Sunday, June 17, 2007

Prettiest Bottles In My Collection

Azuree Soleil Skinscent: love use of turquoise in the packaging, fits the scent perfectly.
Stella Rose Absolute: Like holding a giant amethyste in your hand.
Chanel 5 Sensual Elixir: A luxurious crystilline quality that shows off the beautiful peachiness of the liquid, screams luxury.
Anglomania by Vivienne Westwood: Just a beautiful red bottle with a wonderful wait in the hand.
Le Baiser du Dragon by Cartier: a beautiful art deco bottle, nuff said.

L de Lolita Lempicka: like holding an aquamarine in you hand, just beautiful work.
Lolita Lempicka: Wonderfully fantastical play on the fruit of temptation, exceptional packaging.
Sira des Indes: An emerald cut jewel in bottle form

Monday, June 11, 2007

The simplicity is your best friend: A beautifully refreshing fruit salad

Sometimes simplicity is just the best way to go, I made this, this morning to go with my toast, and had to share:

Simple Berry Melon salad:

handful of blueberries (I suspect any berry will do, but these are perfect because they don't break easily)
Quarter of a melon (I used casaba melon which is really similar to honeydew, but what ever you have) cut into chunks (no rind)
a drop of orange flower water (I suppose if using a strawberry watermelon combination the more appropriate choice would be rose water)
a sprinkle of suger (just to bring the juices out)

mix all together and enjoy the refreshing beauty of it. The blueberries and green flesh of the melon looked gorgeous together. The orange blossom water added a light touch of floral but overall was not apparent, but added the little extra oomph that made the salad so lovely.

Should it seem I don't cook anymore....?

Well, that is far from the truth, in the last two weeks I have made soups and pastas. All that of course in my desire to procrastinate or get off my butt from writing a 14 page paper (the biggie in my college career). They were all comfort foods to the max, unfortunately with the oncoming last weeks of any quarter or semester most students find themselves in the position of wanting junk food or comfort food, I am no exception. Between the comfort food needs came the run to the store for junk food. I tried out a few Giada de Laurentiis pasta recipes (one was excellent, the other so-so) and made my original onion potato soup. I also made an excellent Nigella Lawson dip recipe (which i will post about some other day), but instead I will blogging about what I did this weekend, which with the coming months will probabley been impossible, I baked! The recipe came from Gourmet and I must say is one of the easiest muffin recipes I have tried in long time, best part it had lots of berries. Although, I'm reducing the suger in this. So I present:

Cinnamon Blueberry Muffins

6 TBS unsalted butter (melted and cooled)

3/4 cup packed light brown sugar (original called for 1 cup)

1/2 cup whole milk (room tempture if you have the time)

1 large egg (room tempture if you have the time)

1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1 1/2 tsp. baking powder

1 tsp. cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 1/2 cups blueberries (fresh or frozen, don't need to thaw)

Need: muffin tin with 12 muffin cups (1/2 cup each, a regular muffin tin) and muffin liners.

Oven: Preheat at 400 f.

1. Whisk together milk, butter, sugar, and egg (the mixture will be lumpy, but as Nigella Lawson says the best muffins come from lumpy batters).

2. Stir together flour, baking powder, cinnamon, salt. Add the wet mixture until ingredients are just combined. Fold in blueberries gently.

3. Divide equally into muffin tray and bake for 25 to 30 minutes (I suggest you check at 2o minutes), check with toothpick. No goo on toothpick they're are done.

4. Let cool for a little while and enjoy (the give the kitchen a heavenly scent and are so much better then anything you will get at your local coffee shop). Did I mention super easy?

Friday, June 01, 2007

Me, Marie Antoinette, a boudoir, Bal a Versailles, and Sophia Grosjman

I suppose this all begins, with that reviled and misunderstood historical figure, Marie Antoinette, I've never been overly fascinated by her or quite understood when looking at paintings why she was considered so physically beautiful. When I was 13 though I read a biography of her and did come to feel that she had been maligned (she was not an innocent and was extravagent, but so was all the other rich folk of the time). Yet, within the last year or so, their has been a great hubbub for Marie Antoinette from film to perfume. Many bad things can be said about Sophia Coppola's Marie Antoinette film, but this can be said the opulent costumes of the period are gorgeous, Kirsten Dunst (who I don't usually find very attractive) makes a beautiful Marie Antoinette, and the heady over the topness of the period is lavishly conveyed.
What captured me the most was the unbridled feminity of the boudoir scenes; the powder, the pink, the picking of the shoes, the pastries, and the fact that it was an area cut off from the world of men. The one scene where we see a man enter Marie Antoinette's boudoir is where she is seducing her lover (this is her place of power), when outside her boudoir Marie Antoinette is quite subdued to those around, but in the boudoir her feelings are far more apparent and she is confident. I admit I walked away from the film wanting a boudoir, no I do not preach feminine submissiveness, but I loved the idea of having an area where my feminity was heightened, where what I felt was attractive was extravegantly on display, where because I was in my little temple dedicated to me that my sexuality was completely under my control. I suppose this is an idealized boudoir but I couldn't help but love the concept. After the film, I went home determined to create an atmosphere of unbridled feminity, I took a bath and lit my most opulent rose candles to create the boudoir atmosphere. This all leads to scent which then leads to perfume. There is nothing so telling or extravegant as the display of bottles of perfumes and Marie Antoinette was involved with this as well. She had her own perfumer, many have tried to re-create her perfume (in fact a re-creation came out last year), many have been inspired by her while creating a fragrance. Now enter the perfumer Sophia Grosjman, she is known for her over the top voluptious extravegant compositions, and I have come to the conclusion one of her scents is the epitomy of Marie Antoinette for me: Paris. Paris is a fragrance dedicated the powdery operatic marriage of roses and violets, the notes are not demure but rather what is considered delicately feminine is turned into the bombastically feminine, it is the scent of the boudoir. Yet, now enters the classic scent of Bal a Versailles, this scent should be the scent to evoke Marie Antoinette, but in fact it rather at least in edt concentration, evokes furs and incense. So I nominate after all the inspired scents of Marie Antoinette and the costly recreation of her scent, something all together different for what I really think evokes her: Paris.