Perfume and Hobbies : Weekend Musings

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What are your hobbies? What activities does your ideal weekend include? What perfume are you wearing?

It is freezing today, and the moment I look at the thermometer, I wrap myself in Serge Lutens Ambre Sultan and a warm sweater. Although I pretend to be disappointed that we are going to cancel our weekend trip, I am actually delighted to have two days to devote to some of my hobbies: dancing, reading, watching old movies, and of course, cooking. Few things are as exciting as a loaf of bread rising just as it should in the oven. Or as fragrant!

Photo: a baguette I baked recently. My attempts are finally starting to look recognizably like baguettes, rather than brown knobby sticks.

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38 Comments

  • pam: Well, it’s foggy/drizzly but warm here in the South. Good day to stay inside, as you said. I’ll be baking bread right along with you, but mine will be honey whole wheat. I’m also working on a quilt for a friend’s daughter (she’s expecting in May). And I should find time to play the piano a bit. January 7, 2012 at 9:50am Reply

  • Victoria: Sounds like a wonderful weekend! I was visiting my mom recently, and I found some embroidered pieces I have done when I was 12. It made me want to embroider something again…

    Just started the dough for another baguette, but your honey whole wheat bread sounds delicious. January 7, 2012 at 10:01am Reply

  • Annemarie: I want to cook some Indian dishes this weekend. I made them before, so I have most of the spices. This morning I spent shopping for the fresh ingredients. I brought home exotics like a coconut, red peppers, lime and sweet potatos. I feel so rich when I see all these colorful things in my kitchen. Right now I’m watching the speed skating championship which is a big sport here. January 7, 2012 at 10:26am Reply

  • Victoria: I know what you mean. Whenever I bring a bag of produce home and arrange all of the vegetables and fruit on the table, I feel more satisfied than with the pair of new shoes or a handbag. 🙂

    What dishes are you going to make? January 7, 2012 at 10:37am Reply

  • Annemarie: I will make a mixed vegetable curry with loads of spices called kath katha, lemon rice, koshumbir of raw carrots mixed with coconut and of course spices, a chutney of peanuts and pappadums. Lots of work and lots of fun. January 7, 2012 at 10:53am Reply

  • Victoria: Mmmm, sounds so good. I could eat koshimbir at every meal and not get tired of it. Plus, there are so many variations. January 7, 2012 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Ari: We have two hobbies in common, reading and cooking! I also love surfing and shopping (yes, I am one of THOSE girls who considers shopping a hobby!) January 7, 2012 at 1:13pm Reply

  • Dl: Hoping to finish war and peace this weekend. also a perfumed movie night planned for tonight: barry lyndon or some idiotic horror movie, not sure yet 🙂 . l’heure fougueuse should accompany whatever movie i choose. Beirut is kind of cold lately so reading, watching movies and sipping tarry souchong (or porto) seem to be the most weather-appropriate hobbies. January 7, 2012 at 1:30pm Reply

  • Perfumista8: This weekend I’ll be trying to find a balance between have-to-dos and hobbies. I love to read, run, hike,and make jewelry. Tonight I have a big work party to go to and I’m torn as to which perfume to wear with my LBD. So, I’ll be reexploring some perfume samples i guess. Oh yeah, I’d say exploring and learning about perfumes is another hobby now. January 7, 2012 at 1:40pm Reply

  • jen: Sounds like a nice weekend! I’m blogging, reading a bit, hanging out with the kids and, hopefully, napping! January 7, 2012 at 1:53pm Reply

  • Justine MC: Poking around the local antique shops is always fun. Fun things to do at home besides making perfume would be gardening or baking — I’m trying to figure out which spot in the yard is best to grow mignonette, which, if successful, I will tincture. And that picture of the bread up there looks good, so maybe some bread baking is in order. Baguettes for bruschetta. January 7, 2012 at 2:16pm Reply

  • Ania: Collecting shells on a beach:-) January 7, 2012 at 2:19pm Reply

  • Perfumista8: I’m going to go with Alien Liqueur de Parfum- we haven’t stepped out together in a while, this perfume and I. January 7, 2012 at 2:20pm Reply

  • Victoria: I admit that the only kind of shopping in b&m stores I enjoy is grocery shopping. I grew up in a place where shopping was on the opposite spectrum of fun (looooooong lines, awful service,) so even though it has been years since I’ve experienced that, I still cannot get rid of the association. On the other hand, I love internet shopping. 🙂 January 7, 2012 at 4:19pm Reply

  • Victoria: Oh, reading your comment makes me realize with a pang that I was supposed to be in Beirut this week. Unfortunately, the trip has to be put off till some later date because of work. Maybe, I will make some mjadarra and kibbeh and pretend I am there… January 7, 2012 at 4:22pm Reply

  • Victoria: It is such a beautiful blend! I need to be careful in applying it, but it is so enjoyable. I prefer it to the original. January 7, 2012 at 4:22pm Reply

  • bulldoggirl: That baguette looks absolutely perfect–congrats! I struggle so to try and approximate that texture. I don’t know if it’s the flour, the water, the altitude, or what. But, I keep trying! Thankfully, there is a very good French bakery in town :o) January 7, 2012 at 4:26pm Reply

  • Carla: Not really a hobby, but I will be watching the new Downton Abbey tomorrow night! Actually, period piece movies are a hobby of mine. Also cooking – but I rarely bake and never tried bread – and piano and reading. When I lived in the city window shopping (perfume sniffing on the way) and getting a coffee were a fave pastim. Now that I’m a stay at home mom in a smaller town but with a house instead of a small apartment I’m a real homebody. I’m still nostalgic for my decade of city life, but it’s a pleasant nostalgia. January 7, 2012 at 4:42pm Reply

  • Dl: I actually had mjaddara for dinner today 🙂 If you need someone to show you around next time you’re here (though you sound quite familiar with, well, at least the food here 🙂 ), let me know. January 7, 2012 at 5:42pm Reply

  • Victoria: I have several wonderful Lebanese friends, and they are fantastic cooks. Through them, I grew curious about Lebanese cuisine and learned some of the classical dishes. Always looking to try and explore more, of course.
    Thank you for your offer! I will definitely let you know the next time I am going to be in Lebanon, and it would be a pleasure to meet you. January 7, 2012 at 5:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: Your weekend sounds great too. I cannot say that ours was that peaceful–there is a massive construction project on the floors above–but it was fun. January 7, 2012 at 5:50pm Reply

  • Victoria: I love the antique shops too, and even more so, the second hand book shops. You never know what discovery you can make, so it is a nice way to spend time. 🙂 January 7, 2012 at 5:51pm Reply

  • Victoria: Mmmm, such a wonderful way to spend time! A friend of mine makes jewelry with shells she collects. January 7, 2012 at 5:53pm Reply

  • Victoria: So far, I’ve determined that having the right flour and the right hydration level helps. What works best for me is using all-purpose (rather than bread flour) and about 68% hydration ration (68g of water per every 100g of flour.) Also, being gentle with the dough when forming it into baguettes.
    Not sure if you’ve seen these videos from the King Arthur Flour Bakery, but I found them helpful:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZnxiawZoL4A January 7, 2012 at 6:01pm Reply

  • Victoria: Nobody in my family bakes bread, but I find it such a relaxing and satisfying activity–kneading the dough, observing the transformation of a lump of flour and water into an airy loaf… It is almost magical. And the results are almost always edible, even if the looks suffer. 🙂
    Enjoy your weekend, Carla! January 7, 2012 at 6:05pm Reply

  • Dl: Yes please do. My cooking leaves much to be desired, but I could steal a few pages from my mother’s cookbook for you 🙂 . January 7, 2012 at 6:36pm Reply

  • Acrossbee: I love to read and sketch, take pictures, and bake (I am a “beginner” baker!) And in the winter, I love to go cross country skiing. A perfect weekend would include browsing used book stores, long walks and a glass of Belgian white ale by a fire! January 7, 2012 at 6:48pm Reply

  • Victoria: That would be fantastic! 🙂 I find Lebanese cooking to be so nuanced and interesting The combination of flavors is as complex as any perfume. Actually, my Arabic language teacher is a former chef. Talk about luck! He was completely baffled (and then pleased) by my odd vocabulary, which mostly concerns food. 🙂 January 7, 2012 at 6:49pm Reply

  • Victoria: Your ideal weekend sounds like my own perfect weekend! In fact, we just came back from a long walk, and my husband is setting the fireplace as I am answering comments. 🙂 January 7, 2012 at 6:50pm Reply

  • sunsetsong: Today I have made a simple meal for family and close friends. The simplicity is to help us recover from the festive season – baked potatoes and a raft of rainbow fillings, and a fruit salad. My hobbies are cooking, jewellery making, and reading (getting used to my Christmas Kindle), as well as dog walking. SOTD was Femme Jolie by Sonoma Scent Studio. We have a fire which powers the heat and water for the whole house, I have mixed feelings and often miss my old gas boiler and its “on” switch…. January 7, 2012 at 8:12pm Reply

  • Dl: Haha! it’s lovely that my favorite perfume blogger is interested in lebanese food AND is learning arabic. Speak of lucky encounters! Anyway, I will ask my mother and grandmother for some specialties you might not know and send them to the e-mail in your “about” section. I will specifically ask for regional variations of recipes you might already know: I’m originally from the south and we have many of those. January 8, 2012 at 8:53am Reply

  • Liane: Dreary gray skies here in NYC. I’m wearing 31 Rue Cambon; it always gives my spirits a lift. January 8, 2012 at 12:44pm Reply

  • Olga: I don’t know if it “counts” as my hobby. But my husband’s hobby is playing music, he is quite a fine guitarist able to play a 6, 12, and a 7 string guitars plus a uke. So yesterday he had his music playing buddy over and they played and played and played… and I listened, and listened, and listened and enjoyed myself immensely! I sang along too. I hope one day I will be able to sing some more complex harmony with them, but I am just enjoying the process so far. January 8, 2012 at 2:05pm Reply

  • Victoria: Thank you very much! I look forward to it. It is so exciting to explore these new flavors and new textures. I feel as if I am uncovering a whole new world. 🙂 Same can be said about studying Arabic! January 8, 2012 at 9:12pm Reply

  • Victoria: Your dinner sounds fantastic! As much as I love making multi-course meals time to time, simple always wins out. If I ask my husband what he wants to eat, 9 out of 10 times he is happy with a bowl of pasta. January 9, 2012 at 9:36am Reply

  • Victoria: I also find that 31 Rue Cambon gives me a much needed boost whenever it is cold and gray. Such a beautiful fragrance! January 9, 2012 at 9:37am Reply

  • Victoria: What a fun evening you had! January 9, 2012 at 9:39am Reply

  • bulldoggirl: Thanks for the videos! Very helpful! January 9, 2012 at 7:00pm Reply

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