What is that lovely smell? 5 Great scents to make your space that much more special.

Great design is a combination of different elements that come together in a harmonious way to create both a visual experience but ideally, also one that engages the other senses.
Here are my 5 recommendations for scents that will make you wonder where that lovely smell is from.

  1. Le Labo
    Have you ever walked into a space and marveled at the design but also paused to say- what is that fabulous smell??? That little added hmmm moment adding to your immediate experience of the space.
    That happened to me at the Gramercy Park Hotel a few years back. I was sitting in one of the lobby lounge areas in front of the fire place when I had such a - what is that smell?? moment. In a really good way.I was not going to leave without knowing where this scent hailed from. That day I discovered Le Labo. These days, Le Labo is quite well known and have even been purchased by Estee Lauder, but at the time, they were just starting out and had just opened their flagship store in Soho. Cade 26 was the scent and has been a favorite of mine ever since, along with it’s close cousin. Still today, Le Labo remains one of my favorite scented candle makers and is always something I try to keep at home.
  1. diptique
    Known for a magnificent collection of fruity, herbal and spicy fragrances, you really can’t go wrong with any selection from this Paris based company. If I must choose however, here are a few of my top selections-
    Vetyver- A scent diptique rightly describe as an earthy pleasure.John Galliano- A wild and sophisticated scent. Santal/Sandelwood, earthy and beautiful. 34 collection- Every single scent in this collection is absolutely lovely. By the way, this is the perfect time to try these scents out because diptique is having a sample sale that runs through tomorrow!
  1. Byredo candles
    Hand made in France and all in black wax, these candles are both beautiful and they smell amazing. Some of my favorite pics from these guys-
    Bibliotheque for the Patchouli, leather and Vanilla, Bohemia for the Geranium Rosemary and Sandalwood and the Loveless for the perfect combination of Mandarin and Black Cedarwood.
  1. Izola
    For a less costly option I would go with this choice. Priced at about 38$ a candle, Izola has a range of beautiful scents including Lavender, Jasmine and my personal favorite the Sandel Wood.
  1. Bath and Body works Fragrance Wall Flowers
    With a wide variety of seasonally changing scents, this great product from Bath and Body works is at this point a staple in my home. Candles are great, and often produce a more concentrated effect for the period of time they are lit. But the wall flowers have an added advantage of working non stop, as long as they are plugged in. When I first tried these upon a recommendation from a friend, I had serious doubts but, alas, I will do anything to give my NY apartment a boost of some Mahogany Teakwood or Lavender Linens. One try was all it took to get me hooked. This product is surprisingly strong and lasts for weeks on in. As far as home scents go, this one is a game changer.

Picks for the perfect bar cart

I love a good bar cart. Whether in an office, a study, or in a living room it’s one of those things that make a room feel more special. Thankfully these days there are so many options to chose from no matter what style you’re looking for.
Are you looking for a more modern option or a classic Great Gatsby look? Here are a few options that cover it all.
1. Lidsey bar cart from Dot and BoThis classic bar cart is beautiful, clean and would make any room feel more glamorous. Framed with gently antiqued bronze-toned metal, the cart feels like it comes from older times but fits beautifully in any interior today.

  1. Walnut bar cart by RoostThis beauty is inspired by mid century minimalism and clean lines. A modern and elegant option that combines a beautiful walnut wood with a brass detail that makes the piece more elegant and unique and definitely the most masculine of the bunch. One of my favorites for sure.
  1. LibationsBar Cart from Crate and BarrelThis cart is the one I chose to go with for my living room. It looks even more beautiful in person and is just a clean and easy option to go with. The cart is built with iron and brass plated finish which gives the cart a cool sexy look. The top shelf is tempered glass which is another beautiful detail. Bottom shelf is antique mirror glass and a final touch of leather wrapped handles. The materials work beautifully together and make one gorgeous bar cart.
  1. Terrace Bar Cart by West ElmComes in both polished Nickel and Antiqued Brass, this cart is affordable and beautiful. Inspired by deco design, the lines are clean and structural.
  1. Cheval Bar Cart by Jonathan AdlerThis cart is on the pricier side but if you can afford it, this is a true classic. A glamorous and beautiful option. Crafted from antiqued brass, with nickel and lucite accents and yes- you’re seeing a sculpted horse head finials! If you’re looking for an option that screams glamour this may be a good way to go.
  1. Dapper Bar Cart by Dot and BoAlso on the glamorous side, this bar cart by Dot and Bo is so much fun. Three shelves provide ample space for bottles, liqueurs, candles, bar accessories or whatever else you want to display on your cart. The over sized wheels are beautiful and certainly noticeable.
  1. Prost Bar Cart from Crate and BarrelThis option is clean, contemporary and beautiful. Iron frame and shesham wood with curbed metal corners make this piece feel modern and unique.If you’re looking for a more contemporary look I would seriously consider this option.
  1. Three tier Rolling Cart from Urban OutfittersThe most rustic of the bunch, this is a cart/ shelving solution on wheels. With three wire mesh selves, this cart offers plenty of room to display bar goodies or books or any thing really. Fun and affordable!

Now you can get to the fun part of styling your cart but that’s a whole other blog post to come!

Tokyo Heaven- 10 Must See Sites in Tokyo

Even before traveling to Tokyo, I knew I would love it. There is something about the Japanese people, their language, their culture. I knew I would fall in love with this city and the people.
As a little girl I moved from Israel to California at the age of 9. Not knowing English very well, I attended an ESL class (English Second Language) where most of my friends were Japanese. I was fortunate enough to not only learn about this beautiful culture from my classmates but I also spent so much time with them that I began to pick up the language. And it is a beautiful and unique language that often times captures and communicates the human spirit like I believe, no other language does. I knew very early on that this is a special place. From that early age, Tokyo was on my travel list. 25 years later I would finally go!
I landed in Tokyo on a Wednesday afternoon. First thing I noticed about this magnificent city was the view. Many of the hotels lobby floors are located at the higher levels of the city’s buildings so the view is fortunately unavoidable.
I came equipped with a list of restaurants to eat at and places to visit which helps because Tokyo is quite a large city with a population of roughly 13.5 million people. Compared to other large cities, this sounds quite crowded and busy but you would never know it by walking around Tokyo. The city is one of the cleanest cities I’ve seen and in 5 days there I heard the honk of a car just once (yes, it was that quiet that I actually remember that). There is such a level of respect for the environment that it is rare to see any trash at all let alone on the street. That respect is felt also in the interaction between people.
I only had 4 full days to spend in the fabulous city, but I made sure to make the most out of every minute so I have quite a few fabulous recommendations for any one lucky enough to visit.
1. Mori Art MuseumTokyo much like London, Paris and New York is a city packed with culture. There are many museums, galleries, shops and shows to visit. One of the better known contemporary museums is The Mori Art Museum. When I visited, the main museum showcased an exhibition dedicated to Zen Buddhism Philosophers and their writing. Some of the writings of D.T.Suzuki were showcased as well as Buji Kore Kinin, The work of John Cage and Hakuin Ekaku. All speaking to different aspects the Zen tradition. Beautiful exhibition that embodies so much of what you feel when walking around Tokyo- you can just feel the zen! Some of the other exhibitions were interactive and as a visitor you can participate in the art which is a very special experience. The Mori museum is also home to one of Tokyo’s most magnificent city views where one has a 360 view from high up in the sky. The museum and the city views definitely make my “must visit” list in Tokyo.
2. Sensoji ShrineThe Sensoji Shrine or Sensoji Temple is one of many shrines Tokyo is known for. Located in Asakusa, the Sensoji Shrine is the oldest and one of the most important Buddhist shrines in Japan. Legend says, the temple was built for the godless of mercy in 628 and completed in 645. Just by walking around you can feel the magnitude and importance of this place. When approaching the temple, visitors walk through a large outer gate leading to the main temple. Comprised of one main hall and a few adjacent structures, you can easily spend a few hours roaming around the beautiful grounds. This particular shrine comes with a fun bonus! It’s adjacent to an open street market called Nakamise with traditional Japanese goodies.3. Tsukiji Fish MarketSuper cool, very authentic and the variety and amount of fish and seafood could make your head spin. This market is an absolute must while you’re in Tokyo and if you’re disciplined enough to wake up at 3:00 am then you should definitely check out the famous Tuna auction. Every respectable sushi restaurant in Tokyo makes sure to have someone at the market every morning as early as 3:00 am to make sure they have the best and freshest fish available and trust me, when you go to one of these places, you can taste the difference- the quality is out of this world! Very unique experience and there’s lots to taste from at the market itself too.
4. The Imperial PalaceThe Imperial Palace is the main residence of the emperor of Japan. It’s a large area to cover, but on a beautiful day it’s like taking a walk in a magnificent garden. Surrounded by moats and massive stone walls, the palace is located at the center of Tokyo. From Kokyo Gaien, the large plaza in front of the Imperial Palace, visitors can view the Nijubashi, two bridges that form an entrance to the inner palace grounds. The stone bridge in front is called Meganebashi (Eyeglass Bridge) for its looks. The bridge in the back was formerly a wooden bridge with two levels, from which the name Nijubashi (Double Bridge) is derived. Worth a visit especially if the weather is nice and a must if the cherry blossom are in full bloom.
5. Meiji Shrine Another one of Tokyo’s famous shrines, the Meiji shrine was built to commemorate the emperor’s role in the Meiji restoration. This emperor is also known for opening Japan to the west in the 19th century. Visiting the shrine is known to show respect to the Japanese culture and history. To say this place is beautiful is an understatement. Comprised of a few structures and gardens, it is serene and peaceful and absolutely beautiful. Walking in the garden feels almost dream like. Prior to entering the shrine area you will find a cleansing station where one can cleanse his or her hands and mouth prior to saying prayer. On Sundays, (Lucky for us it was Sunday:)) you are likely to see a wedding procession take place. This is quite the site and I would highly recommend going on a Sunday just to witness this beautiful event.

Ok it’s time to delve into some serious foodie talk..
6. Kozue restauranAt the Park Hyatt Tokyo features traditional Japanese cuisine. There’s an added bonus to this restaurant which is that the view is out of this world! Turns out everything I’d heard about Tokyo was true. You really do feel like your on another planet. In the best possible way! You want to make some time for the meal as it is a 6 course dinner and it’s nice to be able to take it all in. The Park Hyatt Tokyo is also home to the famous New York bar known to feature one of the best views in Tokyo. You want to make sure to either make a reservation or have some time to wait if you’re going to visit the bar. One more fun fact about the Park Hyatt Tokyo is that this is where many scenes of Lost in Translation were filmed. Definitely worth the visit if only for the view.
7. Sushi time! Sushi KanesakaA tiny 10 seat restaurant hidden from plain view, Sushi Kanesake is a real gem. Sushi restaurants are in every corner in Tokyo and many of them weather higher end or a simple neighborhood place are better than almost any Sushi you’ve ever had outside of Tokyo. Sushi Kanesaka is on the higher end with meals served Omakase style which means Chef’s choice. It’s not only because you don’t have to deal with the menu unless you want to order Sake, which we certainly did, but also, you’re constantly surprised by what’s to come next. Small delectable plates along just keep on coming one after the other, like a dancing feast. It’s true what they say about sushi in Japan- once you’ve had it you realize you’ve never actually had sushi before.
8. Sushi Yoshitake Again, a tiny hidden restaurant. Even smaller than the first one with a total of 6 seats, all sitting at the sushi bar in front of the chef and sous chef. This time too the meal comes Omakase style and again, this was an absolutely magnificent meal. Not only the food itself but the whole show- the knife skills, the order and meticulousness of the chef, the variety of fish that I personally had never seen before. All comes together to produce an experience that is so unique, beautiful and truly memorable. Tokyo really is a Sushi lovers dream.
9. Gonpachi On our third night we decided to change the choice of menu and went to a Japanese restaurant famous for being the inspiration for a famous Kill Bill sword fight scene . Once inside, you can see how it would be inspiring. The atmosphere is lively, there’s great music, every guest is welcomed with a loud welcome announcement from the host, and the vibe of the restaurant makes you feel like you’re a part of a show. The food is delicious and the variety would leave no one hungry. In contrast to the two previous sushi restaurants that were a bit expensive this one is much more affordable. Great for both large parties and flying solo.
10. Ukai-tei It was time for our final lunch in Tokyo and without even realizing it, we saved the best for last. In Omotesando there is a traditional Japanese meal served in several courses in a beautiful open kitchen where the chefs “perform”. We took a steak course that was out of this world. Every bite of every course was no less than divine. The view is great so that’s another bonus. When lunch was over, we were escorted to a dessert room- a nice touch. The room is reminiscent of a beautiful cafe in Paris and a selection of delicious desserts is presented. After dessert is served, it’s not over yet. A beautiful cart is presented with a variety of chocolates and goodies to choose from along with coffee or tea. One of the best culinary experiences of my life. We were then off for some shopping in the super cool neighborhood of Omotesando. This area not only has some major brands like Celine and Givenchi, but also super cool stores in the side streets that come out of the main shopping street. Allot of restaurants and cafes and a young Japanese crowd make this area feel very lively. You can easily spend a day of shopping, eating and walking along the beautiful streets while getting a first hand account of some of Tokyo’s fabulous fashion. It was unfortunately time to leave Tokyo. What turned out to be one of the best trips I’ve taken. Next time however I would make sure to leave time Kyoto which I hear is equally if not more magnificent. Until then..

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