Tag Archives: scent

Paris

I can’t tell you how happy I am to be here.  Even though it’s late in the three o’clock hour and I have a 5:30 wake-up call for a early high-speed train to Marseille.  With all the passport drama I began to lose faith that I’d never get here.

I love love love Paris.  We are staying at Hotel Verneuil in Saint Germain des Prés, which is a lovely little place, though I’m convinced we got the smallest (/least desirable) room (the only one on the ground floor).  Still it’s charming and has a really great shower.  And tripping around the bed, which takes up most of the room, sort of reminds me of staying in a really expensive hotel room in lower Manhattan–you know the kind–practically $500/night and the only place to be is on the bed?  Like I said, for one night, c’est trés amusant non?  Anyway…

[also to the hotel’s credit, the service is impeccable.  To answer the mighty question of tripadvisor.com, yes, I would recommend this hotel to my best friend]

But the best part about Hotel Verneuil is the fact that it is right around the corner from one of my favorite florists in Paris, Olivier Pitou.  I couldn’t believe it when I walked out the door and found it right there.  It is a beautiful place to visit.  This time they had out of this world peonies of course, but also hydrangea that I couldn’t believe–like nothing I’ve seen in the States.  The roses weren’t necessarily designated “garden” roses, but they all smelled beautiful–like real roses!–not like the farmed scentless variety you find even at the most beautiful florists stateside.

red peonies

sarah bernhardt

Above you can see some of the most wild hydrangeas in the upper left-hand corner–bright pink and green!  I actually though they were silk…and of course luscious Sarah Bernhardt peonies in the foreground.

roses

arrangement

I love this little arrangement with the mint leaves emerging from between the roses.  The little store was a cool reprieve from the street affected as much by air conditioning as the scent of mint from a huge urn filled with it in the front of the space.  mmm…

After a visit to Olivier Pitou we walked, and walked, and walked.  First across the Sienne, through the Jardin des Tuileries (stopping for iced coffee), along Rue St. Honore, past the Louvre, up Boulevard de Sebastepol (little seedy, not my favorite), and up to the 10th to visit some friends in their new office.  By five thirty I was having a hunger crisis and we’d logged 6 miles on the new pedometer (thank you Brookstone Logan Airport).  We cabbed it to the Ile St. Louis knowing for sure it would be a welcome reprieve.

My mother lived on Ile St. Louis for years as a young adult.  This tiny little island on the Sienne was her home, with its charming narrow street running from one end to the other and of course the original Berthillon.  The charm is still there, one hundred percent, though the real estate has skyrocketted since those bohemian days in the late sixties and early seventies.  Ile St. Louis is a super chic place for an apartment, but the tourists traipsing over from Notre Dame keep it down to earth.  We went to one of my favorite restaurants, Brasserie de L’Ile St. Louis, which has been on the island as long as anyone living can remember.  It is the perfect, perfect place to sit, relax, watch the world of Paris stream by in front of you, but without the noise and congestion of so many of the city cafés.

ile st

st

watching the sun get low with a little glass of Chablis

lardons

frisée aux lardons

leeks

leeks

au poivre

steak au poivre

Not pictured here is my husband’s favorite–the cassoulet.  I thought it was crazy to order cassoulet on such a hot day, but he did, and it was delicious as always (though I have to admit to preferring eating it inside the old brasserie on a chilly evening).  But it was worth it–the cassoulet really is excellent here.

Off for a nap till Gare de Lyon in a few hours, then onto Provence.  Vive la France!

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Color, more Sweet Peas, Scent

sweet-peas

These tulips are HUGE!  And very open.  All of these flowers were a gift from my former employer at Bloomie’s up the street at Market Hall.  She said she bought the sweet peas just for their scent, because these bunches were especially fragrant.  They are so amazing!  So often you can barely smell the sweet peas that come out of florists, but not these; I feel like I’m smelling sweet peas for the first time!  

When I got them home I left each flower grouped in the bunch it came in because I love the strong color blocks–and I showed off the deep green of the smooth leaves and stems of the tulip with a tall clear mason jar.  

The scent revelation that these sweet peas sent me on led me to realize that the Soy Face Cream by Fresh that I sampled from Sephora (and couldn’t stomach the $42 for 1 oz.) and have been scraping from the bottom of my sample actually smells literally of sweet peas.  Sorry Fresh I don’t know where you got that soy scent, smells like sweet peas to me, but either way I’ll take it!  I might actually have to throw down the $42.  It’s just that good.

soyActual size of sample container.  Note emptiness.

sweet-peas-2

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New Bulb on the Windowsill

I took several photographs of A Great Sight in Rockridge to capture the soothing front garden, the gravel, stone spheres, and variety of emergent bulbs.  But when I got home, I found that some of the pictures from my digital camera were corrupted.  I was left without a photograph of the one bulb I really wanted to capture: Muscari, also commonly known as Grape Hyacinth.  The sturdy yet precious little ones in the garden depicted in A Great Sight in Rockridge are one of my favorite things about my walks to College Avenue.  

Although the photographs didn’t turn out, I’m not left without a souvenir from today’s Muscari sighting.  When I arrived at Trader Joe’s I was thrilled to find some in a little twin-tin, already forced, blooming and ready to go.  

Without further ado, I introduce you to the new bulb on the windowsill, Muscari:

muscari

And the sweet, sweet scent is fantastic

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Time to Soothe

Well, when is it not time to soothe?  The problem is, so many of us soothe so little, and should soothe more!

Saddleshoos is signing off for the day to go get soothed at one of the most soothing places in the whole world: The Claremont Spa.  

I’ll be getting an aromatherapy massage (obviously; I’m into scent–I even considered bringing my own scented essential oils) and will be sitting in the hot tub with a 180 degree view of the bay.  Oh, and the eucalyptus sauna.  And hey, I’m kind of breaking out, so I might try to schedule a last minute facial!  The luxury hydrafacial is seriously amazing.  The Claremont carries Carita and Naturopathica, two of my FAVORITE skin care lines. (I’ve gotten to the unfortunate point of just not being able to live without the Cotton Mask by Carita, SOOOOOO Amazing)

Then it’s off to Paragon for some fresh spring rolls and mojitos.

midpic_spa-not an actual photo of Saddleshoos-

Bellissima!

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Bloomies Soothes So Hard This Time of Year

It was this time last year that I began my career as a florist at Bloomies and discovered my intense obsession with flowers and floral design.  It’s a sentimental time of year for that reason.  Right now, Bloomies is pulling in fresh from market all my late-winter early-spring favorites: ranunculus(!), narcissus, stock, ornamental kale, hellebore, and the list goes on.  It’s just heavenly over there.  It’s a must visit–don’t forget to take something gorgeous and fragrant home!

ranunculusAh! The ranunculus alone!

Honestly, white ranunculus are the most beautiful, chic of blooms.  Maybe I just think this because they go really well with my small craftsman home decorated in neutrals, but either way. 

narcissusNarcissus

Here we have three different types of narcissus: the variety commonly known as paperwhites (far left), china narcissus, one of my FAVORITES due to the color and rose-like cluster of petals (center), and a scented mini-daffodil (upper right).

stock

Stock

This is another of my absolute favorites, and I’ll take it in any color (and it comes in many).  I love the delicate, clustered blossoms arranged vertically on the stem, and the soft, sweet scent.  One of the best parts about these is that you can actually get them year-round and they are so inexpensive!  Bloomies bases all their prices on the market, but these most often go for a dollar a stem.  Gorgeous on their own or in an arrangement with other blooms.

Go forth!  And get Bloomied!

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I Can’t Live, If Living is Without Scent

Laura Mercier Bath Products.

Holy F-ing S.

It’s not about the fact that they are by Laura Mercier, it’s just that they smell so good, and they do it in this way that literally wipes the cares of the world away.  I’m not sure I would’ve made if through my first year teaching had it not been for the Almond Coconut Milk Scrub, WHICH incidentally I thought I didn’t like on first whiff.  I thought initially it was too cloying and sweet.  Maybe it is when you smell it out of the jar, but get in a hot shower and it’s a whole new world.  It’s got the power to soothe you to the point that you can say: “this feels so good, spoils me so well, and soothes me so hard, I feel like I can go back to that inner city school and be called a c-bag by a 13-year-old again tomorrow!” WITHOUT sarcasm or irony.  

Now the bad news: I took a fabulous bath the other night with the Clementine Honey Bath.  Gorgeous scent, soft citrus balanced by a creaminess, but not exactly vanilla (I get so tired of those predictable vanilla/citrus scents).  I used way too much, because I didn’t have very much left, and it was just that bad of a day.  Amazing bubbles.  Here sits my empty jar, beside me:

and the realization as I write this post that LM must have DISCONTINUED our gorgeous Clementine Honey Bath!!!  It’s not in the honey bath section of the website, nor does a search return any results for the word “clementine.” EEK!

Well, discontinuation is a bitch, but everything LM has is so amazing I’m sure we’ll get by with one of the other honey bath options.  

This post, like many of my others, has a tongue-in-cheek bourgeouis subject and tone.  But the inherent contradictions of Saddleshoos, an inner-city teacher who loves Laura Mercier bath products, has more to offer than where to buy.  

For some hippie s.: let’s get in touch with our senses and smell for a change.  The dominance of language ties us up in eyes and ears.  I just wrote a paragraph on my response to scent.  Can you? 

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