November Memo: Scarves, Candles and Ancient Rome

November Memo: Scarves, Candles and Ancient Rome

Another month, another memo. As I have very little time to do anything but work at the moment, it’s a rather short one*. That said, I have managed to sneak in some moments of reading, eating, drinking, screen-shopping (it’s like window-shopping, but online) and actual shopping. So here’s a random list of things that have been on my mind, in no particular order:

1. Work. Regarding my current situation, this old post captures everything I have to say, so just read this one again if you want to emphatise.

2. Kassandra Komplex. It’s not often that I find a new blog that I want to add to my regular reading list. This one covers books, feminism, work, beauty and other important stuff. I also have some inside info on the author and this only adds to my enthusiasm about the blog.

3. Women and Power by Mary Beard. Considering my current circumstances, I’m overjoyed when I find a book that is short and relatively easy to read, while being insightful and interesting. Mary Beard’s Women and Power is all that and also just incredibly erudite, as that’s what she is. Her examination of how women were silenced in ancient Greece and Rome and how it still influences our thinking is the perfect read in the wake of the Weinstein & Bros scandal. (Also, love the mental bridge to the previous point.)

4. Diptyque holiday candles. In my book, Diptyque wins this year’s holiday candle race with their theme of mythological creatures. I think it’s genius, especially considering that not everyone celebrates Christmas. I admit I like the idea better than the actual design, but the unicorn one (Frosted Forest) really smells lovely – it’s a green, rather fresh conifer scent and great for someone like me who isn’t that big on traditional Christmas smells. Cire Trudon and Byredo are very much worth checking out as well.

5. Scarves. I probably need to do a full post on this, but I’ve really been liking scarves recently. I found a small Latvian company called Soyka Design on Instagram and now own three of their beautiful creations. I also like the Erdem X H&M scarves and wouldn’t mind a vintage Hermes one either.

6. Estonian fashion. As I’m trying to only wear Estonian designers when I chair Presidency press conferences in Brussels, I’ve been extensively researching (even more extensively than usual) Estonian fashion. I’m therefore in the position to inform you that Marit Ilison has opened pre-orders for the new Longing For Sleep collection that is absolutely gorgeous. And The Guild has released the chapter three of their impeccably eccentric fashions.

7. Scents. I’ve mentioned the Cire Trudon scents before and can now tell you that while I like all of them, Deux is my favourite (it’s a beautiful green scent), followed by Bruma, a very sophisticated floral. I’ve also been obsessed by Masque Milano Times Square – an absolutely fantastic fruity scent that is much more interesting than the word „fruity“ suggests. Jo Malone’s Green Almond & Redcurrant is nice, too, but I’m sure I’ve been somewhat influenced by the packaging.

8. Travel skincare. Once I’m no longer slave to work nor bankrupt, I will buy this African Botanics Departures Essentials set. It’s a lovely brand and I would like to try more things, but they are too expensive to buy without testing first. I hope the set will meanwhile reach retailers that are not in the US.

9. Sloe gin. I’m trying very hard not to drink any alcohol at all, as that will sap what little energy I have. But if I were to drink anything, I’d go with sloe gin that I finally managed to locate in a fancy food store. It’s wonderfully fruity and goes extremely well with some classic tonic, a sprig of rosemary and maybe a couple of blackberries.

10. Gingerbread. All the time.

*Actually, by the time I finished, it wasn’t THAT short any more.


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  1. 1

    Great post and I hope your work slows down soon. . If you are looking for another short(ish), interesting and easy to pick up book ( 5 distinct chapters but grouped in theme – considering their outsider status in the way they broke from convention ) I can recommend Outsiders, Five Women Writers Who Changed the World by Lyndall Gordon (2017). .

    • 2

      Thank you, this looks really good! And I know some other people who would be interested in it, too. The work will not slow down until the end of December, but it’s also interesting and fulfilling, so it’s OK. And I will have a month off after that.

  2. 5

    Yes please to more thoughts on scarves. That’s very interesting about your Estonian fashion choices – I’ve only lately realised that living abroad (not as a cultural ambassador or in any professional way, I hasten to add) can play a role in dressing abroad, in terms of accessing and wearing clothes designed (and preferably also produced) in one’s other country. I’ve begun to find out more about Irish design, and to start wearing it, as a direct result of seeing you explore Estonian fashion. I will also explore Estonian fashion, by the way! Europe, I love you.

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