2016 is flying by and there are so many perfumes to write about – I feel like I’m falling behind even though I set my own schedule, but the start of spring means hay fever season for me. My sense of smell diminishes substantially in spring and bizarrely for someone who likes to sniff things, I have major sinus issues. Here are a few of my favourite things in March.
TV : Well this month’s biggest binge was House of Cards. I watched Season 3 and 4 in quick succession. Season 4 outdid itself I must say. Truly addictive, malicious viewing. How I love to watch Kevin Spacey and Robin Wright manoeuvre their way through life in the White House as Frank and Claire Underwood. Both actors are really in their prime with this series. Husband and wife are pitted against each other at the beginning of Season 4, and I won’t reveal major spoilers, but I will say that they’re united by season’s end. In my opinion Season 1 and 4 are the strongest in the series which makes me very optimistic for next year’s viewing.
I also watched Season 3 of The Americans, as it has finally seen the light of day on Netflix in France. This is a rather creepy, cold show, that I find annoyingly addictive. At first I was intrigued by the late 70’s / early 80’s fashion and the accompanying soundtrack. Now I find it totally unsettling as the complicated lives seep through to basically mess with your mind. Elizabeth (Keri Russell) and Philip Jennings (Matthew Rhys) are KGB spies living in the United States with their two American born children who have no idea what their parents are up to in their spare time. However at the end of Season 3 they reveal their true identities to their teenage daughter Paige, so Season 4 no doubt will be a beaut. The costumes and hair styles are great, sometimes hilarious, as disguises are de rigour when you’re a spy. The theatrics verge from dowdy to sexy, or just plain regular looking with the help of an outfit change and a wig. It’s a bizarre show with family dynamics, relationship woes and dangerous friendships. Plus there’s always the cat and mouse element and their next door neighbour and good friend is in the CIA (well of course)! It’s one of those critically acclaimed shows, but not universally loved. The Americans is a prickly show and as I said, steely cold. And poor Martha (Philip’s second wife), well she really gets put through the wringer.
Film : The True Cost is a brilliant documentary on the fashion industry. It takes a closer look into the lives of the garment workers in Bangladesh and Cambodia which makes for disturbing viewing. Yes there are limited or non-existent worker rights, terrible pay and conditions and the awful accidents, like Rana Plaza that resulted in over 1000 deaths and 2500 injured. Plus it also hones in on the environmental damage which was a real eye opener for me. The clothing industry is the second most polluting industry after oil. The level of damage to the environment really disturbed me. When you wear cotton, do you realise the spraying that has gone into this crop? We may be aware of sprays on food, but on our clothing? I’m going to be more aware of what I purchase, which to be honest has gone right down anyway, now that I don’t live in a city and all that temptation has seemingly vanished. I’ve always loved fashion, but watching this video has made me more keen to buy second-hand, shop my own wardrobe and really think about where something is made. There’s such a massive mark up that goes into clothing – even the cheap 40 dollar pair of jeans that seemingly is a real bargain, you know is made for $1. Will I wear an item 30 times is another question I’ll ask myself before buying. The Slow Fashion movement is here. I want to be a part of it. If you’re interested take a look at the trailer for the documentary.
Books : Big fat zero. I have started reading The Goldfinch by Donna Tart but am yet to make a dent in it.
Music : Right I’m sneaking this one in from February. I saw the Foals play in Lyon. I did wonder if I’d be the oldest person in the crowd, but apparently not. The army made their presence known outside the venue due to the ongoing state of emergency, which I have to say made me feel safe, although it was a little surreal and I couldn’t help but have an escape route from the venue planned in my mind. By the end of the gig, the atmosphere was super hyped and when they played their last few songs including What Went Down from their most recent album, it felt like this is a band who are steps away from hitting the big time.
Fashion : Well from having a glance at the ads in the mags this month, I am a big fan of the new Gucci designer Alessandro Michele. The green trouser suit is my fav. No doubt the sweatshops will be whipping up copies to hit the shelves in Zara and H&M anytime soon.
Perfume : I’ve been wearing old favourites this month. Shalimar has come out to play and I’ve also been working my way through raw materials as I’m taking Karen Gilbert‘s online perfume course. I would love to be able to create my own perfume and on expert advice I’m stuffing my nose full of naturals to kick-start everything. One step at a time.
Travel : A few days in Rome and it was pure La Dolce Vita. I love Italy full stop. I travelled with an old school friend and that in itself was a lovely experience. Everything was great – the company, food, sights, sounds and smells. I’ll do a post soon.
And on my mind : The killings in Brussels, Pakistan, Istanbul, Yemen and no doubt many other places around the world : The lack of empathy for migrants in Europe : The madness of the Trump juggernaut.
Bois de Jasmin has written a great piece on Brussels where she lives – here’s the link, for a different perspective on the city that she calls home.
Let me know if you came across anything interesting last month – TV, film, books, music, perfume…. And have a great April and safe travels.
Coming up : More Esxence updates and photos!
Images : Featured Image : Michelangelo’s Sistine Chapel Ceiling : Megan In Sainte Maxime : The Americans : theamericanswikia.com and indiewire.com : House of Cards : promo : Gucci shop windows : Megan In Sainte Maxime : Other from Gucci : Rome : Megan In Sainte Maxime
The Elena Ferrante quartet of books. Starting with My Brilliant Friend. Superbly translated from the original Italian. Lucy Raubertas recommended them.
I’m watching the 10 part OJ Simpson series with Cuba Gooding Jr and John Travolta. Don’t knock it (!). It’s excellent. ❤️
Hi Val. Thanks for the tips. I’m interested in the books – I googled and the author uses a pseudonym. Intriguing. And I was so fascinated by the OJ Simpson story and now a knife from his old property has turned up …. And Robert Kardashian was his lawyer and god look at what that exposure to the limelight kicked off! Hey I won’t knock it – I watch way too much internet TV in the early hours of the morning when I can’t sleep (possibly not helping lack of sleep) and this sounds like it could be good!
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Thank you for the book tip, Val! I have never been disappointed by your suggestions for reading material. Can’t do the OJ thing, though. I only stream K-dramas and C-series 🙂
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Funny…I am wearing Shalimar as I read this 🙂 xoxoxo
Shalimar for me is one of the best perfumes of all time hands down! x x x
Thank you for this great list, Megan! True Cost looks really interesting and I will try Shalimar yet again to see if it will work for me…
Hi Azar. That’s good to know that Val gives good book tips – I thought she would though. True Cost was really powerful and not in too much of a doomsday way either. It’s on Netflix but I’m sure you can stream it somehow if you don’t have that!