LEFT: Acqua di Parma’s Colonia Assoluta Eau de Cologne Spray ($110, Bluemercury) ranks highest on my list of favorite scents. Just spritzing this mix of spicy (cardamom and pepper) and citrusy notes (bergamot and tangerine) makes me happy and, yes, nostalgic for blissful summer days on the water. RIGHT: I’m craving comfort these days. You? Perhaps 15 minutes with Jane Inc.’s silk Eye Pillow ($24, Anthropologie) with mood-lifting lavender and soothing flax seed covering my eyes would spur my relaxation efforts—and even help me meditate (more on that later). Plus, I like the indigo pattern.
LEFT: I’m not going to fib. The Miraculous Adventure of Edward Tulane by Kate DiCamillo ($6.99 in paperback on Amazon) is a children’s book about a china rabbit. Don’t knock it until you’ve tried it. In last week’s New York Times Book Review, author Ann Patchett raved about how much this book and others by DiCamillo were “incredibly calming” and have changed her life. We’re never too old to learn lessons. RIGHT: Headspace is an app that purports to make meditation simple, helping people stress less, focus more and sleep better. It’s downloaded to my phone, but I’ve yet to use it. Now may be the time. The company is offering two weeks free as a trial when you sign up for a $69.99/year subscription.
LEFT: Frequently washing your hands during this pandemic is a must, according to all the health experts. Although they have nothing to say about the effects of all that soap and water—dry, chapped, old-looking hands—here’s my solution: washable, reusable White Cotton Gloves (10 pairs for $20.99, Amazon). Slather on creams, lotions, ointments before you go to sleep. The gloves will help absorb the emollients while you’re getting your zzz’s, so you wake up to better-looking hands. RIGHT: Sweaty Betty is my go-to brand for exercise leggings. They stay up and nicely lift your rear end. Now that I’m doing Pilates via Zoom, I’d like to have a mat instead of a bunchy beach towel. I’m tempted by SB’s Eco Yoga Mat ($70) even though it’s pricey. It’s thin, relatively lightweight (4 pounds), and each side has good grip, ensuring that you don’t slip. The June bug green color is sold out at the moment, but it’s also available in charcoal.
LEFT: Until just a few years ago, when I read Deborah Needleman’s The Perfectly Imperfect Home, I didn’t know that the legendary Florentine apothecary Santa Maria Novella sold a home potpourri, a mixture of buds, leaves and flower petals. I’ve bought several baggies of it over the years, but now I’m fresh out. I’d like to have that slightly spicy, musky fragrance greet me again in my living room. This hand-embroidered Silk Pot Pourri Bag ($52) is fancier than the cellophane I’m used to, but an attractive way to store the contents. RIGHT: Living in Brussels in the late 1990s made me into a chocolate snob. A little cafe around the corner from my apartment sold Neuhaus confections, which I regularly consumed after my salade a chèvre chaud. It would be nice to have a Neuhaus treat again. Say, these Champagne Truffles, 4 pieces ($13.90) in a petite pink gift box.