The art of bathing lies in cleansing the body and rejuvenating the mind. In Turkish and Moroccan hammam/bathing ritual, this is achieved by scrubbing the body with black soap in a steamed space to alleviate the stress and strains of everyday life. Some spas add scented candles for the added benefit of aromatherapy and calming effect of soft light.
In the past, luxurious bathing rituals were not limited to hammams alone but also existed in the private baths of some. Marie Antoinette was known to have a ceremonious bathing regimen and took her baths wearing a loose fitting flannel chemise created by her perfumer Fargeon so as to not expose herself to the gaze of her ladies in waiting. Marie insisted on frequent baths and her bathroom at Versailles still exists with simple dove grey walls and a sloping tiled floor for the water to drain away.
Marie commissioned soaps scented with herbs, bergamot and amber adding drops of essence of lavender or essence of lemon in her bathwater. Her baths were perfumed with sachets containing a mixture of blanched almonds, pine nuts, linseed, lily and other assorted herbs and oils were placed in earthenware dishes to purify the air. Such were the preparations for a luxurious bath.
These days washing with a bar of soap is looked upon as a luxury of the past when people pampered themselves and took time to enjoy every day experiences like reading books or sitting for meals at a beautifully laid out table.
Unwrapping a bar of soap that comes in a beautiful package and smelling the subtle scents gives us a pampered feeling, relaxing us, and for this reason bar soaps are experiencing a resurgence.
Beautifully wrapped or boxed scented soaps make great gifts for a variety of occasions and some of the boxes can be reused to store small items. Scented soap bars made from plant ingredients are more environmentally friendly and can be stored in a dresser drawer to fill it with the delicate aroma of scented soap.
Is the appeal of a bar soap nostalgic or a small bathing accessory that promises a luxurious spa like experience? In either case we can allow ourselves to be charmed by a rejuvenating cleanse with a sweet scented soap bar.
"Fragrances are imbued with the magic to transport us. In a split second, their nuances, their accents and their vibrations sweep us away into either the past or the future".
Elisabeth de Feydeau
See our Collection of scented soaps in This N That
The name Birkin brings to mind images of the coveted luxurious Hermes Birkin handbag. But how much do we know about the fashion and style of celebrity icon Jane Birkin who was the inspiration behind the famous Birkin bag. Well before the Birkin bag came into existence this trend setting icon was rarely seen without a wicker basket hanging from her arm instantly making wicker and raffia bags popular and fashionable. Jane B's style was bohemian easy elegance and created an unforgettable look with her wicker basket.
The luxurious Hermes Birkin bag was created for Jane B in the 80s based on her need to have a bigger bag which could hold all her items. Later on Hermes introduced Birkin handbag limited editions in exotic skins with a waiting list of 2 years or more. Jane Birkin's name was now associated with a handbag that was in complete contrast to the carefree wicker basket look. Perhaps it was the spirit of the 60s and 70s era where the image of flower girl and carefree attitude was so in fashion, whereas, the Birkin bag was a product of the opulent 80s that craved decadent luxury. Fashion repeats and we believe the wicker basket look is making a comeback once again!
Women all the over the world have been captivated with the story of how the idea of Birkin bag was conceived and countless books have been written celebrating the Birkin. One such book is "Bringing Home the Birkin" by Michael Tonello, a former makeup artist and hairdresser who moves to Spain to sell Hermes luxury scarves on eBay and discovers the demand for Birkin. Written in an engaging and light hearted travel memoir style, Tonello describes his experience of acquiring and selling Birkin handbags. The reader is transported to Michael Tonello’s world of luxury, travel, socializing and humorous encounters all to sell the coveted Hermes Birkin bag and all things Hermes.
As a celebrity icon Jane Birkin was the name that launched the Birkin handbag by Hermes, however, what has kept it as one of the most sought after handbag despite the hefty price tag, is the fact, that it is promoted as a bag that one cannot just walk into the store and purchase but has to be acquired after years of waiting.
That is not to say the wicker basket look is no longer available for devoted followers of Jane B's french chic style, in fact, there are quite a few designers who produce newer versions of the original Jane B basket for those who love that look!
When it comes to traveling the effortless chic look may not come naturally to everyone. Shopping at the last minute within a budget can be overwhelming. If you have no room to splurge, don’t despair. You can always get great style inspirations from the globetrotting veterans who have mastered the cool elegance of stylish travel.Here is a list of essentials that will make you look put-together as well as keep you comfortable.
So time has come to look at popular fashion trends for this year and what will be trending in 2015. Here is what some of the leading stylists are predicting for 2015.
Accessories are huge!
"Faux bijoux are the greatest asset to a wardrobe and costume jewelry is all about style''- Iris Apfel.
Most people have a smart casual dress code for every day and would like to look good without looking like they are trying. Show off your style by accessorizing your everyday wear with a piece of jewelry to add impact and polish to your look. If you want to transition from day to dramatic evening, keep your favorite statement accessory in your bag and go from day to evening in a second. From Celine’s shoulder grazing earrings to tribal statement necklaces, there is a huge variety of dramatic jewelry styles to select from.
"I HAVE ENOUGH JEWELERY"- said no one ever.
Style Trends, Fabrics and more...Retro / Vintage: The 60s and 70s style inspiration has been and will continue to have a strong influence.
We are delighted to write this first post on Bijoux Closet’s updated site about Fashion over time.
Have you ever wondered how was fashion and lifestyle captured before fashion magazines became commonplace? This question was answered by Dr. Gloria Groom who presented a fascinating illustrated talk titled ‘Manet: Fashion and Fetish’ on November 7, 2014 at Bata Shoe Museum,Toronto. The stylishly dressed Dr. Groom explained about the role that fashion and bourgeois lifestyle played in French painter Édouard Manet's work.
Édouard Manet born in 1832, was the eldest son of an official in the French Ministry of Justice. Manet depicted social scenes of Parisian life in his paintings which often included very detailed images of women and men’s clothing. In the late 1800s scenes of bourgeois life were in vogue. It could also have been Manet’s own deep interest in fashion that led him to paint exceptional details of clothing in his paintings such as “the Balcony”, “In the Conservatory”, “A Bar at the Folies-Bergère” and “Le Printemps”(Spring) which fetched a price of sixty five million at a recent auction at Christie’s. The scenes and style of clothing depicted in some of Manet's paintings even though fictional were considered far more daring than what was socially acceptable at the time and caused a big sensation.
“Le Printemps” a Manet masterpiece depicts actress Jeanne Demarsy in a floral dress and bonnet taking a walk in the Luxembourg Gardens as a tribute to the season of spring. In his painting “In the Conservatory”, Manet depicts a fashionably dressed young lady, a boutique owner sitting on a bench gazing in the distant while a man standing behind the bench leans forward to look at her. The details of their ensemble are fascinating and convey that the couple belonged to the style conscious bourgeoisie.
All the Impressionist paintings at the time of Manet depicted urban life, fashion, being out and about in the city and capturing contemporary ideas. Perhaps Impressionist painters such as Manet could be considered as pioneers of fashion photography who fused fashion and surreal social scenes to create pictures that manage to captivate people and remain conversation pieces long after their time.
Le Printemps by Manet