Friday, 20 January 2012

Friday update

It's been a whole week since I last posted and primarily this is because my niece Kirsty from Australia has been visiting us. I last saw Kirsty nine years ago, not thinking such an elapse of time would take place before we would meet again. She is now twenty one years old, so you can imagine how much has changed. 

It was my older daughter Hannah's fifth birthday this past Sunday and she had a birthday party with her school friends on Friday, followed by a party on the Saturday with our closer friends and their families. Although tiring, we all had a great time and Hannah was most pleased to receive a pink bicycle as her main present, replete with shiny tassels, a pink helmet and a shiny, very loud-and-ringy bell!

On Sunday we all went for brunch at Woods, a local hotel, and ate eggs benedict and drank coffee. Our friends Darren and Carmen had stayed over for the night and it was great to just catch up generally, chew the fat and have a good time.

On Tuesday, Kirsty and I went up to London for two days, staying over at Darren and Carmen's flat near the Docklands and spent the time walking ourselves ragged. I showed Kirsty 'all' the sights, as much as one can in two days. For a girl who has never left the Southern Hemisphere before, I think we managed to show her a good time. I say we, because that evening we all went out to dinner at Wahaca, a Mexican restaurant in Canary Wharf, prior to which we had a drink at a pub owned by Gordon Ramsay, called The Narrow, in Limehouse. On Wednesday we ended the day at a place called Little Georgia Cafe, somewhere in deepest darkest Hackney, which again, was lovely.

So, throwing some perfume topics into the mix, I did manage a visit to Selfridges on Oxford Street and got to sniff (on paper) some new Guerlains, including the City Exclusives, London, Tokyo, Moscow and New York. Of these, London stood out the most to me, with a very intense, fruity rhubarb top note. I also smelled Shalimar Initial L'eau and l'Homme L'eau Boisee. Both smelled good to me on paper. Initial had quite a distinct iris note to start, then sweetened with vanilla later on, while Boisee smelled more interesting than the original L'Homme to me.

The perfume highlight for me was a quick visit to the Arabian Oud store on Oxford Street. I'm not sure whether it has made me appreciate or like oud more, but it was very interesting to be shown the oud collection downstairs, where a gentleman showed me a bottle of oud that sells for about £76,000! It was locked in a solid cabinet, unsurprisingly, but he did rub on my wrists an oil called The Sultan's Blend, which he said had been created especially for the Sultan of Brunei, and if I recall correctly, is a Cambodian oud. He also burned some oud incense for me, which personally I found a little overwhelming and heavy. Still, the whole experience was great.

So, that leads me to Thursday, when we got up at 5am to get Kirsty to her Eurostar train at St Pancras, on her next leg to France and Switzerland. I then went back to Tunbridge Wells to get ready for a full day's work. No surprise then that I was shattered by the time I got home that evening!

On Sunday I fetch Kirsty from Gatwick Airport. She flies back to Australia on Monday night, so we shall endeavour to spend some final quality time together before then.

Have a good weekend everyone!


  1. Your week sounded busy indeed (but interesting). I like when friends/relatives come to visit: it gives me an excuse to go again to all those "touristy" places where you'd normally never go when you live in the area.
    Did you wear more, less or the same amount of perfumes during that week?

  2. Oh, it sounds like a splendid time with Kirsty! I'm taking notes on all these places you visited in London-I just may 'need' to go there : )

    Does your niece have any interest in perfumes?

    Happy Birthday to Hannah!

  3. Once upon a time I had a miniscule amout of Arabian Oud Shah Gold. It smelled amazing and I always intended to try other fragrances from that company, but I got bogged down by all the choices-where to start? I'll have to check the sample/decant sites again to see what they're offering. Do you have any suggestions from your recent visit to A.O.?

  4. Thanks Undina.

    Funnily enough, I often wear less perfume when I am on holiday or with my family. I'm not really sure why. I know when my wife was pregnant she really struggled with smells and perfume used to make her feel very ill, so I'm always a bit more cautious. On my second day in London I visited Fortnum and Mason and they stock the Xerjoff line. I tried Dhofar and Kobe, which were quite nice, and the Sultan's Oud Blend of course!

  5. Cymbaline, thanks for commenting. We did have a lovely time. I think my niece was quite interested in my perfume obsession! She wears Dolce Gabanna's The One. Perhaps I'll leave her with some samples to take back with her, although I know the Australian Border Control is something else...

    It's quite difficult to recommend anything from Arabian Oud. I didn't know any of their stuff and they had a lot. The oil I was allowed to try is called The Sultan's Blend, and I'm not sure what it costs or whether it is available as a sample.



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