Archive | May, 2008

Chinese Horoscope for May 31, 2008 (Earth Sheep)

31 May

If the pay raise you expected is delayed, don’t despair; it will be granted you soon. You’ll have certain tendency toward depression; the problem, in fact, is that you want to have everything immediately; be less greedy, more patient, and everything will fare better and better. You’ll risk going from absolute bliss to the deepest sorrow, without transition, for a small dispute, a little worry!


How did it know that I asked about my bonus and raise yesterday? It’s 2 months overdue!

Horoscope for May 29 – June 4, 2008

29 May

PISCES: A powerful transformative process is under way as you continue to shape and mould yourself in accordance with how the universal plan is unfolding. Your work is in staying in the present and allowing yourself the pleasure of letting life’s path present itself to you—and it will. Family plans and such will keep you busy throughout the month.

LEO: Fiery Mars and his lady, Venus, are once again up to their cyclic dance through time, bringing love, excitement, and success. Your solar house of friendship and group connections is lit up, as is your own sign, and this is your time to shine. Truth, honour, pride, and glory come your way.

Local fashion and happening blogs

26 May

Fragrance thoughts

23 May

There is always a difference between fragrances you receive – which says a lot about what people think you are and therefore like, or worse, what they think you should be or smell like – and fragrances you buy for yourself. It’s not only a matter of personal taste, but a sensory conveyance of who you are, what you’re feeling, or where you want to be. It is so gauche to wear a fragrance loud enough to announce to the world that you are able to buy and smell like Chanel, when you’re a teenager wearing Havianas and a belly baring tshirt. Saying that it’s wrong isn’t quite right – more like the contradiction is hilarious. But if personal and done right, no one is there to judge you except for yourself. Fragrances should leave a trail that whispers your presence when you walk by. Or a secret that you keep to yourself.

With that said, I am sitting in an air conditioned office, with stale air circulating and staring out the window at the ominous grey clouds threatening to spoil my weekend. I am wearing something cruise inspired – dark wash jeans, open toed Anne Klein ivory kitten heels and a ruffled shirt. I should be wearing something from Estee Lauder, Dior, Marc Jacobs, Chanel….

Instead.. I am wearing JLo’s Miami Glow.

It’s faint enough to not breach our workplace’s Health and Safety rules on fragranced products, but just enough for me to catch a whiff now and then, and transport me to anywhere else but here.

Thinking about: Liege Waffles and Fig-Orange Compote

22 May

Went to Cafe Medina on the weekend with Grouchy. Loved the Liege waffles and fig-orange compote. Grouchy purred over the blueberry compote. Sadly, their chef makes it and it’s not for sale. =(

Heard that compote goes well with gorgonzola cheese. Or on a baguette. Must try it.

Another good place for Liege waffles is Patisserie LeBeau (1708 West 2nd Avenue in between Fir & Pine). They are good enough to come out with their line of frozen waffles available at Capers. Delicious!

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To Buy: Oliver Peoples Sunglasses

22 May

DULAINE: (tried on, looks fab. Beats the Dita and MK one)

Black with black/grey gradient lenses. Classic sunglasses. $350.

The gradient lenses are a MUST! Otherwise they look stupid, as seen here:

STRUMMER (aviators): need to try on.;jsessionid=UIGTVUNN4B5M2CQAAKLBPVA?itemId=prod25610135&parentId=cat208100&masterId=cat203701&index=3&cmCat=cat000000cat202801cat203105cat245205cat245306cat208100


22 May

The Container Store in Bellevue, Washington.

Want specifically laundry stuff:

Books: Beijing Coma by Ma Jian

22 May
Dai Wei has been unconscious for almost a decade. A medical student and a pro-democracy protestor in Tiananmen Square in June 1989, he was struck by a soldier’s bullet and fell into a deep coma. As soon as the hospital authorities discovered that he had been an activist, his mother was forced to take him home. She allowed pharmacists access to his body and sold his urine and his left kidney to fund special treatment from Master Yao, a member of the outlawed Falun Gong sect. But during a government crackdown, the Master was arrested, and Dai Wai’s mother—who had fallen in love with him—lost her mind.
As the millennium draws near, a sparrow flies through the window and lands on Dai Wei’s naked chest, a sign that he must emerge from his coma. But China has also undergone a massive transformation while Dai Wei lay unconscious. As he prepares to take leave of his old metal bed, Dai Wei realizes that the rich, imaginative world afforded to him as a coma patient is a startling contrast with the death-in-life of the world outside.
At once a powerful allegory of a rising China, racked by contradictions, and a seminal examination of the Tiananmen Square protests, Beijing Coma is Ma Jian’s masterpiece. Spiked with dark wit, poetic beauty, and deep rage, this extraordinary novel confirms his place as one of the world’s most significant living writers.

Fragrances ramble

22 May

Faves (and hope will never be discontinued):

  • Commes de Garcons – Kyoto: Barneys, Luckyscent. There is a free standing store at the eslite flagship store in Taipei. Available at Richard Kidd in Gastown?
  • Hermes Ambre Narguile – sweet, sweet Amber

Reaching for these days:

  • Gucci Envy Me: sweet and perfect for spring and cool summer days. Tends to get a bit sticky. Peony, Jasmine, Pink Pepper, Litchi, Pomegranate, Pineapple, Pink Musk, Seringa, White Tea, Sandalwood, Teakwood, Sensual Musk.
  • Musks
  • Carriere by Gendarme – soapy, citrus linen.

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Bottling Your Own Personal Smell

22 May

Bottling Your Own Personal Smell

Luxury perfumers create singular scents—for a price.

Famed French perfumer Jean-Paul Guerlain once said, “To imagine a scent is to imagine the woman who wears it.” He probably didn’t mean it quite as literally as today’s perfumers are taking it. With the top end of the fragrance market booming, it’s no surprise that luxury brands—titans like Guerlain, Cartier and Jean Patou, as well as smaller specialized houses—are investing in the rapid-growth niche sector of bespoke perfumery. And Paris, with its concentration of the fragrance world’s most highly trained noses, remains its capital.

The process of creating one’s own personal fragrance is not unlike building a house or designing a couture ball gown. Clients at Cartier, which launched its bespoke scent creation in 2005, meet with in-house nose and industry leader Mathilde Laurent for a preliminary three-hour “conversation,” in which she gently asks questions designed to reveal their intimate tastes and subliminal desires. Laurent, who works on about eight perfumes a year, interprets the information to imagine fragrance ideas, which she then presents to the client. The process can take up to 10 meetings, resulting in the creation of a final perfume over several months. Ingredients such as jasmine from Grasse can cost up to $55,000 a kilo, but Laurent has complete freedom to use the resources she wants. “The sky is the limit,” says Mary-Ethel Siméonidès of Cartier. “When our clients acquire a lavish piece of jewelry or a watch, they want to distinguish themselves and wear a unique scent. It’s about subtly reflecting the nuances of their personality.”

Similarly, Sylvaine Delacourte at Guerlain invites clients to meet her in the company’s 1914 Champs-Elysées boutique. Delacourte seeks to uncover her clients’ “olfactory heritage” by discussing their memories of smell, using visual triggers and materials. “We have all been marked by certain olfactory memories,” she says. “I seek to uncover their personal history of smell.” After several months of concocting, the client receives three liters of the final product in specially commissioned Baccarat crystal bottles.

Luxury heavyweights such as Cartier and Guerlain charge from $45,000 to more than $90,000, drawing an international repeat clientele that includes Russian oligarchs, financial gurus and some Middle Eastern royal families. But while these companies capitalize on the romance, history and quality associated with their brands, smaller houses are moving in on the less expensive end of the luxury market. L’Artisan Parfumeur has branches around the world, but offers bespoke perfumery at its Paris flagship store. Lyn Harris, who trained in France, was the pioneer in the British market with Miller Harris in London, where she offers a custom service for about $16,000—and has a waiting list of a year and a half. For a fee in the region of $12,000, Francis Kurkdjian, the nose behind several Jean Paul Gaultier fragrances, will travel the world to meet his customers for multiple “fittings.” He calls his work “haute couture for the soul,” and has seen his client base grow to 40 clients since 2001. “Bespoke perfume is the x factor of one’s own personal brand,” he says. In the world of perfumery, luxury lies in the sweet smell of excess.