1) On Friday I finally made it to the Cire Trudon store on Chiltern Street in London. I have been meaning to pay it a proper visit for ages and it was definitely worth the wait. I challenge anyone to step inside and not want to buy up every candle going! It’s a quirky little treasure trove of amazing scents and unusual artefacts – if you were ever stuck for a luxury gift idea then this would be your one-stop-shop. Each of the candle fragrances has an interesting backstory that takes you on a little mind-journey – I was particularly enamoured with Carmelite, a scent that is at once musty and sweet. Their description: “The perfume of old stonewalls, in the shade of cloisters and convents, this scent of fresh and mossy stone tells us about the black and white silhouettes of sisters moving in the silence of ritual mass. Under the light of votives and psalmody, Carmélite refers to the peace of souls and eternity.” How beautiful!
You can find Cire Trudon candles here online if you don’t live near London – they are £60 each and burn for up to 60 hours. I must say that they are quite powerful and scent the room even when unlit. If you get a chance to visit the store then do – it’s always nice to be able to take your time choosing something as special as this.
2) After the butcher, the baker and the candlestick maker I popped into a rubber stamp shop near the British Museum. (A half-day of pottering about in London, one of my favourite things!) It has never, ever crossed my mind to buy a rubber stamp but there were all kinds of weird and wonderful designs in there and I was suddenly very tempted to find something quirky to seal my letters with. When I actually write letters, which is about twice a year. I ran out of time in the end because I dithered too much but I shall definitely be paying a second visit to pick up some little Christmas presents. For those who love their stationery, a rubber stamp is surely a great gift? Or am I being whimsical and unrealistic? Do people still like stationery or is it just me? The shop is called Blade Rubber (don’t even go there) and they also have a website here.
3) After the stamp shop and a quick lunch at The Delaunay (fish stew, very satisfying) I headed to Covent Garden Market and the newly-opened Dior Beauty Boutique. This beauty and fragrance store is going to be a permanent fixture in the market and as well as stocking the entire Dior Beauty range it holds the wonderful Collection Privée perfumes and offers quite an extensive range of services and “perks”. Some are free, some have a booking fee but expect luxury – there’s everything from “Couture Wrapping” to expert engraving on your scent bottles. (My odd photo above shows my newly painted nails with “accent” fingers, just in case you were feeling slightly bemused.)
4) It has been a strange week – one that saw me cuddle a piglet (at a press day), pose with a “Death Eater” and have a banquet at Hogwarts. Actually in the hall. With Crookshanks the cat on hand with our little Christmas presents – he had been specially trained to help give them out! I went to Hogwarts for the Gleam Digital Christmas party and to celebrate the new “Hogwarts in the Snow” Studio Tour. I did fall a little bit in love with Crookshanks the cat (he’s a red Persian, apparently) but then I got home and saw this:
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