Monday Question – What Is On Your Nightstand Right Now?

When I did the People In Perfumeland interviews the question that got the most attention was the one about the nightstand. It sems to engage the nosy person in all of us.

So today I want to know what you have next to your bed!

What are the contents of your nightstand at the moment?


My Answer:

Mundane and uninteresting things first:

My nightstand has a digital clock, because knowing the time at all points during the night is important to me, I want to know how long I still have before the alarm goes off – nightly interruptions are less since the boys are older, but still rather frequent.

Next to it is my asthma inhaler for emergency use and a box of tissues.

The more interesting items:

There is my Santa Maria Novella Pasta di Mandorle handcream – its smell of citrus and almonds takes me back to this summer in Italy in an instant. Lovely.

Since I am a lip balm addict, you can find plenty of those around the house, on my nightstand is a tin of Smith’s Rosebud Salve and Nivea Lip Butter, both very nice balms in my opinion.

Then I always bring my Kindle when I go to bed (I tote it around the whole day wherever I go). Currently I am reading something that was intended for a bit of light relief, Jojo Moyes Me Before You, and it is of course written in the manner of so called “chick-lit”, but the subject matter is anything but light and I expect to put the box of tissues on the nightstand to good use before too long.

In the drawer of my nightstand you can find the “bible” – Paula Begoun’s Don’t Go To The Cosmetics Counter Without Me. It has seen less action since the inception of Paula’s Beautypedia, but I still like to keep it on hand.

The ubiquitious iPhone is there as well of course, and during its hours on the nightstand it functions mostly as a notebook.

The second drawer holds body lotion (for days when I am too lazy to use it earlier in the bathroom), earplugs (never once used, but I like the theoretical option to tune out my dear family) and an inexplicable single sock belonging to one of my sons that didn’t yet find its way to more appropriate lodgings.

So, not very interesting I am afraid…

What is on/in your nightstand? I can’t wait to hear!



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65 Responses to Monday Question – What Is On Your Nightstand Right Now?

  1. Mahesh says:

    Good morning Birgit. In no particular order of use, I have two candles from ASTIER DE VILLATTE. One of them is Delhi which takes me to the temples in Mumbai where I grew up and the other is smoky but comforting oulan bator. This is the third time I bought them in the last 3 years so you can see I’m definitely in love with them.
    next up is a fragrance free handcream from optima, a nose inhaler (and tissues of course) and a remote for my small music system. Lastly a small alarm to remind me to goto work or a holiday every so often 🙂

    I’ve given up on kindle as the book I read are all reference books so it’s easy to use a physical book instead. For a novel which you read sequentially, a kindle makes sense.

    So there you are, hope to hear from others.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Thise candles sound lovely, Mahesh!
      I love my Kindle, but for some books it is quite useless, and that’s a good thing, real books should never be replaced by technology.

  2. Safran says:

    Dear Birgit,
    on my nightstand there is always a stack of books, a bottle of water and lately, a decant of “Vanille Sublime” by Creed. The latter to my own surprise! I hardly ever use any scent before going to bed, because it would bother me sooner or later during the night. But since I’ve got that decant I’ve used it every night, just the minute before I switch off the light. The top notes are instant happiness to me, can’t explain why, but I immensely enjoy them the few minutes, before I fall asleep. A good thing also is, that it’s not traceable anymore in the morning, so I can wear any scent I feel like.

  3. Marjo says:

    Guten Morgen Birgit. My nightstand, well, my digital clock with light and bird sounds😁 (it was a gift from my mother, turns out that the light begins to shine half an houre before the alarm goes off, so I never use it😊. The digital clock is set half an houre early, so it seems to be 6 o’clock when it goes off, but in reality it is half 5 (don’t ask. It’s crazy, I know!). Furthermore, there is a bottle of Armani Privé, Bois d’Encens, l’Occitane crême mains and 4 books: Dear Life by Alice Munro, Alias Grace by Margaret Atwood, Saints of the shadow bible by Ian Rankin and Dust by Hugh Howey. I do have an e-reader but I can’t help it: I love my books! Have a very nice Monday!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Guten Morgen!
      I completely understand about the alarm clock setting, so nice to get an extra half-hour so you don’t have to start every day in a rush.
      Real books are the better option – still. 🙂

  4. Undina says:

    I still have that Perfumes: The A-Z Guide on my night stand. I probably should move it to a shelf.

    Hand cream (currently Nivea) and lip care (also Nivea). When I come to bed, I bring my iPhone (I use it as a clock) and iPad (to read). In the drawer I have a couple of perfumes that I use as sleep scents (currently Aftelier Honey Blossom).

  5. Dubaiscents says:

    It is fun to be nosy and see what everyone has on their nightstands!

    I always have the book I am reading since before bed is the only time I find time to actually read it. Right now it is a biography about Gertrude Bell, an amazing British lady who traveled alone around Arabia at the turn of the 20th century.

    I have my non-digital alarm clock (because I don’t like to see the time at night) which is shaped like a cow and says “Wake up, don’t sleep your life away” (in a sort of Jamaican accent) as the alarm.

    And finally, some linen spray from the same company that makes the natural diaper cream my kids used when they were younger (the spray is a different scent from the diaper cream though!) and a jar of lotion from the Body Shop for my feet.

  6. Great question–gives me inspirational ideas for gifts to my wife! Thanks to all for that.
    Myself, I do not have a nightstand. No scents–just quiet and fresh air–nothing stuffy.
    Maybe I am fortunate–almost always fall asleep immediately. Can not stand any alarm in the morning. And if I find that I can’t sleep, I usually just get up, go over to my desk and write on the computer because not sleeping for me is part of a mind that just keeps turning over ideas about what I am working on.
    What I find is that every once in a while a short night’s sleep is not a problem. It all just evens out over a month.

    • Olfactoria says:

      That is truly enviable! I wish I could align my sleep pattern to my body’s wishes, unfortunately I have to comply with my kids and work schedules. 😦
      Clean air is so important for a good night’s sleep!

  7. furriner says:

    I also don’t have a nightstand. I currently use the windowsill for my alarm clock and to put my glasses while I sleep. If I had a nightstand I would probably also have a glass of water. I don’t have the habit of reading in bed, so wouldn’t have reading material.

  8. Vanessa says:

    Glass of water, watch (banning electronic devices to help me sleep), 4Head roll-on which is soothing in case of headaches or inability to sleep. Plus specs, earrings and maybe whatever moisturiser I am testing. Contents of the drawers are way too messy and various to mention!

  9. Sabine says:

    At the moment: Two kindles – a new paperwhite for the holiday and my old one in a waterproof case allowing me to read in the bath – Ipad, a coffee table book about the Bahnhofsviertel in Frankfurt (I used to live there), tissues, incense holder with leftover ashes inside, various medications, including gaviscon for emergency heartburn attacks, extension cable (the Ipad cable is ridiculously short), cat treats, bottle of water.

  10. Laurels says:

    I’m afraid the contents of my headboard/shelves (no nightstand) are also rather boring. Box of tissues, gloves (my hands and feet get very cold at night), remote controls for a television and a stereo, a small lamp, several piles of books (although I don’t read in bed much anymore, which is why said piles never seem to get smaller), also including Perfumes: The A–Z Guide, Shea Moisture Frankincense and Myrrh lotion, a glasses case, my night guard (sexy!), and a large, heavy flashlight in case of emergency. I can’t keep the alarm clock within reach or I will hit snooze repeatedly. I hate alarm clocks. The best one I ever had would play the CD of your choice (or the radio) at a low volume initially, gradually increasing the volume until you shut it off. Why something of that nature is not still widely available I don’t know.

    • Olfactoria says:

      I used to wake up with such an alarm too for years and it was great. Ten along came the iPhone… 🙂

      I gather the heavy flashlight is also intended as a weapon of defense? 😉

  11. Etomidac says:

    I always like reading about other peoples nightstands as mine is pretty much the most boring one you can come across…
    I have my watch (mechanical, so I will remember to wind it before I go to bed), my phone, a box of tissue, an alarm clock, a tube of hand cream and during winter (now) a bottle of NUXE dry oil for the poor dry areas. Oh and my glasses when I am off to bed (Yeah, interesting right? I know.)

  12. Lynley says:

    What a fun question!
    My bedstand is a 1920’s sewing table, so there’s just one small drawer, a removable shelf at the bottom and the top lifts to reveal a green padded and lined cavity for needles and ‘stuff’. Sp there’s not much usable space..
    On top is a light blue tassled lamp on a brass and glass stand my mum bought me for my 18th birthday, a painted ceramic dish c1960/70s made in West Germany holding asthma inhaler, Lucas pawpaw ointment (it makes the best lipbalm), a tube of Aesop Resurrection Aromatique handbalm, Clarins hand and nail treatment cream (not sure why there’s two…), and l’occitane shea foot cream.
    Next to that is an art deco opaque yellow cut glass vase, a mirror in a handpainted frame I bought in Turkey, a small jewellery box also from Turkey, and a mini Diptyque Myrrhe candle.
    The drawer has nail files, notebook and pen, some old notes and a lot of ‘stuff’ really. Could do with a tidy.
    Bottom shelf has box of tissues, deck of tarot cards, and 4 books.

    The other side of the bed (the bed is aaaaalllll mine 😉 ) is a lamp, 60’s art glass ashtray with samples in it, about 25 books, a small stereo for listening to meditation music, a Jaye Niemi tuberose and sandalwood candle, and bottle of Caron Les Plus Belles Lavandes.

  13. Oh dear I’m a bit reluctant to post as I fear I’m slightly messy. I’ve got Nuxe Dry Oil, a Diptyque Opoponax candle, stray incense sticks, La Roche Posay anti wrinkle cream, Yves Rocher Coconut body milk, 2 x pairs of earrings, tissues, hair ties, a sample of Angel (I quite often wear this to bed), a magazine from NZ, The Goldfinch book, 3 x rings. Think that’s about it! I also always have my phone there at night for the alarm. Although with children sometimes that’s not necessary. One of them awoke sick at 5 this morning. Boo!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Boo indeed! Hope he/she feels better and you are not too tired!

      Thanks for posting despite your reluctance, I just love getting a tiny peek into a life via the nightstand.

  14. shellyw says:

    Currently in transition between hard copy books and ipad. So in hard copy, Mandy Aftel’s Fragrant (just heard her speak at a local bookstore), Heirs to the Forgotten Kingdom, and all that is on the ipad. Unscented lotion that I add a few drops of Dypitque precious oils to. Glass of water and clock radio. I really can’t go to sleep with out NPR or BBC in the background.

    • Olfactoria says:

      Oh you met Mandy! Lucky you!
      We don’t get NPR here, but for years now we always listed to the Click and Clack podcast (Car Talk) although I am not even remotely interested in cars, but the two brothers are (were, sadly) so entertaining.

      • shellyw says:

        Cartalk was my fathers favorite (and I like it a lot). He too has Alzheimer’s but still enjoys the reruns. Maybe he does not know they are reruns. Over the years I have learned enough from it to respond at the mechanic’s shop a bit.

    • cookie queen says:

      Scuse me jumping in. I also sleep with BBC, World Service. I use headphones. If I wake up or shouldI say each time I wake up, I pop a headphone in and it sends me back off to sleep perfectly or else I catch something really interesting. I would give up every electronic toy, TV or whatever, but never my radio. Got me thorough menopause and beyond perfectly! xxx

      • shellyw says:

        hot flashes and sleeplessness are universal it seems, for those of us that are that age 🙂
        audio books are good too , but then I miss the plot.

  15. Farouche says:

    What a fun topic! Rather than a nightstand, I have a long table with a bottom shelf next to my bed. Most important items on top are my digital alarm clock and my paperwhite Kindle (as I like to read in bed and don’t want to disturb my husband if he’s trying to go to sleep). Then there are stacks of real books, my mother’s antique nonworking marble clock, unscented body lotion, L’Artisan Le Premier Figuier dry oil, cuticle oil, and assorted paperweights. The lower shelf contains the majority of my perfume collection, housed in open plastic shoe boxes. More books underneath the shelf…I need to do a clean-up!

  16. Hey Birgit,
    I LOVE this question. Peoples answers are so diverse.
    My stand currently has a book given to me in NYC by Lucy Raubertas: Beauty by (Can’t Remember) and I enjoyed it so much that I want to read it again before I send it back. The current Terry Pratchett because I’m rereading the whole lot of them, again. About 15-20 other books.
    I also have two pairs of reading glasses, a water glass and my iPhone charger.
    Usually there is some junk food too but I’ve eaten it all today.
    I also have a floor standing ancient angle-poise light, it is one of my pride & joys.
    Portia xx

  17. cookie queen says:

    It is Monday today which means it is tidy. I have 4 folded blankets, and yes I use every one of them. Two iChargers. My crocheted armadillo from Poodle. A Jonathan Sachs book. A German Vogue which I stole from the gym because there is a Serge Lutens article in it. There would have been empty Maltesers bags but I binned them this morning before I read your question 😉 xxx

  18. johanob2014 says:

    Love everyone’s answers!My nightstand:Perfumes the A-Z guide,a yellow highlighter(I highlight purchases made,in The Guide…lol);2 Ichargers,a silver glittery notebook with pen,Korres Jasmine Rose bodymilk(LOVE!!);unscented Epimax handcream for my poor nurses’ hands;kleenex tissues;a porcelain Chinese doll dressed in a red Kimono(reminder of great times);my Iphone that doubles as the 5am alarm clock,and finally:a 9-drawer wooden case containing some jewelry,lipbalms,Badger Night-night balm,and some other memento’s-quite a busy nightstand in other words!Lol!

    • Olfactoria says:

      Busy and interesting!!! Thanks for sharing, Johano.
      I love that you highlight the perfumes you bought in “the book”. 🙂

      • johanob2014 says:

        It’s a silly habit,probably,but I’ve been doing it since I started reading the book…that sparked a little bit of a perfume shopping frenzy!Lol!(First purchase on advice from The Guide was Beyond Paradise,btw!lol!)But revisiting those opinions when I discover a new or longlost scent,is still lots of fun.

        • Olfactoria says:

          It is a lovely habit, and completely understandable. I’m certain you are not the only one!
          (Also not the only one who bought Beyond Paradise after reading Turin!) 🙂

  19. Figuier says:

    I love this kind of question – it appeals to my inner nosey parker I think! On my bedside table are (always) earplugs. Not very glamorous, I know, but I can’t handle ambient noise when I’m trying to sleep. Also a selection of cosmetics from Avene and Nivea, and a slightly too-old Nuxe Reve de Miel lip balm. And books – the stack rises and falls, but at the moment there’s Daisy Hay, ‘Young Romantics’, a group biography of the Shelleys, Hunts, Byron et al.; books of poetry by Peter Riley and Eugenio Montale; La Rochefoucauld’s maxims (for when I’m feeling cynical); and vol. I of ‘Thousand and one Nights’ in the gorgeous Pleiade edition. I’m not into wearing perfume at night, so no need to keep them by my bed.

  20. Lady Jane Grey says:

    Lip balm (Suqqu), hand creme (Amore Pacific – I love its scent), alarm clock, di Orio’s Oud in that lovely lacquered box, and heaps of books. I have to read before turning off the light for the night, even if I come home very late, otherwise I wouldn’t fall a sleep.

  21. Vanie says:

    My alarm clock, some hand cream (l’occitane at the moment), Elizabeth Arden’s 8 hour cream, Dior cuticle oil, nuxe lip balm (in the stick form), deep sleep rollerball from This Works and a little box with all my rings live on my nightstand at the moment. There is also always the book I’m reading at the moment along with some crossword puzzles.

    More interestingly perhaps is the fact that my perfume collection is on my nigthstand! (apart from a box of minis I keep under my bed; a collection I started as a kid, way before I was into actual perfume other than loving the bottles!) 8 full bottles plus a few select minis and decants. My first drawer is divided between underwear, body lotions and all my perfume samples. Second drawer is T-shirts and pj’s and the last drawer is tank tops and socks.

    • Olfactoria says:

      It is lovely to have your collection close by, Vanie.
      The limited space on a nightstand is also a good way to keep the numbers down, something we fumies struggle with. 😉

  22. Annabel says:

    Just like Vanie above, I have some L’Occitane hand cream, Elizabeth Arden 8 hour cream, nuxe lip balm and This Works pillow spray! Also some books and my South African Rooibos night cream. And a digital clock and earplugs just in case he snores…

  23. Ines says:

    Ha! It really seems we are all very curios (and honest) about what’s on our nightstands. 😀

    Mine actually holds quite a lot of things as yours. Lip balm, hand cream, foot cream, packet of tissues, water bottle, my phone (works as an alarm clock), charger, Kindle and an assortment of books on the lower shelf. 🙂
    At the moment though, it also contains cough pastilles and nose spray as I have a terrible cold. 😦
    (and more than one packet of tissues) 😉

  24. hey Birgit, hope you had a fab start to 2015! I have pictures of my loved ones, a Jojoba handcream “yes, also addicted to moisturizing whenever I can”, my kindle, tissues, occasionally a glass of water when I remember and if I don’t want to have a monster headache after a few too many glasses of wine…sigh! Kiehl lip balm (original) and last but not least Rosary beads that I have not used in ages!

    interesting question B, had fun reading the comments thus far!

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