Saturday, January 5, 2019

I no longer rest in my sleep. Yet it is absolute, devours me
rapidly and mindlessly as if it had nothing really to even do with me.
It devours me whole, a Hydra with a singular black mouth. She's complete
with all of her heads only thereon. On the inside of me and on the inside of sleep,
she holds me entirely in unbridled dreams. Then pushes me out in one
single motion, abruptly and in slow motion at the same time, like a birth.
And I am pale and new and hundreds of years old all at once.

It doesn't get any easier after the restful holidays, it gets worse.
During the first mornings of January, I'm tired of the day before
even having slid down from our tall bed. My glance gets caught in the
web of purple spider veins that are now formed on my left thigh.
Gets caught in the pallidness. The light doesn't want me. So I remain
sitting, with my feet soaring above the floorboards. Between skin
and wood, the only few inches of anything, that are simple.


the photograph is work for makers and muse


Wednesday, December 5, 2018

When I was a child papa read One Thousand and One Nights to us sisters,
all in one messy heap on the big bed. Scheherazade weaved story after story into sagas
told to the sultan Shahriar, one night at a time, in one thousand and one adventures,
to prolong her own life. Another night she was allowed to live so that he'd get to hear
the end of the story. Papa read and read and read, perhaps for a thousand and
one nights, until we drifted off to sleep and until it was embedded
into my very backbone, the love of storytelling. Following that,
I read the Lord of the Rings to myself and then wrote long love letters
to Tolkien {upon which I cried for two days when mama told me he was dead and
sending those letters probably wouldn't lead to a very fruitful correspondence.}
On the weekends we'd often go to the biggest library closest to our home.
In there we'd disperse by a wind I can still sense the scent of. The scent of an
entire building filled with books. A house of thousands of worlds waiting.
Papa would disappear up to the café where he'd spread out the large format
daily papers, crowding together with cup after cup of pitch black coffee.
Mama is a mystery. Maybe she withdrew to in among
the maze-like rows of bookshelves and let herself be engulfed. 
She's still the one who always knows what book I'll love the most.
Baby sister Emma would lay on her back, her long scrawny legs
{moreover, my forever envy}, sprawling over the red velvet couch of
the glassed room where you could listen to audiobooks,
huge headphones over golden blond disarray.

I don't remember myself there at the library. I just remember the feeling.
I don't remember what I went looking for or what books
I brought home, but I think that all of this is what has made it so
that my vertebrae form as if the spine of a book. Now I need that backbone
to stand up against too much time in front of various screens in my new role as a mother.
I balance between iPad admonishments and that amazement of books that
I want to pass down, on what feels like quite a shaky tightrope at times.

One November evening Cassius and I are home alone. We lay in the big bed among
books and magazines, with stacks of warm teacups and soft satsumas at our side.
His books are mostly still bulky and the pages so thick you'd think they've
been glued together by sticky juice from said satsumas.
Far in between the sentences and close to laughter.
My books have that delicate paper where you almost get a reversed prevue
of the page to follow and still have to go back and reread to keep up
{or maybe that's just me}. He drifts off to sleep, and I roll up my cardigan sleeve,
inch myself closer so that our skin meet. A fox cries somewhere among the courtyards,
and it is perhaps the most sorrowful sound there is.

A lost cub, they say,  - that's the mother howling.

I stroke Cassius's forehead in the amber glow of the streetlight
and think of a quote I've saved on a screen of my own.

Promote what you love instead of bashing what you hate.

So. How I'll read to you, buba. For maybe a thousand and one nights.
And we're gonna drop your love letters into that red, tall letterbox on the corner too.
I'll lift you up until you can reach the dark gap by yourself. Letters to the
Easter bunny like last time, or love letters to authors, the dead ones too.
Mama is strong like that, she's got sagas for a spine.

art | the framed photograph is madame fragonard no 1 by anna malmberg 
bedding | midnatt home


Friday, October 12, 2018

The very first memory I can find within myself of a perfume is elusive but of patchouli.
She was my childhood's best friend's mom and her scent was something expensive, matt & earthy.
I remember her in a forever perfectly cut, glossy dark red bob and wearing made-to-measure,
dark and strict suit trousers with silky, balmy and fluid cream tie-neck blouses. 
I was around seven with my clothes turned inside out {unclear as to why} and she everything
that was exclusive, feminine, light, mysterious and reserved, - all wrapped into one.
The women I was used to from home, dyed yarn at the beach and took their bicycles everywhere.
She would step, all in one flowing motion, and without ever getting her high heels dusty
from the gravel on their driveway, - into one of their shiny cars and disappear. 

Her entire being is one single disappearance to me. Down one of their long corridors, 
out of their pool house, never there at breakfast. But most of all I remember
her scent. Still to this day whenever I smell the perfume of patchouli, it's as if
I myself am simultaneously grounded and evaporating.

My childhood's best friend.
Maybe it's the distinct and deep difference between my childhood and hers,
between the female presence at home and in their home,
that makes for me still being always drawn to the scent of patchouli but
feeling as if it's not for me, - that makes me never choose that particular scent
bottled up for myself. Olfactory memory and the sense of smell is said
to be the only sense that goes straight to our core. No filtration, no process,
just straight into the emotional centre of the brain.

Maybe that's why nothing hurts quite as much to be doing when inside of a loss,
than to bury your face in the shirt still carry the scent of someone you love and have lost.
Maybe that's why the hunt for the perfect perfume is always ongoing.
As the hunt goes on I'm now trying on a new scent for autumn.
A mysterious thing that I got the name of after not having been able
to stop myself from asking no less than three strangers in a nocturne London
- Sorry, but what ever is that amazing scent you're wearing..?
It turned out to be one and the same every time and nonetheless
one of those 'non-perfume - perfumes' with only one molecule. One of those that
only of its own accord decide if you are meant to be together
and then comes and goes as it damn well pleases.

"A feeling more than a scent", says the creator Geza Schoen himself.

Characterising for this enigma, or feeling, of a scent is that you can only
sense it for a few seconds yourself, then it stops being registered
and only others can scent it on you. It remains to be known if that's a kind
of relationship I wanna be in these days, no matter how many strangers I catch
sniffing my neck, with a somewhat glassy glance in their eye,
in various coffee shop queues. I'll have to report back on that one.
And yet, in contrast to enigmas and expensive brands,
it is, again, so much back to the emotional core.
The summer I met my man I only wore a light body mist,
one of those bargain bottles from & other stories.
At the beginning of last summer, sorting through old boxes, I found it
and maybe from a rush of nostalgia I sprayed it on again, for the
first time in a very long time. Straight away I was seriously jerked back
to that summer and even the emotions of those weeks and months.
I kind of forgot I had put it on, until he walked in the door later that evening
and as he kissed me with an inhalation, he stood back with an immediate
You smell amazing, darling..! What IS that..?, - literally catching his breath.

So all summer I've been wearing it in some kind of longing. Now it speaks
both softly as a reminder of the almost illusory, dionysiac summer of 2018,
alongside the powerful voice of those vertiginous initial days of us.

What's Your signature scent..?

BYREDO - i'm especially partial to their Bal d'Afrique and also Gypsy Water
but have abandoned my bottles lately as I don't feel their staying power is up to par on my skin
{despite first moisturizing and prepping with their corresponding lotions}.

Miller Harris - Feuilles de Tabac is really my man's scent
and it is just that; stunning tobacco.
'Inspired by the smoky atmosphere of Saint Germain' it's a blend of wood,
honeyed tobacco & tonka beans. This one makes my belly tingle but really
it's his and not mine. Maybe that's because it contains some,
yes that's right, - patchouli.

DOLCE & GABBANA - from the series Anthology, inspired by
tarot cards and their marks, I've got number 3 L'Imperatrice
Pink cyclamen and rhubarb on top and the memory for me, of a light, summery
cocktail at an art gallery in Manhattan. Musk and pink pepper makes it so that
I can find a base, as I'm not much for only flowery or fruity. 

ROOTS ROSE RADISH - the white pearl turbo shell in the photos
is one of L.A based Roots Rose Radish's solid perfumes.
Another choice based on scent memory I think to myself as I read the
description that it's for 'Salt of the Earth people', firmly grounded and sensual
and also again, - containing some patchouli. I like how it dries down to
the leathery scent of skin only touched by flowers. 

LE LABO - 'everyone' loves Le Labo. I so want to love Le Labo.
Their manifest, their imagery, their shops, their presence on instagram
{both Le Labo Fragrances and Overheard Le Labo} is as if arranged in full
for a head over heels love and devotion. I was uncharacteristically
conservative and ordered 'only' one of their beautiful discovery sets.
Both Bergamot and Thé Noir 29 I was in no doubt were gonna be no-brainers for me
who hold both earl grey tea and bergamot to be among the loveliest scents in the world. 
But we didn't hit it off. It's very worth both a second and a third date
to make sure, however.

bamford - when we stayed at Daylesford Organic Farm
in the Cotswolds last autumn, a treatment at their bamford haybarn spa
was included and brilliant. Outside our cottage, the Woodstore, in the parking area,
only the largest cross-country cars were milling with the smallest, most beautiful
vintage model Porsche 911s and Kate Moss may have flickered by.
It was almost a bit surreal shopping for dinner in the big, cool farm shop.
A little bit like stepping straight into a devout British movie with
eccentric supporting roles from the aristocracy.
I stalled a bit extra in the wine section to hear more of the most
fantastic discussions about oysters at the fishmongers.
 A memento from the cosiest of days with family I wanted 
to bring home and it landed on bamford's One Evening.
Impressive how something described as a 'light, fragranced water'
stays with you through the night, - & at least another day.
Smokey, woody and warm it reminds me of nights newly in love,
around teenage bonfires at the beach and first kisses.
The scent of one's skin as you fell asleep back home, at sunrise,
- souled, you know..? Infused with fervour.

ORTIGIA - the small soap and scent company in Sicily.
Two mirrored leopards grace their Fico d'India with its scent of
powdery fig and cedar. The perfumes are distilled from the flowers of Sicily
by master perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi and are all based
on natural ingredients only. Fico d'India is really that beautiful, exotic
flat-leafed, flowering cactus, you know, - & it grows wild across Sicily. 
This scent touches something deep down in me and I want to
book flights to Italy every single time I breathe it in.

COQUI COQUI Perfumes - we rounded the large, seemingly calm lagoon of Coba.
White waterlilies soaring unruffled on the surface, crocodiles underneath.
Dust fills the air as we drive up as sole visitors at Coqui Coqui, that is situated
right at the edge of the lagoon. If you want to dream further about this
crazy beautiful place, take a look at their own page and I think you'll be
right there with me on why we couldn't leave this spa and artisan perfumery
without some scents to remind us. We chose Tabaco and Agave.

Breath of God and What Would Love Do? from Gorilla Perfumes -
I'm curious about Breath of God as it's one of those scents that the real,
amazing perfume nerds can't quite wrap their minds around, but
neither stop talking about. The same scent they were up in arms about
when it was discontinued, as it's former perfume house was buried.
The scent has now resurged, with Gorilla Perfumes in London,
and brought up with it earthy notes, cedarwood, disintegrating flowers
& wetness to the surface. That alone feels a bit holy, I'd say.
And to find your way to Gorilla Perfumes..? Nearest tube station Angel.

Chloé - if I was filthy rich, alternatively had to, at gunpoint, choose one
fashion house to worship, forsaking all others, it would be Chloé.
That's what makes me want to fall as hard in love with one of their scents.
Pictured is their Chloé Fleur de Parfum and the name abloom alone,
or together with the fact that I more often than not don't actually fall for 
'perfumy perfume' if I'm being honest and you know what I mean,
- should have had me sense that this one would be mostly left in its box.
But I was exactly that; hard in love, however with a person
and we had gotten lost among the streets of Ibiza Old Town and found
ourselves suddenly inside a perfumery. Everything shimmered
of almond milk, this scent too, along with the heart of rose. As you can tell,
- I was besotted. The love still remains, but not for the perfume.
I'm curious again though and want to at least try their latest one,
Nomade, on my skin.