I’m a materialist. I like things, and while I don’t allow my enjoyment of things to supersede the importance of human relationships, for someone who is very sensory driven, such as myself, things are a constant source of entertainment and amusement. I don’t ascribe to the school of “less is more” –more is clearly more, and if given the choice of having more or less of something, unless it’s some chronic disease or money owing, I’ll generally take more. I’m not a hoarder (in fact I get a real sense of accomplishment surrounding the throwing away of things), but I totally understand how that happens. It’s the contemporary version of the Victorian cabinet of curiosities, really. A need to cling, to keep things, to arrange them, taxonomize them, view them and assign a space to them in the inventory of your mind…I get it. The closest I can get to that though, is a robust book collection, and you really never can have too many books, right?
One of my favorite aspects of the digital revolution and the coming age of the robots (if you don’t think we’re only a commercial break away from being the Jetson’s, you’re kidding yourself!), is that I can have tons of books downloaded onto my phone or tablet and can access any of them at any time…providing there’s enough battery life on whatever device I happen to be using. It’s just great! Although all of these electronic devices are really cool, and I for one think they simplify life and have no time for those people who think that such devices are the downfall of the human species, there are still some non-electronic things from which I derive great pleasure and this post is going to be about three of them: Bombay Sapphire Gin, Opium cologne by Yves Saint Laurent, and roller ball pens. Stay with me here.
First, Bombay Sapphire, just looks so iconic! With Victoria, Empress of India, emblazoned on the label and that blue-tinted bottle, there is just something effortlessly exotic and yet familiar about the design of this liquor cabinet staple. In addition to the fact that the gin inside is just right, just dry enough, with just enough lemon and coriander to taste, there’s something wonderfully old-world about this spirit which is surprising considering it was only launched by IDV in 1987. Still, its effortless cool causes my mind to jump back into another place and time, with the weight of the Star of Bombay hanging from my neck. Another drink, anyone?
Next, and this is another one with loads of cool factor, is YSL’s Opium pour Homme. This scent manages to be spicy and fruity in the most perfect way. Although the spice is slightly more dominant, on the whole, this cologne isn’t just for evenings out. While it’s a bit pricey, it’s worth every cent and never disappoints. Unlike some spicy fragrances which go cold quite easily, Opium matures with body heat into a decidedly masculine, yet genteel fullness that neither overtakes nor recedes. Parfumeurs Jean Amic and Jean-Louis Sieuzac walk a fine line between sophistication and unbridled masculinity with this one. Opium pour Homme is a masterpiece and is sure to add that little extra something just when you need it.
Finally, this last one may seem a bit incongruous considering the glamour of the previous picks, but I can’t get enough of rollerball pens. No, I do not mean ballpoint pens! Ballpoint pens are terrible and one needs some sort of codex of prehistoric iconography to even begin to decipher what they’ve written. Rollerball pens, are the cooler, better read, and intellectual big brothers of the ballpoint. They’re cheap, they make for clear and fluid handwriting, and they come in a variety of colors (yet, I still prefer the traditional black and blue)…what’s not to love?! These nifty utensils require none of the push of a ballpoint pen and will improve your handwriting by leaps and bounds once you get the hang of it. Nothing looks better or more refined than a handwritten “thank you” note from one of these! Go out and grab a pack, you won’t regret it!
All in all, I’d say it’s alright to find pleasure in things. Things are important. Sure, so is all the other stuff, and it’s naturally best to be a well-rounded person who is able to find pleasure in varied pursuits, but who doesn’t like to have their favorite things? Favorite things are valuable to our experience, they bring us comfort and familiarity and those are things that are going to come in mighty handy once our robot overlords start calling the shots! 😉