My Little List Of Happiness – Things That Make Me Smile

I want to post a list of things that make me happy once a month and I hope you join me in the comments with your happiness inducing little things.

Frivolity is the key to eternal youth.

– Ines de la Fressange

1. Lake Como:


Everything about this little town in northern Italy makes me smile. It is such a pretty place on earth, friendly, welcoming, the food is to die for and the lake… ah, the lake. I enjoy a lake much more than the sea – no waves, no salt water, no sand, but clean water and grassy shores. Como is my mental escape. Remember this: George is never wrong.

2. Chanel Camellias:


Chanel’s flower is the camellia and I love how they use this iconic image again and again. They put it on their shopping bags (don’t worry, husband, all I got was a catalogue, and Chanel is classy enough to put that in a big, black bag complete with white camellia) and I’m looking at one right now, as it is on my desk to cheer me on whenever I lose my motivation or train of thought while writing. It makes me happy.

3. An unexpected good smell out of nowhere:

cat smelling

Don’t you love it when you walk along the street and all of a sudden a wonderful smell is in the air? Passing a bakery, a woman with a great perfume, newly blooming flowers in a garden… I love it when I smell something wonderful when I least expect it. It happens not often, but when it does it is pure happiness right then and there.

4. The feel and look of high quality leather:


It makes me incredibly happy when I see a well made handbag for example. Craftsmanship, quality, luxury, these attributes make me happy. Nothing compares to the feeling of touching something that is flawlessly made, expensive and unique – and vintage. Yes, regular readers will astutely deduce that Hermès might be what I’m talking about here. A girl is allowed to dream…

What makes you happy?

Image source:,

About Olfactoria

I'm on a journey through the world of fragrance - come with me!
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119 Responses to My Little List Of Happiness – Things That Make Me Smile

  1. Jordan River says:

    Raindrops on roses, jigsaws of fluffy white kittens; hang on!
    Dancing till Dawn. It has been a while though.
    Writing til midnight and the luxury and delight of a zephyr in the sky at night.
    A summer breeze make me feel fine, blowing through the scentmills of my mind.

  2. Sandra says:

    Happiness is such a state of mind for me! I see more clearly and am able to see beauty around me. The four seasons but I am loving spring and all the buds coming out. Kittens, silk scarves around my neck, an excellent cup of tea all make my day. Traveling the world is vital for my sanity as well as reading. So many things makes me happy.

  3. brie says:

    Standing on my deck at 4am with a cup of tea, gazing at the stars and moon…sharing in a yoga class with my teenage daughters… watching my son when he doesn’t know that I am watching him… the season of spring (although it can’t get her soon enough -still cold in the Northeast of USA!)…hugs from hubby….Oh I could go on and on!
    and, btw, I love this idea of a monthly post! and that picture of the cat did indeed put a smile on my face this morning!
    Enjoy the day!

  4. Lady Jane Grey says:

    My happy place : a little village in Provence (France) called Faucon – and there is a tiny bakery just below the castle. A dream…
    Cats always make me smile, I’ve never been without a cat in my life (although recently I’ve got problems with my own 19 years old one, I’m afraid she is slowly saying good bye to me 😦 )
    Well, really good food (a mean FOOD) is a smiley thing for me – i.e. there is a restaurant in London : when eating there I can’t stop smiling… (can you hear me, Tom ?!)
    I agree with you about artisanal produce : but for me it’s not only leather, but all kind of perfect quality handmade products (glas, paper, textile, wood, etc.) – they provoke a smile of admiration & appreciation (and that of envy – I’d love to be that good with my hands).
    And I’d put on my ear to ear smile, when you & me could finally find a time to meet again !

  5. I LOVE that picture of the pussycat, pure bliss. For me, happiness is the warm ray of sunshine on a cold and blustery day.

  6. Happiness is all the bills paid on time and a full bottle of milk in the fridge. The thrill of a parcel of perfume arriving or the feeling of bliss after cleaning the house. Eating exactly enough, my buddies and Jin. All these and many, many more.
    Portia x

  7. Alexandra says:

    Holly Golightly explained her love of Tiffany’s by saying that nothing bad could happen to you there. Well I feel the same about the Royal Opera House in Covent Garden and I have tickets this evening, so as I stand on the balcony with a glass of champagne I will be in one of my happiest places!

    Oh plus the Monmouth coffee I am currently drinking is making me exceedingly happy too. What a happy post!

  8. poodle says:

    Poodles and parrots on on the list for me. Lazy days spent reading a good book. Afternoon naps. Mom’s home made bread. Puppies. And the most recent thing that has just tickled me pink was hearing words I never thought I’d hear my hubby say….”Let’s watch some Downton Abbey.” I got him to like a show that’s not on a sports channel!

  9. janeykate says:

    Sunshine makes me happy, every time! Too many grey days here in England, when the sun shines, I have a new spring in my step. Proper coffee, the scent of the roses, honeysuckle and lavender in my garden in summer, and Friday mornings (all that glorious anticipation of the start of the weekend). The smell of the little coastal town where I live, it’s sea salted air, fish and chips and candyfloss, I love it! My new man, he makes me happy. A glass of cold, white wine and reading a book whilst curled up in my big, comfy reading chair! I could go on forever here I think 🙂
    Oh and Italy, I adore Italy.
    love Jane x

  10. cookie queen says:

    My kids coming home for the Easter break. My first batch of homemade pesto. A trip to the Big Bad City next week. Having 18 litres of vanilla extract safely in my cupboard. I don’t like milk.

  11. ringthing says:

    One of the Proverbs says that a word at the right time is oh, how good. Laughter makes me happy: a silly phone call from my daughter, my husband with his fine sense of the ridiculous, and making others laugh, too. Finding a bargain makes me happy – the thrill of the hunt! Cooking and having the knack of putting a delicious meal together from odds and ends in the pantry. Music and movies and books, taking a drive through the country to see the earth coming back to life, new born farm animals: opportunities for happiness are endless. Thank you for this post!

  12. Carrie Lauters says:

    *you are so elegant so well versed and i love to read your every are beautiful and because of your kind and lovely review of champagne de bois no sample did i need as you described lauries perfme in a way that i knew this was a fragrance that i was going to love.ordered full bottle and arrived in less than 48 hours and the packaging was so classy and the fragrance just as lovely as your words on the paper.laurie hit this one out of the park when she inquired if i may wish to sample the perfume before my purchase of the large bottle! your reviews and lauries concern along with sonoma scent studios informative website there was no question about the champagne de bois…i could smell it in my this perfume is a medicine i need!!!briget thank you for your most gracious european connected me to laurie erickson and her artisan perfumes.i adore you and laurie as i see you both as women of beauty and kindness that is not often seen in these times.i now have an interest in the scent world.i feel really happy and it has been a very long time since i have felt this is an enchantment that came out of nowhere for me.thank you.sara(carrie lauters)*

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Carrie,
      thank you so much for your kind words. I’m very glad you had such a good experience with SSS (although I’m not surprised, Laurie is great!!!) and enjoy Champagne de Bois.
      Thank you for reading my blog, I really appreciate it.
      I hope to hear more from you!

  13. Annina says:

    I love hearing genuine belly laughs from my kids. I love hearing owls while falling asleep. I love sleeping in a tent with my family in the woods, listening to the wind in the trees. I love the smell of the Christmas tree after we bring it home and allow it to warm up and unfold. I love the smell of my husband’s pillow. I love how my body feels after a yoga class – strong, loose, and peaceful. I love the serenity of having a clean house, laundry clean, folded, and put away, a kitchen full of groceries, and something cooking in the oven – all at the same time. It reminds me to be thankful.

    • Olfactoria says:

      A laughing child – nothing better. 🙂
      I love what you say about yoga, it’s really more than time for me to get it together, I’d like that feeling you describe.

  14. andreawilko says:

    Seeing my children happy makes me think I did ok with them and makes me happy, getting a cuddle from my son (my daughter gives them away freely, my son is 14 and thinks it is uncool to cuddle his mum)
    Getting a perfume delivery.
    Having a clean house then being able to sit down with a cup of tea and a book afterwards brings me happiness and a sense of achievement even if it is short lived with 2 messy children in the house.
    A cold glass of wine whilst sat on the balcony in the sunshine would make me deliriously happy as the sunshine seems to be a rare thing over here atm 🙂

  15. Vanessa says:

    Great list. I would add the glug glug of white wine hitting the glass (and the delicious first sip – oops, a couple of people beat me to it!), spring flowers poking up in unexpected places, a really lean bacon bap, a hot soak in a bath (‘a girl can dream’!), the bright dazzling sunlight in the Cyclades, the sense of wellbeing from burying my face in my cat’s fur (when I had one), the fabulously eclectic mix of people on any street in Kreuzberg, Zanderfilet at an open air table in the restaurant of a medieval hotel in a sleepy German village in the summer, the jade green mill pond of Lake Louise ringed by snowy mountains, a passionate kiss recollected at leisure for years to come, the first handful of Kettle Chips…..oh so many things, but I really should get back to work, sadly. : – (

  16. the husband says:

    you do! and the boys and steak!

  17. Vanessa says:

    The Bolide in Barenia is truly a feast for the eyes.

  18. Figuier says:

    Ooh, lots of things.

    getting work done efficiently and well
    homemade guacamole with lots of lime juice and garlic
    toddlers having fits of the giggles
    finding a new favourite book, poem, author – or perfume!
    time with friends
    fresh flowers

  19. Nancysg says:

    I totally agree about the sound of owls calling at night. I worry about our neighborhood owls when too many weeks go by of not hearing their distinctive call. It is reassuring to hear the “Who, who, who, whooooo, who” echoing in the woods. Maybe they are my protectors in the night.

  20. Farouche says:

    Leisurely restaurant dinners with my husband, unexpected text messages from my daughters, watering the orchids in my kitchen window, looking through old photographs, and the smell of my horse’s neck.

  21. masha7 says:

    Kitties! Let’s see more kitties, and bunnies.

  22. Suzanne says:

    Sunny days and moonlit nights where every star in the sky seems to be out
    The smell and taste of a finely crafted beer or ale, poured into a nice glass and served with sushi
    Roast lamb with a crust of salt and rosemary, hot from the oven
    The bouquet of daffodils my husband surprised me with two days ago
    Beautifully dressed men
    Love letters and notes from friends
    European rooftops … and a million other things.

  23. haefennasiel says:

    A great conversation with a few close friends, one that covers topics both silly and profound and is punctuated with plenty of belly laughs and witty remarks
    The 4Cs (Chocolate! Caramel! Coffee! Chips! – okay, it’s unhealthy but it makes me happy anyways)
    A library with floor-to-ceiling shelves and filled with books
    A DVD library stocked with movies of my choice
    A simple quiet garden – nothing grand or fancy, but as long as it provides shade and a place to read or chat, I’m happy …
    Hugh Jackman, Eric Bana, Christian Bale, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rodrigo Santoro, Takeshi Kaneshiro ;D

  24. haefennasiel says:

    I luuuuuve that cat’s expression – priceless! ^_^

  25. Amy Bella says:

    Delights so far today-
    Watching the birds – my darling chicken girls and some wild birdies at the feeder.
    Flipping my omelet perfectly!
    The way my car smelled after picking up a bale of cedar chips for the aforementioned chickens.
    Comparing SOTD’s with my colleague and fellow perfumista. (Sienna Musk for me, Portrait of a Lady for her)
    Reading what delights all of you!

  26. The sound of my dogs snoring, the thoughtful presentation of the perfume decants that just arrived from Parfum1, all the spring blooms, connecting with friends (virtual and real-space), remembering that just last week I was running on the beach and dancing the night aways with my sister who lives far away…

  27. Liz K says:

    As I read your post, there is a needy little cat snuggling on my lap and a much larger one on the back of the sofa purring loudly in my ear. When I finish my delicious coffee I am going go to the gym and then head out to the garden and do some puttering. This evening I will have wrestled my new mattress onto the bed and the husband and I will be able to sleep without a war of elbows. Those are my happy things today. Oh, and my migraine seems to have finally gone so i can wear perfume! Oddly enough, Cameo is just right this morning. I see a SSS pattern ;).

  28. Lila says:

    I’m happy on rainy or snowy days that I don’t have to go anywhere. My favorite thing is to break out Wuthering Heights on a stormy day. I’m happy kneading bread (I find it very therapeutic). I love any and all animals but I especially love it when I come across an alpaca farm. Alpacas are just so cute and goofy looking! I’m happy that my diabetic cat gets so excited about his twice-a-day shots b/c I’ve tricked him into thinking it’s his brush time. I’m happy with my b/day ritual of going to my favorite town Charleston SC, getting a slice of The Peninsula Grill’s Coconut Cake and eating peel-n-eat shrimp and hushpuppies on the ocean. I’m happy in summer clothes. Road trips make me happy. Restaurants that have sweet potato fries! I could go on but those are a few. 🙂

    • Olfactoria says:

      I love staying home on a rainy or snowy day too!
      You did an amazing job for your cat connecting the inevitable insulin injection with a pleasurable brushing, you are an excellent cat mom!

  29. Lila says:

    Oh, and how could I forget the best! Opening the dryer door and there are NO clothes in it to be folded!

  30. Penelope Powell says:

    I second what Carrie (above) said about this beautiful world of perfume and your blog: “an enchantment that came out of nowhere…” I feel the same. Your elegance, Birgit, has been life changing for me. Perhaps you think that I’m using hyperbole, but it is totally true. I’m finding a new womanhood through your blog and the path of grace that it is leading me down. Thank you.

    Happiness: Seeing my 10-year old boy engrossed in a long book; seeing my 8-year old boy relaxing in the bathtub after having asked for Rose Otto essential oil and epsom salts. Seeing my two boys playing nicely together (which is, unfortunately, somewhat rare). And for me personally, gardening. Being in the garden is my heaven. And being in the kitchen with enough time, high-quality ingredients and a new recipe (I know that you despise cooking, Birgit, but I LOVE it).

    The other day, I finally received my 1000 Flowers samples from Grasse (all the way from France!!!). My very first perfume that isn’t mainstream or just plain essential oil: Reglisse Noire. It’s wonderful!

    Have a wonderful weekend…

    • Olfactoria says:

      Dear Penelope,
      I’m deeply touched and honored by your comment, thank you so much.

      As for your happy things: when my boys play nicely, I enjoy it immensely as well, as it happens so rarely, boys seem to need constant friction (like young wolves 🙂 ).
      I think the reason why I hate cooking is that I very seldom can do it leisurely, it’s the pressure and the duty of it that puts me off, so I can totally see why you love it, when you can cook undisturbed.
      Thanks for sharing your happy list!

    • brie says:

      Sorry but I have to put in my “two scents”- Reglisse Noire- which I really thought I would not like- is now in my top ten list of all time favorite perfumes of all time! Glad that you made the discovery too!

  31. I love your list! Some things that make me happy are:
    The smell of freshly mowed grass
    Lying in bed and listen to the rain tapping against the window
    Laugh until I cry

    Those Chanel camellias are so lovely. Last year I went to Chanel in Paris and bought a bottle of Bois des Iles. The lovely sales lady sprayed a camellia with this perfume and fixed it to the shopping bag. Such a thoughtful gesture.

  32. Oh Olfactoria

    High quality leather goods! You have me there.
    Ever since I was a child I’ve always been entranced by the smell of good leather. It’s always been one of my very favourite notes in perfume and I’ve often wondered why…
    Then recently, I discovered that my family had owned a tannery for at least a couple of centuries!
    What’s more it survives in it’s entirety at a museum.
    It taught me both that there is a reason for everything and that historical research (this was random not genealogy) is another of my most favourite things.

    Yours ever
    The Perfumed Dandy

  33. Georgy says:

    Not forget to mention: helping someone and not expecting sth in return, or making someone happy

  34. Georgy says:


  35. rosiegreen62 says:

    My happy things are…. clean cotton sheets, daffodils in the rain, that first sip of coffee in the morning, finding a perfect novel for my non-fiction reading husband, pulling weeds in the garden, hummingbirds buzzing past my head. Snuggling my dog. Fresh homemade cookies. Too many others to list. Thanks Birgit for the chance to think happy grateful thoughts.

  36. Making me most happy right now is a good book and a cup of tea on a cool, rainy night. And knowing that my Spring Break from school started this afternoon. Hope you have a wonderful weekend, my friend.

  37. In a nutshell: cats, horses and their smell, old books, Sicily.
    Have a weekend full of wonderful thing, Birgit.



  38. Tatiana says:

    That bag makes me drool! I too enjoy a beautiful, unexpected scent! Other things that truly make me smile, my dear husband, especially his sense of humor and his deep caring for others in this world. My daughter who is growing into a smart, independent young woman and any of her humorous texts from college. Our mare who’s the best horse on the planet (and she smells good, too). My aloof black cat who follows me all over the house but won’t sit on my lap unless I have a migraine or feel ill, then she snuggles up close and purrs. Sunshine after days of rain or overcast. My front yard filled with California poppies. This blog makes me smile, too. I love reading your entries and seeing the world through your eyes and words. Like others here, too many things to list. But this was a good start.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It was definitely a good start!
      I love that you say your husband and his personality make you happy. It is so lovely to hear about a happy marriage!

      P.S.: that leather is extremely gorgoeous, isn’t it? 🙂

  39. Kandice says:

    My little cat yawning is hilarity personified (and how upset he’d be to know he doesn’t look dignified at all!). Also little gifts from the Universe – a cup of coffee from a friend, an unexpected perfume sample in the mail, finding something for less than I expected. Sometimes life is good….

  40. Eva S says:

    Music makes me happy (Vivaldi’s Spring right now on the radio) and the sun is shining today! And that I have a week off work, I’m going to visit my parents in Gotland and my brother and his fiance are coming as well for a bit of Easter celebration.

  41. Jackie b says:

    I share many of the loves mentioned already, especially animals. But mostly I felt happy reading everyone elses posts…teary even!! Thank you all.

  42. Bhama says:

    Rainbow after a beautiful summer rain, the smell of earth after a monsoon in my native Kerala (India), my boys silly and goofy laughter, the smell of fresh ripe mangoes, memories of visiting Salzburg (I am a huge sound of music fan), reading everyone comments above all make me very very happy! Also realizing that it’s a true blessing to be part of humanity makes me tremendously happy too!!!!!!!!

  43. Miss Woolf says:

    In no particular order:
    Watching my dog run
    Being snowed in
    My husband
    Champagne cocktails
    Early mornings
    The sunsets from our house in Sweden
    Saffron buns
    Bombay Bling

  44. I’m not a cat person, but that cat is the happiest thing that I have seen in a long time! I just want to snuuuurgle it! And I’m allergic!

    There are so many things that make me happy. Among which are

    My family
    Good food
    Good wine
    Good cocktails
    Good friends (hmmm, friends seemed to have gotten outranked by food and booze)
    Strong coffee
    Expensive leather goods
    Crazy New York
    Packages in the mail

  45. Tara says:

    Love that cat picture, you can see it leaning into that feeling of pure bliss!

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