Wednesday, August 14, 2013


A high school teacher's list of 100 wisest words:
From :

(These are the 43 out of 100 which I love the most)! :)

- If a street performer makes you stop walking, you owe him a buck.

- If you want to know what makes you unique, sit for a caricature.

- Never cancel dinner plans by text message.

- Don’t knock it ‘til you try it.

- You only get one chance to notice a new haircut.

- Never park in front of a bar.

- Make time for your mom on your birthday. It’s her special day, too.

- The best way to show thanks is to wear it. Even if it’s only once.

- It’s never too late for an apology.

- Never gloat.

- When opening presents, no one likes a good guesser.

- Give credit. Take blame.

- Suck it up every now and again.

- If you’ve made your point, stop talking.

- Admit it when you’re wrong.

- If you offer to help don’t quit until the job is done.

- Look people in the eye when you thank them.

- Thank the bus driver.

- Never answer the phone at the dinner table.

- Know at least one good joke.

- Don’t boo. Even the ref is somebody’s son.

- Never lie to your doctor.

- Don’t lose your cool. Especially at work.

- Eat lunch with the new kids.

- Always thank the host.

- If you don’t understand, ask before it’s too late.

- A handshake beats an autograph.

- When giving a thank you speech, short and sweet is best.

- Know the size of your boy/girlfriend’s clothes.

- Carry your mother’s bags. She carried you for nine months.

- Keep your word.

- Don’t be the talker in a movie.

- The opposite sex likes people who shower. ^^

- You are what you do, not what you say.

- Be kind. Everyone has a hard fight ahead of them.

- Don’t litter.

- You won’t always be the strongest or the fastest. But you can be the toughest.

- Buy the orange properties in Monopoly.

- Make the little things count.

- You’re never too old to need your mom.

- When you marry someone, remember you marry their entire family.

- Smile at strangers.

- There are plenty of ways to enter a pool. The stairs is not one of them.

Wednesday, August 7, 2013


The story was set in London 1950s. When Grace Monroe received an unexpected inheritence from a complete stranger, Madame Eva d'Orsey, she travelled to Paris to find out about the identity of her mysterious benefactor. What Eva then unravelled is what an extraordinary woman her benefactor is, who is a muse to one of Paris's greatest perfumers in the 1920s.

I love Kathleen Tessaro's books. I've also read her other book 'Elegance' and both have transformed me to another era, another world and have charmed me in many ways and have always left me wanting to recommend them to my closest girlfriends. Her books are very feminine and sophisticated, beautifully written and very fascinating. I'm not surprised that Marie Claire magazine named her 'the reigning queen of classic chick lit":)

The Perfume Collector spans through decades and cosmopolitan cities, from 1920 New York to Monte Carlo, Paris, and 1950 London.The book explores the power of scent and memory, the seductive effect of perfumes and the extraordinary world of perfumers and their muses. 

These are some of my favourite phrases/quotes from The Perfume Collector :

From page 147

'Do you know what sin means?'

'To do something wrong?'

Madame shook her head. 'That's one meaning. But there's another, from the Greek, which translates, "to miss the mark". That's the meaning I prefer. We try and fail, like archers who aim for the target but fall short of the mark. When you are older and have swum out into the stream of life, you'll see - there are no "good" people, little girl. We're all trying and failing, trying too hard and failing too often. Remember that. We shouldn't judge too harshly, in the end, the sins of others.'

From page 182

'Now,' she turned to Eva and waved at the pile of signature voluminous creations lumped together on the bed, 'do me a favour and remove all these. I can't bear to have them in my sight!'

Eva stared at the yards and yards of beautiful fabric. 'What do you want me to do with them, ma'am?'

'Burn them! Drown them! Do whatever one does to stray cats with no home. One must never be sentimental about leaving the past behind.'

From page 185 (this is when Valmont made Eva her first perfume)

So, did you try it? I've never made a perfume for anyone specific before,' he suddenly admitted. 'Have you put any on?'

She nodded shyly. 'Just a little.'

'May I?' He held out his hand.

Eva extended her arm. Valmont took it, pressing the white skin of her wrist to his lips.

The effect was beyond what he could have imagined. His perfume highlighted her youthful freshness and yet blended naturally with her rich, musky undertones. It 'finished' her, gave her a polished elegance, joining the fractured sides of her together. It was astonishing how she added so much to his composition; how the very fact of her fuelled his imagination. And he felt an inner quickening. Already his mind was whirring with half a dozen refinements and variations.

From page 190

He leaned forward. 'One of my favourite ingredients is ambergris. Have you ever heard of it? Do you know where it comes from?'

She shook her head.

'It's coughed up by the sperm whale when it devours cuttlefish. It's a greenish, revolting mass that floats on the surface of the ocean, ripening in the sun and rain until it's washed ashore. And yet, from these humble beginnings, develops the most indescribable scent. It literally expands on the skin - creates a vista in the senses.'

'How extraordinary. But how were these ingredients discovered?'

'God only knows! Perhaps one of the most instinctive things to do when you encounter something new is to pick it up and smell it. Though I don't like to dwell on the discovery of the civet cat too long. You see, most people assume perfume is made only from crushed flower petals but nothing could be further from the truth. All these ingredients give weight, dimension and contrast. Without the, the result is ahallow and one-dimensional.'

From page 191

'It's something of a connoisseur's obsession.' Lowering his voice, he indicated the beautifully dressed women who strolled in a leisurely manner from one counter to another around them, like rare, exquisite creatures, meant only for show. 'Most customers want to smell like those they aspire to become, not who they were in the past. But perfumers are always attempting to capture scents that remind us of certain places, people, moments. It's the great challenge, to capture not only a true scent but one that recalls entire experience.'

From page 208

'Your face is like a blank canvas. First you smooth it out with powder, the you paint a dark frame around your eyes. There is no need to try to make it look natural. It's better when you exaggerate. Timidity is deadly. In anything. Always be bold.'

From page 210

'Do you know what this dress is for?' Miss Waverly whispered.

Eva shook her head.


The word disturbed Eva; it was laden with the murky enticements of sin, dangerous moral ambiguity and the certain promise of future remorse. But even worse than that was the implication of mysterious skills that remained beyond her comprehension. 'I wouldn't know how to seduce anyone,' she murmured.

Miss Waverley raised an eyebrow. 'If you're old enough to want a man, then you're old enough to seduce him. It's easy. Seduction is nothing more than knowing that you want someone and then showing them, very gradually, very deliberately, that you do. It's the way you do it - reveal, tease, ignore, take it back - that makes it seduction.'

From page 224

Madame smiled indulgently. 'Most people assume that a muse is a creature of perfect beauty, poise and grace. Like the creatures from Greek mythology. They're wrong. In fact, there should be a marked absence of perfection in a muse - a gaping hole between what she is and what she might be. The ideal muse is a woman whose rough edges and contradictions drive you to fill in the blanks of her character. She is the irritant to your creativity. A remarkable possibility, waiting to be formed.'

From page 224-225

It was a heady, overwhelming veil of scent. At first it developed almost hypnotically into a floral, fruit bouquet; languid and sensual with a musky, almost dusty depth. But then a sharpness emerged, beautiful, icy, unexpected. There was something almost overwhelming about the lush complexity of the formulation, the sheer unbridled eroticism which came across in wave after wave of contrasting notes.

'This is floral, earthy, and there's the clean overlay of aldehydic waxiness and soft flowers,' Madame explained. 'And then, underneath, a whiff of more feral, impolite essences. Under the clean, innocent exterior there's a carnal presence. It's not without ulterior motive.'

Grace stared hopelessly. Here was a language she definitely didn't understand. 'I'm sorry?'

Madame Zed looked across at her. 'This, Mrs Munroe, is the scent of intoxication and desire. The perfume of seduction.'

From page 292

'That's what fashion  is, really. A way of renegotiating the terms that life deals you. When a woman changes her hair what she's really saying to fate is, no. I refuse to be defined by those terms. A woman who no longer cares about how she looks has given up on more than fashion - she's given up on life.'

From page 302

'Mademoiselle, every day you ask me the forecast. Every day you want it to rain. Why?'

'Because all this sunshine is uncivilized, Francois. Great conversations cannot be had by a poolside. I long for the roll of thunder, the darkening sky, the sudden eruption of a cold refreshing shower!'

From page 314

'The first thing you need to understand  about the wealthy and privileged is that they're like children - they only want what they can't have. If they knew you'd come to sell them something they'd demolish you before breakfast.'

'Then what am I meant to do?'

'Simple. Talk to no one. When someone comes towards you, walk the other way. Those people are used to being fawned over - they not only expect it, they rely on it. If there's one thing they can't bear, it's someone who isn't paying them any attention. So, as far as they're concerned, you want nothing more than to be left alone.' She stood up. 'Allow me to do the rest. And we will need to see a tailor immediately.'

'No.' He shook his head firmly. 'I don't have the money for a new wardrobe.' 

'Andre, the second thing you need to understand is that you're not selling perfume - you're selling yourself. The idea of you as an eccentric genius. You can't afford to blend in - you must look distinctive.'

From page 317

'Anyone can wear a suit, but casual clothing is the great equalizer. What I adore is that you look as if you're not taking anything too seriously. That makes everyone else appear overdressed.'

Praise for The Perfume Collector :

"A bewitching, compelling novel, full of dark desires, long-buried secrets, revisited memories, and new opportunities."

"Dazzles the senses."
(Publishers Weekly)

Kathleen Tessaro's fig perfume collections (her favourite perfume preference/note is fig)

She also collects vintage perfume bottles.

“If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” -Oscar Wilde
I've read 'Elegance' twice and I am definitely going to read 'The Perfume Collector' for the second time (maybe in a few months). Katlhleen Tessaro's books are the type of books that you want to read over and over again. They are just mesmerising and unforgettable :)

Tell me, what are the books that you've read over (and over)? 

Friday, August 2, 2013

WEEKLY DIARY: 10 things that amaze me this week

1. I love Evan Robertson's lovely literary art prints featuring quotes by famous authors. There are many great ones but these 2 are my favourites :

The right time is any time that one is still lucky to have. -Henry James
"A calendar on its side transforms itself into an arrow. Time is ticking. Let's go."

Nothing makes a man so adventurous as an empty pocket. -Victor Hugo
"As the hand reaches down for whatever it can find, an empty pocket transforms itself into a sailboat."

2. How great is this child abuse poster!
This is a poster made by The Spanish organisation ANAR Foundation (Aid to Children and Adolescents at Risk). They started a new street poster campaign that uses the process of lenticular printing to secretly send a message to abused children without alerting their abusers, even if they're walking together.
Anyone over 4'5" sees this view, with a caption: "Sometimes, child abuse is only visible to the child suffering it."Anyone shorter sees the beaten child version of the poster with another caption saying: "If somebody hurts you, phone us and we'll help you."

3. I love this idea. Blind date with a book :)

4. OMG I love this pancake & butter cushion/pillow! So cute ^^

5. And I love this iPad holder. S-hhhh, don't disturb, it/he looks so serious & wise :)

6. I'm not the best singer, but this thing is so cool hey!

7. I love this hot tub that flows from the inside to the outside. Seems so heavenly!

8. Wow, a bed that never ends! Thank God I don't have this, otherwise I would never get out of bed ;)

9. Bathroom lights that resemble stars. So romanticcccc...

 10. Sparkly bathroom tiles that resemble a beach. Are you kidding me? How blissful :)

I love what Mark Hoppus said:
"Don't tell her she looks good in the dress. Tell her, 'you make that dress look amazing.' It's about her, not the dress."

Some facts that I learnt from :
Need to tell a believable lie? Include an embarrassing detail - nobody doubts a story that makes you look dumb.

People love to talk about themselves. Ask questions & it'll make you seem more interesting to them, without doing anything!

Research on physical appearance and attractiveness suggests that 'self care' is the most important factor in determining a person's physical attractiveness. Physical attractiveness is not really how symmetric or beautiful your face is, but how well you groom and take care of yourself.

I love these quotes :

"Be nice first, because you can always be mean later, but once you've been mean to someone, they won't believe the nice anymore."
-Laurell K. Hamilton, A Stroke of Midnight

"People do not seem to realise that their opinion of the world is also a confession of their character."
-Ralph Waldo Emerson

"Close your eyes & imagine the best version of you possible. That's who you really are, let go of any part of you that doesn't believe it."
-C. Assaad


Until next time :) x

Picture sources:
4.5. 6.