Practical Magic, the movie. That store.
We get lots of emails from people asking to come down to our showroom. Problem is, it doesn’t really exist. It’s a little ephemeral. A little nomadic. One day it’s in Singapore, the next… which is why we’re reached only by appointment or by chance.
Our one and only appointment to the studio over the weekend was scrapped due to maintenance. It was kind of worse than returning from Melbourne last Christmas to find the furs and leathers had grown… I don’t want to say. My poor Giambattista Valli skirt.
One day… some day… we’ll have a bricks & mortar of our very own. And you’ll walk in and let your eyes saturate the amber bottles against the white walls. You’ll put on an apron of your own as you pick your essential oils on the spot. You’ll inhale freshly crushed lavender in your hands or smell the shaved rind off a tarte au citron. Probably something we baked that day.
You’ll browse through old herbal almanacs and pick something out for your friend. Your kid will come in for some candlemaking workshop. And if you run low on a balm, you duck in for a moment to have a cup of tea and grab that lotion to go. When we close for business at 6pm every night, we’ll pull down the black and white shutters and commence book club.
It won’t be famous. It won’t be posh. It’ll be the shop on the corner, and that warm hug after a bad day.
And as you look around, you’ll remember this post, these pictures, and the nod to this movie.
“And though she is little, she is but fierce.”
— William Shakespeare
Pick up your copy of the October issue of Cosmopolitan Singapore… we’ve unexpectedly taken out the title of Best Beauty Blog in Singapore. We didn’t know we were in the running and wondered at first, if this had site had anything to do with beauty at all.
But then we realised.
This site, this life, has everything to do with beauty. Appreciating it at its most fragile and fleeting. Even the ability to recognise it is a gift.
But as much as I love a good red lip and sky high heel, true beauty isn’t always about what we put on or adorn.
It’s about beauty in dark places. Finding grace when it’s hard. Beauty as a light in the heart, as Kalil Gibran, writes.
What makes a person beautiful? I haven’t figured it all out yet, suffice to say that perhaps it has something do to with their values system and what they cherish. How they extend love and compassion to others. How they love themselves. A passion for life and a sense of gratitude for everything it throws at you.
So thank you Debs & Team Cosmo for the lovely distinction (a ballsy move, then again you would expect nothing less!) and to the like… five people reading this: never lose your ability to marvel at things both great and small, and don’t let the world harden you. Merci encore!
Image via FFFound
“You must be ready to burn yourself in your own flame; How could you become new if you haven’t first become ashes?“
This week, the Inbox exploded, emails were lost, French tuition rocks, Kim cooked amazing adobo for everyone, got a liiiitle too high on jasmine, and I finally finally after months spent the past two days painting.
Came up for air after dinner to catch Prometheus with the guys, but these shots should account for my whereabouts after guitar at 9am today. Handpoured beeswax tea lights. Tea lights! Tea lights in egg cartons. Tea lights you can get for $5 at Ikea if you’re into paraffin wax but no, I decide to go and haute them up! Because I am insane. K was right, I am a masochist.
And to think, it wasn’t too long ago, we sat in the back of a cab in Paris and I said, I think I wanna do candles.
Just like how Mmerci Encore started. Standing in the kitchen in my look-up-to-the-heavens, squint-and-say, I think I wanna start a blog about the little things way. In my I think I wanna do French class/I think I wanna take guitar lessons. No. No more. The problem with me is that when I put my mind to something, it happens.
Just like how I told S to slap anything carby out of my hands, someone needs to stop me before I take on an extra hobby and hurt myself. (Side note: grateful for this season, for these opportunities. So blessed and tired, but so very happy to be alive).
“Every person needs to take one day away. A day in which one consciously separates the past from the future. Jobs, family, employers, and friends can exist one day without any one of us, and if our egos permit us to confess, they could exist eternally in our absence. Each person deserves a day away in which no problems are confronted, no solutions searched for. Each of us needs to withdraw from the cares which will not withdraw from us.”
― Maya Angelou
A few days ago, I boarded a flight from Bali to Singapore heavy-hearted. 48 hours spent laughing with friends, after-dark swims in the villa, styling our hair in top-knots, and unadulterated spa-ing and eating surrendered once again for life in the city.
We missed a sunset over The Rocks at Ayana because we were swimming in bathtubs full of bougainvillea (later, we’d sip our drinks in darkness and imagine how breathtaking the black seascape before us was). We missed Cinco de Mayo by a day, but made it up by gorging on the best Tex Mex on the island. We hopped out of the W to walk along the beach at night and have the most delicious drinks at Potatohead.
It was lavish, spontaneous. But importantly, full-hearted. There were frangipani in our villa which I’d collect every morning either off the ground or by gently shaking the tree (after asking for its permission). The tree’s branches hung precariously over the swimming pool.
The first thing I got home from the airport was sterilise a jar, wash the flowers, and start work on a new perfume with the very flowers I collected and carried by hand from Bali. It’s more of a gunky experiment than anything right now.
The staff at my local nursery refused to sell me more flowers to add to the perfume (“We sell trees, not flowers”), which I need to intensify the scent. Completely bummed, I began worrying and resorted to collecting some flowers that had fallen to the ground until while on the bus, I spotted… a frangipani tree. #thankyoujesus! Pink, not yellow flowers, but nonetheless beautiful. And on public property. You can tell where this is headed…
The rest of the arvo was spent in Little India, buying fresh Jasmine for another weekend project. I love the scent of jasmine, and theirs, freshly air-flown from India, carpeted the studio last night in this deliciously creamy, white flower scent. Similarly captivated by the nectar-like smell of mangoes ripening in the heat, I bought one for dessert.
After a wedding reception last night, I burst through the place, and there was a moment. Before switching on the light, you could tell there was an intoxicating scent snaking its way up from the drying table. A cloud of scent.
Jasmine flowers, including the tuberose purchased earlier in the day, were bottled then and there. Yes. Woman possessed.
My ears took delight in the mush sound as the flowers were muddled and bruised with the mortar & pestle. Sigh your last sigh, exhale your last breath.
So basically, the past week has seen me freebase my way through every flower that crossed my nose. Can’t say I don’t stop to smell the roses.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do with your one wild and precious life?”
― Mary Oliver
Artisinal preparations inspired by bathing and bedtime rituals. At-home spa regimens. Voyage scent kits for jet-setters on the go. Male maintenance stuff. Feelgood little luxuries to enjoy every day.
- made-to-measure essential oil scrubs with organic sugar
- 100% pure, therapeutic-grade essential oils to burn and diffuse into your living space
- hydrosols or distilled essence of flowers in a facial mist
- botanical bath concoctions (which are the bomb in a, Wow the Universe is really opening up to me right now kinda way)
- aromatherapeutic parfums
- an assortment of ready-to-wear and bespoke balms made out of the finest organic cocoa butter and oils
- and hand-poured beeswax candles… which we don’t sell, because we’re horribly selfish
Raw ingredients sourced by either ourselves or our friends, from the world over. That’s right. Melbourne roadtrips in the summer, freezing our bits off in -9 degree weather to get to herbalists in gay Paree. Nepali lemongrass (no sherpas were harmed), patchouli from Java. Hand-made, hand-blended, and holistic.
Zero parabens, preservatives, sulphates, PEGs, fillers because we just couldn’t do that to you guys.
OCD about quality, scent, and texture. Yes, we bust our balls but we love what we do. x
By appointment only. E-store on its way because we’ve been busy bottling beauty by-the-batch. Until then, let’s talk. email@example.com