Saturday, 25 September 2010

Buys - F1 Widow Seeks Life’s Little Luxuries

Today, I am in the midst of my daughter’s fevered exam preparations. But we ran out for a quick lunch, not to the hawker centre but a French bistro for a meal of duck confit and French onion soup for her, spaghetti vongole and a glass of Chardonnay for me. We had to eat after all, so might as well eat well, before hitting the books again. Add to the fact that this is my annual ‘F1-Widow Weekend’, I think we deserve it. In the past two years since F1 started here, she and I would go out at least once during the F1 weekend for a mother-and-daughter dinner at a fine dining restaurant – bill to be picked up by the hubs, of course. Especially when there is much work to be done, I like to weave in a little indulgence.

Luxuries, for most of us, cannot always be grand splurges, if not we’ll all be wallowing in abject poverty after a while. Small personal treats weaved into the everyday can be just as delicious, a concept which an author – I can’t remember her name – described as the Art of Abundance. In my recent potterings around, I spied with my little eyes some tempting (and very doable) treats that add a little Christmas to our busy ‘every days’.

TWG Glamour Tea Bowls and Fine Teas. Fine teas are the thing for an injection of old world glamour…But they must be fine, mind you. Not those with the yellow paper labels! I have been sipping on all manner of such teas on a daily basis lately (and even as I write!), mainly ‘cos it’s really quite heavenly, but all the better to sooth my cholesterol and calorie count. Fragrant libations, I am currently quite taken by TWG’s early Darjeelings (which I have hoarded for a while in my cupboard, though not ideal), high altitude, single-estate teas like Tukdah, and heady blends like Caravan,  Miraculous Mandarin (a lovely, lightly spicy blend perfect for Christmas), all so fine and aromatic it's best appreciated without addition of milk or (God forbid!) sugar! What would top it top it off perfectly would be a set of Glamour Tea Bowls. Coming in 16 delicious candy colours, they are fine, curvaceous porcelain vessels handcrafted in Limoges and hedonistically inlaid with shimmery mother of pearl for private enjoyment! Not cheap, this little precious comes at S$98 each…..but if you compare it to the diamond earrings you have been eyeing, this is even more unique and luscious, no? (Available soon and in time for Christmas)

9 Raffles Place,
#01-22 Republic Plaza 
Tel: 65381837

Crabtree and Evelyn’s Iris Range. Luscious! Here’s a preview of Crabtree and Evelyn’s brand new Iris fragrance for body and home. I take one whiff of the eau de toilette and it’s floral, refreshing, mellow, yet full of sunshine and sophistication. I love it. Makes me think of morning walks in early spring in the English countryside, minus the cowpats. And having lived in the UK for a number of years, I do know how the English countryside smells, thank you. Plus I used to buy bunches of iris, buttercups or freesias (35p per bunch) from the village market every Saturday morning for my window….

Back to Crabtree, according to the notes, the professionals describe it as having ‘top notes of natural Italian bergamot, cassis added to the base notes of sandalwood, patchouli, fresh vetiver, natural cedarwood and creamy musk to create a modern alluring bouquet’. Available from December, my shopping list will include the eau de toilette (S$65 for 100ml), the triple milled soap (I just love old fashioned soap - S$28 for three), and drawer lining papers (S$45). There’s also reed diffuser, candle (S$45), body cream, body lotion, room spray and shower gel. I like! Oh, how about a bit of useless trivia? King Edward IV liked to scent his wardrobe with the scent of Iris….I guess you would need to if you bathed only once a year….

For Crabtree and Evelyn outlets, log onto  
Love, Chloe will be launched next month and SimplyFab, too, got a whiff of this new perfume before it hits the stores. Packed in a nude pink bottle with delicate gold chain, it’s a feminine fragrance, all fine and light and floral with a slight powdery scent. Top notes are orange blossoms with pink pepper, and a heart of iris absolute and a blend of lilac, hyacinth and wisteria, all pulled together with a touch of powdery notes. It’s not too sweet nor overwhelming, something you could wear everyday….I could do with this as a Christmas prezzie. The scent comes in shower gel (S$63), body lotion (200 ml, S$74) and eau de parfum (from 30ml, S$95).

Will be available at leading department stores including Robinsons Centrepoint and Raffles City, Takashimaya, Tangs Orchard and Vivocity and Chloe Boutique 
- Ee Waun


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