February 11, 2016

Freshly Scent

If scent is an intrinsic part of a person’s identity, you could easily pick me out of a line up based off olfactory senses alone. A full bouquet of florals sprayed with a mist of fresh water and the gentlest sprinkling of spice is me all bottled up.

When it comes to fragrances, I gravitate toward niche and specialist perfume brands and houses, such as Penhaligon’s and Santa Maria Novella. Though often times pricier than the more popular designer brand perfumes, for me the exceptional quality makes it an easy purchase. Often employing a small batch approach to their production, I find these scents to be so beautifully and intricately composed 

Slightly obscure and less known in the Australian market, Le Labo is another of my favored perfume brands. Though their fragrances are very delightful, what I really love is the entire concept behind selecting and purchasing one of their perfumes. Each perfume is compounded and bottled at the time of purchase to ensure it is nothing but fresh from the day you walk out of the store with it and with the option to personalize the label, that special little touch makes it a perfect gift. 

A terrific trifecta of jasmine, tuberose and lily, Lys 41 is a bold and sophisticated floral. Balanced out by the addition of vanilla, musk and some slight woody notes, the excessive headiness that sometimes comes with florals is avoided. For myself, once it has settled on my skin the overriding scent that comes through is of the white flowers and in terms of wearability, it lasts the entire day.

What about that cute personalized label? Complete with the location at which it was compounded, the date and the name of the person it is for, it’s a lovely keepsake to commemorate a special occasion or even to remember a trip by. The date also serves the useful purpose of knowing if your perfume is still fresh, as perfumes will keep for roughly two years when stored under the the ideal conditions. If you are to believe what my label says, my bottle of Lys was formulated for me on Christmas, but in fact Mr Santa Claus had it put together for me a few days prior though I am sure a day here or there will not make any difference for me as my bottle will be long empty by the time two years rolls around!

Available from Mecca Cosmetica and various stores and boutiques internationally – do visit their flagship store in New York City if you’re ever in town!

February 02, 2016

Sweet Things

If there’s one thing almost all of us enjoy, it’s taking a few moments for ourselves. Whether it’s kicking back at home with a cup of tea and a book or going for a relaxing walk, these moments of me time are often essential in keeping us happy campers in life. It’s a real treat to slip away and just retreat into your own little world of you. When I give myself some time out I usually like to accompany it with something delicious to eat, often of the sweet variety. I can at times have a shocking sweet tooth but fortunately for me, and perhaps to the joy of dentists everywhere, my love for sweets has diminished somewhat as I’ve gotten older although a little something something every now and then is always welcomed, and looked forward to.

When I first heard about Jersey Jack, I knew I had to pay a visit. A gelato bar and dessert parlor? How could I not? I love the concept of a standalone establishment specializing in desserts. Sometimes that’s all you want and need. Not a full meal before you can get to the sweets! Located in Como, I wandered through their doors on a Sunday afternoon during their first week of operation. A cosy spot that is dotted with armchairs along with table seating, I laid my eyes upon the selection of gelato and sorbet. When it comes to ice cream, I can be quite fussy. I prefer creamy gelato or refreshing sorbet and don’t enjoy the overly sweet ice cream creations that are devoid of that rich and good creaminess that gelato should have. These abominations I refer to as “ice cream confection”. Now that I have that off my chest, being an exceptionally sticky and humid day I knew sorbet was the only way to go and after sampling a couple of flavors, I knew mango was the one to go with.

Having enjoyed my cone of mango sorbet, I was delighted to be invited to attend the launch party which was held this past weekend. Again it was another uncomfortably humid day, so no better way to cool down than with a few frozen treats. I was given a champagne cocktail upon arrival which was served with a scoop of yummy strawberry sorbet. Told to sample and try as many flavors as I wanted, I did my best to oblige. I also helped myself to a fluffy cloud of pink cotton candy. No regrets.

My top pick that day was the tiramisu gelato. It tasted just like a piece of tiramisu and I loved the crumbs of savoiardi mixed throughout. What they are churning out at Jersey Jack is on point. Super smooth in texture with intense flavors, it’s easy to eat because it’s not heavy or dense despite the creaminess. Using only local produce, the milk used in the gelato comes from the Jersey cows, which are said to produce some pretty top quality milk.

In addition to the seating inside, there is a secret garden out the back and seating set up out front where you can chill out with your drinks and dessert. It’s a nice little place to while away the time and that’s exactly the intention behind Jersey Jack. Sure, if you’re looking for a quick delicious hit, they’ve got it but it’s also a place where you can take five to sit back and relax. Enjoyed on your own or with company, it’s a great spot to indulge yourself a little and sip that coffee just a tad slower.