Visiting: The Japanese House at The Barbican. If ever there is a lesson is reading all of the detail before you commit yourself, this is it. This exhibition is an exploration of domestic architecture from the end of the second world war. If you’re a deep fan of architecture, then you’ll probably love it, but it’s far more for architecture buffs than people (like me) who are interested in Japan.
There are some interesting points that make the cross-over, and there is a replication of the Moriyama House designed in Tokyo (and lived in by an urban hermit, apparently) that’s quite exciting. I think I could have spent a happier time at The Japan Centre to be honest, looking at Hello Kitty lollipops. Plus, the Barbican is horrible.
Attending: The CEW Awards Lunch. For those of you who don’t know, CEW stands for Cosmetic Executive Woman, and it’s an organisation that supports and promotes women within the beauty industry. Brands enter their products, and members vote, so the Awards lunch is the culmination of the voting and counting and finally the announcements.
There are a lot of awards – among the winners were Nuxe, Elemis and Max Factor – but the brand that scooped the most was Aromatherapy Associates. While we’ve all been bathing ourselves into a blissful stupor with Deep Relax (one of my all-time favourite products) the brand has been through some difficult and turbulent times, including the very sad death of founder, Geraldine Howard, last year. It was rather moving to see how much a part of the brand Geraldine still is. They felt like worthy winners (not everyone does) and I feel it’s a forward marker for them to move on with positivity and strength. I don’t really find the skin care all that exciting so I hope they make more oils!
Dropping In: To Atelier Cologne in Covent Garden. This fragrance store opened just before Christmas I think and it’s very well worth popping in because it’s the first perfume store that I’ve stepped into in the UK that made me feel I’d somehow been transported to Paris. It’s the little things – the multi-coloured ribbon wheel, the orange tree and the table set with samples outside, the wooden fittings and the attention to detail. I already have a favourite from this brand (Pomelo Paradis) but discovered Clementine California – a true citrus happy maker that gives you a burst of olfactory sunshine (it goes a bit woody on the dry down though).
The best thing about it is that they will dress your fragrance for you in a little bespoke leather jacket – you can have whatever you want embossed on it (I chose a yellow jacket with ‘Sunshine & Joy’ because that’s immediately what Clementine California made me think of) which is perfection for personalised gifting. It’s an extra £20 which initially I raised my brows at, but honestly, I love mine and will certainly gift friends and family this way.
It’s a tiny store; ideal for an intimate getting-to-know-you new fragrance scenario. The downside is that it’s difficult to just browse without being sucked in and not everyone wants a personalised experience. Sometimes you just need to be left alone to browse which is difficult in such a small space. The chances, however, of not finding a fragrance you love are small. So, if you go, go because you want to discover, don’t go because you want to stare at shelves on your own.
Atelier Cologne has fairly recently been bought by L’Oreal. It’s at No.11 The Market Building. Atelier Cologne Personalisation is available on-line if you’re based in the US.
Buying: Wildfox T-Shirt. I know.. it’s £69.99 (more elsewhere!) for a T-Shirt. But I had to. I’m not enabling with a link ;-).
*all products are sent to me as samples from brands and agencies unless otherwise stated. Affiliate links may be used. Posts are not affiliate driven.