Author Archives: cookie queen

About cookie queen


Updates from the Cookie Kitchen.

Two weeks since the lockdown was lifted. Austria has had 16,358 cases, and 635 deaths, There are 190 in hospital right now, 31 of which are in the intensive care units. Figures taken from the official update Friday 22 May. No second wave right now.

Masks are everywhere. The most popular place to keep them seems to be hanging from the rear view mirror, followed up closely by in the pocket, or hanging around the neck, or pushed down under the chin. All the restaurants and bars have reopened, and life is moving on. The hospitality staff wear masks or visors. I had to laugh yesterday in Linz, I walked by a waiter serving on the terrace with his visor pushed up onto the top of his head in a kind of duck bill way. I fully understand. Talking with one of those plastic sheets in front of your face is awful. Still people are making the best out of it and not wearing them when you don’t have to. Except those that do, and these are the ones you see driving their cars with their masks on. Really? Folks are social distancing of course, to the best of their abilities. That did not include a huge group of leather-clad bikers at a burger stand yesterday. I guess there were around fifty of them, and at least thirty huge bikes. Definitely all one family.


Conclusion? Masks on public transportation, in supermarkets and shops, banks and post offices, gas stations and the like? Everyone is doing it. Still, I do not see it catching on long term.

The countries around Austria will open their borders over the next month, that is the plan. And I cannot wait to go down to the beach in Italy for a few days. I am also planning a few days in Switzerland mid-summer, and will go on the train. Scotland was on the cards but I don’t see a trip to the UK happening this year.

Restaurants are slow, business is not back to usual by any stretch of the imagination. Shops the same. Economy suffering. I cannot imagine how bad the tourist industry is gonna suffer. The government is really pushing the “Holiday in Austria this year and help the industry” theme. Fair enough.

Cookie Kitchen is back in swing, but not as busy as usual. Yet.



I have never had a Holy Grail anything, that is until now. Fanfare. Tara introduced me to the NARS Soft Matt Complete Concealer a couple of years ago. It is amazing stuff. However, she also gave @b.londeswuder a sample of the IT Bye Bye Under Eye Full Coverage Anti-Aging Waterproof Concealer. Well I tell you, the IT stuff is incredible. It’s amazing. The texture, the consistency, the coverage, the colors, the tube it is in. The tiniest amount is all you need. My daughter is as blown away by it as I am, we bought our tubes together. Superb stuff. It stays put, does not melt, does not dry out, and I have ordered back ups. The NARS comes a very close second, but second is not quite enough.


Malle’s Rose & Cuir has been my Scent of the Post-Lockdown.

So where y’all at?

“Apart from the sanitation, the medicine, education, wine, public order, irrigation, roads, the fresh-water system, and public health, what have the Romans ever done for us?” Monty Python. Life of Brian.



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Saturday 2 May – Friday 8 May.

Life is pretty normal for me now. The restaurants re-open next week which means I am back to my cookie prep this weekend, and on Tuesday I will have the first Cookie Run (my weekly delivery to Salzburg) in about eight weeks, I will be wearing Malle’s Rose & Cuir. The longest break I have had from work since we started the business some twenty years ago. Despite it being a bit weird at the beginning it has been a pretty relaxed time. I know the I am both privileged and lucky to be able to say that. So many people have lost their jobs, are still in lockdown, are having to teach, feed, and keep kids happy. People have died, people are sick. I am aware.

I delivered some cookies to a store in a huge shopping mall just outside of Linz. As you know masks are mandatory inside shops and buildings, public transport and so on. We spent a good hour walking around the mall and I tell you this. There is no way I am gonna do that again. By the time we left we were ready to freak out. It’s like you can’t think properly with the mask on. Now don’t get me wrong, I am not against masks in any way. They serve a purpose and were necessary to get us out of the lockdown. We drove on into Linz city. I have no problem going into a shop on the high street wearing a mask, when you come out you can take it off. That is doable. But a shopping mall? No chance, I hate them at the best of times.


In the Linz harbor, there are a lot of warehouses, containers, and cranes. The whole area has been pimped up by turning into a graffiti gallery. Some of the artworks are enormous. The artists came from all over the world, and it is quite a hotspot. It was not really open when we were there, but that has never stopped my husband and we were on our bikes so we just biked through the whole area. Very cool.

I am trying to call it physical distancing now, and not social distancing. Makes more sense.

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My cat continues to be fine, and I continue to find lurking bloody sneeze drops in the bathroom.

That is really about it. The drama of the last few weeks has died down for me, back to business as usual. Well, not quite. Gyms are not open yet, that will be at the end of the month. But I have done at least four proper workouts a week over the last eight weeks and am dead chuffed with myself. So —– I will pop back in a fortnight with an update and see how it is going with all of you in different countries. Anything dramatic should happen just drop it into the comments here at anytime, Tara and I wanna keep up.

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Lockdown Free Perfumes of the Week.

Chanel 1957 and Boy. Frederic Malle – Une Rose. Vero Profumo – Mito Extrait. Neela Vermeire Creations Mohur Extrait and a ton of Bombay Bling.

“And you may ask yourself, well how did I get here?”  Talking Heads.  Once in a Lifetime.



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Tomorrow at 07:30 I will be at the hair salon. And taking brownies for the reopening.


Saturday 25 April – Friday 1 May.

It is Friday morning and I am writing this update a little earlier than usual. It’s my radio show tonight and wanna get ahead of myself. Today is May Day and a national holiday here. It is also the first day of no lockdown. That ended at midnight yesterday. Seven strange weeks.

The rest of the shops will open tomorrow, the shopping malls, etc. I am guessing that the fire brigade, or police, or army, will be patrolling the parking lots of the bigger complexes. After living with the same furniture for seven weeks, IKEA would be your first stop huh?

Restaurants will open on the 15th, which is what I have been keeping my eye on, as my cookie business depends on that happening. Four adults will be allowed at a table, along with their kids if applicable. There will be social distancing between tables of course, but not at the table you are on. Obviously. Waiters and waitresses, and the cooks, will wear masks. You cannot choose the table you want to sit on. I think you may have to put on a mask if you get up to move around the restaurant or go to the bathroom, but don’t quote me on that.

Churches and some schools will open at the end of May, as will hotels and swimming pools. There are certain rules accompanying these openings, just ask me in the comments if you really wanna know. Universities will stay online for the moment.

We can meet up with friends again and legally go hangout with Oma and Opa for hours. Masks will remain mandatory in all shops, and on public transport. I will update you on theaters and cinemas and stuff when there is information.

Life has felt much more normal the last couple of weeks, but then when you look around in the supermarket and everyone is masked you know things really have changed. I mean I now keep a mask stash in the car. As one does.


This is my cat before the drama and after the drama and when there is no drama tbh.


Tuesday evening the cat suddenly got a nosebleed. And by that I mean the blood poured out of her nose and it did not stop for 20 minutes. We called the vet who told us to put her in her carrying box to calm down, and to go to the vet in the morning. The bleeding slowed down as she sat in the box, and if a cat can look green, she did. So did we. She started to rub her head on the bars of her box, and I chose to let her out as I was sure that would start it all up again. I Googled it and then stopped as I did not want to read about cat tumours. She went out and hung out on the balcony most of the night, and appeared normal enough in the morning. Until she went into the bathroom and sneezed. It looked like a scene from Carrie. I put her in the box and headed to the vet. We got seen immediately. He checked her mouth and teeth and throat and ears, took her temperature and all that was okay. He did say that if it was a tumour in the nasal passages he would not be able to detect that and we would have to go to a specialist. She got an antibiotic and cortisone and who-knows-what-else shot and we went home. Yeah well, three days later and she appears to be fine again. I know it could recur but hope it doesn’t as that would indicate a bigger problem. I went and bought her some special cat treats and some new expensive gourmet cat food, She rejected the lot. So far, so good.

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(Last week of the easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Frédéric Malle – Portrait of a Lady and Dans Tes Bras. Vero Profumo – Rubj EdP. Chanel – 28 La Pausa. Neela Vermeire – both of the Mohurs.

No lockdown, semi-lockdown, who-knows-when-it-will-end-lockdown? Update us all please.

“You keep me running round and round, well that’s alright with me, nothing, nothing, nothing’s gonna step in my way. Living on the ceiling, no more room down there, things fall into place, you got the joke, fall into place.” Blancmange. Living on the Ceiling. 1982.



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“Life’s a bleach and then you die.” George Takei Tweet 24 April.

Saturday 18 April – Friday 24 April.

Life is moving along. The rest of the shops will open on May 2, including hairdressers. I am seriously counting the days! Schools go back between the 4th of May and the beginning of June. Staggered. Restaurants and hotels as planned on the 15th of May. That should have me back with some sort of Cookie Run. I am not yet sure of the new rules that will be put into place but they will include masks somewhere. I honestly don’t mind any more. If wearing them is what it takes then so be it.

A friend lost her father to C19 last week.

I baked up and delivered some cookies to one of the MyIndigo (the company I supply) stores in Salzburg. They have a new guy doing their marketing and running their social media accounts. He wanted a picture of me. Not a hope in hell with this hair. So I substituted my head, as one does. I also saw how difficult it was to have a proper conversation with people whilst wearing a mask. And it turns out that the marketing dude used to work with Zenology, Jeroen Oude Sogtoen’s brand. (Also of Mona di Orio). Seriously.


Fragrant Tidbits

It was two years ago this week that I was in London with Portia. We also met up with Neela Vermeire and her husband at the same time, at the Art and Olfaction Awards. As mentioned in my last four CV19 posts, I have been wearing NVC Mohur EdP a lot. This week has been no exception, and my daughter (@ b.londeswunder) came home for a few days and stole my Mohur travel. AND the highlight of the week? I got a travel of Mohur Extrait in the post. Richer, more condensed, deeper, warmer smoother. Sandalwood and kid leather. Good things come to those who wait. I was and still am as excited as a child. That perfume can to do that to me is a rare joy, and one I live for.


Portia filming our thoughts on Roger Dove in Harrod`s.

My girlfriend drove down to the Italian border yesterday, just to see if it really was shut.

As we move onto the next stage of opening the country back up, and there will be many, I know that a lot of you are still in stricter lockdowns. My posts may get shorter, but I will continue them until the last reader is free. So please don’t stop with all of your updates.


(Still easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Hiram Green – Lustre. Ormond Jayne – Woman. Mona di Orio – Musc. NVC – Mohur EdP and Mohur Extrait. Vero Profumo – Rubj Extrait. Chanel N°5 Dry Oil.

“Do you remember the good old days before the ghost town? We danced and sang and the music played in a de boomtown.” JERRY DAMMERS. GHOST TOWN. 1981.



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This is a fairly rushed idea of the week with an eased up lockdown. I had planned to take some time with it but then the radio show happened. So much for sunbathing and writing a blog post.

Saturday 11 April – Friday 17 April.

I just this second got back from doing my Baking Bad with the Cookie Queen live radio show. It was planned that I return on the 1st of May, but they called today and asked if I wanted to do a two hour show tonight. I had nothing prepared but said yes anyway. So excited to go back. A little bit of normality. I have the playlists from the last ten show so just picked a few tunes from them. Apart from disinfectant bottles in every corner, and wiping down the equipment before and after the show, it was pretty much the same.


Easter was nice. We went to my in-laws after four weeks of isolation. We had a socially distanced schnitzel in the garden, and only stayed a couple of hours. Was a really hot day which made hanging out on the lawn, with them in their garden house ideal.

Tuesday saw the reopening of all the shops under 400 square meters, all garden centers, and the hardware and building supplies stores. This included our shop. In case someone is reading this who does not know – we have a bike and cookie shop. My husband was and is absolutely snowed under. Manic. So much work. It has gone crazy. High season overnight, There is usually bit of a build up around before Easter, but it was shut then. I made some cookies for some of the stores I supply, and delivered them myself, for them to give away to their order-and-pick up customers. The restaurants and hotels will not reopen until at least the middle of May, so we all do what we can to support each other.

We have to wear masks in all the stores now and also make sure our customers are wearing them too. Everyone is just doing it though. And you could feel a lightening up in the air with the change in the lockdown. Social distancing will go on for months obviously. There will be no large events until the 31st of August, if then. I cannot imagine summer here without all their different fireworks and fests and ……. but I know that is gonna be the scene for all of us, wherever we are.

Not much else to report really. Bumbling along in this new reality. I did have one morning where I burst into tears in the shower. Not that it helped much! I should know to have coffee beforehand. I washed and ironed our cotton facemasks and no way in a million years would I ever have imagined I would be doing something like that. And yet here we are.

If you feel so inclined update us here at ABR as to how your lockdowns are going. I know I have an easier time than many others. Don’t get me wrong, it has been the strangest of months, and my old life seems like a dream, but it has not been hard, not really. You wanna know what really stresses me, big time? The USA government and the lockdown stories there. I have had to stop looking at it, as it makes me so upset and so angry.


(Easing up) Lockdown Perfumes of the Week.

Malle – Rose & Cuir. Lutens – Un Lys. Jorum Studios – Trimerous. Hermès – Galop. Neela Vermeire – Mohur. Chanel – Bois de Iles Parfum.

I have to go to bed. I nearly had a normal day.

“Those who feel the breath of sadness, sit down next to me, those who find they’re touched by madness, sit down next to me, those who find themselves ridiculous, sit down next to me, in love, in fear, in hate, in tears ….” SIT DOWN. JAMES. 1989.



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Continuing with the luxury version of lockdown, and a flicker of light for next week.

Saturday 4 April – Friday 10 April. 

The Austrian government rolled out a plan this week, one of which in theory sounds great.  There is going to be a staggered opening of well, everything.  Small shops, meaning those of less than 400 square meters, will reopen on the 14th of April.  Next Tuesday.  Our business falls into that category.  All the bigger stores, and the HAIRDRESSERS will reopen on the 1st of May.  Which is really the second because the first is a national holiday.  The fact that we have just had four weeks of some kind of forced holiday plays no role. A holiday is a holiday I guess.    Restaurants and hotels are expected to be reopened in the middle of May, although I don´t know quite how that will pan out yet.  No public events until at least the end of June.  I have no doubt there will some kind of second wave of CV19, but with the continuing mandatory wearing of masks in supermarkets and stores, and with the lockdown rules staying in place until the end of April, I hope it will be a handleable amount.  I mean this virus is not gonna suddenly disappear in a puff of smoke, so we are going to have to learn to live with it.  Gotta get back to a life boys and girls.


I have been shopping with a mask.  Have had to remember to wipe off my lipstick before I put it on as my lips stick to the material.  Which was pretty funny the first time I wore it.  Breathing through my nose steamed my glasses up and trying to breath through my mouth whilst my lips were glued to the mask?  Honestly.  By the time I got to the checkout I thought I was gonna pass out.  Glasses totally foggy – the checkout lady, (I know all of them) took one look at me and started laughing.  And then I started to laugh and we both ended up in tears.  Seriously, gonna take some time to get used to this shit.  I have coloured cotton masks at the moment, but have ordered a couple of black ones.  Will have to color coordinate with  my outfits if they are gonna become a basic, so black it is.  There is technique to wearing them and I am getting better at it.

The highlight of the week was finally getting a date as to when the hairdressers would reopen.  (This would not be a CQ post if I did not mention hair obvs.). My stylists, (yes I have two actually) messaged me at the butt-crack of dawn on Wednesday morning.   What time would I like my appointment on the day that they open?  07:30 thank you very much.  So I will be leaving my growing out buzz cut until then, so we can put a style back into it more easily.  Whooohoooo.  Priorities.


Meanwhile I have been doing my workouts and bike rides.  No walking.  I have actually slowed myself down a little and have spent several afternoon on the balcony, reading and lying in the sun.  That has been good for me.  Also watched all the Bourne movies, as did my cat.  Looking forward to Killing Eve III starting next week.

So the shop will be open next week, which is brilliant.  It is high season for the bike part and we have most of our turnover in these couple of months, so it is kind of crucial.  Full  on cookie production will not start until the restaurants re-open, although there will always be some in the shop.  I am hoping I might have time to clean the windows in the apartment.

We are going to visit Oma and Opa for lunch on Easter Sunday.  They will eat first, inside, and then Oma will feed us at the table out in the garden, just as she does with the birds.  As fit and active as the are, they are both in their eighties and who knows what next year will bring.  No way we are not dropping in for a socially distanced schnitzel.

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Vero’s NAJA.  Lutens La Fille de Berlin.  Hermès Galop.  Malle’s Superstitious and Rose & Cuir.  NVC Mohur.  Chanel N°19 Parfum.

Peace out.    This too shall pass.

“Sometimes the light’s all shinin’ on me, other times I can barely see, lately it occurs to me,  what a long strange trip it’s been.”  Truckin’. The Grateful Dead.  









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The beginning of this week marked half way through the official four week lockdown. I am fully aware that I have the easiest of lockdowns but nevertheless continue to journal them.

Saturday 28 March – Friday 3 April.

Three weeks into the lockdown now, and it looks like we might have some easing of the restrictions after the Easter weekend. I am hopeful that we will be able to reopen our business. There is no doubt that our behaviour will have to change though, as a nation. Social distancing, face masks, number of people in the shops and so on. This is the foreseeable future. But so be it.

Had a Zoom meeting with some friends in different places around the world, including NYC. One of the guys was riding a bike through downtown. As he rode along 6th Avenue, he showed us the empty and desolate space. We all have disaster movies burned into our brains, and this looked like a scene out of one of them. Dismal.


Monday was still Monday, the mood matching. Woke up to snow and freezing temperatures, but that did improve throughout the day. Ran for 45 minutes in our underground parking garage. My knees hurt the next day, I bloody hate running, and in reality, it is gonna take more than a pandemic to get me to do it regularly. Which means I quit.

Wearing face masks in the supermarkets will be mandatory as of the coming Monday, and also where there are larger groups of people. I ordered a material one, which I should get tomorrow. There are some people walking round looking like stormtrooper rejects, I wonder if they can breathe at all?

I did vacuum this week, but things still not bad enough to clean the windows. Watched the third series of Ozark.


Managed a 42km ride on my carbon frame Rocky Mountain. I have been riding an e-bike for the last couple of years, and it is most excellent fun to be back on a light bike. We rode through the country side, where there is next to no traffic at the best of times. Nothing looked wrong, and made you wonder it was all just a dream?


Chris took grocery shopping over to his parents yesterday. They are well into their eighties and fall into the high risk category, although it did take someone in their town to give Oma a bollocking for doing her own shopping during the first week of the lockdown. We never come back empty-handed from their place and yesterday was no exception. There is a small biscuit that is very popular in Austria during the Christmas season. “Vanillekipferl” – and to some they are the Holy Grail of all the “Weihnachtskekse”. It is an unwritten law that these are only made at Christmas time. (Actually knowing the Austrians it probably is written down somewhere.) These are my very favourite biscuits in the whole world. Oma had baked me a boxful and sent them home with Chris. This act of kindness totally blew me away.

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It was Vero´s birthday this week.

I had a text from Neela early Wednesday morning saying “Trump is dead.” I knew that it could not be true, but confess to checking my BBC updates! (I assumed she meant that he was dead because of his horrific handling of the whole pandemic. ) Before I could message back I got another one – “April Fool.” Still laughing.


NVC Mohur – several times. Vero’s Rozy Extrait and Kiki EdP. Malle’s Superstitious. and PoaL. Hermès Cuir d’Ange.


A few people asked me if I could put a photo up of my buzz cut, on Instagram or here in the post. Over my dead and mangled body. But …. I spent the best part of an hour this morning taking selfies. Cringe. Close up ones, and then ones in the mirror. I sought help from my daughter, who suggested I try a few more poses. Scream. Seriously who bothers with this shit? But I did learn something from the close ups, apart from never taking them again – I have a lot more wrinkles on the right hand side of my face, no doubt caused from only ever sleeping on that side. Time to switch.


You guys know that I know how serious this is don’t you? May your weekend have some joy in it regardless.

“Sometimes in our lives we all have pain, we all have sorrow, but if we are wise, we know there’s always tomorrow.” Lean on Me. RIP Bill Withers. 1938 – 2020.



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Deadlines know no lockdown.  Here I am still running against the clock.

Saturday 21 March – Friday 27 March  (Writing this Friday morning.)

As I said last week we are doing the  “arse-in-the-butter” form of lockdown where I am living.  I cannot and will not complain for a second.  Yes it is serious. No it is not like in so  many other countries.  Our government tells us every day we cannot let up for a second in the way that we have to live out lives right now. Money will start to be paid out next week for those suffering loss of income.  Our shop falls into that category.   Social distancing has been in full swing for the last two weeks and and starting to show some positive results maybe, the predictions and cases matching what was suggested at the beginning. There are idiots.  There are corona parties.  But it is at this point a very small percentage. Some people are as dumb as wallpaper.

My husband went out and bought me hair clippers last Saturday.  Yes, that is an essential item.  I have been planning the hair buzz for the last couple of days, and am about to do it.  Today, 28 March at 18:30 CET live on Instagram.  Drop in since you will all be at home anyway.  Of course I am terrified, but the fear of my hair being too long outweighs it.


It was five years ago this week that Vero launched the two Rozys in Milan.  Memories came up in my FB feed.  (One of the terrible side effects of the lockdown is that I have reopened my FB page.).

Tara brought to my attention that David Goggins was gonna do a 60 minute live-on-social -media workout on Monday.  We did it together.   It was hardcore to say the least.  Squats, lunges, jumping jacks, sit ups, push ups.  10 second breaks if you needed one.  It took me two days to recover properly.  We are going to do it again tomorrow.   After we had finished the workout, we chatted briefly about David Goggins.  Tara told me how inspirational his book was and that I should read it.  Yesterday when I came home from a run, I found a copy of the book in my letter box.  Tara had a copy sent to me.  I cried, really.  It changed my whole day and cheered my soul.  Love in the times of Corona.  That kindness will remain with me forever.  I had to put the book down to write this post.


I made cookies during the week to share with the supermarket ladies and friends..  Baking makes feel I have some sort of control.


My mother kept journals for the last twenty-five years of her life.  Each year’s journal has a large envelope that is full of the postcards, magazine and newspaper cuttings, letters, birthdays cards along with it.  I have about fifteen years of the journals here in my home and the other ten years or so are still in the UK.  I brought the suitcase that I keep them in up from the basement and am starting to re-read them.   She wrote them all exactly how  she spoke, and it is a great joy.  It is particularly interesting to see that she wrote every single haircut she got down.  Sometimes with a little drawing of the new cut, and always commenting as to whether Jane or whoever had done a good job or not.  Those who know me will find that hilarious and haunting!

IMG_2773Some of Mum´s journals.  

I started to run this week.  Have not run in twenty years.  And I am smugly satisfied that I have not peed myself yet.

The UK is now on lockdown, and about time, and Boris J is immersing himself in his Churchill wanna-be role.  The country pulling together in that oh-so-British way.  I would expect nothing less.  I hope it is not too little, too late.  Having talked with people in NYC via Zoom, I just cannot imagine how terrifyingly bad it is there.


I am still wearing perfume.  L’Artisan Passage d’Enfer.  Neela Vermeire Mohur.  Hermès Musc Pallida Oil layered with Cèdre Sambac.  Chanel Boy.  Chanel N°19 Pafum and Lutens Iris Silver Mist in the evenings.


I have never been bored in my life, and I am not bored now.   My main concern is do I buzz my hair 20mm or 15mm?

Yes of course I know how bloody serious this all is.  It is a pandemic.  I am not stupid.

How has your week been?

“It’s the end of the world as we know it (time I had some time alone),  It’s the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine (time I had some time alone)”.   REM. 


There were around a thousand deaths in Italy over the last twenty-four hours, and nearly as many in Spain.  I dare not look at NYC. I have Italian friends who will have to lockdown even longer.  My heart breaks.



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The world over now we are all in some sort of lockdown.  Not just me.  I am a pretty up beat person, and have a very dark sense of humour.  I also have an extreme panic disorder.  Balancing them all is a skill I am having to learn.  And rather quickly.

I have no idea how these posts will be laid out, or how they will progress, which is fine since no one had a bloody clue about anything right now.

I live in a wealthy area, which includes a lake and mountains.  That does not mean I am rich.  What it does mean is that I can only comment on what is happening here in my vicinity.   ABR has readers from all over the world and I wanna know what is happening where you live.

I have been in permanent freak-out mode over the snail’s pace that both the UK and the USA have been moving at.  I see that thing are finally shutting down and people are being told to keep to the social distancing rules.  That means at least two meters away from each other.  And no you cannot go for a picnic, or a burger, or down the pub.  Nor to your friend’s house for coffee.  Absolutely NOT.

After mumbling to ourselves about how awful it was in China, but so far away, and then seeing it moving closer to home in Milan, (but spending more time wondering if the perfume show would be cancelled or not) we find ourselves in lockdown.

AUSTRIA.  Monday March 16th.

All the shops are closed.  Our business too.  Supermarkets, pet stores, banks, chemists, and the post are still up and running.  Otherwise it is deader than a dodo.  As many firms as possible have switched to home office.   Some of the counties are in quarantine. We are not yet.  We can go out and walk, ride bikes, or run.  We have to be alone or with people that we live with.   I was very touched when I walked  down a side street to the supermarket and ahead of me were two young boys playing football.  When they saw me approaching, they grabbed the ball and ran way up off of the road to get at least twenty meters out of my way.

I am as terrified of getting no hair cut as I am of the virus.  Already planning a buzz.  It has only just begun and the the sun is shining,  everyone is upbeat, this could be fun.


Tuesday 17th – Friday 20th

Wearing black latex gloves to go shopping obviously.  Can’t be doing the white ones.  I was slightly worried about my in-laws, 81 and nearly 88.  But when I called them they had been biking, preparing their potato patch for planting, and had made bread.  I don’t know what is happening in the cities, but it seems the lockdown is mostly working.  There will always be those who think it does not apply to them. We have a 34 year old prime minister, and him and his cronies, which also include a lot of women, are doing a great job.


My good friend left a chunk of fresh Parmesan outside the shop for me to collect.  Social distancing of about 4km. I see no reason to drop my cheese standards.   Supermarkets are full, and open normal hours.  Very quiet though.  People going out of their way to avoid each other.  Excellent.  Went for a bike ride with aforementioned good friend.  We kept at least two meters between us the whole way and sat on each end of along bench to talk.  Obedience is second nature to us.  LMAO.

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I brought weights and a bar home from the gym.  However weird this shit gets I will train most days.  I ride my bike for cardio and might start to run.  Probably not though,  I hate running.

It is Friday as I write this.  I can hardly bear to hear the figures of the deaths in so many countries.  Our lockdown was extended for nearly another month today.  Goal being 13th of April.  Somehow I doubt it.  It is a f***ing pandemic and I wonder what part of that people do not get?  But they will.


I was in no mood to wear any of my more regular scents, and found beauty in some of the less frequently worn of my collection.

Amouage UBAR.  Amouage Opus III.  Serge Lutens Tubereuse Criminelle.  Neela Vermeire Mohur EdP and Trayee.

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Share your thoughts , good and bad, positive and negative, and of course the perfumes you find yourself reaching for.  Many things unite us, but none more so than our fragrances.

Don´t stand so, don´t stand so, don’t stand so close to me.   STING. 








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Strange Tales from the Cookie Kitchen.

“When they kick at your front door, How you gonna come?  With your hands on your head or on the trigger of your gun?”  Guns of Brixton.  The Clash.  

This Tale takes place in the spring of 1990;  at our apartment in Amsterdam, just off of the Leidsestraat and but a two minute walk from the Leidseplein.   You couldn’t live more centrally.  It was my favourite apartment ever.

The apartment was on the first floor, and the flat door opened straight into one huge room.  There was a smaller room for storage and wardrobe, and a bathroom.  The stairs up from the main door were wooden and very narrow.


Our apartment was one of these seen here.


It was around ten thirty in the evening.  Chris and I were sat around watching TV with a huge, as in a brick, of Afghan hashish on the table,  the room full of the fragrant smoke.  There was suddenly a bang downstairs and the sound people running up the stairs, past our flat, and up the next two flights of stairs.  There was a bit of a party animal who lived above us and we wondered if there was a connection.   We were extremely stoned, and tuned to every single movement.


We could hear them coming back down the stairs, yelling and hammering on doors along the way.   We were totally stoned and everything was going in a kind of slow motion, our senses were on high alert.  As they reached our landing, Chris got up with the intention of  quietly opening our door to peek through it.

In what was precision timing, Chris cracked the door open at exactly the same moment as there was an almighty loud thump on it.

A guy in plain clothes, screaming “Police” came flying in through the door with his gun pointed straight at us, another with a weapon standing in the doorway, and several more backup outside.  He kicked open the door to the smaller room, and the door to the bathroom.  All the while with his gun at the ready.  This happened at extremely high speed.   I sat there staring.

As the cop started to leave, we asked them what they were doing.  He replied that they were looking for some people.  Chris continued by asking what they had done, to which the cop who had been standing at the door replied, “a lot.”   And they left.


A Smoking Gun. Roy Lichtenstein. 1968.


All the action, from coming in the door downstairs to leaving the building again, took less than ten minutes.  There were six guys and they were loud.  We found out the next day that there had been a robbery at the post office in one of the main markets in Amsterdam, not far from our place.   They had been told that the perpetrators were holed up in our building.

















Filed under Perfume Reviews