Summer On The Balcony – Checking In

I have to apologize to you all, dear readers, because I have been very quiet these past weeks, not because I don’t want to talk to you, but because I feel I don’t have a lot to say. About perfume at least…

The summer is passing quickly and July is as good as over already. We are going to Italy soon and I can’t wait for the infusion of joie de vivre that I expect strolling around Florence and relaxing at the seaside will bring. Not to mention the excursions into Italian perfumeries and all the delicious food in copious quantities. :)

Since returning from Paris, the Husband and I have stuck to a new-found ritual of ending the day together on our balcony, an oasis of relative quiet and a view of lawns and trees which is a treasure in the middle of the city. We sit drinking Aperol mixed with Prosecco and sparkling water and imagine ourselves back in a Paris street café.

I wanted to share a few pictures of our balcony with you today, since it fits my old Search for Beauty series that I have sorely neglected.

photo 3 (12)

The Husband bought his 6th (yes, that is no typo, his sixth!) grill a few weeks ago and he is blissfully making us bacon and steaks as often as his schedule allows. Thankfully the fulfillment of our barbecue needs is no longer restricted to the country. ;)

photo 1 (16)

I’m enjoying perfume very much too, only the impetus to write about it is sadly absent still. I wear Acqua di Parma Acqua Nobile Iris a lot these days, also my usual Hermès rota and as summer progresses I feel my yearly tropical floral mini-obsession coming on. Which means I pulled out Carnal Flower, Moon Bloom, Songes and Juste un Reve.

What are you enjoying at the moment, perfume-related and otherwise?

What are you looking forward to this summer?

How are you doing?

Hugs, B xx

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60 Responses to Summer On The Balcony – Checking In

  1. Undina says:

    I like the color scheme of your balcony.
    This summer I look forward to … it to end. Not only I like the Fall/Winter holiday season and usually have my vacation in September but this summer is so busy for me at work that I barely have time for anything. I hope it’ll get better closer to the end of the year.
    With perfumes I’m trying to pay attention to some neglected favorites.

  2. Sandra says:

    Green with envy here. Wish we could have a grill- not permitted. :( Summer is flying by all too quickly but I am looking forward to spending a week in Rome. Hope to smell some beautiful perfumes there. Have a wonderful vacation in Italy with your men. Xo

  3. Lynley says:

    Greetings Birgit! Mmm that drink sounds lovely I’ll have to make note of it. How much prosecco? :)
    Your balcony looks like it could be over here, it is very similar to that of friends with inner city apartments. What is your view?
    Iris Nobile edp is the smell of Italy to me. Well, Verona. It must’ve just been released and I was in Verona on a very warm late spring day and passed a shop selling it. I spritzed myself with it and simply adored it, and now the two are eternally linked. Juliet’s balcony, the arena where Maria Callas first performed in Italy… (sigh) have a lovely time in Italy- wish I were there! :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hmmm, your memories of Verona sounds so beautiful, Lynley. I love the EdP of Iris Nobile too, but the Acqua flanker is great when it is hot.

      The drink: it is a dash of Aperol and about two thirds prosecco, one third soda water over ice.

      From the balcony we look over the back gardens of all the neighboring houses, it’s very quiet.

      • Lynley says:

        I’ll have to try. My summer drink is usually Negroni’s- Campari, gin, red vermouth and topped with soda and a slice of orange.
        There’s a little shop just to the right of the Pantheon that make the best amaretti. If you stop by, have one for me ;-)

  4. Hey there lovely Birgit,
    Today I discovered new fragrance house Dear Rose. Tried 2 of them. A very sensual flesh scent and a rose. WOW! Also tried some vintage Moustache by Rochas. Double WOW!
    We, Ainslie Walker & I, then went to the Brett Whiteley gallery. He is an Australian artist who died prematurely of a drug overdose while creating. An incredible talent that was also bat shit crazy and his art was often so extreme as to be unsaleable. Other times it was so beautiful it fills your eyes with tears and heart with joy and anguish. Some of his most simple ink works being full of life and twinkling un-pushed humour, especially his self portraits. Generally a pretty amazing guy.
    I had a bacon and egg roll for lunch with feta cheese, yes today has been full of wins.
    Portia xx

  5. Mahesh says:

    Hi Birgit…. I love your balcony, you wouldnt want to go anywhere else with that grill and prosecco with aperol. That’s my favourite drink too.
    Since I got dior mitza for a very good price on ebay, can you believe 75 pounds for 250ml? I’ve been spraying that all the time on myself. I dont like amber fragrances normally as they are too sweet. However this one is so right.not too sweet not too smokey.
    I also got mona di orio violet fumee for a very good bargain,again on ebay! I use that when I want a break from mitzah. These 2 will be in my memory of summer 2014.
    I’m going to india to visit my parents for 2 weeks and I’m thinking I’ll miss these if I dont carry them with me. Maybe I’ll do some more shopping at the airport. I also like dior leather oud. :-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you, Mahesh!

      MdO Violet and Mitzah are wonderful perfumes, glad you found such a great deal! Congratulations!

      Have a good time in India and safe travels!

  6. Ines says:

    Dear Birgit, it so lovely to hear about your routine with your husband. :) Plus, that Aperol that goes with it sounds perfect. ;)
    I am very much looking forward to my vacation that starts on the 30th – I’m visiting Asali!! I miss talking to her in person so I really can’t wait now. It will also mean that the stress at work is over and I can enjoy myself (it’s always the busiest just before I leave on vacation).

    Perfume-wise, I’m looking for a good cologne so I can apply it copiously in this extremely humid weather as everything else seems like too much. Even though it’s not that terribly hot, it’s incredibly humid here so something light is the way to go.
    That said, I tried L’Artisan’s Numero Dix yesterday and loved it.

    My life has been a bit turbulent lately, I feel like I lost footing in my life. A very strange feeling for someone who was so very organized but I decided not to fight it and just go with it and so far, so good.
    We’ll see what happens next…

    P.S. 6th barbecue?! What happened to the previous 5? :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Dear Ines,
      I’m so sorry that your life has been a bit wobbly lately. But knowing you, I know that you’ll be fine and better times will come. Hugs.

      So happy to hear you are visiting Asali! I’m sure you two will have a fantastic time. Ah, I wish I was there too!

      P.S.: The first five bbq’s are alive and well and help define the landscape in our garden in the country. ;)

  7. Figuier says:

    Birgit, what a lovely routine – you’re so lucky to have a balcony to your apartment! Funnily enough, DH & I have taken to the Aperol + prosecco + soda combo also, having discovered it recently in Naples, where they call it a “spritz.” The taste is so refreshing in the heat & the red of the aperol gives it a fabulously retro tint.

    Other recent enthusiasms: leaving the curtains open until the last possible moment to enjoy the long evenings; gooseberries from the market, which at this late point in the season are beautifully sweet; my long planned & finally completed purchase of Eau de Narcisse Bleu, which arrived yesterday. Usually I’m terrified of overapplying perfumes, but I can happily douse myself in this stuff. So now I smell like an enormous bowl of salad :)

    • Olfactoria says:

      You smell fabulous!!! Congratulatins on your new bottle! Such good taste! ;)

      The balcony is a godsend indeed.

      The Italians gave us many good things and Aperol Spritz surely is one of them. ;)

      • Figuier says:

        Well I definitely owe my ultimate selection of Narcisse from the Hermea Eaux to yourself, Birgitte, and I’m so glad I took your advice. Although I’m beginning to understand how you manage to go through your Hermes bottles so quickly; this stuff is addictive (must go and spray some more on now…)

  8. poodle says:

    After the awful winter we had I was determined to get some outdoor time this summer. So I have been getting the yard sprayed for mosquitoes and I too can be found out on my deck many evenings or if it’s not too hot out near the fire pit. It’s been wonderful.
    Perfume-wise, I broke my buying freeze this week to help Ari unload a bottle she no longer wanted but I did.
    No big trips planned, just a little weekend getaway. We’re considering remodeling the kitchen so that’s where the money needs to go.

  9. BEAUTYCALYPSE says:

    That’s a very neat and clean and chic balcony :) Like your ritual. So important to have the day end in harmony.

  10. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Drinks on your balcony must be the perfect end for these warm days – it sounds so lush. You know I love the heat – probably because I spend my days in an office and live in the woods. It’s very quiet around me parfum-wise these days, and I wish I had a little scent frenzy again.
    There is still a long way to go until holiday for me – will be end of September. See you soon !

  11. annemariec says:

    Ooh your husband would enjoy Australia, where barbequing is a way of life. Even so, 6 barbeques would be unusual even here!

    Glad to hear about what you are wearing. Vintage Dioressence for me today. Soon the weather will be too warm for it so I may as well wear it while I can.

  12. Jackie b says:

    Yes, come to Australia to fully embrace the barbeque life.
    Perfume wise, I was intending to buy Chanel Jersey Extrait at Doha airport, but the flight was delayed and there was no time apparently, so came home unscented.
    Major disappointment!
    There is a really good selection there however, Xerjoff, Tom Ford, Les Exclusifs, Amouage…

  13. James Dennard says:

    Hello, dear Birgit. Lovely pictures you shared. I hope your upcoming trip to Florence will be every bit as good as anticipated. I’ve been writing lately after a story idea appeared in my head.

    As far as fragrances are concerned- I’ve been enjoying Bvlgari au the Vert and Mure et Musc Extreme lately from samples sent from a fellow fragrance friend. Happy weekend and I look forward to talking again soon, my friend. Lots of love.

  14. Johanob says:

    Hallo Dear B!And Husband!Greetings from S-Africa!As you might know,we bbq pretty much through-out the year over here,so I understand the Husband only too well!Haha!It’s a way of life in Africa,we even have a National Braai(barbeque in Afrikaans) Day during September-springtime here then.
    This has been an unseemly cold winter,I really wish for Sept already.Also kinda lost my enthusiasm for perfumes a bit.Happened after a big acquisition that-to my mind-completed my collection!I still wear my darlings,but the BIG SCURRY AND HUNT for new finds,have settled down a bit!Enjoy Florence!!Johano

    • Johanob says:

      I should add:I did discover a fantastic new brand that resulted in 2(!!) full bottle purchases!Liquides Imaginaires Fortis,and Tumultu.Really impressive!You should seek them out asap!:-)

    • Olfactoria says:

      I have heard about Braai. It might be the reason to get the husband in gear to visit South Africa eventually… :)

      I understand your more relaxed attitude to perfume so well, Johano. That day comes for all of us sooner or later. So happy you feel you collection is completed (for now at least).

    • the husband says:

      Johanob! You will probably like the fact that my most treasured (and valued) grill is one that was imported from South Africa. I fire it with wood and use it almost every weekend, if we are at the cottage. Number six is on the balcony and runs on propane. (I know that using a gas grill is actually not grilling but cooking, but it’s better than nothing).

      • Johanob says:

        Awesome,Husband!We do make some pretty nifty grills and Barbeques…seeing its part of daily living over here!You really should visit!Outdoor expo’s is also a regular thing here,think you and the boys might really enjoy it!(and some interesting silk scarf and perfume shops for B!:-))

  15. ringthing says:

    Lovely balcony and the Husband’s new grill is a perfect size! I’m in a state of perfume ennui, half heartedly wearing samples and not really feeling anything. My current obsession is, as it is every year, summer vegetables and fruits. Lots of cooking, which I enjoy; making refrigerator pickles today with cucumbers from my neighbor’s garden. Enjoy your trip to Italy!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Another perfume ennui candidate! As I said to Johano above, it hits us all eventually. But the good news is, the passion comes and goes, but I don’t think it ever leaves entirely.

  16. Vanessa says:

    There’s the grill again – can see more of its new habitat than on FB! What a tidy balcony. Can’t imagine the space ever being laid waste with spitting bacon fat…I do love balconies, though – always a thrill in a hotel room.

    Very hot here. Am loving it up to a point but it’s hard to sleep. Lots of social stuff happening at the moment, though I need to set about finding more work soon.

    Caught up with Ambra di Luna (again) and FM Eau de Magnolia recently. Love them both! Enjoy your hols. Italy always comes up trumps in every way. ;)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Niki is the one going over the balcony with his broom every day, he loves to sweep! So the tidyness is thanks to him. ;)

      I hope you get through the heat wave, very unusual for Britain!

      I heard you had a lovely time in London! I wish I could have been there!

  17. nemo says:

    Your end of the day ritual sounds lovely and perfect. If ever there was a season where it is okay to sit back, relax, and enjoy the present, it is summer!

  18. empliau says:

    I love grills -cooking outside is a blessing when it gets so hot in the kitchen these days (36 degrees) and air conditioning doesn’t compensate for a blazing gas stove! Your balcony looks beautiful, and your ritual lovely – I’ve always been partial to a nice Kir myself. And since I’m on the road I’m wearing samples – I treated myself to Mito and the AC sampler. For me AC is quite a mixed bag, but I’m really enjoying Cedrat Enivrant and Orange Sanguine.

  19. spe says:

    Thank you for the beautiful photos! Summer is my favorite time of year perfume – wise : philtre d’amour, eau d’ magnolia, and mandragore. Am currently sampling TF Shanghai Lily and Fleur de Chine for possible Fall acquisitions. At this point, I’m not less interested in perfume, just more careful and selective.

  20. Cybele says:

    Hi Birgit,
    I rediscovered Eau d’Hermes today and I am completely smitten. I believe it has been altered a little bit and is possibly a tad more subtle now. Anyway, I had always liked it but was not sure if I wanted to wear it, well, now I am. I am missing the old bottle, though. After some hours I am getting a Wrigley’s Big Red cinnamon chewing gum sensation, which I love! Have you smelled it recently by chance? Bel Ami Vetiver is also great!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Cybele,

      I didn’t smell Eau d’Hermès recently, but now I sure will. :)
      I heard it has been tamed, but in that case I think I will prefer it that way.

      Bel Ami Vetiver is good on me but fantastic on my husband. A great addition to the line I think!

      • Cybele says:

        Yes, I guess it has been tamed. The barnyard, skanky part was there but not overbearing and lasted only about the first hour, then the cinammon came through. Through all that it stays subtle and cristalline, never heavy. Some people mentioned longevity issues but I can still smell it the next morning. To me it is a great skin scent – and – most importantly – a true Roudnitska experience. I think what is so great about Roudnitska is that he was capable of creating scents that actually smell human – like human skin and even soulful.

  21. Thank you for sharing your end-of-the-day ritual! What a wonderful thing to look forward to!

    I don’t know the particulars, but I can say that I can relate to the mood. It’s been a little bit of a tough summer emotionally with my grandfather getting older and some other things going on as well. As a result, I have drawn my boundaries a little tighter this summer. I have also been sleeping a lot, which has some of my friends worried. I think it’s okay though. I was reading the memoir of the former Executive Director of UNAIDS (I know, very light summer reading) and after deciding to leave his post, he asked Kofi Annan for some advice as to what to do next. Annan’s advice was: “Sleep! Sleep as much as you can! When responsibility falls off your shoulders, only then will you feel how tired you are.” After about 10 years of stress and not much sleep, the author said he didn’t realize how much fatigued had accumulated.

    I’m not comparing myself to the former chief of UNAIDS at all, but I guess after such a hectic school year, I was surprised how drained I was and how long it would take me to regain equilibrium.

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