Postcard from Ukraine : Indian Pink

My summer room wouldn’t be out of place in a Rajasthani village, but then again, there are elements of Ukrainian culture that have Indian and Persian inflections.

pink room

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Can You Bottle Bollywood?

Today it’s fashionable to proclaim one’s mastery of minimalism and a clutter-free lifestyle. Open any fashion magazine, and you’ll be treated to endless spreads of high key photographs flooded with white light and suggestions on how to make your life perfectly streamlined. I like Marie Kondo as much as the next person, but there is only so much minimalism I can take. So I seek refuge in Bollywood and its world where the idea of “less is more” means only that thing invented by the 6th century Indian mathematicians–zero.

aishwarya

The topic of Bollywood and perfume is the subject of my weekly FT column, Can You Bottle Bollywood?

“Many people outside the Bollywood sphere of influence find the genre puzzling. Everything is over the top — the acting, the plots, the songs, the outfits. But for me, it’s “cinema that exists slightly outside the everyday world”, in the words of writer Rana Dasgupta. This fantasy space is shared by perfumes, intangible messages in a bottle. So, those wishing to take a break from KonMaring their sock drawers and making their apartment look like an Ikea showroom are welcome to follow along with me. Please continue here.”

Are you a fan of Bollywood? Any recommendations for favorite films–and correspondingly opulent perfumes.

Image: Aishwarya Rai’s screenshot from Devdas (2002), via Pinterest.

The Glamour of Hotels

Do you like staying at hotels? Elisa shares her thoughts.

I have an ex-boyfriend who claimed to enjoy the occasional adversity – a cancelled flight, a blown-out tire. It seemed perverse to me initially, but later I came to understand his way of thinking. He didn’t look at these mishaps as lost time, but rather an opportunity to slip out of time. If you’re stuck somewhere and can’t get to work, no one is to blame; so why not enjoy the escape from obligation, the change of scenery?

I travel semi-frequently for work, and because travel is tiring and stressful, I’ve adopted a version of my ex’s philosophy to make the most of it. I try to embrace the changes in routine for their novelty value, rather than feeling inconvenienced. And the part I look forward to most – even though I’m not on vacation and have minimal time to spend there – is the hotel.

hotel_view

My room on a recent stay at the Ames Hotel in Boston

In the tradition of The Pillow Book, let’s make a list:

Continue reading →

Recommend me a Perfume : June 2016

We have our “Recommend Me a Perfume” thread today. You can use this space to ask any questions about perfume, including fragrance recommendations.

rose-jam1

How does it work: 1. Please post your requests or questions as comments here. You can also use this space to ask any fragrance related questions. To receive recommendations that are better tailored to your tastes, you can include details on what you like and don’t like, your signature perfumes, and your budget. And please let us know what you end up sampling. 2. Then please check the thread to see if there are other requests you can answer. Your responses are really valuable for navigating the big and sometimes confusing world of perfume, so let’s help each other!

To make this thread easier to read, when you reply to someone, please click on the blue “reply” link under their comment.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

Secret of Scent and Vintage Perfumes

I promised to give more details on the Secret of Scent course that will run October 20-24 in Provence. Luca Turin and I will cover the science and art of fragrance during a 3-day event. We’ve decided to keep the number of attendees small to allow us to interact with every participant and give each one as much personal attention as possible. It will be an excellent educational event, and it will also be a lot of fun (food and wine tasting will be included). You need not have a background in either science or perfumery, but at the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of both fields.

vintage-coty-perfume

Among the highlights of the program are the vintage perfumes. Participants will smell the precursors to Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, the original version of Hermès Calèche, Coty Chypre, and many other treasures. Finally, I will share some of my favorite raw materials, the essential ingredients in the perfumer’s palette.

Reservations can be made via Science & Vacation. For all of the logistical details, accommodation and prices, please contact Science & Vacation directly.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin

From the Archives

Latest Comments

  • Surbhi in Brussels Flower Carpet and Cafe Blanc : Lebanese Orange Blossom Drink: Hi Victoria, I am asking for a favor here. I Will be traveling to Brussels (and some other places in Belgium as well) in 3 days (it was not part… June 26, 2016 at 11:15am

  • Kari in The Glamour of Hotels: To return to your original question, my ritual is to wake up and make tea from the nice leaves and travel tea infusers or bags I brought from home, which… June 26, 2016 at 3:25am

  • Kari in The Glamour of Hotels: I don’t travel very frequently and when I do, it’s only occasionally somewhere where we would stay in a hotel. I find some things very pleasurable (it’s clean, it’s novel)… June 26, 2016 at 3:17am

  • rainboweyes in Postcard from Ukraine : Indian Pink: The room is beautiful and it truly emanates happiness and serenity. I think a part of its beauty comes from the imperfection. I wish I had such a lovely summer… June 25, 2016 at 5:25pm

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