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Hi there, 

Have a great week. Don't let the bastards grind you down! 


Diptyque: New Baies 600g 3-Wick Candle

Baies 600g(21.2oz) 3-Wick Candle- approx. 100 hours burn time 

Left- 6.5oz/190g
Center- 21.2oz/600g
Right- 2.5oz/70g

Left- 51.2oz/1500g
Right- 21.2oz/600g

Diptyque recently released a new size in their best selling Baies(blackberry and bulgarian rose) candle. With the new candle they now offer the Baies line in the following sizes:
  • 2.5oz/$34
  • 6.5oz/$64
  • 10.2 oz/$90
  • 21.20z(600g)/$195   - New!
  • 51.2oz(1500g)/$295 - Indoor/Outdoor candle   

I've tried all of the sizes. I think the 2.5 oz works great for a small space like a bathroom or an office desk. The 6.5oz and the 10.2oz work well for medium sized rooms. Those two are my preferred size for my bedroom. The 51.20z(1500g) candle was a Christmas gift from me to me last year (here). Although the upfront cost was the most that candle lasted me over five months with regular burning and scented my entire home, so in the long run it was the most economical. I've just started burning the new 600g Baies candle and so far I love it. It's size between the 10.2oz and the 51.2oz makes it a great option to scent a larger room. I have one of those open floor plan living/dining areas and it works great for me in that space. The new Baies size also comes in a very chic matte black porcelain container that will be fun to repurpose. 

I don't know if this new size is going to be a limited edition offering. The 3 Wick 600g/21.2 oz candle was originally available only at Diptyque online (here). It's now available online at Net-A- Porter (here) and Neiman Marcus(here). 

As we head in to thick of wedding and graduation season I think the 600g Baies would make a great gift for your favorite graduate or newly married couple. I also think it would be a great gift for who I hope is your favorite person- you 😉.


The Fishermen- Book Review

"Obembe was a search dog: The one who first discovered things, who knew things and who, after 
discovering them, examined them. He was perpetually pregnant with ideas, and in the fullness of time, delivered them as creatures equipped with wings- able to fly."  pg. 192

Warning:  I liked this book. I gave it a solid three stars...however the writer did seem to have a slight obsession with the word excreta. If you have a weak stomach or get turned off by graphic depictions of unsanitary people and/or surroundings this might not be the book for you. If you can stick it out though I think it is a worthy read. My internet research noted that this novel received oodles of accolades and awards, and having read it I can see why. 

The Fisherman is a story about a family with four sons. It's set in Akure, Nigeria (here) in the 1990s. The narrator is Benjamin the youngest of the four boys. The book jacket tells you that one day the boys meet a man who gives them a prophecy of fratricide that will change their lives forever. Obioma's writing is beautifully poetic. I felt that each chapter in the 304 page novel was presented as part parable/fable which the author used to address class, the dynamics of birth order, gender roles in marriage, and fate.

Throughout this book I kept thinking of the phrase, "Death and life are in the power of the tongue." Could you shake off a negative prophecy or do you think you would internalize it in some way? Do your thoughts create your reality? Can you manifest your own destiny? I don't have the answers Sway but I do know I've always steered clear of tarot/palm/psychic readings and after reading this book I will continue to do so. If you have any premonitions about my fate I will thank you kindly to keep them to yourselves and as we say in my culture, "Don't put your goat mouth on me."( here

The Fisherman had one of those endings that I think a lot of readers will dissect and re-read to determine what really happened. As always if you've read this one I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Estēe Lauder: Bronze Goddess 2017

Estēe Lauder Bronze Goddess Eau Fraȋche Skinscent(3.4oz/$75)

L- 2017 EstÄ“e Lauder  Bronze Goddess
R- 2016 Estēe Lauder Bronze Goddess

Notes: amber, coconut milk, sandalwood, vanilla, vetiver, myrrh, juicy mandarin, Sicilian bergamot, lemon, pulpy orange, tiare flower, jasmine, magnolia petals, orange flower buds, lavender.  Source

In the US this weekend is the unofficial start of summer. That means it's time to pull out my favorite summer scent, Estēe Lauder Bronze Goddess. I can get away with using Bronze Goddess in my neck of the woods for most of the year but there is something about it that just screams summer to me. I think it's those coconut and jasmine notes.

From what I've read the bottle changes slightly every year. I liked the red in the perfume bottle for the 2016 version. You can see my review with last year's bottle (here).  This year's bottle is a little plainer but with the same great light scent. I got a sample of the Bronze Goddess whipped body creme (here) with my purchase this year. I did not buy the full size but based on the sample I think the body creme would be a great option for those who like to layer their scents.

What's your favorite summer scent?


What's In the Bag?

Deborah Lippman- Hot Child In The City (here).  Two coats. Picture taken on day three of the manicure. 

Roller ball samples of Le Labo scents- Bergamot 22, Thé Noir 29 and Fleur D'Oranger 27
Thé Noir review (here)
Bergamot 22 review (here)

Le Mētier De Beautē Amelie (here)

Lipstick Queen- Berry Sinner (here

Bag: Cole Haan (similar here)

From left to right:

1. Mulberry wallet (similar here )
2. Truffle Small Clarity Clutch (here)
3. Sunglasses- Burberry (similar here)
4. Ted Baker pencil case (here)
5. Henri Bendel card case (similar here)
6. Well-Kept screen cleansing towelettes (here
7. Library book
8. Maruman Mnemosyne A7-5mm Graph Notepad (here)

I've been keeping my bag fairly light for the last weeks of spring. The bag itself is one of my favorites from Cole Haan. I hemmed and hawed about getting it for a while but I've had not one regret. It's light, spacious and very well made.  I've had people come up to me while wearing it just to feel the weaving. 

Beauty wise I've been drawn to bright nails and lips. What else is new right?  Scent wise my Le Labo perfumes have been the ones I reach for the most. How cute are those rollerballs I got as a gift with purchase from Nordstrom? 

I have about six books checked out from the library. The plan is to make a dent in them over the holiday weekend while poolside or at the beach. Then again who am I kidding? I might just stay in bed and avoid the holiday weekend crowds. 

What's in your bag lately?


Celine by Peter Heller - Book Review

"The words hit the assembled watchers like a gust. It was the Samurai creed. The Legionnaires'. Their own. It hit them with the force of recognition: It was uttered with conviction, with simplicity,  and with a total lack of fear.  In every warrior's heart is an absolute respect for simple courage, and every Son saw it in the woman... " pg. 268

Peter Heller's Celine is a mysterious, elegant and erudite sexagenarian who works as a private investigator finding missing persons and reuniting them with their families. The book blurb tells you that Celine is so good at this her track record is better than the FBI.

When a young woman with a past that stirs up some painful memories for Celine enlists her to investigate the suspicious disappearance of her father, Celine and her loving husband Pete set off on an adventure that takes them from New York to the big sky country states.

If you like a good suspense story, a strong female protagonist, beautiful descriptions of scenery and the occasional French phrase this book should be right up your alley. At 352 pages I found it to be a fun and quick read.  I think it would be great if this author came up with a new adventure for Celine. I also think this story would translate well on to the big screen. I could see someone like Helen Mirren playing Celine, and Liam Neeson or Harrison Ford playing her husband Pete. Hint, hint 😉.

If you've read this book or any other Peter Heller books I'd love to hear your thoughts.


Cire Trudon Maduraï Candle

Cire Trudon Maduraï  ($105/9.50z/270g)

To say I'm a candle lover would be an understatement. The Great Illuminator (here) aka Mumsie came to my place recently and asked if I was having a séance. All jokes aside I love to have a nice candle burning in the background as I unwind at the end of the day. My latest burn has been the Maduraï candle from Cire Trudon.

Cire Trudon is reportedly the oldest candle manufacturer in the world still active today. They date back to 1643 France and according to their website (here) they supplied the imperial court with candles when Napoleon the 1st was crowned.

My first Cire Trudon candle was Positano (here). The candle was beautiful but I wasn't impressed enough to try another one from them until I found myself at the Oxford Exchange in Tampa staring at some beautiful candles covered by elegant glass cloches. Upon closer inspection I realized they were Cire Trudon candles.  Maduraï won the sniff test so it came home with me.  It was a wow for me early into the first burn. The notes are listed as Ylang-ylang, jasmine absolute and benzoin resin. I think it was the jasmine that hooked me. This jasmine was full bodied and warm. I think this candle would be great for medium to larger sized rooms.

You can see from the pictures above that  Maduraï has burned cleanly and evenly which I love. When it's finished that beautiful blue glass will make a lovely container. I'm glad I gave Cire Trudon a second chance. Maduraï is one of three from the Cire Trudon collection- "Les Belles Matières." The other candles are Nadine(cardamom, sandalwood and guaiac wood) and Reggio(grapefruit, mandarin essential oil and mimosa). I have Nadine next on my list to try. You can find Cire Trudon candles (here), (here) and (here).  If you have any other Cire Trudon recommendations please let me know. ☺️


Nevis: 17.1554° N, 62.5796° W

A man travels the world over in search of what he needs and returns home to find it.
        - George Moore


Clinique Even Better Skin Tone SPF 20 Moisturizer + Gift with Purchase


Clinique Matte Crimson on the lips 

Clinique was one of the first department store skin care brands I tried many moons ago. They had a three step regimen that included a hard yellow soap in a hard green case. I checked their website (here) and they still sell a face soap that gets rave reviews. In recent years I've tried a couple of their lipsticks but the product I use the most regularly from them is their Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer with SPF 20 (here). When used regularly it really helps with hyper pigmentation on my face. I picked up a jar of the Even Better Skin Tone Correcting Moisturizer($48.50/1.7oz) a couple weeks ago from Nordstrom and got a gift bag filled with all of the goodies above. The tiny succulents came from Nordstrom as well! 

Gifts with purchase can be hit or miss. I was very pleased that this one had more hits than misses for me. The hits were the travel sized foaming wash and moisturizer which will come in handy when I travel, and the full sized lipstick- Matte Crimson, that I put into rotation right away. Oddly enough I didn't find it to be particularly matte. It's a bright fun red that seems as if it would complement just about any shade. 

The miss was the eye shadow which was a pain to open. God willing 2018 will be the year of the eyes for me. For now I'll probably just putz around with the mascara when I'm bored and drop the eyeshadow in the things I never use drawer.

Online Clinique (here) is still offering a gift with a $28 purchase. Have you tried anything from the brand lately? 


The Mothers by Brit Bennett - Book Review

I am really trying to do better with my book reviews this year. I have every intention of reviewing the books that I read on the blog but then life gets in the way. My Goodreads Reading Challenge goal this year is to read thirty books. I've read 16 so far. I'm setting another goal to review  fifteen  ten of the books I've read on the blog. ( Eeek no pressure right !) 

The Mothers by Brit Bennett is a lean 288 pages. It's set in Southern California and focuses on the lives of two small town teenage girls as they learn, love and lose their way to adulthood. Without giving away too much, family planning, suicide and infidelity are some of the themes addressed.  

The "mothers" in the title could arguably have more than one meaning but the obvious reference will be the elder women in the church who play a big part in the lives of the young women and their community. These women act as the the narrators/Greek chorus throughout the book, and their anecdotes had me laughing out loud at times and sighing with a deep understanding at others. 

This was Brit Bennet's first novel. According to the internet (here) Warner Bros. has optioned the novel and Kerry Washington has signed on to produce it so kudos to Brit!

If you've read this one I'd love to hear your thoughts. 


Le Labo: Palo Santo 14 & Bergamote 22

L. Bergamote 22 Shower Gel(8 oz/$52)
2. Palo Santo 14 candle(8.6 oz/ $75)
3. Bergamote 22 body lotion(8 oz/ $68)

Diptyque Amber(6.5oz) vs Le Labo Palo Santo 14(8.6 oz)

Diptyque Amber(6.5oz)
 Le Labo Palo Santo 14(8.6 oz)
Jo Malone English Pear & Freesia (7oz)

Le Labo was one of my best finds of 2016.  I started with some samples directly from their website and from there bought the Thé Noir perfume from my local Nordstrom.

I knew I would go back to Le Labo for Bergamot 22 eventually because if you recall from my post (here), Bergamot 22 was one of the samples that I really liked. I ended up picking up the shower gel and the body lotion. Le Labo describes Bergamot 22 as a delicate floral with the sweetness of amber and musk with a touch of vetiver. I think it's a great scent for spring. Le Labo did a great job with the formula in the shower gel and lotion. So whether you layer both or just use one, you get the same lovely scent to carry you through the day. I found the shower gel to be about average on the suds and it rinses clean. The body lotion absorbs well without leaving a white cast on my skin.

The Palo Santo 14 candle is one of Le Labo's newest offerings. If you are a fan of incense or Palo
Santo sticks this candle gives you a lighter, less heady dose of that sweet smokey goodness. Quite a few folks feel that burning Palo Santo clears away bad vibes. I loved the smell of this candle and the way this year is going I'll take all the help I can get.

You can find Le Labo at Nordstrom and online here.