My Favorite Things – Summer Edition

It is high time for the Summer Edition of My Favorite Things.

Perfume: This category is most prone to quick changes. but those two perfumes have been worn the most and loved the most in the past months. Typically for me and my luck, both are very expensive. But quality has its price, and those two are of the highest quality – Aftelier Tango and Xerjoff Lira.

Makeup: In London I fell prey to the seductive lure of Burberry Cosmetics. Elegant and understated, these items are classy and beautiful. I especially love the lipstick in Rosewood (N°4) and the blush in Cameo (N°2).

Skincare: Paula’s Choice Resist skincare products are amazing! I have been using Paula Begoun’s products for years and I stumbled across her books in the 1990ies and I am certainly glad for that. She provides a sensible, trustworthy and indispensable resource in her books as well as online on Beautypedia. Resist is a new addition to her line and I couldn’t be happier with how the products work and how my skin looks. I am no beauty blogger and therefore I refer you to others who do that better. I can only say, those products work for me in every respect and that is why they make it onto the favorites list (and not only in summer, I just thought of including them now 🙂 ).

Music: Laugh at me all you like, but the soundtrack of Moulin Rouge is fantastic! I have a recurring Moulin Rouge phase every now and then. I think the use of known songs in a fitting context is genius. And I admire Ian Mc Ewan for singing so amazingly.

My son is listening to Swan Lake a lot right now, and therefore I am bewitched once again by the beauty of Tchaikovski’s masterpiece.

Speaking of which: Did you see Black Swan? I liked this movie a lot!

TV: Who else thinks the opening sequence of True Blood is genius? The music, the images, truly disturbing and wonderful at the same time. The series itself is over the top weird, bloody and addictive.

What are your favorite things at the moment?

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49 Responses to My Favorite Things – Summer Edition

  1. lady jane grey says:

    Summer favorites… But were is the summer ???
    As of parfume I can’t stop “testing” Keiko Mecheri’s Mulholland these days. And I discovered the perfect tea scent: Tribal Black Tea from Illuminum. BUT! If we had the real summer – as we used to have during July in Vienna – my favorite would be Penhaligon’s Blenheim Bouquet.
    My favorite make-up products are from Suqqu – but to be honest, they were already spring favorites as well.
    Skincare is an eclectic mix, though a lighter one (as for summer…) and with SPF: Sepai, Vivier Pharma, Sarah Chapman, Omorovicza, etc.
    If we talk about summer favorites I definitely have to mention my Kindle – first i thought I’m not going to like it and will prefer real books made from Paper and printed, but in the meantime it became my stable and wouldn’t make a step without MY KINDLE.

    Plus, my summer favorite would be a real summer…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh, yes, summer is currently in hiding… 😉
      Your favorites all sound very interesting, Suqqu products look beautiful, you get them in London, I assume?
      And YOUR KINDLE, who would have thought? But I guess it is really practical, to have several books at hand in such a lightweight format.

      • lady jane grey says:

        Oh yes, Suqqu is Selfridges (or if one alreday knows what, then With my love for Kindle I surprised all my friends as well – I was very opposed, but then again I’m a big reader and packing (and carrying!) 3-4 books for every holiday, or for business trips is just tedious. And also the space issue : our aprtment is full of books already and I plan to live and read few more years to come … But I still buy proper books as well 🙂

    • Ines says:

      Ha, I didn’t read your comment first time around but I couldn’t agree more about KINDLE. 🙂
      Mine is my summer favourite as well. And I finally ordered last week a cover (with a skin for Kindle) that I’m hoping arrives just in time to take it with me to the beach. 🙂

      • lady jane grey says:

        Ines, it’s funny : just received my cover 🙂 , but postponed the skin as a “project” for later. So please let me know then whether you like it (and more importantly: if it’s easy to use).

        • Ines says:

          Will do. 🙂 Can’t wait to try it on.
          I still can’t believe how much I love using it. I knew I’d like it, but not this much.

  2. Sandra says:

    My favourite things right now: really good Earl Grey tea leaves, the small Moleskin books with Oriental print, Tweed, Pinot Gris, Jason Tam’s audition for A Chorus Line, the wonderful make-up tutorials by the Pixiwoo sisters, dark red nail polish, finally reading The Emperor of Scent by Chandler Burr, watching the BBC four documentary about perfumes (more, more!), my new Chanel Vitalumiere foundation and walking through Maida Vale with London Google Maps street view! Oh and I think that Ewan McGregor cries the best in MR!

  3. Ines says:

    I think the opening sequence of True Blood is great. 🙂 I adore that series (well, I did read the books beforehand so I enjoy watching it come to life, albeit significantly altered).
    I’m glad to hear you like Paula Begoun’s products, I wanted to try them for some time now but unfortunately, I still don’t live in the EU so no shipments here.
    My favourite things at the moment – my Kindle that is coming to vacation with me, my very short and very red hair (although I’m not sure that can be termed a thing) :), and Dior Hydra Life skin tint, I’ve been using all through summer and my face looks great. Love that product!

    • Olfactoria says:

      I knew you love True Blood too! 😀
      I will be re-ordering from Paul’s Choice by the end of August, please let me know whether you want me to get something for you too. Samples or full-sized products, I would love to send them on to Zagreb.
      Would love to see your new hair-do, I bet it is lovely!
      i really enjoy hearing about people’s favorites aside from perfume!

  4. jedennard says:

    Cool! Lots of new things to check out. It was fun reading your recommendations, Birgit. I haven’t seen Black Swan or Moulin Rouge (or heard the soundtrack). A few of my favorite things:

    Music: the soundtrack to the movie “Elizabethtown”- there are actually three different soundtracks, two of various artists and one of Patty Griffin. Great driving music.

    Movie: True Grit- I am a sucker for a good Western and this remake is better than the original, in my opinion. And the young girl, Hailee Steinfeld, delivers a performance as good or better than Jeff Bridges.

    TV- Mad Men has been my favorite show for several years. But while it is on hiatus, I decided to check out Breaking Bad and have enjoyed it.

    Fragrance- Two lavender perfumes have captured my attention of late: Caron Pour Un Homme and A Taste Of Heaven By Kilian. Don’t have full bottles yet, but I most definitely will. Lavender is fast becoming one of my favorite notes.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Mad Men is great, I love that show as well!
      So interesting to read about your favorite things!

      • jedennard says:

        Thanks. And I forgot to mention Swan Lake got in my head last week and I was humming it for several days. I love classical music. Another cd that I have enjoyed listening to lately is the Beatles “Abbey Road”. I asked for it for my birthday (I’m a big Beatles fan) and it has not disappointed.

  5. I’ve wondered about Paula Begoun’s products–I too came across her book in the 90’s, and it opened my eyes about makeup ingredients. Nice to read something good about her line and will perhaps try it when I’ve run low on my current products.
    Moulin Rouge was a mess but I love it, especially the opening 15 minutes.

    My faves…
    Fragrance: L’Artisan Parfumeur Fleurs d’Oranger 2011 and Hermes Jardin sur le Nil
    Music: Cesaria Evora – Miss Perfumado; Michael McDonald – Motown; jazz pianist Taylor Eigsti
    TV: Rescue Me, if I could stay up that late. So You Think You Can Dance (my cat watches it with me.)
    Collecting: vintage silk scarves
    Food: Arugula pesto (arugula, basil, cilantro, pine nuts, olive oil, garlic)
    Fashion: Maxi dresses
    Makeup: Laura Mercier lipstick in Brown Sugar
    Blogs: Olfactoria’s Travels, WAFT…what a fragrance fanatic thinks, Letters of Note, The Non-Blonde

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Elisabeth,
      your favorites make for great reading, thanks for sharing them. That pesto sounds delicious, must try that sometime.
      I like L’Artisan Fleur d’Oranger a lot too!
      I am honored to be among your favorite blogs! 🙂

  6. bloodyfrida says:

    Hey B – thanks for nudging me to think of positive things!! My fav perfumes these days have to be Hermes Jardin sur le Toit, Lalique Flora Bella (compliments of you!) and AP Eau Emotionnelle.

    Makeup – I don’t wear much but lipstick yet enjoy Cover Girl’s Lip Perfection series

    Music – (I love Moulin Rouge btw!) – basically listening to our local classical music station, and music from “The King’s Speech”. Classical music calms me!

    Books – I LOVE reading short stories in the summer; recently finished a collection by Willa Cather, and now I’m in the midst of “Leviathan 3” (fantasy/steampunk/science fiction)

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hey, Carol! Lovely to hear from you!
      Your favorites are great. Classical music can be calming or exhilarating for me, depends on the piece.
      Isn’t the new Hermes nice? I find it so easy to wear and it makes me happy.

      • bloodyfrida says:

        The new Hermes is the best, I think (did you send that to me too?) and does put a smile on my face. Oh I haven’t seen Black Swan yet – it’s in my Netflix queue though! Re: classical, most of the pieces I have been listening to re: radio have been quite calming, but I know what you mean about other genres – for instance, I cannot listen to any Schoenberg this summer LOL

        • Olfactoria says:

          I’m not sure whether I sent you some Toit, it may well be. 😉 Schönberg is a bit hard to take, any time of the year! 🙂 My ultimate “happy in an instant” classical piece is Beethoven’s 6th symphony, the Pastorale. Try to listen to it while feeling gloomy – gloomy won’t stand a chance! 😉

  7. deeHowe says:

    I too love the opening sequence of True Blood; it perfectly captures the idea of “southern gothic,” and I always watch it when I’m watching the DVD’s, even if it’s three episodes in a row!

    And Moulin Rouge… a long time favorite of mine—- there is so much content, and meaning, packed into such a wildly constricted package, it’s easy to write it off. I completely agree with your admiration of EM’s singing… Often, the line (in his voice, of course) “Come what may…” will run through my head, and it is heartbreakingly beautiful!

    This is going to be a long response. Sorry!

    Since we’re moving, I’ve been cleaning out my closets. Recent favorites include: selling things on Amazon and eBay! My perfume collection is getting a little bit smaller, but it needed some editing anyway 🙂

    Cosmetics & skincare: Lip Perfection lipsticks have been my favorite this summer. They feel great, are cheap, and garner lots of compliments! Honey Cat Cosmetics has won me over with their delicious, and beautifully formulated, body cream and shower gel. Ambi fade cream (with sunscreen) is an essential tool, along with alpha hydroxy acid (Paula’s Choice!) and a retinoid cream, keep the skin damage and fine lines at bay.

    Clothes: BCBG dresses. I love the wild patterns balanced by tasteful cut and superb fit. I have four, but I want ten!

    iPad: hubby got me the iPad 2 for my birthday, and I’m loving it. I bought the new GRRM book as a Kindle edition, and I love reading it in this way. It’s great for reading blogs, and for “keeping up” with what’s going on when I can’t be at my iMac.

    Bike rides: I’ve been putting a lot of miles on my bike the last few weeks, and loving every minute of it… It’s exercise, and it’s so much fun!

    And finally, if you’re still reading, Perfume: mood and weather dictate cycles of use, and I’ve been using Ambre Fetiche a lot this week, as a hot weather re-discovery, and Opus IV is still getting a lot of wear. I’m eyeing my remaining sample jealously, and praying for someone to buy it unsniffed, hate it, and sell it on eBay! 🙂


    • Olfactoria says:

      Your first two paragraphs – I was not sure for a moment whether I had written that myself! The exact same thoughts are in my head. 🙂 Spooky!

      I love my iPad too, although since iPad2 is out, I am a bit miffed that I have no camera on mine…

      I hope someone will put up Opus IV for auction soon, I can’t bear your suffering. 🙂

  8. Tara says:

    LOVE favourite things! I have only tired Tango once and it’s so unusual I think it’ll be a while before it “clicks” but it’s all part of the experience. Really like True Blood and the title music is great. As for Black Swan I didn’t see it because I heard it was rather harrowing? I have got Paula’s book but never tried her products – must look into. As for me-

    TV: Nurse Jackie is my fave at the mo, now Mad Men is finished for a while. It’s really sharp but it’s also great to have a show with so many strong female characters. Love it.

    Music: Listening a lot lately to Rufus Wainwright’s All Days Are Nights: Songs for Lulu. Such a stunningly beautiful record and I was lucky enough to see him perform it live at the Albert Hall last year.

    Hair: Really impressed with Morrocanoil’s Oil Teeatment for taming my frizz. I’m so often let down by hair products but not this one, and it smells AMAZING!

    Book: Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon. Vry evocative book set in Barcelona in the first half of the last century.

    Skincare: I tend to scrimp on make-up and skin-care to spend money on perfume but am very happy with Olay Regenerist Flawless Skin Cream SPF 30.

    Film: Bridesmaids. OK it’s rather rude and crude but it’s also laugh out loud funny.

    And finally…Perfume: Tauer’s Zeta, and of course the Pentachords – I don’t know if they’re the greatest thing Andy has ever done but they’re my favourite of all his creations.

    Will be checking back to read everyone’s answers and get some tips!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for sharing your greatest hits, Tara! Shadow of the Wind is a fantastic book, I loved reading it! Black Swan is a bit harrowing, I guess, I could kill that mother! 😉 But I think it is worth it, amazing dance sequences (I did ballet for several years as a child, I still regularly dream about dancing, so watching it always moves me) and also a very well done thriller. Worth watching imo. Nurse Jackie is good (and totally realistic!!!). I can’t wait to try the Pentachords! 🙂

  9. Alnysie says:

    I really *have* to test Tango! In the meantime, I bought my very first bottle yesterday! Parfumerie Générale Praliné de Santal… It was mostly an impulse buy, especially since I have others on my wishlist that I’ve been testing for longer and probably like even more, but I didn’t want to pay $36 for a 5 mL decant… And reviews online made me scared it’d stop being available soon… (Yes, I totally succumbed to that marketing thing.) Ordering online is too easy, and fun, I feel like it’ll be hard to stay reasonable this fall! :/

    My favorite things… For now I reaaally like Dzing! Also Frédéric Malle En Passant and ELD’O Like This. And I love bringing my samples everywhere I go to have people smell them, *that’s* one of my favorite things! Also I keep reverting to three things, foodwise: toasted tomato sandwiches, spicy tuna tacos, and ice cream with fresh raspberries. (Cooking isn’t among my favorite things…) And I’ve been rewatching seasons 2 and 3 of Parks and Recreation, I just love that show!

  10. anotherperfumeblog says:

    It is so fun to read these! Birgit, I echo your Burberry favoritism. I have the gloss in Rosewood and Nutmeg, and the lipstick in English Rose. I love them, and now have enough lip stuff to last me several years! Some of my other favorites are …

    Perfume, I have been wearing more of my old favorites this week. Today it is cold, and I’m wearing New Haarlem.

    Television, I am looking forward to the return of Project Runway.

    Reading, I’ve been allowing myself to be lazy and just read a lot of fashion magazines. Fun and fluffy reading!

    Purchase in contemplation, I have been undecided between and iPad and Kindle, and I think I just need to pick one. But this is a favorite because I like researching and thinking about purchases. 🙂

    Other, since my ankle is badly sprained and I can’t do many types of exercise, I have rediscovered how much I enjoy pilates.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Sorry to hear about your ankle, I hope you fell better soon!

      Another Burberry fan! 🙂

      To chime in on the iPad/Kindle question, the iPad can do so much more. A Kindle is undoubtedly nice to have, but the iPad is your computer on the go, I do a lot on it, blogging would be imposible for me without its flexibility and constant availability. Sorry for the mini-lecture, I’ll shut up now. All this is coming from my iPad, btw. 😉

  11. Mandy Aftel says:

    Thank you Birgit for choosing my Tango. I am so honored that you chose it. Tango is not for everyone but for those you like its strange beauty is really speaks to them.
    Eminem someday . . .

  12. Sandra says:

    Birgit, what a fun poll! So many favorite things to choose from. Here is a small list of summer favorites this year. Flower – sunflowers, they make me smile. Skincare – La Mer, due to my allergies it is the only line that I have found that works for my skin – I wish I could get my hands on the Burberry make up. Music – I am shy to admit it, but I love country music in the mornings and classical is what is played in the afternoons and evenings in our home (listening to my son hum Strauss’ Blue Danube – his first piece of music to hum ever!). Book – reading Peter Pan to my 2 yr old and having him understand so much of it. TV – I am currently enjoying White Collar. Perfume – with this non existent summer, my choices are limitless – for that reason alone I am ok with the crazy weather. Have a lovely evening!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Sandra,
      sorry my reply from yesterday
      doesn’t seem to have gotten through!
      Thanks for sharing your favorites. I like La Mer as well, but ultimately I’d rather use the money for perfume. 😉
      My son loves Peter Pan too!
      The weather is not so bad indeed when you see it from a perfume perspective.

  13. JoanElaine says:

    I love your “Favorite Things” posts!

    My favorite things right now are Diptyque L’Eau de L’Eau; cool weather; wild roses; fresh cherries; the book Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil; Aftelier Rose, Sandalwood and Frankincense Face Elixir; Joni Mitchell…
    I could go on….

  14. angie Cox says:

    My favourite fragrance is Scherrer 2 . I am very old fashioned about T.V so the most modern I’ve liked is “Ugly Betty” . I watched “The Lovely Bones” last week which I liked but decided the book would be better. As for music it’s always Lila Downs or Nina Simone for me .I don’t wear make up because with the hormonal sweats it would roll off but have discovered Emma Hardie’s “Amazing Face” which smells gorgeous and both cleanses and moisturizes .

    • Nina Simone–yes! “Lilac Wine”, “Don’t Smoke in Bed”, “Wild is the Wind”…what greatness is.

    • Olfactoria says:

      The Lovely Bones, the book, is beautiful, I have not seen the movie though. You know that I got to know and love Lila Downs through you, I have been meaning to thank you for that for a while, finally I get to it! 🙂 Also that children’s book illustrator you love, she lives a few houses down the street from me. 🙂 Thanks for sharing your faves, Angie!

  15. Pingback: Last Week In Perfume Land – Weekend Link Love | Olfactoria's Travels

  16. Karolyn says:

    First off I would like to say great blog! I had a quick question in which
    I’d like to ask if you do not mind. I was curious to find out how you center yourself and clear your thoughts before writing. I have had a tough time clearing my thoughts in getting my thoughts out. I truly do take pleasure in writing however it just seems like the first 10 to 15 minutes are wasted simply just trying to figure out how to begin. Any ideas or hints? Many thanks!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Karolyn,
      thank you for your kind words about my blog.
      As for writing advice, I’m not an ideal person to give it. Sometimes I’m lucky and it just flows, seemingly without me having much influence on it, and other days it won’t work as smoothly if at all. I find the best thing to do is just keep up a regular writing routine, it won’t always come easy, but it does come if you sit down and just start hammering away at the keyboard. I’m sure there is no secret trick, if there was, I’d looove to know it! 😉

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