Autumn Shopping

It doesn’t really feel like autumn in London yet but that doesn’t stop me pretending, and a change of season is the perfect excuse to go shopping.

I thought I’d share my recent purchases with you – hopefully they’ll help inspire a shopping trip of your own!


Nothing is so evocative of time and place as scent. It transports you instantly, affecting your mood and emotions as you slide into another world for a moment. The glimmers of that world surround you like phantoms when you wear a perfume, flickering in and out of sight as you go about even the most ordinary of days.

Féminité du Bois

I always wear Féminité du Bois by Serge Lutens in autumn.  It’s warm and dark, full of slowly burning spices and brimming with cedar. A musky base brings a masculine edge to the sugary overtones of autumn fruits, and the violet glass bottle adds a dash of elegance to any table. The Candy Perfume Boy reminded me that it’s high time I replenished my stock, so I popped down to Liberty last week and here it is.

Féminité du Bois

Candles and Candle Holders

With autumn comes the reluctant shutting of windows, that in our little flat provide a doorway to the lush horse chestnut trees outside. In summer it’s like sitting in the canopy. Song birds often fly into the flat and sit, slightly confused on the backs of chairs, and bees happily harvest the flowers inside the flat as well as on the windowsill.

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Now that the windows are shut, however, some compensation comes in filling the flat with scented candles. I skipped across from Liberty to Diptyque, and picked up a Pomander candle (Liberty do of course sell Diptyque candles as well, but they don’t pop a handful of free perfume samples into your bag like Diptyque do).

I also found the most beautiful tealight holders last week in Eight Sq, Spitalfields. Designed in South Africa by Luna Del Mar, perfect sea urchin skeletons have been crafted in porcelain. Fragile and intriguing, when a tealight is placed inside and lit they exude a beautiful, honeyed glow that enhances their intricate design.

sea urchin candle holder

sea urchin candle holder

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Bird Feeders

This one is a little less conventional, but I miss having those songbirds popping in for tea, so I thought I’d encourage them to visit more often. I wanted to suspend a feeder on the side of each window, but the support had to be drilled into the brickwork and I didn’t think my landlord would appreciate that. Then I found these acrylic versions. They’re not as pretty as some feeders, but there’s a tray for seeds and supports on either side for balls of food – just what birds need to get them through the winter. I got the feeder online from here, then shelled sunflower seeds (less messy for the neighbours underneath us than seeds still in their shells) and balls of seeds and fat from the RSPB online shop.

window bird feeder

So far I’ve got two bluetits and a very angry robin visiting every day. One of the bluetits lands, looks around several times then grabs a sunflower seed and darts off to eat it under cover. The other bluetit likes to hang out a bit, nibbling on the balls of food and seeds before selecting a seed to take with him. The robin lands indignantly on top of the feeder a few times a day, glares at me and chirrups loudly. Sometimes he doesn’t even take any seeds, he just glowers at me. I’m sure he’ll warm to me eventually.

What are your favourite autumn purchases?

You might also like:

Shute Gatehouse   antler necklace   The Imaginarium, York 6