There has been a lot on my sensory dislikes so far, but I have so many sensory loves, seems only fair to list a few of my favourites.
1: Bear hugs. If I'm especially anxious, it's as though my skin disappears and I don't know where my edges are. There is nothing like a bear hug to remind you. There are a couple of people who will give me a massive hug at the start of a show or a fair and it's like having a reset button pressed. Magic.
2: Perfume. I don't drink, I don't smoke, but my vice is perfume. I have lots I favour, and I wear it according to my mood, or how I want to feel. Most are from 4160 Tuesdays, and the creative splendidness of Sarah McCartney. Lush, who I've been a lifelong user of, and made the first perfume I fell fully in love with (albeit under their B Never umbrella; it was Keep It Fluffy) make some of them, and I've just been testing Simon Constantine's ånd fragrance. So what are some of my perfume staples?
For comfort: Has to be 4160 Tuesdays' Creamy Vanilla Crumble which will be used to perfume my 'Llaeth' piece in the exhibition. The warmest, snuggliest, most comforting scent. Perfect companion to an oversized jumper, cold weather and a great 'coming home' feeling. If a hug could have a smell, here it is.
For fun: Another 4160 Tuesdays offering. This time #MrsGlossMadeMeDoIt. Strange name (it relates to a Facebook group - find the story here). My daughter says wehen I wear this she knows 'something good will happen'. Beautiful, turkish-delighty, candyfloss, happiness that is never too cloying.
For melancholy: Commes des Garcons 'Avignon'. I'm not religious in any traditional way, but find a lot of comfort in cathedrals and churches. Llandaf Cathedrals is where I head if I want to clear my head. I love the smell of it; cold stone, old wood, incense. I love the feeling of the building, the glass and the hidden secrets (I always say hi to the carved mouse hidden on a kneeler). This is straight up high church incense scent, and does the job when I need it.
For bravery: When I have to go out and do something public (like shows or meetings), you can probably get me in 4160 Tuesday's Centrepiece. It's very comforting and grounding, and also makes me feel rather fabulous and expensive. It's a warm, dry and very beautiful cloak to put on.
For migraines: I've had them since I was small, and they are hideous. If I can feel one in the ether), I reach for Lush's Smell of Weather Turning. Petrichor and minty coolness.
For Seasons: Spring comes in with Our Modern Lives 'Aquamarine - waves/wi-fi/clarity', another of the strings to Sarah's beautifully scented bow. It's a hit of sea in a clean, bright fragrance that makes me think of the oxygenating wake up of a beach walk. Love it. Summer is Wash Me In The Water, like a cooling hand on the forehead, this does the job perfectly. I love mint and this has it in the cleverest, least minty way possible. Autumn and Winter I tend to dive straight into cold-weather scents. Creamy Vanilla Crumble, mentioned above is a staple. Lush's Ginger is fantastic on a cold day, it's huge and warm and very pretty. I first tried it in the Cosmetics to Go days loooong ago when it came in a little crate. I'm also enjoying Bare by ånd fragrance. I spend a lot of time walking in the woods with my family, and this is a lovely reassuring, clean forest scent. Nice and calming.
There are more that I love, but these are my current list of heavy rotators.
3: The Woods. We have loads of beautiful walks near where we live. If I'm ever completely overwhelmed, this is where we head. That's our Good Boy Sparky in the middle.
4: NASA image gallery. Visual joy.
5: Music, obviously. Whatever floats your boat. I'm on spotify as Lydia Niziblian (who knew!) if you want to see the same thing I play over and over again!
6: The most perfect item of sensory joy, and we're coming up to the season for it!
Please tell me your sensory joys! I'd love to know what makes you happy. Either post below, message me or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Thanks for reading! The next post will be on a piece I haven't mentioned yet, and it's a happy one.