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Beautiful and bizarre things to buy: From wearable art to table tops

In this weekly compendium of objects of desire, also a Vanities column by Swapan Seth

Indessential by Payal Khandwala
Indessential by Payal Khandwala

Dress Circle: Indessential by Payal Khandwala

“As a student in New York in the 1990s, I often wore my sari with a tank, shirts or a T-shirt," says designer Payal Khandwala. Her Autumn/Winter 2017 collection, yet again, breaks the sari out of its traditional mould. Pictured here, a silk twill sari (Rs22,800) and a silk drop- shoulder shirt (Rs7,800); at

Wearable Art: Kaichi by Quirksmith

Kaichi by Quirksmith

If the scissor design cuts it for you, get it as a hairpin or earrings. 92.5 sterling silver earrings, Rs3,200, and hairpin, Rs2,100, at

Hot Stand: Bar Cabinet by Casa Pop

Bar Cabinet by Casa Pop
Bar Cabinet by Casa Pop

Made in teak wood, this bar’s facade features intricate embroidery on velvet.

At; price on request.

Tea Time: Matcha by Good Tree Organics

A superfood, matcha is a powdered green tea. GoodTreeOrganics delivers Ichibancha, or the first harvest, straight from a farm in Kyoto.

At; Rs3,000 (40 servings) for Ceremonial Grade, Japanese Matcha Green Tea; and Rs7,000 for Connoisseur Grade Matcha.

Table Tops: Clessidra hourglass by Venini

Clessidra hourglass by Venini

These hourglasses, around 9 inches in height, were first designed by Italian Murano glass artist Paolo Venini in 1957. Two different parts of glass are blown separately and fused together with a glass-blowing technique known as Incalmo.

At; starting from €680 (around Rs52,360).

Tracking Titles: ‘101 Haiku’ by Dinesh Raheja

‘101 Haiku’ by Dinesh Raheja
‘101 Haiku’ by Dinesh Raheja

“You and I sit here, in a pretty rose garden…and share prickly thorns." A Japanophile by his own admission, Dinesh Raheja’s 101 Haiku is set against a background of nature, with verses on mountains, seasons and celestial bodies, and more.

At; Rs150.


By Invitation: Vanities

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

No1 Rosemary Water

THIS WEEK: No1 Rosemary Water

Frankly, it all happened quite innocuously and just a couple of years ago. The mayor of Acciaroli, a happy hamlet in Italy, was instructed to conduct a census of the town.

A few weeks later, the bosses landed up outside his door and rapped his knuckles for numerical negligence. How on earth could the over 300 elders of the town be aged around 100 and upwards?

Now the Italians are lovely at several things. Keeping things down is not one of them. The story of a long-term study of the situation was out and soon the world press was all over the town like pepper sauce on a steak. The BBC stepped in. As did The New York Times.

David Spencer-Percival, upon gleaning all the press in September 2016, developed a certain inquisitiveness. He took the red-eye out of Heathrow and descended upon the town. Once there, he saw centenarians sprawled out on the beach: smoking, drinking, eating and making merry.

Galluped, he concluded that it was the wretched rosemary which was responsible.

Spencer-Percival returned to London, ordered in a batch of rosemary and chewed on it. But the taste was no better than a bitter memory. So he cut it into pieces, dunked it into a carafe of water and the water tasted just fine.

Convinced that he was no less than Alexander Graham Bell, he launched the No1 Rosemary Water earlier this year. It has compounds that enhance memory. It has eucalyptol that is used to treat dementia. It also has antioxidative factors such as phenolic diterpenes, flavonoids and phenolic acids.

On a recent visit to London, I did pick up a clutch of them. And consumed them with remarkable regularity.

Now, No1 Rosemary Water is available, at Harrods, London and on, in both still and sparkling varieties (£2.95, or around Rs260, for a 330ml bottle). I bought the still. And the results were sparkling.

Swapan Seth is CEO, Equus.

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