Two birthdays, one anniversary and one Valentines Day (call it kitschy but I still want my present, thank you very much!), Mr. Husband still has to “find” a gift that’s “good enough” for his
nagging precious wife. Or, in straightforward con language husband-speak, he keeps forgetting. Remembers the dates (which could be because I remind him every 30 seconds) but forgets that even a-decade-old relationships need a gift if you don’t want a seriously upset wife. Which is exactly what I am at the moment… cross beyond comprehension.
So, in a placatory move, he has asked me to draw up a wish list of everything that my heart desires. And he will (hopefully!) set about fulfilling it from top to bottom. Hence: presenting the Beauty Bucket List. Give me 25% of these goodies and I will be a happy, non-infuriated woman 🙂
Many, many weeks at a spa resort
Days packed with soul and body-soothing massages, indulgent walks through fragrant gardens, shunting out all the baggage of toxic living, languorous swims in sunny pools, crisp white linen sheets, sparkling juices blended to perfection, light-as-air spa cuisine, the rare sounds of silence… what’s not to love about a spa retreat? And about sinking into its fuzzy embrace for a few weeks, where you switch off from the rest of the world? And get glowing skin, drop those pesky excess pounds and detoxify at the same time?
Lessons in how to do up my hair
I can rock a super-graphic eyeliner, work a bright red lipstick and illuminate, shade or contour within seconds. I can even mix different perfumes to create my own concoction. But what I simply can’t do is a great updo. Call me lazy – or cursed with super-weak hands – but I just can’t do anything to my hair besides taming the frizz and ironing it poker straight. Time to step it up a notch, me thinks!
As you can see, perfume is clearly a major theme in my life. So, how can I not put the Osmothèque perfume museum and conservatory, located in Versailles, on my Beauty Bucket List? This splendid place preserves and restores old fragrance formulas, allowing anyone – professional perfumers and passionate perfume lovers – to study an impressive collection of fragrances. Only at the Osmothèque can you smell the exhilarating promise of the original Chanel No. 5 or sigh over the gourmand decadence of Parfums de Rosine Le Fruit Défendu, which was created by Coco Chanel’s greatest rival, fashion designer Paul Poiret.
A bespoke perfume by Roja Dove or Guerlain
This has been a lifelong dream: a signature scent made specially for me, to my specification, with my favorite notes. Especially if it’s by Roja Dove or Guerlain. Let’s see what it would include… hefty doses of sandalwood, jasmine and lavender, a little bit of blood orange and lemon verbena, some vetiver, a touch of leather… well, this is clearly a work in progress. Though with prices starting at €30,000 for a couple of bottles, a bespoke fragrance seems destined to remain a dream for the rest of my life. Even hubbies can’t be guilt tripped to that extent!
A few moments to sit and let my manicure dry completely
Half the time my nails go unpolished because I simply don’t have the patience to sit peacefully and watch the paint dry. Do you?
Have stayed miles away from this modern beauty staple because of the pain factor. Maybe it’s time to experiment. And be able to wear a bikini for playing beach volleyball at least once. Actually, scratch that. It’s my beauty bucket list… not a gift for the-man-who-forgot-all-about-my-gift!
Lessons at the Santa Maria Novella Farmacia
The Santa Maria Novella Farmacia is the oldest still-operating pharmacy in the world, though today its offerings are more of the perfumes, floral waters and mimosa creams kind. It dates from 1221, when Dominican monks started making balms, salves and medicines for their infirmary. Now the Florentine pharmacy still calls upon traditional preparation methods and recipes for its wares – including the legendary Acqua della Regina water that was exclusively designed for Catherine de Medici. It’s even housed in the extraordinary original building, which is replete with vaulted ceilings, ornate gilding, frescoes, walnut cabinetry, glass-stoppered decanters full of colorful potions, stained glass windows, bronze statues, and antique apothecary scales and mortars.
But what interests me even more is the adjacent building and it’s old medicinal herb garden, where the actual pharmacy products are made. Local ingredients are used whenever possible and each batch is hand made according to age old recipes and artisanal methods. This is where I want to spend a few days, studying and working along side these beauty artisans. I want. I want. I want. I want!
I love experimenting with my hair color… as long as the experiment remains within the confines of my hair salon. Many a hair dresser has despaired after giving me luscious red/pink/dip-dyed/purple locks, only to have me chicken out at the last moment and go back to the coffee brown shade that I have had since forever! Though, come to think of it, I haven’t seen my natural hair color for the last 10 years, so maybe that’s the one that would make for the most drastic change!
Extended stay in Baden-Baden
Scarcely has there been a town that blends together culture, glamour and wellness in such equal servings. Once the playing ground of Sisi – my favorite Empress – Germany’s Baden-Baden was the summer capital of Europe during the belle époque. Soon, it also became the world’s most renown spa town, attracting the rich and the beautiful (including Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, Tchaikovsky and Queen Victoria), who were attracted by the chance to rejuvenate, recuperate or flirt with the roulette wheel. I want to go there largely for the “taking the waters” – hot springs that well up from a depth of 2,000 metres, supplying the town’s 12 thermal spas – though the glittering casino, legendary museums and surrounding vistas of the Black Forest are tantalising enough in their own right.