favorite scent: Birkholz
My absolute favorite scent right now is one by the Birkholz, a thoroughly sustainable brand from Germany. It’s not a big surprise that I like it, after all I created the scent! I had the chance to work in Birkholz’ wonderful perfume bar in Berlin Charlottenburg, a place filled with scents in little bottles, and I can tell you it was not easy to make a choice. I wanted to create a sensual perfume, something not too heavy. I envisioned a note of vanilla, but not too sweet. A mature scent, in a way, but one that’s exciting and seductive. Not an easy task, but one I enjoyed a lot! The result is Vanilla Vibes, and I am more than happy with it! I am particularly pleased that the scent is genuinely individual, nothing that you’d smell at every corner.
Head note: bergamot
Heart note: lavender
Base note: vanilla, musk, ambergris
Room spray: Byredo
Talking about scents… there’s scented candles – and there’s Byredo.
Byredo is like the Porsche among scented candles. The company was founded by Ben Gorham in 2006 and is based in Sweden. Apart from perfumes, the brand is also well known for its scented candles and air fresheners. They look really posh, match my furniture perfectly, and apparently the scents encapsulate memories of the founder. For example, I’m a huge fan of ‘Bibliotheque’, which, as the name gives away, conjures up associations of dusty books. It reminds me so much of my childhood, and the endless hours I used to spend in libraries. The whole range of scented candles is fantastic. The price point is a little higher than other such products, but you’re getting a genuine luxury product for your money, and we all have to treat ourselves sometimes, don’t we?
favorite app: Ovy
I told you a little while ago that I came off the pill. I was thinking about building a family, and wanted to get pregnant. Fortunately it didn’t work out.. things would be so much more complicated right now. And, well, right now I’m on the opposite course, I’m trying to avoid getting pregnant… but I also don’t want to swallow hormones anymore. Doesn’t leave me with that many options.
There is a natural contraceptive method called NFP (natural family planning), for which all you need is a medical thermometer. The method is based on the understanding that the basal body temperature increases by 0.2-0.5 degrees after ovulation. During fertile days the woman should either abstain from sex, or the couple should use a condom. Unfortunately, NFP is also not 100% safe, but statistically it is as safe as the pill. Both aforementioned methods require extra care though: alcohol, health and lack of sleep are all factors that affect the body temperature as well. The cervical mucus also shows whether a woman is in her fertile days, by the way. Combining NFP with a monitoring of the cervical mucus gives a good indication on which days you should be particularly careful.
Ovy is an app that helps journal all these measurements and dates, and which then calculates the probability of getting pregnant on any given day. I have been using this app in combination with a medical thermometer for a while now, and am very pleased with this hormone-free solution.
By the way: there’s a great side-effect to this approach! The daily attention to my body cycle really made me get to know myself much more. I am now much better at interpreting little signs my body sends me, and have the feeling my overall relationship to my body has improved a lot!
favorite accessoire: my cap
The good old baseball CAP is my favorite accessory right now!
Yes, I’m probably the last person to jump on this bandwagon, but after what seems like eternity I have rediscovered the baseball cap. Doesn’t matter much which outfit I wear, I’m in love with caps right now, and totally up for the sporty note they give to every outfit!
Some Instagramers out there definitely deserve a much bigger following! It’s becoming a little tradition that I introduce Instagramers here that I believe are criminally under-appreciated, and this month’s pick is @sonjamariarettensteiner
Sonja is Austrian, and my photographer Theresa, who is her cousin, gave me the tip to check her out. Looks like the creative gene runs in the family! I keep coming back to her amazing collages. So much work goes into these pieces, they need to be appreciated. Hats off Sonja, great skills!
favorite print: RUM
When it comes to interior design I have a very clear line, and tend to know exactly what I want. That said, it’s always welcome to find sources of inspiration apart from Pinterest. A little while ago I discovered a magazine that exactly reflects my interior design taste: RUM. It’s a Scandinavian publication that is issued with long intervals in between, one of those mags that are really difficult to get hold of. But let me tell you, the effort is worth it! Whenever I get engrossed in one of the spreads, enjoying the minimal layout of the mag, I get inspired and feel like checking into one of those flats straight away. And the fact that the magazine is a great piece of decoration in its own right is an added bonus!
favorite beauty brand:
I actually thought about presenting one product by toofaced here, but I couldn’t decide which I liked best so I’ll introduce the whole brand instead.
The thing is, I’m not a huge fan of the design of the brand (it’s a little too playful and retro for my taste), but I LOVE the contents, i.e. the products..
Just to my taste: high quality, exactly the tones I need, and always with a creative twist! My favorite palette is the Sweet Peach eyeshadow collection, with its delicious peach scent (omnomnom). Another fav is the Chocolate Bar line, which actually smells of chocolate, if you can believe it.The contouring set is great as well, and the ‘Better than Sex’ mascara is genius – it’s also the best selling mascara in the USA, by the way. Works a treat on your lashes, and seals quickly so it doesn’t dry out too fast. The packaging may be debatable, but the next time you’re in Douglas or Sephora try it out, I really recommend it.
There are quite a few spots in Berlin that I visit frequently, like for example the Fechtner, Superfoods or Commonground. Speaking of the latter, I am probably the biggest fan of their ‘The Commonground’ breakfast: avocado-toast with bacon or mushrooms. Super delicious! And on top of it, the place just looks super stylish! Instagram-factor 100%!
favorite beauty discovery:
Another highlight in my bathroom is the Bynacht Serum!
Bynacht is a German label that focuses on care products, specifically for the time before going to bed, as the skin absorbs more active substances during the night. Beauty and a good night’s sleep go hand in hand, after all, which is also why the brand offers two kinds of products:
Products that support good and healthy sleep, and others that nurture the skin. I use the Sleeping Balm, which I massage under my nose and on the temples, as well as the serum, which absorbs really fast and provides my skin with active substances during the night. Unfortunately, the products are extremely pricey, but they do last for a very long time (especially the balm)!
I really thought long and hard about this. Which shoes would I miss most if I lost them. In the end the answer is kind of obvious, maybe there was never any competition at all: my Docs. They just always save me, no matter what: they work with a suit as well as with a dress, and add the right touch of coolness to pretty much any outfit I can think of. Life without them? Unthinkable!