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General lifestyle and more personal posts that cover a broader range of topics.

the small things | 5

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baby fig leaves

as simple as these posts are, they are some of my favourite posts to put together. i set up a draft, and throughout the month i update it with the small things that have made me happy. every single time it brings a smile to my face, or at least to my mind. taking note (whether literally or mentally, even if it’s a fleeting thought) of the small things that make me happy or little things i notice is incredibly important to me. it’s a one of my most necessary coping mechanisms and has saved my life and sanity on more than one occasion. if you’ve noticed a lot of my photos focus on little details and close ups of things ..this is totally part of that.

i will never judge a person that chooses not to notice the small things that most people miss or don’t think about, but it can absolutely make your life that bit better. not just because you’re being grateful for your surroundings and circumstance, but also because (and this is hard for me to say and may come of as hypocritical as i am a huge pessimist) there is good in (almost) everything and every situation. it may be a tiny, microscopic glimmer of hope, but it is there.

i think rewatching fringe recently has had quite an impact on my thoughts on perception, ha! in one episode walter says: “Perception is largely an emotional response. How we feel affects the way we see the world.” now i know obviously that is not an original thought, but it seemed an apt thing to quote.

anyway, on to my list!

– the smell of the air after a rainstorm
– having unexpectedly productive days
– looking through my collage bits (whilst sorting them out)
– sitting in silence in the autumn sun
– satisfyingly thick jiffy envelopes
– new books
– genuine compliments (both giving and receiving them)
– wrapping up warm
– drinking lots of green tea
– the smell of fresh apples
– birthday chocolate
– the soft smoothness of a new pair of tights
– giving in to being sleepy and drifting off to sleep
– similarly, hearing ava purr loudly and then softly and she falls asleep under a tent of blankets

what’s made you happy recently?

the small things | 4

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spiderweb against bokeh

– finding a simple but effective headache pain management tool
– making my own custom perfume
– watching my boyfriend sleep (not in a creepy way)
– (briefly) not having red cheeks for the first time in years
– brownies
– meeting online friends
– people being kind, just because
– this amazing snake pin
– finding new inspiring instagram accounts
this louis ck video
– snuggling up in multiple blankets
– rediscovering my love for my vintage camera lenses

what’s made you happy recently?

bespoke perfume experience at floris, london

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bespoke perfume in engraved bottle from floris london

exterior of floris shop on ebury street, belgravia, london

i want to write about this whilst it’s fresh in my mind, though i can’t imagine i’ll be forgetting about it in any near future.

recently i won a competition, and part of the prize was for me and a friend to make our own bespoke perfumes at floris, on ebury street (the flagship store is on jermyn street). making my very own perfume has been a dream of mine for a very long time, and one i thought would never actually be realised.

i invited sade of in my sunday best along with me as i sensed it was something she’d really enjoy (also because she’s wonderful) too.

floris london box with ribbon

floris perfume ingredients in bottles

rounded vintage edison bulb

we were invited down into the basement level, in a room filled with shelves of golden floris display boxes, perfume ingredients, petals in vases and greenery along the windowsill.

firstly we had a bit of a chat, discussing briefly what sort of scents we liked. our bespoke perfume manager, penny went though variants of scents from different fragrance families – like woody, oriental, floral, citrus etc and gave us a little info on the history of the scents as well as how they’re derived.

i found this really boosted the experience for me as i love learning about the history, meaning and symbolism behind things. i also love that making perfumes is a really interesting mix of science and creativity. there’s a perceived magic about it, but what it really comes down to is mixing chemicals together. as well as this, the way everyone percieves smell is different, as it’s so closely linked to your memory (in the limbic system in your brain, where emotion, behaviour and mood are also processed) and i think that’s where the ‘magic’ comes into it.

perfume ingredients at bespoke perfume session

i think we initially went through about 15 fragrances, all on blotter sticks, and had to choose a few favourites out of those. it became quickly apparent i (or just my nose?) am really not fond of the ‘green’ scents, as well as anything overly synthetic. there were also quite a few scents that i would never wear, but still quite enjoyed the smell of – some had that ‘i don’t really like it, yet i can’t stop smelling it’ sort of quality to them too.

going into this, i already have a strong sense of smells i love and even though i wasn’t putting it into my mind to influence me, clearly my gut instincts ran true, and i ended up with a fragrance that is a mix of my three favourite things, namely: floral, warm and powdery with a hit of citrus.

after that, we went through a few more ingredients that would go with what we’ve already chosen, and then it came to testing them on our skin. this part of it is important, because of the way scents work with your body chemistry. they can smell quite different on the stick than they can on you.

floris london perfume ingredients

bespoke perfume invite and tester bottles

finally, we got towards the end and the perfumes were made.  it’s interesting to see them being made in front of you too, and to see how much of each ingredient goes into it. when the bottle was made up and i actually got to smell my finished perfume, it was instant love. a few days later now i still keep smelling it because it just makes me so happy.

perfume bottles at floris

the whole experience is quite bewitching, and you feel like you’ve had part in concocting some magic potion. the magic being that this has been created for you, in front of your very eyes, and specific to your tastes. i really feel like the perfume made for me really smells like ‘me’. it’s a hard thing to put into words, but i just smell it and i feel like it’s part of my soul. which sounds cheesy, but ultimately true ..for me, anyway.

oh, and yes, i totally named my perfume after my cat. i do love the name ava too though.

blue floris bag with custom fragrance