Impetuous Hedonism ~ Jo Malone’s Basil and Neroli Candle

Jo Malone Basil and Neroli

The way my home smells is so crazy important to me. In order to function in the madness that is my work and life schedule I need clean, clear, beautifully lit spaces that smell just right.

It sounds a little righteous, and there was definitely a time in my life when I would have rolled my eyes at a statement like that and said something incredibly clever like “oh pu-leeeeze!!”

Smells bind with memories in our brains, and for a long time now spring and summer in my home have existed on an olfactory loop that mixes lemon with jasmine and honeysuckle, the heady fragrance of Capri and the Amalfi Coast.

I can walk into my home after the longest, most stressful day and in a single breath be transported back to the bluest ocean you’ve ever seen. It’s like magic.

I don’t like most of the mass market seasonal home fragrances. Over the years I’ve tried to give my son an autumn home that smells like pumpkin spice or vanilla and brown sugar and any of the traditional scents, but just between you and me, I can’t stand them.

I’ve been searching for a new home fragrance for a while now, and I’ve become fixated on the new Jo Malone Basil and Neroli.


I love verbena smells, this one also has a cedar grounding it somewhere in its base along with a sexy yet fresh white musk followed by basil up top and warm sun kissed neroli at it’s heart.

This fragrance still manages to transport me back to Italy with a single breath. 

the sun setting over beautiful San Gimignano

Evoking a hundred nights in Tuscany the basil note reminds me of evenings drenched in the golden sunsets of San Gimignano, sitting along the city wall, a glass of local vernaccia in hand,watching over the fields and vineyards and olive groves as the afternoon moves into evening.

late afternoon in San Gimignano smells like fresh basil

The neroli smells like the blood oranges we eat for breakfast on the terrace in Sicily, or while looking out the palace windows at the screaming blue of the Adriatic in Puglia. 

morning coffee on the Adriatic in Puglia

Blood oranges that ripened in the blinding heat of the summer sun in the Mezzogiorno. 

breakfast time by the sea in Puglia

On the island of Lipari we stay in a place named after orange blossoms that fill the garden looking out over the bay at the live volcano of Stromboli, and that line the street that leads down to Cannetto bay. 

Stromboli volcano smokes menacingly across the bay

The neroli in the Jo Malone fragrance is a heady mix of all these memories.

One of the things I love about this fragrance is that even with so many notes it stays fresh and light.  It’s not weighty or cumbersome. It makes the perfect end of year gift, be it a business gift, personal gift or gift to yourself.

I read that it was designed to reflect the green leafy spaces in London, combined with London’s impetuous hedonism.

I like that idea. Impetuous hedonism. 

The Jo Malone Basil and Neroli candle is available both online and I store at Nordstrom.

Silver Story ~ The Coveted List April 2016

I’m crazy about everything silver right now.
It started with a pair of Shelly’s London Emma Platform Oxfords that I found at Nordstrom. I lived all winter in a pair of black Prada platform oxfords, a silver pair will be great with summer skirts and dresses, and will just kill it with white jeans! 


Here is the coveted list for April and its all silver: 

1. Shelly’s London Emma Platform Oxfords $119


2. Lilla P Tape Yarn Sweater in silver $158


3. Lagos Oval Rope Caviar Bracelet $395

4. Saint Laurent Small Metallic Crossbody Bag $1990


5.  Manduka Pro Lite Yoga Mat in Silver And Navy $124

6. Charlotte Tilbury Luxury Eye Shadow Palette ~ The Rock Chick $52


7. Michael Kors Large Lexington Chronograph Watch $275


8. Nordstrom Home Cocktail Shaker $28


9. Jo Malone Peony And Blush Candle $65


Don’t you want some silver now??

The Modern Girls Guide To Hostess Gifts ~ 14 Great Hostess Gifts For The Holidays


It’s that time of the year again – the endless swirl of chic soirées, holiday parties, cocktail parties, dinner parties and events that make up the holiday season.

Your hostess has taken the time to plan, put together and now be the ringmaster of the evening (or whatever time the event is happening). Your job is to be the perfect guest, and to show up with an appropriate hostess gift.

What should you not take? 
Don’t show up with flowers – she already has her decor for the event planned, and when you are at the door with a bouquet she now has to stop what she was doing and go find a vase, deal with the flowers and find a place for them. 
Flowers make a lovely thank you gift after the event.

Don’t show up with wine. (unless asked to) Your hostess has probably planned wine pairings to go with the foods she is serving. A bottle of wine can be awkward too – are you expecting her to serve it at the event or save it for later? It can be easily lost or confused, so opt for something that at least looks like it has been well thought out.

Make sure your gift is wrapped and has a hand written card attached as she may not open it until the next day and will probably forget who gave it.

Here are 15 great hostess gift ideas for this holiday season:

Diptyque Candles


Whether you are gifting a single candle or a set of minis,  a Diptyque Candle is always a win. The fragrances are glorious, and the quality is exceptional. Diptyque is synonymous with chic, classic and luxe. For the holiday season try the Diptyque candle in Feu De Bois for a woodsy, wintery scent.



A little touch of Paris goes a long way. Decadent, glamorous and delicious, macarons are lovely to receive. Order online from Laduree

Bath Soaps


Sets of bath soaps or bath gels are always welcomed.

Where possible try to match the fragrance to the girl. If she is a floral girl a woodsy scent might not thrill her. If she is sleek and modern, get her something sleek and modern. If you aren’t sure try Aqua di Parma, their products are always chic and luxe.
A good rule of thumb is to avoid anything lavender – it smells like grandma.

A Coffee Table Book

Find a statement piece that matches her interests. A fashionista may love the Alexander McQueen: Savage Beauty (Metropolitan Museum of Art)


A girl who loves home decor may enjoy Ellen De Generes’ Home


A Leather Notebook

In a world that has gone impossibly digital it is still lovely to write notes by hand in a beautiful leather notebook.

A Bottle Stopper.


Lovely wine bottle stoppers make a great gift. I found this Michael Aram Botanical Leaf Stopper 
at Nordstrom

A Picture Frame.

If you don’t know her taste get something simple.

A Reed Diffuser From Jo Malone


A Jo Malone Diffuser is a super chic looking gift, and her fragrances are so beautiful – you will win every time.



I found these Ben’s Garden coasters at Nordstrom

An Interesting Or Exotic Tray.


She can use it to serve food, as a decor accent, to store her perfumes on – the list is endless but the gift is both lovely and original. I love this Rosanna Golden Alphabet Tray

A Throw 

Especially during the winter months a throw blanket is fabulous to curl up with, and they make wonderful gifts. Check out these Barefoot Dreams Cozy Chic Throws

A Tin Of Holiday Flavored Tea


Holiday flavored teas in interesting packaging make great gifts. Teavana has tea gift sets, and their White Chocolate Peppermint tea tastes like the holidays.

Drawer Fragrances

Everyone loves fragrances for their closets and drawers. These Diptyque Scented Ovals can freshen up any space, and make your clothes smell fresh and lovely.


A Himilayan Salt BBQ Plank.

Completely random, but what a great gift! I found this one on uncommon