Wednesday, May 4, 2011
Savon, et Livres
Originally posted on La Vie En Fifi, 6 April 2009
Two things I cannot do without (or rather cannot refrain from purchasing) are lovely soap, and books. Not when on a strict(ish) budget, and apparently not when travelling.
On my 3½ week European trip several years ago, where I took a backpack because I thought that’s what you do (imagine me checking into the Millenium Hotel in Kensington, London. The Concierge’s face was something else. So unchic). I bought stacks of delicious olive oil soap in Paris and books in London.
What was I thinking? Both purchases were near the beginning of my trip, and I really regretted their impulsive acquisition when trying to fit everything into my bag in Rome.
But when I arrived home, the half a dozen bars of soap, very old fashioned and very French looking, with a vaguely medicinal fragrance took me back to the little side street chemist in Paris I bought them from, every morning in the shower for months afterwards.
The books, not so much. I could have bought them at home, and eventually I sold them to a second hand shop. It hasn’t cured me though, and the bookshelves are constantly being rearranged to fit my new purchases.
I’m very particular these days though on what I spend my money and bookshelf space on. If it’s a novel I can read it from the library. Only keepers make their way home for good. Either favourite fiction, or non-fiction I think I will reference in the future.
Op shops and the Salvation Army are a great place to browse for books too. I have found so many that are on my wants list. Books that I wouldn’t have gone into Whitcoulls to buy, but when they are 50c or $1 I’ll give them a good home. And others that are out of print so aren't even available from new bookstores, even better.
And as for my soap addiction? My husband has banned me from buying any more until I use up my stock. Currently I am enjoying Crabtree & Evelyn lavender. Not just for old ladies! The scent of Provence in my own bathroom - a serene way to begin my day.
Image of edible (not really) French soap from apartmenttherapy.com