Dornröschen – Finding Hidden Beauty Part I

When we talked about the topic of beauty in my recent post about 24 Faubourg by Hermès, a commenter mentioned that she is in the habit of going out on walks to look for beauty, whenever she feels the need.

I took up this lovely idea and resolved to go about my normal errands with my eyes wide open to beauty, not downcast and lost in thought or my iPhone as usual. And lo and behold, I found this old cellar door right in my street that I had never seen before although I walk by every day.

Dornröschen 1

I will to go out with my camera more often now (not only the one on my phone, please forgive the slightly blurry image) and try to find hidden beauty surrounding me in my daily life. I hope this is something you like, even though it has not directly to do with perfume.

And since we are on the subject of beauty… here is one gratuitous shot of two extraordinary beauties: I always find their smile is highly infectious.

iPhone photos november 04 12 148

Have a beautiful day!

Images: my own.

About Olfactoria

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67 Responses to Dornröschen – Finding Hidden Beauty Part I

  1. They look TOTALLY naughty. Ha Ha HA! Infectious is right, I have a big smile from looking at your neauties.
    The gate!! We may have to nick it while I’m in town.
    Portia xx

  2. Sandra says:

    Beautiful boys! Their smiles are indeed infectious. Love the gate. Now you are inspiring me to take my camera for more walks as well. Hope to get some snowy shots this year.

  3. Tatiana says:

    Thanks for lighting up my evening with those beautiful smiles your boys have! They are truly precious! You are so lucky to have two beautiful boys. I can imagine the energy level they must create, at times!
    That gate is stunning. The faded color in the roses makes them appear papery and dusty instead of hard and steely.
    Last May while vacationing in Paris I snuck away from my family one afternoon. Instead of walking purposefully from point A to point B I just wandered and took photos of whatever struck my fancy. It’s a great way to open your heart and mind to everyday beauty and to slow down time just a bit.
    I’m looking forward to seeing more of your photos of Vienna.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’m glad you liked this post, Tatiana. I will try to hone my (non-existent) photography skills a bit and post such a photo once a week. It is so lovely walking about on the hunt for previously “unseen” things.

  4. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Vienna is full of hidden gems – and some of them are not even hidden, we only need to watch properly. My SO and me, we like to go for walks, criss-crossing a certain part of a district – and I often think “how come I’ve never noticed this&that, I was walking by regularly for 20years?!…”.
    Happy explorer-time, dear B. !

    • Olfactoria says:

      So true. It is a shame how often we walk by all this with eyes closed to our surroundings, although it takes to same time to see. Lovely that you and X. do these exploration walks.

  5. Alexandra says:

    What a lovely post and what a lovely thing to do. It is all too easy to miss the beauty in the world around us every day. I work at a museum and it is far too easy for me to just come to work, drown in email and meetings and leave again. Therefore my NEW New Year Resolution is to make sure I visit each gallery in my Museum at least once this year and learn something about one of the many wonderful objects we hold.

    The last picture made me grin – bless them both!

    • Olfactoria says:

      You are really in the midst of a wonderful source of beauty, although I can imagine how easy it is to not see it and just hurry by. Have fun exploring your workplace!

  6. Tara says:

    Gorgeous, thoughtful post. That practice could enrich all our lives.

    Looking at those boys’ cheeky smiles is an instant cure for the January Blues!

  7. poodle says:

    I love that door. Your boys have the “don’t tell mom” type of grins there. Very cute. Hubby got me a new camera for Christmas and it looks like its going to be wonderful but its a little big. I didn’t like the picture quality of the old one but maybe I should keep it around and stick it in my purse and start looking for beauty too.

  8. brie says:

    And how blessed you are to have such beautiful and happy children! (the gate was quite lovely as well 🙂 !!). As much as I love perfume I love posts that tell stories as well…thanks for starting my day on the right foot!

  9. Veni from Prague says:

    My home town – Prague – is also full of beautiful old houses 🙂 And the boys are adorable.

  10. arline says:

    This is wonderful, and always a good topic!!! Its so easy to get caught up in thinking, and we sometimes forget to see that there is always something of beauty within our midst. Beauty is not always visual, as any perfume lover will attest to, but a feeling of beauty is every bit as valuable as something I can see.

    As I said before, I am a total aesthete, and I appreciate all the beauty that i allow myself to see, feel and enjoy.

    What a fantastic way to focus at the beginning of the new year!!!

  11. Annina (nina) says:

    Oh my goodness, they’re so adorable! You’re surrounded by beauty every day!

  12. Suzanne says:

    I think doing posts along these lines is fantastic, Birgit. I’ve been thinking of doing something similar (not for posting, just for enjoyment). Have you ever seen that Zooey Deschanel movie, Yes Man, where she leads a running group each morning, and they take photos while they run? (The photos are blurry, of course.) 🙂 I’m going to start doing that and see if anything interesting turns up on the camera.

    Loved both your photos. Your boys are too cute for school! (Is that a saying? … no, I didn’t think so but it sounds right.) 😀

    • Olfactoria says:

      I never saw the movie you mention, but that sounds very interesting. I’d love to see those running photos, if you decide to go ahead with the idea.
      The other day Niki, my youngest, was asked for his name and he said matter of factly: “I’m the cutest.”
      Apparently I say that too often to him. 😉

  13. Miss Woolf says:

    Your boys are adorable. Their smiles… ah, my heart just melts.

    I’m so glad you picked up on this Birgit. And you have inspired me to do the same, but not until we move back to Köln in a few weeks. Here in rural, snow-covered Sweden beauty is abundant and because I’m not distracted or stressed I actually see it (and have about 1100 photos to show for our six weeks here). But Köln is not exactly known for its beauty, so I must open my heart and my eyes. I would love to have an old-fashioned polaroid camera and take one photo for every day that I am there, and make a collage on the wall. Random sights of beauty…

    Meanwhile, I went and fell hard for By Kilian’s Amber Oud. It’s been lying in my cupboard for ages, but now it has suddenly graduated to FB status. I’m not sure I have ever smelled this good 😉

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for the excellent suggestion dear Asa!
      Köln is not known to be overly pittoresque, but I’m sure it has plenty of beautiful places (and its name in English is so very appropriate too! 😉 )
      The collage idea sounds great!

      Ah, Amber Oud, I immediately fell for it too when it came out, but I only bought a refill, not the regular, beautiful bottle, and I blame this for the fact that I seldom wear it. I would surely treasure the real flacon a lot more…
      You smell gorgeous!

      • Miss Woolf says:

        I was actually thinking of purchasing the refill in order to make it happen sooner, but now I shall be patient and wait until funds allow the beautiful flacon to be mine. Perhaps another gentle reminder of the importance of beauty…

  14. susan says:

    ahhh!!! Need to squeeze their cheekies. So precious. This makes me really long for Baby #2. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I’ll squeeze them for you.
      The fun really starts with #2…

      • brie says:

        But the most fun is with three (as I have 🙂 !!) Think about it… a younger sister for your boys?
        and I keep meaning to tell you that we share the same name, although mine is spelled the French/Germanic way 🙂

        • Olfactoria says:

          Mine is Swedish, I hear. 🙂
          Three? I don’t think so! My nerves are not made for this, I have my hands full with two (also I only have two hands, I so admire mothers with more children!). I always wanted a little girl, but it was not to be, and to risk the chance of a third boy? Um, no. 😉

          • brie says:

            I have been told that from two to three is the easiest transition because you let go of all that you can’t control and just enjoy the ride (I can attest to this fact as my type A personality went out the window when my last one was born- after two girls I finally got a son 🙂 !!).
            Goodness I would love to see you with a little girl with whom you could share your passion for perfume and turn her into a perfumista! think about it……:D!!

          • Olfactoria says:

            I can imagine my husband’s hair turning grey just from reading your comment! 😉

            That is the worst for me – the not being able to control everything. I can almost hear my boys complaints about me to their therapists in 20 years time. 😉
            Letting go of how I think things should be, is the biggest lesson I’m learing though motherhood.

  15. Melis says:

    Your boys are so adorable. I notice beauty around me all the time. Some days it does take some effort to slow down and really appreciate it though. 🙂

  16. Kimberly says:

    Loved this post! It’s a great reminder that to be mindfull is to be open to the beauty in life, and not just things to crash into. Sweet picture of your boys, it’s fun to see them turning into little men.:)

    • Kimberly says:

      That came out wrong. I mean things to Not crash into (2012 was a very accident prone year.) I was always very careful driving, however. And then two other drivers backed into me. It was weird, and a good lesson to use my horn, because people would rather think that I am being rude than pay extra insurance. Anyway, add me to the list of people who love the idea of a regular beauty post.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Yes, where are my babies gone? Little men they are… (almost).
      I’m glad you liked the idea for these new kinds of posts, Kimberly!

  17. Vanessa says:

    Beautiful grill / gate / railings : – )! I saw a lovely set across some shutters on an old house in Majorca, and liked them so much, I had my photo turned into a **chopping board** of all things!

    As for the boys, well, they are, as ever, cuteness personified.

    • Olfactoria says:

      There seems to be a little hidden aggression somewhere, if you chose to make a chopping board out of the image… 😉

      The boys miss you! Pauli said the other day that his English is much better now, so he would like to talk to Vanessa again!

  18. Gretchen says:

    When you worried that your newfound fidelity to a “certain JCE fragrance to be unnamed here” would result in not knowing what to post, I suggested that something would pique your interest. The idea of a post on beautiful sightings is a terrific addition to your perfume reviews, and adds an even more lovely twist to your blog. I am thrilled. Keep up the good work, and keep your eyes and ears open for even more additional layers of interesting musings!!

  19. ginzaintherain says:


  20. Great post! Isn’t it sad how we can get so wrapped up in all the things that we have to do every day that we forget to observe the world around us? I got an iPhone about a year ago and one of the things that I like best about it is the camera. I pay much more attention now to details!

    You took some wonderful shots! The one of your sons is just too precious! The look like they were having a great laugh 🙂

  21. Ines says:

    Oh, they are infectious all right. I saw the photo and a huge smile appeared on my face instantly. 🙂
    I look forward to your findings!

  22. Catherine says:

    😀 – your boys are positively ADORABLE 😀

  23. Ari says:

    Some families get all the good genes… 😉 Your sons are as gorgeous as you are, Birgit!

  24. unseencenser says:

    Both pics are gorgeous and the idea inspiring. Thanks for sharing!

  25. Civava says:

    Adorable boys ;-)!

  26. A wonderful idea to take a walk, and particularly so at this time of year when the light is low, the air clear. And what lovely little chaps!

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