blending them (I think because my blender is just shit) so I just ended up mashing them with the back of a fork and stirring everything really well.

new granola3


Do be sure to check the granola often once it is in the oven.  I checked mine after 15 minutes of cooking as the recipe suggests and then every seven minutes for the duration of the 45 minute cook time.  I felt that the granola was on the cusp of burning after the third time I checked it so I turned the temperature down to 110°C.

new granola


I had some tonight for dessert with plain yogurt and chopped strawberries and it was so good!  The flavor of the granola was rich and nutty and deep.  I’m not sure I would exactly have it for breakfast, but it made an excellent late night snack!

Too Much Is Never Enough: Snapshots from the Pradasphere


Pradasphere 024

Prada “a cosmos of its own composed of heavenly bodies set in a complex orbit” has essentially taken over Harrods with its Pradasphere for the entire month of May.

Pradasphere 070

I returned to the exhibition on Harrod’s fourth floor for a second time to photograph this definitive offering of treasures from a brand whose name has been at the fore front of my fashion consciousness my entire life.

Pradasphere 038

Continue reading

How Best to Preserve Your Perfume (Professional Tips by Guy Robert)


Earlier this week a helpful article on how best to preserve your perfumes was posted on Perfume Shrine:

Guy Robert

Guy Robert

“The fragrance advice “how to” comes from a free translation of legendary perfumer’s Guy Robert’s “Le Sens du Parfum” French book (out of print now) courtesy of SoCalWoman/MUA. Robert is responsible for lots of fragrance classics, such as Madame Rochas, Dior Dioressence, Equipage,Caleche and Doblis by Hermes, Amouage Gold etc.”

My First Week with Radical Skincare’s Anti-Aging Restorative Moisture



I have been using Radical Skincare’s Anti-Aging Restorative Moisture for a week now, and I wanted to post an update to my initial first impressions review. I have to say that I am starting to notice a real sort of internal luminosity creeping up to the surface, which is very encouraging. I have been using it twice daily, when I pull myself together for the day and when I get ready for bed, and I have found that I really crave the fragrance and sensation of applying it to my skin. It just feels incredibly refreshing and soothing and my skin really seems to drink it up.

The only issue I have had since beginning to use Radical’s moisturiser is that I have noticed I have had a few very small spots that seem to make an appearance and are then gone within about 12 – 24 hours. I like to think this is the anti-oxidants getting to work and pulling impurities from my skin and not a larger adverse reaction to the product. But it could be any number of things I suppose. This is just my observations since beginning to use this product so I am going to see how this progresses throughout further use (I have barely made a dent in the jar by the way).


Within a few days of using Radical’s Restorative Moisture I noticed the improvement in how other products I use on my skin appeared. Most days when I pop out I just use Jouer’s Luminizing Moisture Tint. After using Radical’s moisturiser it seemed to glide on so much smoother and looked noticeably more luminizing because of the overall brightening of my complexion.

So far, so good I would say. I will post an update in another week’s time with hopefully even better results. Fingers crossed. 🙂

Frederic Malle Portrait of a Lady Perfume Review

Portrait of a Lady by Jean-Baptiste Greuze at The Wallace Collection

Portrait of a Lady by Jean-Baptiste Greuze at The Wallace Collection. I was wearing the perfume when I took this.

Frederic Malle’s Portrait of a Lady is a perfume very dear to me not only for its fragrance but also for the memories I associate with it. I remember the day I purchased it so vividly. It ended up turning into quite a special one. It was my friend Sanjay’s last day working at the studio, and of course there was the usual office whip round to send him off with a leaving gift. I think because Sanjay always seemed to bring so much happiness with him where ever he went, with his great smile and really infectious laugh, everyone was a bit more generous than they usually were in in the past, which was great news for me who was usually tasked with selecting a present for whomever was leaving. I knew I could get Sanjay something really special, and knowing he was as smitten with perfume as I was, I headed straight down to the Frederic Malle counter at Liberty.

I purchased a bottle of Geranium pour Monsieur for Sanjay which he absolutely adored, and while that was being wrapped up the sales assistant asked me if I had tried Portrait of a Lady, which was in fact inspired by Geranium pour Monsieur. I was ensorcelled by the first spray. It effected me in such a way that I felt a dreamy heaviness wash over my eyes. Never before had I had such a visceral response to a fragrance.

As I left Liberty and was crossing the street only to be met by a girl working for one of the national magazines. I was a bit taken aback at first as I generally am when someone approaches me on the street, but then she started explaining to me that she wanted to feature me in the style section of the magazine. I was like beyond chuffed! I couldn’t believe it! Yes, so it wasn’t like the most glamorous experience having my photo taken rather awkwardly off to the side of a magazine kiosk, but I loved it anyway. And as far as I am concerned, my buying Portrait of a Lady lead to a portrait of a lady. 😛

More than three years later I am still as in love with this perfume as I was at first sniff. I wanted to make it my first perfume review for the memories this fragrances holds for me and because I find it to be such an olfactory masterpiece.

“Portrait of a Lady is a new generation rose Oriental. It’s a pure perfume, baroque and sumptuous, an urban version of the “Tales of the Arabian Nights”.” Frederic Malle

Illustration by Konstantin Kakanias from Frederic Malle On Perfume Making

Illustration by Konstantin Kakanias from Frederic Malle On Perfume Making

I sat down with Dominique Ropion’s creation for Frederic Malle today to write down my initial impressions. I had never actually done this before, and to be honest I found it a very interesting exercise. I was initially struck by just how sharp the opening of the fragrance is. It then settles very quickly, and I begin to smell the spices coming through. For me the spices begin with clove, then patchouli permeates through a melange of familiar smelling, comforting spices which seem to fall sparkling on a breathtaking unfolding blossom of warm Turkish Rose. As the rose blooms more prominently into the fragrance I begin to catch glimpses of the fruity notes peaking up from under her petals.

Turkish Rose

I would say Portrait of a Lady has a rather strong sillage, and a small amount of the fragrance does indeed go a very long way. I can still smell it on me more than five hours after putting it on, and by past experience I know that I will smell it throughout the rest of the evening and on my duvet when I wake up tomorrow. It has incredible lasting power, and I catch different accords, usually alternating between the warm spices and playful fruits swirling round the constancy of the rich, sensual rose, throughout my experience wearing it.

Described as an Oriental fragrance with notes of Turkish rose absolute, blended with raspberry, cassis, clove, cinnamon, patchouli, and amber. Portrait of a Lady is available to purchase in 50ml and 100ml eau de parfum sizes for £140 and £200 respectively.

Throughout today as I have been thinking about this fragrance I began to wonder about the inspiration for the name of the fragrance. Some sources say it was in fact inspired by the Henry James novel, while others say it was not. I haven’t actually read Portrait of a Lady so cannot say for certain if I find any similarities between Isabel Archer and the perfume I am wearing.

Isabel Archer

Isabel Archer

Then my mind drifted back to the Greuze painting I photographed at the Wallace Collection. I wondered how many other paintings might hold this title and I did a Google image search…

Portraits of Ladies

To me this feels most appropriate. So many portraits representing so many facets found in each and every one of us and in this breathtaking fragrance evocative of so many of them.