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Beautiful and bizarre things to buy: From wearable art to a new-age lunch box

In this weekly compendium of objects of desire, also a Vanities column by beauty writer Geeta Rao

Bigsmall’s foot hammock.
Bigsmall’s foot hammock.

Hot seat: Bigsmall’s foot hammock

Chair-to-table height never quite right for your legs? A quick fix for such desk woes—put your feet up even when you work.; Rs1,399

‘Seeking Moksha’ by Nishant Shukla

Tracking titles: ‘Seeking Moksha’

A photo book that is informed by encounters with people seeking transcendence, just the way photographer Nishant Shukla was.; Rs3,200

MB&F Astrograph pen

Toy turf: MB&F Astrograph pen

Limited edition of 99 space-inspired, rhodium-plated pens; each handcrafted through 500 processes.

Get at an MB&F store when in Singapore next. Rs13.3 lakh

Sunil Mehra polka dot bow-tie

Dress circle: Sunil Mehra polka dot bow-tie

Just the right amount of quirk and class. Sunil Mehra, M-Block, Greater Kailash-I, New Delhi; price on request.

Dollmaker dress

More polka. This time on a silk-linen dress paired with a flowy block-printed organza gown.; Rs12,000

Wearable art: Kichu Antler Horn Necklace

Bold, gold-plated animal heads are typical of designer Kichu Dandiya’s jewellery. A must-have statement-piece.; Rs3,200

Vaya Tyffyn ‘dabba’

Keep it hot: Vaya Tyffyn ‘dabba’

This box by an ex-Apple employee promises to keep your lunch hot in futuristic space-age style. It comes in a smart bag that doubles as a table mat.; Rs2,990

Leica Ultravid 10x25 Compact Binoculars

Leica Ultravid 10x25 Compact Binoculars

Six lens elements with HDC coating wrapped in ostrich-patterned calfskin—a chic way to get close to what you’re looking at.; Rs54,000-66,000


By Invitation: Vanities

An ode to things you don’t need but must have


This week: Fusun from The Perfume Library

By Geeta Rao, creative director, Geeta’s List

Chapter 68—almost three-quarters into Orhan Pamuk’s The Museum Of Innocence—is titled “4213 cigarettes". It is a remarkable chapter in a book that examines the nature of love while invoking a sense of nostalgia for the Istanbul of the 1970s. This is the olfactory inspiration for “Fusun", the newest fragrance offering by Jahnvi Dameron-Nandan of The Perfume Library, a Delhi-based brand that describes itself as “the world’s first space dedicated to the design of perfumes based on memories".

In the book, the besotted protagonist Kemal collects each of the 4,213 cigarette stubs smoked by a distant cousin and lover, Fsun, over nine years. Each cigarette stub documents a memory but as readers, we must extract Fusun’s emotions from each stubbed cigarette—resentment, frustration, love, violence, defiance and joy.

How does one distil conceit into a smell? What does obsession smell like? How does one translate the smoke-filled memory of defiance into a fine fragrance? Dameron-Nandan begins with the un-gendered peony as the top note and then proceeds to move to olfactory notes that will give you a whiff of nostalgia and longing, even as they evoke a smoky haze of lost memories. Vetiver, sandalwood, cedar, nagarmotha, fizzy lavender, wine corks, the smell of grandmother’s old saris redolent of mothballs, suede, ink, cloves and bacon are just some of the notes that build into an olfactory mood. It is Fusun and Istanbul but also Indian and universal. It is an intense fragrance, deep and woodsy.

I’m in the shaded garden of a century-old Colaba building. A love poem has been chalked on the garden’s brick path that houses the Good Earth store, where The Perfume Library is retailing its line of fine fragrances. The old Taj hotel and the sea are bathed in that 4pm faux-winter light when Mumbai looks beautiful. For a moment, I have a memory flash of the uncluttered Mumbai I knew as a child. Blame it on Fusun.

Fusun is available at Good Earth, Colaba, Mumbai. Rs8,400 for 50 ml.

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