Tuesday, September 9, 2014

At the Moment

The numinous super-moon of last Monday has literally turned the leaf on September's notebook, serein falling gently on the dry, thirsty leaves for a few evenings in a row. This is an optimistic period for me, the academic year starting always has my spirits up. So sharing some of my current preoccupations might be inspiring. I certainly desire to hear all about yours in the comments!


  • Cosmetic finds

Early autumn is hair restoration time because, let's face it, Greek summer can be brutal to one's hair: scorching sun, beach lifestyle, salty wind, lots of sweat, lots of washing, they all take their toll.  The latest product I tried and can rave about is Dry Solution Moisturizing Mask by Honor Haircare; a thickish unguent in a greyish cream shade that's meant to be used after shampooing and rinsed after a few minutes. It leaves hair pliable and -bonus points!- very tame and silky (but not greasy) in the high humidity of early September; absolutely no frizz, a small miracle by my standards (Is the saffllower oil the "culprit" for this? I might buy a gallon or two if so. It takes all but a dollop to work, so it's also rather good value for money. The odd part on this particular blog's scope is probably the scent: the sweet (yummy, like honeyed jasmine) smell remains on hair for quite some time. If you fear it might clash with your perfume, I think you're safe unless you're wearing a very strident scent or an already too sweet one; but it's a consideration worth keeping in mind. Thumbs up for the results at any rate.

I have continued my love affair with Christian Dior's Mayday lipstick from the Transtlantic cruise collection from spring. It's the perfect subtly raspberry leaning red for all seasons. Thanks Dorthea and Gaia for the hearty recommendations; that's a purchase I shall not regret.


  • Home interests

The cocooning season is beginning and I'm ambivalent on it on two counts: for one, too much home time means less movement, more food and that's bad for the waistline (I have decided to keep any summer shed pounds off for good); reason number two, it's so much cozier to not be on the run all the time and having the luxury of preparing a long meal or just lounging in one's homewear.
I'm eyeing a Le Creuset skillet for preparing a mean steak even in the gloom of late November and preparing the last late summer tomatoes into a mean salsa to be kept for wintertime. I'm also equipping my bed with a high count, pure cotton, double hemstitch sheet set in burgundy for the restful nights I deserve.

  • Musical Company

I rediscovered Tchaikovsky's The Seasons. The celebrated "June" (Barcarolle) is playing on my computer as I'm writing this. I remember it fondly from my childhood, mainly from the soundtrack of Jean Jacques Annaud directed L'Ours (1988), a film bathed in its singular emotion. Mikhail Pletnev's interpretation is particularly moving, I find, the slightly lento fingering redolent of melancholia.

  • Intellectual pursuits

I've just got  Françoise Sagan's play Château en Suède, which sounds like a soap opera turned into a book but is really not. I'm also following Histories of Cultural Materialism, in particular Simulacra and Simulation by Jean Baudrillard. Margaret Atwood's the Handmaid Tale came highly recommended as a 'young read' from someone I respect and I'm going to give it a shot (anyone read this?)

  • Fashion must-haves

A pair of new ankle boots to replace my tattered ones is priority number one. Cuban heel, smooth kid's leather, comfortable seams and a semi-rounded instep. In black or in burgundy if I can find them. I'm browsing Asos and La Redoute for various designs, so much selection around!

  • Perfume Testing & Loving

Right admist the latest The Different Company scent, Une Nuit Magnetie, opinion to follow as soon as I have formed one. Contemplating whether more Le Labo Gaiac 10 (Tokyo exclusive) can be fitted into my stash and budget. Giving Cuir 28 (Le Labo Dubai exclusive) another run for its money and rather liking its odd ups and downs (and the vaguely familiar vibe, more on which later on).
Serge Lutens L'Orpheline is my latest obsession (in love with its spicy, musky, quiet melancholy) and I'm using up Chanel 31 Rue Cambon Les Exclusifs fragrance like there's no tomorrow!

Tell me all about your (re)discoveries in the comments!


  1. Margarat Atwood is amazing but I am curious about the person recommending it to you as a young read. Not young in my opinion, currently I am in the rapt attention of her MaddAddam trilogy, having just finished the second book, and giving myself two weeks before starting the third. I cannot recommend Oryx and Crake enough.

    Style, what style, currently I want the doldrums and hell of California's drought to stop. Looking at my closet right now is looking at repetition.

    Perfume exploring plum perfumes. Recently spritzed on the lovely Sonoma Scent Studio Wood Violet and it really is a lovely scent. Puts so many perfume houses to shame. Clearly inspired by Feminite du Bois but its own thing.

    Music: Beck's Morning Phase album, a perfect blend of bittersweet ending but hopeful. Love it.

  2. i read "the handmaid's tale" ages ago in uni...at the time, i thought it was a good book, disturbing, yes, but i never though in the least that it would come back to me as being slightly prophetic of the alarming political trends in my country! in the same way that orwell's "1984", which we read also, has some unsettling echoes in current trends in data harvesting and "homeland security", among other things...all those dystopian books seem to be coming back to haunt us now. *shivers*

    i've been on a burgundy jag myself...several autumn wardrobe purchases have been in that color, and i've been wearing garnets a lot lately. bought a new pair of mid-calf boots in lovely glove-soft black leather...too warm yet to wear them, but they will be just the thing for the planned trip to portland in october (along with the vintage black leather coat to deflect the ubiquitous portland rains).

    i always do have a sense that the world begins anew in autumn. one would think it should be spring, and indeed it is so; but for me there is a feeling of renewal that comes when the summer heat and humidity break, and going out of doors becomes once more enjoyable rather than purgatorial.

    scent-wise, i'm still wearing my beloved chypres---it's still warm here---but i find i'm gravitating towards orientals for evening wear of late. baiser du dragon, shalimar, grain de soleil have moved to the front of their shelf again, and coriandre has not been sprayed for several days.

    vive l'automne!

    postscript: the owls above are gorgeous!

  3. I'm having a similar Gaiac 10 moment. I promised an SA I would buy it once the exclusives came to town.... Well they're here. I'll find out tomorrow whether he ordered one for me. I really can't afford it.

    I read The Handmaid's Tale back in the '80s and was really impressed by it. (Don't see the movie, by the way.) I read the book again some time in the '90s and wasn't as enamored. I'm curious how I would feel if I read it now. I should give it another go. I don't want to color your impressions of it before you've even read it. It's definitely worth reading.

  4. Anonymous07:25

    I've read Cat's Eye and Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, and still have a pile left to read. I really enjoyed them, and they have a way of lingering in ones psyche in a way that most light reading doesn't.
    Go the skillet! I have one and love it. I'm sure it would also make a great weapon if you ever happen to be needing one ;-)
    It's warming to spring here, and I always seem to get a little crazy with buying products in spring, this year it's more bath products! :-/

  5. Jen,

    it's recommended as a young read in the sense that it's supposed to be a formative read; not immature. :)
    I'm noting for later your other suggestions! (thnx!)

    I hope the drought is soon over; it's the reverse here, light drizzle for the past few days, humidity skyrocketing since it's still around 29-31C.

    As to SSS, I do agree she makes wonderful wood blends. And I do like Beck. Haven't checked him out in a long time, though. Time to remedy.

  6. NFS,

    thanks for the comment.

    I find that the older one gets the more prophetic things become, curiously enough, LOL. I suppose it's because one inwardly notices stuff that younger people don't have in a depository of memory. Plus our world has become dystopian enough by itself already.

    Like you I find that being tete-a-tete ith the air condition all the time is no recipe for a great summer. It helps if one can escape the city, but the rest of the time? Autumn, may you come! if you ask me, then.

    But autumn weather is good for chypres too because the trampled earth and fallen leaves give a sense of earthiness that compliments their inherent earthiness. Enjoy!!

  7. And glad you liked the birdies! :-)

  8. F,

    that lifted exclusivity is so tempting, isn't it? LL know their stuff in the marketing stakes, I suppose. :-D

    Thanks for the extensive comment on THT novel; I too am a proponent of the concept that books feel different to us going through different phases in our lives, which is the reason I often re-read the more engaging/perplexing ones (or just the masterful ones). So your comment means it's at least interesting enough.

  9. Lynley,

    thanks for chiming in!

    Yeah, a mean skillet can serve as a good weapon if need (knock on ood) arises! :-D

    The change of the seasons has been used by marketeers as the turning point on several purchase needs, so no need to feel guilty about it any longer. As long as one realizes it's a bit manipulated….why not? I should probably find something to substitute my Gardenia bath gel that I have been obsessed with for so many months on end. (It's so good, so true!)

  10. Chris09:45

    Of all the Margaret Atwood novels I've read, the one that lingers most in memory is The Blind Assassin-a story within a story, both equally captivating.

  11. I am reading too many things to be able to suggest one specifically. Mostly because I am reading really fast to fulfill a deadline. Rereading right now Bodies that Matter by Judith Butler and enjoying a lot of Nicanor Parra's antipoems (may he rest in peace; he died a few days ago). Rereading Volatile Bodies by Elizabeth Grosz and loving her to death.
    Make up: YSL Ink Fusion. Lovely finish. Skin care: SKII Essence, a miraculous unassuming water;emphasis on miraculous. Boots from Whistles, very comfortable! Music: Moonface, latest project by Spencer Krug. Perfume: Vanille 44, Santal Blush, L'orpheline, and Black Gemstone
    I wish I had more time to care about other things :(

  12. Chris,

    that's very useful, thanks for the rec! Story within a story is always an engaging read.

  13. FTG,

    looks like you already have many interesting things taking your time.
    Very interesting recs and I'm soon going to explore some of them. A artist dying is a sad thing in itself, but the opus lives for ever, eh? That must be comforting to know.

  14. I found a shoemaker and I highly recommend it to everyone. No more shopping needed, and, my, I hate shopping.

    As for music, I'm having a season of everything and anything Medieval by Jordi Savall and his people. WHich I recommend to everyone as well.

  15. L,

    you're very lucky to have found one. (One'd think that it'd be easier in Florence, back then)
    Alas, mine died on me; the last of his kind in the doable perimeter of my everyday life (hate venturing off someplace far just for the ordering business)

    As to Savall (and his lovely daughter and the entourage) it's highly recommended by me too. As if it needed repeating, hehehe.

    Love seeing you around! :-)

  16. Miss Heliotrope07:28

    31 Rue is a fab wintery scent, although in summer I find it too fuzzy. It is enjoyable to play for the seasons, however.

    I find Handmaiden's Tale interesting & stimulating & so on, and possibly the Atwood I am most likely to read again (having read - & owned - a few more than once).But I share worries as above about who would think it suitable for young people.

    Me personally, despite today's rain, am enjoying increasing warmth as summer can be seen in the distance, which helps with my aches & pains. My pile of books includes histories by Lucy Worsley, Marina Warner on the Arabian Nights, and the usual necessary authors - Diana Wynne Jones & Virginia Woolf. My husband got me to read his new book on the moon landings, and I actually got interested. O, and the only music around here is bluegrass. or Ravel.


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