Monday, July 6, 2015

My two cents on (portable) scents


So woo hoo, I am back in warmer climates, having escaped Australian Winter (which can be quite cold where I live), for the perennial warm weather in South East Asia.

This month will be a hectic one, travel-wise, and I'm not complaining one bit (I am an eternal wanderluster).  Four countries in four weeks, starting with Malaysia, then on to Thailand, followed by a few days in Singapore before I head home. I will have less than 24 hours at home, as I fly out the next day for New Zealand!

Traveling with two little ones for the South East Asian portion of my trip means I will be packing as light as I can.  The great thing about traveling to warmer climate means lightweight clothes and compact shoes like sandals and thongs, yay! I have also downsized my toiletries, packing my favourite Sunday Riley oil in a sample dropper bottle, and cleansing wipes instead of bringing my cleanser.  Usually I will pick just one perfume (not that I have that many, my two favourites are Prada D'Iris and Serge Lutens's Fleur D'oranger), but this time I have packed some Impulse Fragrances instead.  The great thing about them is that they're so lightweight, and don't require my usual careful wrapping (to protect a glass bottle) then placing them in a ziploc bag (to prevent spillage).  They are also so easy to pop into your handbag for a top-up when out and about for the day (which is much appreciated in hot humid weather!).

I used to associate Impulse with deodorizers, but they are a perfume in a spray (the first of its kind), having received a makeover mid-2014 by one of the top fragrance experts in the world, Anne Gottlieb (who in the last 22 years has crafted some of the world's best loved scents including CK Obsession, Eternity and CK One, Marc Jacobs Daisy, and one of my favourites, Christian Dior J'adore).

My favourite kind of scent is the kind that is discreet, and  makes me smell clean and fresh, like I just came out of the shower (which is why I love my Prada D'Iris), and I have found my match in Impulse's 'Merely Musk', which blends lime and sandalwood to produce a clean and fresh perfume, that is unexpectedly discreet, fresh and floral.
What about you, what kind of scents do you prefer? Fruity? Floral? Oriental?

 Overnight leather bag: Nomadic (weekender available from The Iconic), Handbag: Balenciaga (available at Net-a-Porter), Sandals: Birkenstock all-black leather (available at The Iconic, Nordstrom, The Dreslyn, Need Supply and Barneys), Camera: Instax Mini Neo 90 (available at Selfridges and Urban Outfitters), Watch: Larsson Jennings (available at Matches Fashion, Net-a-Porter and ), Hat: Lack of Color Boater (available at Free People and Need Supply)
Lightweight and inexpensive, you can throw any of these 9 fragrances in your bag and off you go..
 Daily essentials.
Overalls: Zara (sold out online, but similar one here), Tank: Gap, Hat: Lack of Color Boater (wide brim version available at Free People and Need Supply), Bag: Balenciaga (available at Net-a-Porter), Espadrilles: Chanel, Fragrance: Impulse


You can find Impulse fragrance at Priceline. 

And more info on:

Instagram - @ImpulseFragranceAUS
Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/myimpulseImpulse 
Impulse Website - http://www.impulsefragrances.com.au/ 


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Monday, June 29, 2015

Much love for Kelly Love


 Every so often I discover a new label that I become very excited about, and such is the case with Kelly Love, which I discovered sometime last year.  London-based designer Kelly Love originally hails from Down Under, and prints hand drawn feminine yet contemporary etchings onto silk and cotton, which sit alongside luxurious outerwear made with beautiful fabrics sourced in Europe and the UK, predominately leather, mohair, jacquard and wool.  Now, you all know my love for beautiful textiles and outerwear, which explains my love for Kelly Love, and she does both so beautifully.  I am even more enamoured with her upcoming AW15 collection 'Blues before Sunrise' , which will be released in August.  I am waiting with baited breath, as I am seriously head-over-heels in love with every single piece.

The collection is named after Leeroy Carr's song 'Blues before Sunrise', which inspired the designer to explore the historical towns of South Carolina in the Deep South of America.  Prints of wildflowers, thistles and succulents on a background of contemporary checks wash over silk blouses and dresses. They are feminine but not overly so, sitting alongside heavy leathers, Italian Alpaca and structured tailoring to create a perfect juxtaposition of textures.  And the knits, oh the knits!  This is the first time Kelly introduces knitwear to her label, and the result is just gorgeous, beautiful knits like a hand knitted roll neck sweater and chunky cardigans in hues of nude pink, olive green, French navy, smoky grey and buttermilk I just want to snuggle in.

This designer is going from strength to strength, recently collaborating with Anthropologie on a capsule exclusive collection.

I have her 'Flawed Beauty Coat' and literally get stopped to receive a compliment on it whenever I wear it, I asked Kelly for some images of her upcoming collection to share with you all, hope you love them as much as I do.
You can find Kelly Love at:


Need this knit in my life...look at that texture!
 How beautiful is this print? Love!
 My beloved 'Flawed Beauty Coat' - the Italian fabric on this is just stunning, a lightweight (yet so warm) mix of silk and wool, simply divine!
 Fluid two-toned trench? Yes please!

 That print and that texture - match made in heaven.
 Ok, I keep tossing between the Buttermilk knit and this Cactus knit, perhaps I need both...
LOVE a good jumpsuit, and this one is just gorgeous!

pics above sent upon request by the designer

Me and my Kelly Love 'Flawed Beauty Coat':

The blush tones and texture on Kelly Love's 'Flawed Beauty Coat' is simply beautiful...
Hat: Sarah J Curtis, Boots: Chloe Susanna (available at Forward and Net-a-Porter), Coat: Kelly Love, Sweater: Super Youth
 Vintage hat from Millay Vintage

pics above are mine via iPhone/Instagram.

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Wednesday, June 10, 2015

My Indonesian Travel Diary Pt 2: Nihiwatu on Sumba Island


Cue Tony Bennett: "I left my heart, in Sumba Island"...

There is so much to love about Sumba, its untouched natural beauty, the culture, the people, the smiling children who wave excitedly as you drive past them in their thatched roof houses, and Nihiwatu, the only resort on the island.

 We left Bali to travel 400km west on an hour-long flight to reach this island (see Part 1 of my Indonesian Travel Diary here), after which we had the choice to ride an open-air jeep or an air-conditioned vehicle sent by Nihiwatu Resort.  We chose the jeep, which was a lovely way to enjoy the 'Sumba vibe' on our hour-long drive from the airport to the coast.

  Spread over 567 acres of land on the edge of Sumba, Nihiwatu Resort is surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, from tropical forests, to rice fields and grasslands, as well as a stunning two and half kilometres of beachfront protected by headlands.  Out of the 567 acres of land only 65 acres are committed to development, in an effort to preserve the islands untouched beauty, and prevent it becoming the next Bali.  The resort itself is luxurious yet not pretentious, retaining the local charm with its steeply thatched roofs, and large kasambi tree trunks for support columns, sumbanese Ikat tapestries (which you can purchase at the resort's boutique) and black and white prints of local villagers hang on ochre stone walls.

The original founder of the resort, Claude Graves ran the resort almost as a non-profit establishment, giving back to the Sumbanese community by establishing The Sumba Foundation, aimed at alleviating poverty and eradicating malaria on the island by operating free health clinics and sinking wells in the nearby villages.  Guests often volunteer to help during at the clinics during their stay.  Burch explains that the indigenous population is in dire need. Geographical isolation and a short rainy season mean that Sumba’s inhabitants have always faced hardship. But over the last eight years financial crisis and political uncertainty in Indonesia have interrupted regular aid, and famine and disease have threatened the future of the islanders.  Over the past 13 years, the foundation has set up more than 15 primary schools, built 48 water wells, five clinics, supplied 172 villages with clean water and reduced malaria by 85 percent in neighbouring villages. The resort employs more than 90 percent local Sumbanese people and guests are encouraged to visit the villages and donate generously.

The resort was recently sold to hotelier James McBride and investor Chris Burch, who share Claude's vision. Thankfully there was no attempt to change the terms, and McBride and Burch aim to grow the foundation whilst preserving the island's beauty and its culture.

You can do anything or nothing at Nihiwatu, or both.  Cozing up and relaxing pool-side at the villa, or spending time on the sand or sea is a very inviting way to spend the day.  But there is also an extensive list of activities offered by the resort, from water sports (spearfishing, stand-up paddle boarding down Wanukaka river through the villages, snorkelling, scuba diving, and let's not forget surfing - the island is well known for its left break, attracting surfers from around the world), to their on-site and off-site spa (Nihi Oka) for those who want a pampering session, to short 'excursions' to the Rice Fields, or the Blue Waterfall (incredible!) or a Nihi Oka Spa Safari experience (scroll down for more on all three).  There is something for everyone.  There is also horse riding, and a kids' club.  I am now plotting on returning with my little ones along next time, they would absolutely love it here (as have I).

This is a place where one forges unforgettable memories...

 Seriously the bed of my dreams...

 One of the two amazing outdoor showers at my Villa

 Enjoying the view from my very own private plunge pool on the verandah...
  The view from Omback restaurant (where breakfast and dinner are served)
Beautiful food a la carte (great to minimize wastage) - mangosteen for breakfast? Yes please!

 If you feel like staying in, you can have breakfast on your verandah instead, or anywhere on the Resort.
  Dinner right by the beach...which is where lunch is also served.

 The resort is also rolling out a raw vegan menu, curated by Melbourne-based Simone Baldwin, which was oh so delicious! These falafels and zucchini pasta were just amazing!
When you don't feel like walking the Resort's extensive grounds, you can simply call for a Tuk Tuk
On Tuesdays, the Resort hosts an incredibly fun and beautiful Jungle party.
Nihiwatu's Turtle Sanctuary - this little guy hatched only a couple of hours prior, and was going to be released back into the water shortly after.

The view from the Yoga Platform at Nihiwatu is just breathtaking, wish I could start every morning like this - group sessions are held twice daily, and you can also arrange for private sessions.
(photo by Chloe Paul)


 View from the Yoga Platform
The traditional, beautiful and well-known Sumbanese 'Ikat' (hand-woven textile) - work in progress on the Resort's grounds.
You see that rightmost black Ikat on the bottom-shelf? It came home with me, along with a Sumbanese hat, also from the Resort's Boutique.
Each villa has their own 'butler', we had Robert, who was an absolute delight!  We really fell in love with the Sumbanese people and their kind, generous and warm nature...
On the private beach of the Nihiwatu Resort...untouched beauty

 The resort has numerous water activities on offer, including snorkelling, stand-up paddling, scuba diving, and fishing.  This was the fishing boat we took out one afternoon with the hilarious South-African 'waterboy' Paul...

Just a 15 minute drive away from the Resort, is their off-site Nihi Oka Spa.

Nihi Oka Spa sitting pretty

 Guests can choose from a great 'menu' of treatments, which are given in beautiful private treehouses overlooking the resort's two private beaches.
 Pristine waters...guests are encouraged to stay the day here, have lunch in one of the treehouses, wander

Couples who massage together stay together 
(photo by Chloe Paul)
 Where rice fields meet the sea...Nihi Oka Safari
 Blissed out after a deep tissue massage...

The 'love' tree on one of Nihi Oka's private beaches



One of the highlights of my stay was the trecking excursion to the island's Blue Waterfall (only discovered in recent years).  The treck through the forest and the beautiful and majestic waterfall itself are something I will never foreget.  The resort organized a picnic which we enjoyed atop a mossy rock right at the edge of the waterfall....unforgettable!

Our local guides foraging the area.

 Another lovely excursion on offer is to visit the Rice Fields, where you can also receive Spa Treatments with a beautiful view like this
The view of water buffalos in the field from my open air jeep (you can treck to 'Rice Island' or elect to go by car, I chickened out and went by jeep while hubby did the treck)


Hubby's tour guide Tiger, who is an incredibly warm hearted, resourceful and talented man...He asked whether those who trecking were thirsty, and nimbly climbed up a coconut tree to cut down some coconuts...you cant get coconut water fresher than that!
(photo by Mr Brigs)

Beautiful rice terraces.

Living (and lunching) on the edge...BBQ lunch organized by the resort which followed an incredibly session of reflexology with this view, amazing.

  Swing with a view...
 The incredible spread prepared by the Resort...Indonesian food at its best.  I fell in love with both the Sumbanese and Balinese sambal. I later told a lovely lady by the name of Jenny of my love for these sambals, and she kindly asked the chef to print me the recipes for both! Priceless.

Of course I couldn't resist jumping on the swing...
(photo by Jasmine Howell of Friend in Fashion)

All images taken by me unless otherwise stated .
(clicking on images will allow you to view them in a larger format)

Thank you Nihiwatu and Leading Hotels of the World for the unforgettable memories! 


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