People In Perfumeland – Lady Jane Grey, Long-Time Perfumista And Style Icon

I’m very happy to introduce you all today to my good friend M. She is known from her comments in the blogosphere as Lady Jane Grey. M is a dedicated perfume lover who I got to know through the blog but fortunately our friendship blossomed once we met in person as we are both based in Vienna.

M has a great career and travels a lot for her job, which I still find very glamorous despite knowing that it is anything but. I often think she is living the life I could have led, the path not chosen, and vice versa.

Despite our very different lives, schedules and routines, we find so much common ground that meeting her and talking to her is a luxury (and a rare one at that, but I guess that is part of the deal with luxury).

Today you can share in my delight of getting to know M.

Let us see how she answered my questionnaire…

lady jane grey

M in the Jo Loves Showroom, London

A good day starts with… the alarm clock off and plenty of time for a cup of lovely oolong tea! Then breakfast with Birgit at Hidden Kitchen.

I’d never leave the house without… my Kindle (however, I might forget my Blackberry and money, or even my keys…)

I always feel good when… there are no pending problems in the office, the Blackberry is off and I can spend some quality time with my husband

My favorite thing in the world is… well, I’d have said my friends, but you want a “thing”. Is my cat a thing ? Hardly… Then it has to be my bath tub ! I love long, relaxing baths with Ormonde Jayne Tolu bath oil.

The next thing I want to buy is... a rocking chair called “Don do“. But most probably the cookbook from Richard Bertinet (about baking bread…) will be much easier to realize !

The place I always come back to is… Budapest. The food, culture, melancholy, quirkiness – that’s all me (important side note : I’m totally opposed to the present Hungarian government and its politics !)

My personal style is… relaxed conservative, mostly pants, and mostly in black from head to toe. I buy timeless pieces and then I wear them for years and years (I love wool, cashmere, linen…)

My favorite perfume… I feared that question… O.K. then, Mona di Orio’s Oud! (forgive me, Nabucco Amytis and please don’t turn sour on me!)

When I travel I always… look for typical local food. I’m a foodie and passionate cook.

To relax I need… green or beauty. Or both. In fact, it’s easy: a view from our balcony on the woods of Wienerwald or a stroll in Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum (Art History Museum).

When I have a bad day… I go for a barre-training with my beloved trainer Sarah (or as I simply call her: The Healer)

I like to gift people with… books, or something smelly (recently Bath & Body products from Jo Loves – yumm)

I find my inspiration… I’ve been having a problem with that one recently, I guess my mind is far too overloaded, tired, fed up – any suggestions ?

Something I would never want to miss… my friends. And I wish I’d live nearer to them. So I can see them more often.

My last mistake was… not buying a bottle of Iris Ganache while it was still available!

In my fridge there is always… cheese, especially goat cheese, plus loads of veggies, so I can throw together a quick dish ala Ottolenghi any time…

On my nightstand I keep… a pile of books (sorry Kindle…). Right now : The Marrying of Chani Kaufman (from Eve Harris – lovely!), something from my beloved crime writer Louise Penny, poetry from Margaret Atwood – and there is always something in my mother-tongue (Hungarian) too.

The perfect weekend starts with… a breakfast at Hansen, which is a bistro within a phantastic flower shop – so I can combine 3 things I love : friends, flowers and good food.

My role model is… unfortunately, there is none. But I sorely miss him/her – I feel life would be so much easier, when I could follow in somebody’s footsteps.
I was deeply impressed by Vivienne Westwood though : some 10 years ago I had the possibility (and the honour) to spend few hours in her company – she’s intelligent, creative, socially conscious and very brave. And surprisingly modest.

Something I always want to be asked in questionnaires like this is… Oh, I was trying to think of a life-changing question, but couldn’t find any. My favourite music, probably ? (BTW, it’s Pink Floyd forever 🙂 )


I really enjoyed this. Here we clearly have another example of the rampant correlation between Perfumista-dom and the permanent presence of cheese in the fridge.

I’m grateful that M took the time to do this and share a bit of herself with us today. I wish I could give her the gift she most desperately wants and needs – time. Since I cannot, publicly declaring her my style icon will have to do. 🙂


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41 Responses to People In Perfumeland – Lady Jane Grey, Long-Time Perfumista And Style Icon

  1. Ines says:

    Great to meet Lady Jane Grey. 🙂
    It would be lovely to meet her in person as well, I see reading is high on her list of favorite things to do… 😉

  2. poodle says:

    It was nice to learn a little about the Lady. She’s another perfume person who like cheese and tea. It’s a definite trend. I’m a big fan of going to breakfast so having breakfast at a flower shop sounds wonderful.

  3. Sabine says:

    I was fortunate enough to meet M in London recently and she is fab.
    But I am puzzled about the throwing together a ‘quick’ Ottolenghi dish answer. There is no such thing. All his recipes require five dozens of complicated to get ingredients! Taste usually nice, though.

  4. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Sabine, I hope to see you soon again ! Oh no, Yotam’s things are ab fab and fast – the best is probably that you don’t necessarily need to follow his recipes literally, but use them as inspiration,

  5. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Oh dear, I’m blushing endlessly!!! I’m on a meeting in Hamburg today and went to read Olfactoria’s instead of having lunch – and tadaaa! what a surprise …
    Finding your blog and you B., and Tara, and Vanessa and Sabine and all the lovely PEOPLE was definitely one of the best things in my life. And if I’m able to get that difficult thing called “inspiration” then from you, dear friends.
    I love you B, and looking forward to having one of those bliss breakfasts with you next week (in the flowershop this trime ?)

  6. Tara says:

    M is my hero. She is always on the go and a fabulous foodie with exquiste taste. More importantly she is a great friend and I treasure the times we are able to meet-up. A truly warm and generous person.

    So fun to learn more her and her life. I had no idea she did barre ballet training and I can relate to feeling life would be easier walking in the footsteps of someone else.


  7. janeykate says:

    Lovely post, Lady Jane sounds like a very interesting lady, with a lovely job!
    Jane x

  8. One day I hope to meet the lovely Lady Jane Grey. Thanks for this insight till it happens Birgit.
    Brunch with the two of you would be super fun.
    Portia xx

  9. Suzanne says:

    Have always enjoyed reading Lady Jane Grey’s comments on your blog, Birgit, and now it’s great to see her answers to your questionnaire. So is Lady Jane originally from Hungary? I think I hear Budapest calling my name now (food and culture, coupled with melancholy and quirkiness) … yes, sounds like a city for me. 😉 Also love her pick of Mona di Orio Oud as her favorite perfume.

  10. Asali says:

    Lovely meeting Lady Jane Grey. Like Suzanne I always enjoyed the comments. I am now very curious as to what that jobs is…

  11. anitathepianist says:

    Since I live here in the American “colonies”, I will probably never get to meet you, Lady Jane, but I did enjoy your comments. I like to wear black too, and love Mona’s Oud.

  12. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Dear Anita, you see : distance doesn’t really matter for friendly souls…

  13. cookie queen says:

    Ottolenghi´s is my favorite place to eat in London. Their meringues are to die for. Oh I must book ticket now! Believe it or not Pink Floyd are one of my favourite bands to work out to. It takes me into another sphere. DSotM was the first album I ever bought. 1974. Lovely interview. Thanks for the insight!! xxx

  14. Vanessa says:

    Oh, oh, derailed by work this week so late to clock this charming interview with M, whom I had the good fortune to meet at a recent PLL event. Okay, not that recent, but I recall it vividly! M will at least understand the ‘being run ragged by work’ thing, as she has such a hectic routine, shuttling between countries. Anyway, she is my bathing muse – one day I would like to luxuriate in Tolu oil! And how I wish M lived nearer us all too, but our loss is Birgit’s and Sandra’s gain, hehe. I say, I note a reference to cats – do you have a new pet, or was this interview filed a while ago?

    • Lady Jane Grey says:

      A while ago, so that cat was still Pinc, the cat of my life. One day, there will be a “new” one….
      And BTW you’re my bathing fairy, dear V !

  15. But she bucks the trend on morning drink – most have coffee!

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