12 July 2015

Favorites #1: June 2015

Image sources: Insight timer, imdb, Jo Malone, Deezer, my instagram

Here is a completely non original post idea today: a list of favourites for the month. Because these are among my favourite articles and videos as a reader. Because there are some discoveries I'd like to share with you. Because I'm grateful for enjoying these in my life.

A book: Consider Pheblas, by Iain Banks

After writing a Utopia for a short story contest, I got myself interested in Utopias written by other people. Iain Banks has created a whole world called "the Culture" - set in the far future, this is a utopian society in which humans enjoy the time and comfort to lead their life as super intelligent machines take care of everything else.

In the first book of the Culture series, Consider Phlebas,  one of these super intellingent machines, a Mind, has escaped a spaceship factory and hidden on a Planet of the Dead. As the Culture is at war with an alien species called the Idirans, a human called Horza is tasked to find and capture this Mind. But so are some elite Culture agents...

We have this idea that a Utopia, a society where everything works perfectly, would be boring. Iain Banks proves that it is not the case. Many science-fiction classical topics are woven here - human/alien relationships, eugenism and the artificial mutation of the species, artificial intelligence and synthetic life... This was a dynamic and captivating scenario, and a great sci-fi series discovery for me!

An app: Insight Timer for iOS

I'm trying to implement a meditation habit in my life. There are quite a few apps out there that promise to give a hand to help out with regularity and improvement (such as Headspace for example, or Calm, or the French one Petit Bambou). So far, Insight Timer is the one I've liked the most.

Insight Timer is a tool that helps set a custom meditation session, with gongs you can set to let you know how much time has passed. There is a community of users as well as stats for your own meditation habit, and free guided meditations you can use at the beginning. The experience is less guided or complete than a Headspace for example, but the app is free.

A film: Kingsman, directed by Matthew Vaughn

I don't go to the cinema much, but I do watch quite a few films when I travel abroad. This year, the film I've enjoyed the most was Kingsman. Starring Colin Firth as the main role, I expected the film to be some sort of James Bond parody (an English version of Austin Powers perhaps), so I wasn't too keen to watch it when it came out.

And how wrong was I! I must have forgotten how much I love British humor. Kingsman could indeed be qualified of a James Bond parody, but it is so much more. Playing with the codes of the genre, it is full of references, subtle humor, and touching characters. A pleasure to watch from beginning to end. And I now know the difference between Oxfords and Brogues.

A perfume: Vanilla & Anise, by Jo Malone

After enjoying "Wild Bluebell" for the lighter months of Spring, I've decided to turn to a more summery scent in June. Last year was all about tea and orange blossoms with l'Occitane's "Thé Vert et Bigarade", but a flight in Air Tahiti nui made me crave for Vanilla this year.

Vanilla & Anise is subtle and spicy, a warm and slightly sweet scent that blends perfectly with a sunkissed skin. I believe Jo Malone has definitely convinced me to become by go-to brand for luxury scents and these tiny pleasures perfume can bring in daily life.

A tune: This Marauder's Midnight, by Gabriel Rios 

I discovered Gabriel Rios via Deezer's "Flow" tool, which serves you with a custom radio automatically generated depending on your previous albums of choice. Gabriel Rios is a Puerto Rican and Belgian artist who produced songs mainly around guitar and vocals. And boy is this voice beautiful! Quiet and dreamy, simple but highly mastered, one of my greatest artist discovery this year.

A clothing brand: Laurence Doligé

This last discovery was a pure coincidence: I stumbled upon private sales in the middle of Paris one day, as we were leaving a Ramen restaurant in the Opéra neighborhood in Paris. The sale was initally hosting the brand Petite Mendigote, of which I own a very beautiful shawl.

However that day, it is a completely different brand that I discovered: Laurence Doligé. I believe it is one of these brands a tad too expensive for the fabric quality and made in Tunisia label, but I really liked the style of their summer collection, and offered myself a few reduced pieces thanks to the press sales. I probably wouldn't get any full price pieces though, as I prefer to support ethical or Made in France creators for the price they are offering.

That's it for the June 2015 favorites and discoveries. I won't risk myself to promise a monthly post, but I will probably write some more in the future if you like the concept. I certainly enjoy sharing some of my finds with you in such a "melting pot" article. Please do let me know what you think, my posting has been scarce these past few weeks, but I'm trying to find post ideas that would allow me to be more regular despite the little time I can dedicate to the blog these days. "Minimalism killed my blog", as Maja would say.


  1. I appreciate such posts as these! I have been looking for a meditation app and I will be happy to give Insight a try. Zeste de Soleil is my new summer scent. :)

    1. Thanks, I'm glad you like it! Let me know what you think about this meditation app, I like it so far but it's not very guided for beginners. Only the name of your summer scent sounds great :)

  2. great list. I may try the book you mentioned since I am in need of a good read! :)

    1. Thanks! I just finished Consider Phlebas and it was really enjoyable. With all the action and such, I think it's a perfect summer read for those who like science-fiction...

  3. Woot for our Gabriel Rios! He does have an angelic voice :). I loved Kingsman as well, it's so rare to find a lighthearted & entertaining movie that's still intelligent.

    1. Now that you mention it, it IS rare to find a light-hearted and funny movie which is also intelligent. It was really a great one :)

  4. I think i have a girl crush on you. You have such interesting thoughts, great style and you even read Banks (M.). Look to Windward is my favourite Culture story, it's sort of melancholy though, and perhaps better suited to autumn than summer beach.

    1. Thanks for your note, it's really nice :) I was wondering which Culture book to read next, maybe I'll get Look to Windward for the Autumn reads! It's interesting how we can meet like minds on the Internet, reminds us there are so many different people out there ;)