Weather-wise, we have had a strange but absolutely gorgeous Spring. We’ve had a handful of crazy warm days in the upper 80s, but in contrast to previous years – those have been interspersed amongst a sea of 70 degree days. We’ve even had a few 40-50 degree days, and normally we’re all sweating our tuckuses off by early April as temperatures typically reach a sweltering 90 degrees. In short, for the first time perhaps ever – we’ve had a true spring, spanning February through April. And I’ve been loving every moment of it. So what have been some essentials for me as I’ve delighted in this perfect weather? Read on!

Brushed Fleece V-Neck Pullover in Holly, from Anthropologie

For days that start (and perhaps stay) in the 50s and 60s, I’ve enjoyed this brushed fleece pullover with ruffle hem in Holly. The color is super different from anything else I have, and it is SO soft. I love it with my standard darker wash jeans, but it’s great with my beloved embroidered jeans as well. It layers nicely and is easy to throw on whenever you’re feeling a bit chilly. The Brushed Fleece V-Neck Pullover is on sale now for $60 from Anthropologie.

 


Kadeejah Top by Club Moncao

I’m surprised to see the Kadeejah Top still in stock. I purchased this on a whim while out with S back in February. I was wearing a shirt I felt uncomfortable in and saw this on the sale rack at Club Monaco. I tried it on in a size medium and large – warning, it is form fitting, so I was really happy in the large…and was smitten. I purchased it and ran back to the fitting room to put it on immediately.

The Kadeejah Top available for $59 from Club Monaco. As this has been on sale for a while, I will note that I think this top is ideal for cooler Spring and Fall weather. As soon as the temperature breaks 80, this top starts to get a smidge toasty.

 

Maddie Eyelet Top by Tiny, from Anthropologie

The Maddie Eyelet Top in “light grey” is eye catching, with it’s beautiful eyelet details and stunning deep grey color. It’s easy to reach for on warmer days and looks effortless while being totally comfortable.

 

Plum Japonais by Tom Ford

I’m a huge fan of Tom Ford fragrances, and while I don’t have this in a full size yet – Plum Japonais is a sample I usually pick up this time of year. I was lucky this year to receive a really generous sample from my local counter and have been wearing it frequently. This is not your standard gourmand, but rather a heady, dark & juicy plum with depth from oud and spices. The official notes are:

Saffron, Cinnamon Bark, Everlasting Flower, Sawara Cypress, Ume Plum, Plum Liqueur, Camelia Japonica, Agarbois, Amber, Benzoin, Fir Balsam Absolute, Vanilla Absolute and Infusion

It’s a pretty sexy, though a bit heavy, scent. It’s probably ideal for any time of year except maybe Summer. I like it on me but honestly? The best this has ever smelled to my nose was on a former male SA at my local counter. This scent is truly a delight, that transcends both seasons and genders. A full sized bottle (1.7 ounces) of Plum Japonais by Tom Ford can be purchased for $225 from Luckyscent. A sample is also available for $4.

 

Twilight Dress by Pas de Calais
When I first saw the Twilight Dress in a local boutique, I had incorrectly assumed it was French. Just looking at it – the easy airy silhouette, striking but still versatile and sophisticated print (and those shiny buttons), quality of natural materials…even the sizing! The brand, Pas de Calais, referencing one of the northernmost departments of France, is actually Japanese. Don’t let the “light grey” colorway fool you – this grey is much more complex than that, with shades of icy steel and sky blues.

 

After visiting it a couple of times, I tried it on and loved it for what I had originally anticipated would surely be a warm Spring, then Summer. I haven’t worn it yet, but am excited to reach for it in the months to come. Warning: this thing runs large! Pending how you like your dresses to fit, I’d recommend sizing down AT LEAST one size. I surprised myself (I average around a 12 – anywhere from 10-14 pending the garment) and actually bought this in the smallest size available, a 34 (XS). If you’re interested in other items from Pas de Calais, the whole line is like this so keep that in mind. The Twilight Dress can surely be found in the cool boutiques in your town, otherwise can be purchased in 2 colorways from Pas de Calais directly for $390.

 

Zara Midi Dress with Buttons
Last on the apparel front, but not least is this crisp white linen dress from Zara. I really do love this dress, and for Zara find the material to be of fairly high quality. It is great for Spring and early Summer, and while I’ve gotten compliments every time I have worn it – I must lament that I become a REAL klutz when wearing it, spilling food and even wine on it! Highly recommend for anyone who carries a Tide to go pen on them at all times.

I did find this runs true to size, and is available for $70 at Zara.

 


Iced Matcha Lattes

I’ve been sipping on Matcha Lattes regularly since January, albeit iced is only a recent modification. The version i’ve been lightweight addicted to has macadamia nut milk in it. For the sake of my wallet, I’m considering making these at home. Ceremonial matcha seems a bit difficult to find locally, so Alfred LA’s version ($28 for a 30g tin) is at the top of my shopping list.


Today, my nose is quite happy my friends! We’re experiencing a completely abnormal cold snap and while apparently this isn’t so abnormal since it does have it’s own colloquialism (also known as Blackberry Winter), we don’t typically experience it ’round these parts ;).

Still! I’ve dug my sweaters and winter coat out of hibernation; enjoyed some Malbec and Indian comfort food; and am taking full advantage of the unseasonal drop in temperatures to test out and enjoy 2 smokey, comforting scents.


(Image/artwork from Cire Trudon official)
First up is the Empire candle Cire Trudon. S and I were browsing a massive candle selection at a local store, when we came across Empire – while many scents in the Cire Trudon line had piqued our interest that day, both our eyes lit up when we smelled Empire.

Cire Trudon officialy describes this as:
“Pine, sage and hay vibrate this Napoleonic camp with accents of wild juniper and bush. The joyful and indulging warmth of thyme, marjoram and rosemary rings like a fife. A time of peace right after a battle between dog and wolf. An imperial tent that exhales an exemplary scent, crowned with laurel’s force.”

Unlit, this candle smells like fire – smokey, woodsy, beautiful fire on a cold winter’s night kind of fire. Lit doesn’t change much except that it diffuses in a way that the other notes become more apparent. There are definitely light citrus and floral elements that make my house smell more like Lapsang Souchong tea (admittedly, my favorite tea) than outright smokey fire. It’s just beautiful, and S and I are both fans.

Cire Trudon is known to be the oldest candlemaker in the world, with all of their candles made at their Atelier in France. They boast a 55-60 hour burn time and contain no artificial substances, fillers, or paraffin. Cire Trudon candles are made from 100% vegetable wax (specifically, palm oil, rice, soy and coconut) for the purest candle and the cleanest burn.

The Empire candle retails for $95 and can be purchased directly from Cire Trudon here or from Beauty Habit (sign up for e-mails and receive 15% off your first order).


(Photo from Boyds of Texas official)
I picked up Cuero, an Eau de Parfum, by Boyds of Texas from a local pop-up shop at S’s favorite local store. I chose it and High Desert, because, well – I’m always on the lookout for some variation of smokey and leathery fragrances, obviously! What is great about fragrance, and particularly perfumes, is how parfumeurs layer different notes to craft distinctive aromatic experiences – journeys, even. You can go with something direct like Velvet Desert Oud by Dolce and Gabbana or Replica Across Sands by Maison Margiela for linear Ouds so bone dry that they leave you parched and seeing mirages. Or you can pick up more complex leathers – Tom Ford made 2 of my favorites, Tuscan Leather, which is warm with amber wood and nuanced with thyme and jasmine; and the extremely limited and now discontinued Ombre Leather ’16, which leaned more feminine with the floral notes of Tuscan Leather on steroids.

Or – you could go for a full on journey with Boyd’s of Texas’ Cuero that evokes images of cactus filled deserts, well made and well worn saddles, but settles into something that is still all of those things – yet sweeter, richer, and bewitching.

Boyd’s of Texas describes Cuero as:
“A fleeting burst of citrus and soft florals quickly becomes rooted in the dryer, dusty woods of various cedars. This deepens on the skin and is joined by the slightest hint of warm jasmine, before it develops and softens into darker woods and smoky leather.”

I was honestly surprised I loved this scent so much – I expected it to be more linear, I anticipated it to be more masculine – something that would wear better on S. It wears completely fine on S, but on my skin it has settled into something slightly boozy and even chocolatey. To my nose, it references a favorite gourmand of mine – Chocolate by L’Antichambre, but with smoke and leather.

If you’d like to try Cuero – Boyd’s of Texas offers samples for $10 which can be purchased here. A full sized EdP (50ml) can be purchased here for $125. The scent is also available in a Face & Body Oil as well as a Charcoal Bar Soap.