In Rotation

After enduring bad news across the world for the best part of a year, I’ve been feeling the need to retreat. I’ve always been a homebody but I’m craving time indoors even more than usual. After reading a lot of “improving” books this year, I’ve now escaped into the His Dark Materials fantasy trilogy by Philip Pullman. On these cold, dark evenings, it’s wonderful to get lost in this multi-universe adventure populated by witches, armoured bears and fearless 12 year-olds .




A small thing that I’ve found to be very soothing on trying days, is painting my nails. The colours I’m alternating at the moment are the sophisticated berry of Butter London’s Queen Vic and the glossy dark navy of Chanel’s Marinière.

Happily, I’m still getting a kick out of my new found love of bold lipstick. I’ve even graduated from red to purple. MAC’s Rebel feels perfect for autumn and easy to wear because it isn’t as intense or blue toned as most in that shade range. The satin formula is also kinder to the lips in this chilly weather than my usual matt lipsticks.



Chanel Mariniere, MAC Rebel and Butter London Queen Vic


One comfort food that is also healthy is homemade soup. Last weekend I made spicy cauliflower soup based on the recipe by Alice Waters (who incidentally is a friend and neighbour of Mandy Aftel). I found out about it from former perfume blogger Lavanya, who now runs the brilliant subscription box service Boxwalla.

Again, taking pleasure in the little things, I’ve been enjoying the aromas of autumn; bonfires, dry leaves, damp earth, misty mornings. It might also be my favourite time of year for perfume. Here’s what I’ve been wearing a lot lately:

Passage d’Enfer, L’Artisan Parfumeur

I recently got a back-up bottle of this one because it’s my favourite incense. Passage d’Enfer is woody, lightly resinous and has a hint of waxy white lilies which it gives it luminosity. It smells fantastic on a scarf and mingles well with the autumnal wisps of smoke in the air. Passage d’Enfer helps me feel calm and centred in this crazy world but it also has that touch of wanton florals. I adore this stuff.

Coromandel EdT, Chanel

This is one classy patchouli with lots of warmth and depth. It’s not super earthy but it’s not a dull, super clean patch either. It’s beautifully sophisticated and I enjoy it most at a bit of distance, so I tend to spray it on my wrists rather than around my neck. I particularly enjoy the touch of incense that comes out most in the base.

Tobacco Rose, Papillon Perfumes

Of course I love roses and this one is perfect for autumn thanks to its earthiness. Tobacco Rose is a rose bush firmly planted in the soil, not a sterile, disembodied bloom. There’s a reason patchouli is paired so often with rose and it’s exemplified here in the way it grounds the beautiful, rich red flower. I can’t wait for the next release from Papillon Perfumes which is coming in the New Year.



What’s bringing you comfort this season?






Filed under Beauty Review, Book Review, Perfume Reviews, Thoughts

42 responses to “In Rotation

  1. Outlander. 😀 That’s briniging me comfort these days. And re-discovering old loves among my perfume collection.
    But back to Outlander. I really, really, want a highlander like that for myself. 😉


  2. Hey Tara,
    Currently reading the Herland Trilogy by Charlotte Perkins Gilman. Three stories, one a “what if” women took over the cities, second about three men who come to a nation of Amazon like women who procreate by parthenogenesis and the third about one of those women brought by her man to the world. So interesting.
    The nails are currently a turquoise shimmer by OPI but last fortnight they were acid green with purple glitter French tips.
    Wearing a LOT of the fragrance collection currently because SPRING! This morning CHANEL Boy, tonight Cuir Pleine Fleur by Heeley.
    Absolutely love these currently wearing posts.
    Portia xx


    • Wow Portia, that book sounds fascinating.
      Spring is my favourite season. No wonder you are rocking all the bright nail colours and enjoying your collection.
      I’ll try and do more of these posts then, thanks.

      Liked by 2 people

  3. Hey Tara,
    Comfort for me right now is starting up (or renewing, more like it) some summer habits, like walking and running. Moving wasn’t easy, but I’m enjoying making home improvements as I get settled in & get to know my neighbours & neighbourhood.
    So – I’ve cleared everything out and am now enjoying finding my space again.
    Love your scent choices. LPd’E is a fave, I think I’ve mentioned to you before. Agree, great headspace.
    Papillon’s got a new fragrance coming out? That’s definitely something to look forward to!
    xx Tina G


    • Hey Tina,
      I envy people who find running so energising both physically and mentally. I gave it my best shot but it’s not for me.
      Moving is super stressful but you can start enjoying your new place now.
      Love that you feel the same way about LPd’E.
      The new Papillon is going to be foresty 🙂


  4. I love The Pullman triology. It’s one of those books I keep reading again and again. It’s a real shame that the movie of the first book was a flop, because I thought it was very well done, and would have loved to see the others.
    My comfort creatures at the moment are fire,the cats, patchouli, gingerbread, and the blanket.


    • Oh too bad about the film version. The books are so good and certainly not just for kids.
      I love your comforts list! There’s nothing I’d like more than a real fire. I want gingerbread now…


  5. Hi Tara, your autumnal descriptions have got me! Here it’s too hot…the other day popped into David Jones and sprayed some Coromandel and absolutely loved it, and yes would go so well with your red lipstick💋


    • Hi Anna Maria,
      I never fail to get a kick out of the fact that you are heating up Down Under as we are rugging up. Hope it’s not too unbearable.
      Coromandel and red lippie are a good combination, it’s true! Happy to here you loved the Chanel when you tried it. It’s definitely my current fave of theirs.


  6. I’ve been wearing a lot all of Coromandel too!! (And variations of red lipsticks!) ooh and I really must make that cauliflower soup sometime again – it’s been a while!! Hugs!!!


    • L! Hope all is well with you and the babies (guess they’re not babies any more). The soup is a winter regular for me now and I freeze it too. I like to add more carrots than the recipe says though. Hugs back!


  7. Tara C

    We are obviously on the same wavelength – I am wearing MAC Rebel and enjoying all three of the perfumes you mentioned. And a new foresty Papillon in the new year? Awesome news! Also anxiously awaiting a release date announcement for Vero Kern’s new tobacco scent. As for reading, I am escaping with travel stories, specifically Sylvain Tesson’s Berezina.


    • It must be a Tara thing 🙂
      I can’t wait for Vero’s tobacco either, it’s going to be gooood.
      Thanks for sharing what you’re reading. I love to hear what books others are into.


  8. Sandra

    Hi Tara, What a great list of comforts you have. Coromandel is perfect and I even liked the RdP version of it. My comforts this season are gourmand sweet scents or iris scents. I have been wearing the heck out of Traversee du Bosphor and Ashoka. Need to replace my Chanel 31 Rue Cambon and am currently testing the EdP version. Hope you are well. Sandra xoxo


    • Hi Sandra,
      Lovely to see you, especially as it must be all go at yours right now.
      Your perfume choices are as classy as ever. I find iris comforting too. Val and I weren’t convinced by a number of the new EdP versions but as I recall, Coromandel came out unscathed.


  9. I love the teaming of autumnal shades, tastes and smells in this post! And envy you your wearing of bold lipsticks. I am going with a bit of red gloss on nights out but that is about it. And I should get down to some soup making which is one of my few culinary sklls, hehe, but a recent run of work and this and that seem to intervene. I have been avoiding all but the radio news headlines, and finding solace in First Dates, Gogglebox – and knitting! Tea cosies are my new thing, as you know. Oh, and drinking wine (*not* mulled) and attending a flurry of gigs in November have also helped lift the spirits.


    • You’ve been so busy of late, V, it’s no wonder soup-making has gone out the window. It’s nice and easy to do though when you have the time.
      Avoiding the news is a good idea. I was wondering if I should do that but it’s hard to dodge. I like to read Twitter on my tea break and that’s still full of it all.
      First Dates and Gogglebox are great escapism. Knitting must be so therapeutic and you can’t beat a good gig. I wish I could enjoy a nice glass of wine – or even a cup of coffee – sometimes!


  10. Hamamelis

    I love the Pullman trilogy too and always hope that my daemon still will manifest 😉 I also enjoyed the Eleanor of Aquitaine trilogy (starts with the Summer Queen), and one thing is clear, the human condition was always a mess! The simple things and smells are always a blessing, mist over the fields, sweet autumn scent in the woods, my dog and cat’s funny relationship, my husband’s smile in the morning! Perfume is such an enrichment, I’ve been wearing Andy’s Rose Chyprée (another rose!), and various Mona di Orios, and Calling All Angels. I don’t watch the news for a bit, too depressing, and try to do my bit at local level.
    Our first franchise studio in the UK will open in December, near Sheffield, and our way towards fitness maybe for you, fit in 20 minutes per week, no shower and changing necessary. Those 20 minutes are intense, but then you’re done! Very suitable for non-responders, I am one!


  11. Have never heard of the Pullman trilogy. I am gonna order some poetry tomorrow and will add the first book to it. Can give it a whirl huh? The l’Artisan sounds interesting. I’d love to paint my nails but just can’t with all the dough I work with. I’ve been thinking of what a comfort scent is for me all day. Kiki Extrait would probably fall into that category along with Bois de Iles Extrait. Yep – those are the two that offer me the most peace. Comfort food would be a chunk of Cheddar! But I love a good soup if someone else makes it. Red lipstick or golden gloss are my two favourites at the moment. Estee L have new goosses out that are absokutely amazing.
    Fantadtic post Tara. More. Much love. xxxxx


    • Scuse the million typos. Masterchef and typing at the same time is not a good combo. 😂


    • I don’t know how you are with fantasy books Val, but hope you like it.
      I was wondering if you’d ever tried Passage d’Enfer as you haven’t found an incense you like. I’ll give you some next time round and we can see.
      Kiki Extrait and BdI are first class comfort scents. I’d expect nothing less from you.
      Interesting to hear about the EL glosses.
      I’ve been eating smoked Bavarian cheese every day lately. I think that’s a sign of the state of things 😉


  12. Crikey

    Nice coincidence! I paired Rebel and Coromandel the other day. (And I love the His Dark Materials trilogy–I remember the awful long wait for the third one, having discovered Pullman’s writing just after the second came out.) There’s a lot of Bois des Iles going on, too, and Fille de Berlin, paired with darker and darker red lippies. I have even branched out into the dark purple that Dior released with their recent mattes (though it can blot down to rather a nice violet too) which seems like a good layer of battle armour on these shorter and shorter Edinburgh days wrapped in freezing fog.


    • I love that it turns out a few of us have been rocking Coromandel with Rebel, Crikey. It’s clearly the perfect autumnal lippie/perfume combo.
      I much prefer starting a series when it’s complete because that wait can be excruciating. I have never minded with the Chronicles of St. Mary’s though because they’re all quite self-contained.
      I’m waiting for it to get a bit colder before I crack out the BdI but it’s clearly a lot colder in Edinburgh. Maybe I should try Fille de Berlin in chilly weather. It is a fave of mine.
      The Dior purple sounds great. I haven’t tried any of their lipsticks yet.


      • katiecooke

        oh, the Chronicles are such fun. I started them on the release of the fourth, so had a nice reading binge with those when I found them. Have you read any of Paul Cornell’s shadow police books? (Only three so far.)


        • katiecooke, they are so much fun. I’ve read all the short stories too and there’s one about Markham coming out soon that I can’t wait for.
          I don’t know the Paul Cornell books so thanks for the tip.


  13. I have basically gone nuts this year ( but weren’t you already? I hear you cry): the world and the dark currents have truly got to me as well. It is ESSENTIAL, spiritually and psychologically, to have some cocoon time to regain some sanity.


  14. It’s finally cooler here, so I started enjoying my amber perfumes. And I’m doing much more cooking. I can’t say that I love cooking in general, but both my vSO and I suddenly started craving home-made meals, even on those days when we used to eat out. Tomorrow I’ll experiment with potato-leaks soup.
    I plan to wear a nail color but I can never find time to do my nails 😦 I should try to do something… Maybe this Sunday? And I still want to get to the store to try Rebel!
    Reading your post was also very comforting somehow. Thank you.


    • I’m the same. I don’t really enjoy cooking but this year I finally kicked relying on processed food and started eating much healthier. It’s surprising how much weight I lost as a result without being on a diet as such. I think many of us are feeling the need to hibernate and the cooler weather adds to that. Enjoy your ambers.
      I’m sure you’re way to busy to maintain a manicure but hope you did manage to pamper yourself a little today. I reckon Rebel would totally suit
      Thanks for the lovely compliment. I really appreciate you taking time out to comment.

      Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.