When in Paris…

Originally published on Roomorama. Visit Roomorama to have your pick of some gorgeous spaces to stay in Paris!
JOURNEYS

Alli handcrafts artisanal home spa goods under her own label, Mmerci Encore. We find out what inspires this modern-day aromatherapist.

What kind of traveler are you?

I’m a list maker, but that’s as far as it goes with planning for me.

I have a Smythson that reads as one giant wishlist of all the places I’d like to travel to – from the Fairy Pools on the Isle of Skye in Scotland to the markets of Marrakech – so I always feel like there’s a bit of my heart off wandering somewhere even if I’m at home.

Whenever I travel to a place, I try to do as much research as possible and then wing it on the ground. I’m in Paris a lot for work, and always carry a black Moleskine which is filled with contacts of good restaurants, drivers, cool stores. I’ve always thought it romantic to carry a passport around with you for impulsive moments of wanderlust.

You have a line of beautiful aromatherapy goods. What are some ingredients you’ve found on your travels that you’ve used in your creations?

Beeswax from a farm up in Queensland, Australia which I use to make handpoured pure beeswax candles. Beeswax burns clean, unlike paraffin wax, and is well tolerated by asthmatics like myself.

Hinoki wood oil from Japan – I burn this clean to help de-stress and get grounded after a long day.

Lavender flowers from a farm in Victoria which I add to our bath preparations.

What are some wellness places around the world that you love?

I love the herboristories in Paris but I get a thrill from discovering the spa and beauty rituals of the different cultures that I get to experience. One of the most memorable was a koh-do or incense ceremony in Tokyo. We sat and really appreciated the different nuances that came from the different burning pieces of ancient wood. I also loved walking the spice markets and hammams of Istanbul.

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Pictured above: Koh-do presentation (photo credit: Japan House), Hammam (photo credit: Sevil Delin)

What are some of your must do’s when you travel?

Check out the local handmade scene there. I love all the cool small batch beauty brands out of Brooklyn – I love checking out the local candle-makers and herbalists. We’re kindred.

Visit independent cafes, but not just for the coffee. I love décor and interior design of coffee shops especially.

Find an old school photobooth (le photomaton!) and take a picture with someone special to you. My partner and I take black & white photobooth shots in every city we go to – it’s a thing.

Take a class. Whether it’s perfumery or being walked through a certain exhibit by a docent, I love learning new things.

Here’s an unsexy tip: split your cash and cards. I once had my life stolen from under my feet as I ate breakfast – my passport, ipad, all my cash and toileteries were snatched from my chair and I spent the next two days in and out of the Australian embassy in Paris.

What are your travel essentials?

  • Smythsons and Moleskines – journals to dream and plan in.
  • Things that remind me of home: my pet rocks (quartz crystal, moonstone, pyrite) and a picture of my partner.
  • Lavender essential oil, which is the Swiss army knife of aromatherapy oils. It’s antibacterial, helps you relax thanks to a few drops on your pillow or in the bath, speeds up healing on burns or cuts.
  • A cashmere scarf by Hermès – I like to buy them from the men’s department where you can find timeless colours like khaki and navy. They match with almost everything, are super lightweight and yet incredibly warm and cosy.

What is your travel beauty routine?

My desert island non-negotiables are a good cleanser, moisturiser, oil-based serum and SPF. I usually carry a goodie bag of samples and travel size products when I’m on the road.

I’m never without a facial mask – I love Skin Inc’s Pure Deepsea Hydrating mask. Singapore may be humid but the air especially in-flight can be really dry. For this reason, I’m also never without the Invigorating Facial Mist and Luxe Gloss Body Serum, both by Mmerci Encore. I hate dry, scaly, itchy skin especially when the weather is cold and the best remedy for that is to keep it really hydrated and comforted.

I love visiting the different drugstores and stocking up on local products – I go especially crazy with cult beauty finds in Tokyo, New York and Paris. My partner jokes that I should buy shares in Duane Reade!

Love this? Follow Alli as she jaunts through Paris.

 

STYLISH PLACES TO STAY IN ISTANBUL, PARIS AND TOKYO

This beautiful Istanbul apartment is located in the buzzing Tunel-Galata neighbourhood.

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Feed your soul in this high-brow haven in the heart of Paris’ intellectual Saint Germain.

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Experience the cultural essence of Tokyo in trendy Azabu, the city’s gastronomic hub and one of the most desirable residential areas even among locals in this beautiful apartment.

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Going to ? Check out more places to stay in Istanbul, Paris and Tokyo on Roomorama.

Paris Calling

Creating a life that reflects your values and satisfies your soul is a rare achievement. In a culture that relentlessly promotes avarice and excess as the good life, a person happy doing his own work is usually considered an eccentric, if not a subversive.

— Bill Watterson

Paris

Hello darlings, consider this a little out of office note of sorts as we’re currently in Paris until July 9, 2015 when all orders will be shipped out again.

I have a feeling I’m going to be with my books and in more meetings than usual, which is sad given the weather here is glorious right now, but you can always follow our adventures on Instagram and, when the mood strikes, Snapchat (@mmerciencore) for both.

Definitely thankful to be back here, especially given that last week was super challenging with the aircons (plural!) dying on us in what felt like the year’s worst heatwave. As usual, I don’t think I could have survived it without Mr Mmerci who pretty much saved the day, as usual. Plus, given that we’ve had the rebuild on the brain (and can’t wait to move in already!), it’s nice to feed the eye with new and inspiring influences.

Perhaps the Le Corbusier exhibition could be on the cards this afternoon…

On the Road Again

If travelling were free, you would never see me again.”

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I crave space. It charges my batteries. It helps me breathe. Being around people can be so exhausting, because most of them love to take and barely know how to give. Except for a rare few.”

‒ Katie Kacvinsky

Melbourne Lover

I won’t lie. It feels amazing to be home in Melbourne.

There is no greater pleasure than sitting on your parents’ couch, eating leftover scalloped potatoes with a cup of tea. Or is that just me?

I’ve just about gotten through every item on my ‘to do’ list, eaten almost every childhood meal I can possibly eat, and am excited for what today and tomorrow will hold. Visiting The Lab Organics in Carlton was a real feast for the senses, I loved Nora and getting fresh flowers from the Queen Victoria Market. Today? Today is just brimming with possibility…

Inspiration everywhere!

Mmerci Encore Awakening Organic Sugar Scrub Melbourne

Mmerci Encore Luxe Gloss Body Serum Melbourne

Apartment Therapy

Hello New York! It’s a gorgeous Saturday morning and we’re round the breakfast table with coffee and OJ, cookies and crumbs of banh mi bought from down the street.

To paint the scene, it’s a renovated loft in downtown New York. There’s exposed brick, wood floors, a furnace with chopped wood at the ready, raw bulbs and hanging plants. We’re a sneeze from SoHo and five flights of stairs up from the world.

My main squeeze is reading Chuck Palaniuk on the couch, and I’ve had the sudden flash of inspiration to drop in on the blog. It’s been an incredible journey so far and I’ve loved catching up with old friends, eating some of the most amazing  food and taking in some gorgeous sights. Yes, I think New York definitely gets me and this is an enduring love. Could I love a city more than Paris? Bien sûr. NY would be it.

From the Bowery to Brooklyn, there are too many things that I adore about this place. The overheard conversations, drugstore finds, the handmade community in Williamsburg, the food (so delicious! so affordable!), the art & culture, the service. We laughed our butts off at a Comedy Club a few nights ago and made our way to Ippudo for a very late dinner. There’s been the Met and MoMa, Central Park and many taxi rides in between. I’m glad this city of dreams had room for two more people if only just for 10 days or so.

For on-the-minute updates on our adventures, check out our Instagram!

And in other news, with Mother’s Day coming up on May 11, you can now surprise the best mama ever without so much as having to roll out of bed. Mmerci Encore have teamed up with Yi Lian Floral Atelier to present to you some of the most stunning bouquet & home spa aromatherapy treats ever.

Sets range from Little Mrs Sunshine ($120) to Madama Butterfly ($180) and My Fair Lady ($280). Pick a floral personality and we’ll deliver the fresh handcrafted surprise to her door on Mother’s Day itself.

Don’t procrastinate your Mother’s Day gifting. Shop here now!

PS – thanks again to the Big & Little Project in Style family for having us over and capturing this very fun spread! x

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