My Favorite Things – Summer 2014 Edition

I haven’t done a Favorite Things post for a while, so today I want to compile a list of things that I do, see, crave, use or love at the moment and hope you will share yours in the comments.



I’m loving the newest Malle creation – Eau de Magnolia by Carlos Benaïm – very much. A sparkling floral on a mossy green base that is easy to wear but never banal or simple. Elegant and light-hearted, ideal for the summer or anytime you want to feel like it is summer. (Tara’s review is coming up next week.)



An old favorite I have been enjoying these days in the evenings (when the heat relents a bit) is Opardu by Puredistance. Soapy, wistful, hazy and elegant, always elegant.



I am re- (re-, re-) reading the Harry Potter books (Ines-style) and thoroughly enjoying the world Rowling created. I read the first book with the boys, after they had pestered me for some time. The first volume is not too wild, so I agreed and they loved it and completely soaked up this new universe. By now they are playing Quidditch every night and are happily subtracting points from their houses for bad behaviour… 🙂

Parallel I am reading Juggling by Barbara Trapido, I’ve recently finished Sister by Rosamund Lupton and The Untethered Soul by Michael Singer. I can recommend all three.

TV Shows:


My husband and I love quiet evenings at home, binge watching TV shows. Maybe that is sad, maybe it is a sign that we are old and boring, but I am not apologizing. We are enjoying ourselves too much for that.

We recently watched Game of Thrones, The Good Wife and The Black List. Next up is the last season of Dexter and House of Cards… and I hope the new season of Downton Abbey will be out soon. I’m addicted!



I still am very much into yoga. I have joined My Yoga Pro, a program that gives you access to over 200 hours of classes and courses, you can track your progress and it includes a community feature as well. It is a very new platform, but it is off to a great start and the teacher, Erin Motz is lovely and very engaging and down to earth.



I am anticipating a surprise weekend getaway in July with my husband (it’s my birthday present from him!) and looking very much forward to our yearly trip to Italy in August. This time we will explore Florence before spending a relaxing week at the seaside.

In November another NYC trip is in the cards (and hopefully an opportunity to meet with lots of NY based readers?!).



Sunscreen is the buzzword right now and I am not really totally happy with my hot weather skin routine. I’m currently rotating La Roche Posay Anthelios SPF 50+ cream, Vichy Capital Soleil Tinted Sensitive Skin Sunscreen SPF 50+ and Chanel UV Essentiel SPF 50+ depending on my mood and the amount or lack of makeup I wear that day.

I would be grateful for your sunscreen recommendations!

What are the things you love right now?


About Olfactoria

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51 Responses to My Favorite Things – Summer 2014 Edition

  1. cookie queen says:

    Summer excitement 2014?
    Going to London for a few days and meeting with perfume friends.
    Four days Florence, including PITTI, with my husband.
    Vienna trip this weekend.
    Wearing lots of Rubj EdP (can’t wear it in the winter!)
    9 weeks free from teaching English.
    Ten days in Rhodos.

  2. Safran says:

    Sitting on a balcony with sea view in Sicily right now. A cup of coffee on the table, a salty sea breeze in the face and 9 more days of “dolce vita – far niente” ahead!
    Salute – Safran

    PS: Wearing mostly Orange Sanguine in the mornings and Carnal Flower in the evenings, pure joy.

  3. Ines says:

    Ha, ha, ha!! 😀
    I was already going to say, yaay, someone else I know doing the same HP thing like I do and then I see my name pop up. 🙂
    Actually, I’m re-reading HP now, it’s been a difficult period for me and will last a bit longer it seems. And honestly, reading HP helps me a lot.

    I’m taking care of my sunscreen needs as well, I’m using Eucerin Sun Face – Mattifying Fluid – SPF30+ (but I’m getting 50+ now) and it’s great for my face. I’m actually very happy with their facial creams (those I tried so far).

    • poodle says:

      I think HP makes things better too. I re-read or pop in a DVD when I need a pick-me-up.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thank you for the Eucerin tip, will look into it.
      I’m glad HP helps a bit, but I’m sorry that you are not in a good phase. 😦
      I think it is great we are reading it at the same time!

  4. isabeau1977 says:

    I do also love Eau de Magnolia! But then again we have the same taste 😉
    Within three weeks I wil be in Italy, enjoying the dolce vita…
    When you go to Florence, do visit the Boutique I Profumi di Firenze, they have great fragrances and they are really cheap over there.

    Dexter is just great! We were really sad that had to end ;-(
    This summer I will be doing lots of practice for the half marathon that I am going to run in San Francisco March 29, 2015 🙂

    I am also totally in love with my whipped body cream Bronze Goddess by Estee Lauder..smells like sunshine in a bottle..and when I am on holiday, I always take with me Jil Sander Sun..also because you can wear it in the sun.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Same perfume love again! Loving it! 🙂

      I’ll definitely go to I Profumi and to SMN.

      Jil Sander Sun is an old love of mine, and every summer it gets a little skintime.

      Best of luck for your running ventures!

  5. Lady Jane Grey says:

    I love summer, with the heat and everything – perfect time for my colognes and greens (Liquides Imaginaires Dom Rosa, Humieckin & Graef, Laurent Mazzone…).
    Back to reading contemporary American literature (after having a period of English crime stories…)
    Anticipating a weekend trip to London – a surprise for my dear husband
    Fun : summer lipsticks – pinks and coralles, coloures I usually wouldn’t touch
    And generally fun – summer is much more fun, than the rest of the year !

  6. Sabine says:

    Things I love at the moment: not wearing socks, BBQs in the garden, opening the doors in the bedroom in the morning and stepping into the sun, walking through London in the early evenings, with all the poeple outside pubs and cafes, wearing flimsy summer clothes, the World Cup…
    This year we are going to France and are planning to do a city trip in September, probably Istanbul.
    SPF recommendation is Lancome UV Expert GN Shield SPF 50. It’s my under make up choice, because it’s very matte and invisible, but not drying. Without make up I also use the LRP.
    My book recommendation is for those who like urban fantasy. Paul Cornell’s 2 books, “London Falling” and “The Severed Streets” are very dark London based urban fantasy. Pretty spooky, but I found them impossible to put down and have just wolfed my way through them over the last week.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Your book recommendations are on my Amazon wishlist now – thank you!

      The Lancome sounds good too.

      Enjoy your summer, you make it sound so good even for an old grump like me, dear Sabine! 🙂

  7. ladywinther says:

    Aaaah, Florence! ❤ Do NOT miss out on Santa Maria Novella (the apothecary AND the church-loveliest church I've seen ever, I think). We lived right next to the Doumo last summer, but never went inside…I know I should be ashamed, but I can only a limited amount of churches in one trip.The Piti Palace is also quite something…and the gardens…and just walking around in the florentine streets…ah…
    At the moment, these are the things I love
    The fact that the world is GREEN- and the smell and the sound of people mowing their lawns.
    That it¨s light outside almost 24/7
    The book I'm reading "Where did you go, Bernadette?" by Maria Semple
    "Midsumer Murders" on TV every Friday
    Vero Profumo Mito voile d'extrait
    Going on roadtrips with hubby
    Long walks with the dog, Harry. Letting him take his time exploring, and me just BEING in the moment. Makes me feel very, very happy.

  8. poodle says:

    I’m still waiting for spring. I guess those few decent days we had were it but I need more. I haven’t even fully broken out the summer clothes yet. Today is another gloomy day as well. If it felt like summer I’d be enjoying some Pimm’s or gin and tonics out by the fire pit. I have a few little getaways booked this summer but all are within driving distance so no exotic locales. I’m in between books at the moment. Am I the only person who has trouble deciding what to read next? I did get some new nail polish colors for the summer so at least that much of me is summery.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Pimm’s by the fire doesn’t sound so bad either! 😉

      I have so many books lined up that I sometimes can’t decide what to read next, but it doesn’t take long… 🙂

  9. janeykate says:

    A lovely list! I’m loving Frederick Malle perfumes, and I’ve promised myself that next time I’m in London, I’m going to visit Liberty’s and properly explore the Frederick Malle stand. It could be an expensive day out 😉
    Jane x

  10. Sandra says:

    Just that it is summer is excitement enough! Folks are coming into town next week. Enjoying Chanel Beige, Rubj, and several Amouages in the heat. I use La Mer SPF 30 for my face. Want to try their SPF 50.

  11. Tara says:

    I always love your Favourite Things posts and this was another fab one. You have managed to completely sum up Eau de Magnolia in just a couple of lines. It absolutely is elegant and light-hearted. Funnily enough I’ve been in the mood for Opardu even though I don’t have any. I bet it is lovely in the evenings.

    How wonderful that you have trips to Italy and NYC lined up. I would go to Italy every year too if I had the chance. You will have such fun meeting up with perfume friends in New York.

    I love the thought of your boys playing Qudditch. It must be great experiencing it again through them. My sister is enjoying reading the BFG to Mia. I’ve just started The Night Circus – finally. I wouldn’t mind re-reading The Untethered Soul again. So much to take in and calming for an anxious mind.

    I’m just happy the weather is warm. Everything is a bit better with sunshine as well as perfume.

    Have a lovely Sunday Lunch with Sandra, Val et al. Wish I was coming!

  12. Alice says:

    I tried Eau de Magnolia yesterday, and agree it’s very good, in fact it could become a favourite FM (it’s more my style than many of the others, even though I admire them all). Straight to the top of my wish list!
    Other favourite things are, for TV, Salamander, and for books, I’m nearing the end of War and Peace, which I thoroughly enjoyed. Also…ice cream, of course, one of the best things about summer!

  13. Annina says:

    Lovely things, Birgit! I just got a sample of the Manolia, and I can’t wait to try it.

    My faves:
    Perfume: Chanel No.19, Seville A l’aube, Bel Respiro, Infusion d’Iris Absolu, Bas de Soie, Pafums delRae Debut.

    Books: The Outlander Series, and some birth books. Also reading The Happy Hollisters series to my kids.

    TV: New season of Orange Is The New Black! Also catching up on Call The Midwife.

    Still very much into yoga myself – I have been.practicing about 3 x per week for 4 years.

    Sunscreen: my husband has had some close calls with moles, so I really did some research. I will hop up on my soapbox now… The best sunscreens are the ones that only contain titanium dioxide or zinc oxide. Truly. The chemical sunscreens are toxic. Check out for the safest and most effective sunscreens. Ok, stepping off my soapbox….

  14. Suzanne says:

    Your “favorite things” lists are fun, Birgit. I join you in your love of House of Cards. Talk about the ultimate power couple – Francis and Claire!!!

    My summer favorites at the moment:
    – Stolen from Sabine’s list … Not Wearing Socks!
    – Jo Malone Saffron Cologne Intense
    – Flowers, particularly big, bouncy planters of “million bells”
    – Anticipation of swimming (the community pool just opened…now, if it would only stop raining!)
    – Eating outdoors (again, when not raining) 😀
    – Ballroom dance lessons
    – Stone Harbor, NJ, beach vacation at the end of July

    Will look forward to hearing where you go in July, for your surprise getaway. Have a good weekend, Birgit!

  15. rosestrang says:

    These are fun yes!
    I’m very into Reglisse Noir by 1000 flowers at the moment. It reminds me of the smell of camping in the wild, yet it’s mysterious and elegant too.
    I’m loving the warmer weather which makes me feel super social, so I’m attending every event going just now!
    Painting and selling my work – it’s going well and I feel relaxed (ish) about the future – unusual for a freelancer!
    Have a lovely summer!

  16. empliau says:

    Love all your lists! Summer is my favorite season. Some of my favorite things are:

    Not going to school (I’m a teacher).
    Not making my teen get up early for school. They’re nicer when they’re rested.
    Tomatoes at the farmer’s market that taste of summer, sunshine and real tomato.
    Jasmine, roses, and gardenia perfuming the air.
    Checking out old favorite books from the library and rereading them.
    Drinking lots of blueberry iced tea.
    Yoga with my favorite teachers (available to me only in the summer, as we spend the summer months in our old home town).
    And perfume – I’m keen to try Eau de Magnolia, and when I order it I may also get a decant of Diptyque Olene – this is a big white flowery climate, so I think it will work well.

  17. Maggie says:

    Haven’t read Harry Potter, but I am a big fan of her Cormoron Strike detective novels. The second in the series is to be published next week and I can hardly wait – already pre-ordered for my kindle; I love how the books magically appear as soon as they are published.

    As for sunscreen, I am a huge fan of Dr. Lens’s products and he has just developed a sunscreen, so that is what I will be using when summer returns to Melbourne. Sorry, I don’t know how to include a link, but if you are interested, just google Zelens. He has his own website with free worldwide delivery.

    Still wearing and adoring Mito extrait almost every day. My other current loves (reserved at the moment for special evening outings) are Kohl de Bahrèin and Amouage Beloved.

  18. Vanessa says:

    I really enjoyed your favourite things post, and am pleased you are reading Juggling. It is so long ago since I read that book that I have not the first clue what happens – I just know I loved it at the time. 😉 Oh, and I can’t wait to try Eau de Magnolia – hopefully I will catch up with that over the summer. Look forward to learning where you go on your surprise getaway – then Italy and NYC will both be memorable and (partly?) relaxing trips, I am sure.

    I am in a bit of a funny phase at the moment, having to restrict myself on certain things, so it is not so much a case of what I am enjoying, as what I am managing to do without (my usual quota of tea and cheese!) or be reconciled to instead, hehe. For example, I am snacking on Grape Nuts and pumpkin seeds and trying to eat black pudding on a daily basis, washed down by orange juice. It’s all a bit surreal, but I am chasing iron wherever it is naturally occurring!

    I am enjoying wearing my ‘new’ Arts & Crafts silver locket, though, which gives me pleasure to look at and feels nice round my neck. Also hanging washing outside is a lovely feeling – and associated scent.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Very glad you are loving your lovket so much. It’s lucky, I’m sure…
      I hope you feel better soon and are able to get back to tea and cheese, the loss of both must be hard (I wouldn’t want to be without either!!!).

      Juggling is a weird and wonderful book, thanks for recommending it!

  19. hajusuuri says:

    Hello Birgit, I meant to respond sooner to say that I hope to meet you in New York in November if you do make it here as planned!

    I have too many cravings perfume-wise but will mention a few – Parfums DelRae Wit and Atelier Cologne Blanche Immortelle. I satisfied my Opardu craving last year when my favoritie BaseNotes splitter hosted a split at a very good price and I essentially got 60 mLs plus an extra 10 mLs gift.

    Books: My favorite genre is Mystery and I am currently reading Just One Evil Act by Elizabeth George. On the flip side, I also like lighthearted “reads” — On my way out of the library two weeks ago, I spied the familiar Archie comic books logo and promptly borrowed the Married! episode.

    TV shows: I enjoy watching Food competitions and there’s a plethora to choose from. Current favorites are Next Food Network Star, MasterChef and Guy’s Grocery Games. Oh, and I can’t wait for the 2nd season of Under the Dome!

    Exercise: Next. (At work, we have a big competition going on for walking for charity. I KNOW I will be walking / exercising more.) And Yoga…sigh…I TRIED it, I really did, but it stressed me out so I stopped.

    Travel: I have a cruise coming up, a trip to New Orleans and a mystery destination for New Year’s.

    Sunscreen: If one can be allergic to stuff, I would be the first one to show signs of it, therefore, I try to be careful with what I use. My “formula” last summer under the intense Venice, Eastern Mediterranean and London sun worked well; I also wore a hat every time I was out and about. While I looked a little darker overall, I could have been burnt to a crisp if I wasn’t diligent. For my face, I kept my same face care routine (La Mer everything, including the moisturizer), then layered on Neutrogena Pure & Free Baby Sunblock Stick SPF 50 and then on top of that, Estee Lauder BB Cream SPF 35. I also covered my ears with the baby sunblock stick. For the neck and exposed body parts, I used Cerave Sunscreen Face Lotion SPF 50 first and then on top of that Neutrogena Ultra Sheer Dry Touch Sunscreen SPF 85. The idea is to use the substance that is less likely to cause a reaction next to skin and then another lotion with additional sunblock protection. This year, I may try Paula’s Choice as recommended by some NSTers.

    Anyway, enjoy your upcoming vacation!

    • hajusuuri says:

      One correction…for the neck and body, the first layer was Cetaphil Restoraderm (no SPF) and then the Cerave, then the Neutrogena Dry Touch.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Hajusuuri,
      thank you very much for sharing your sunscreen tips and other favorite summer things. Paula’s Choice products are fantastic, I can highly recommend them as well!

      I will be in NYC over the Thanksgiving weekend, if you are there I would love to meet you in person!
      I will announce a meeting place and time on the blog closer to the time.

  20. Hayley says:

    Hi I am enjoying the start of my perfume journey and trying to take it slow as there are so many I want to try. I am looking for a soft lemon floral fragrance and like the sound of eau d’magnolia might buy a sample from les scenteurs with a couple of others 😉 I wanted to ask about the my yoga pro I did the 30 day challenge and actually stuck to it and enjoyed it. I’m really considering joining my yoga pro – was it ok to join,? no problems? are the videos similar to 30 day challenge?
    Thank you in advance hayley

    • Olfactoria says:

      Hi Hayley,
      I’m really happy with My Yoga Pro, it is similar to the 30 Day Challenge, all videos are with Erin. Lots of class choices, I had no problems with payment, access or anything. The site works well, despite the fact that it just recently launched!
      Happy yoga-ing hopefully smelling of Eau de Magnolia! 🙂

  21. Eau de Magnolia is one of my favorite summer launches! I never thought that I would fall for such a bright, citrus-y white floral, but it’s so well done and perfect for the summer.

    Harry Potter is also my decompression of choice. Me and Ari actually just finished up our HP movie marathon. So much fun! We should do it again… and we probably will!

    I need to get back into a yoga/pilates routine. I started this summer and was just starting to feel fit when everyone left for vacation. Maybe Yoga Pro is the way to go? Thanks for the recommendation!

    As for my summer favorite things: summer tomatoes, barbecue, gin cocktails, and giant freakin’ caftans 🙂

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