Home Decor Lessons, Courtesy of I.M. Pei’s Breathtaking New York Townhouse

Posted in Interior Design

Though it sold within months of appearing on the market, I.M. Pei’s New York townhouse — a four-storey bolthole in the middle of Manhattan’s Sutton Place — is a powerful reminder of the indelible legacy left behind by the Pritzker Prize-winning architect, who passed away last year in May. He was 102. More widely recognised for ambitious modernist structures — built everywhere from Hong Kong to Doha — Pei’s longtime abode on US soil is a similarly revealing aspect of his lifelong contribution to the built environment: Drawing on characteristic elements of modernist creative movements such as natural light, tactile materials and an uncluttered aesthetic — always informed by considerations of functionality.

Prior to the sale of Pei’s New York townhouse, Christie’s International Real Estate went to exhaustive lengths to document it for a new generation of luxury property investors. Most certainly, we won’t deny that having a multi-storey home in the heart of Manhattan hurts this home’s prospects on the market as an all-time gem of interior design but, as you’ll see from the images below, there are lessons to be gleaned (largely revolving around what Pei did with the place) which can be meaningful for a broader audience. Let’s dive in.

“A clean, well-lighted place”

I.M. Pei New York townhouse
(Image credit: Christie’s International Real Estate)

Upon purchasing the townhouse in 1973 (from a cousin of US president Theodore Roosevelt, no less) I.M. and his wife Eileen embarked upon an extensive multi-year remodeling of the building’s internal spaces. A plethora of new, custom-made features were added — many of which were of Pei’s own design. The most practically significant of these was an oblong skylight, which worked in tandem with a coiled spiral staircase as a prism through which to channel natural light to all of the floors below.

This conjunction (of a built, overhead light-well and an internal staircase) would eventually come to be known as a signature I.M. Pei feature — most famously incorporated into the design of the Louvre Pyramid (1989). Elsewhere, Pei was sure to add floor-to-ceiling windows throughout the property — all but guaranteeing the continuity of natural light between private and communal spaces.

Make materials matter

I.M. Pei New York townhouse
(Image credit: Christie’s International Real Estate)

A crucial part of Pei’s remodel was the widespread installation of new floors and build-in surfaces. As with notable public projects (i.e. the National Gallery East Building and the Mesa Laboratory) the architect favoured simple building materials capable of universal appreciation — no doubt by a breadth of Chinese, American, and European guests who crossed his domestic threshold.

I.M. Pei New York townhouse
(Image credit: Christie’s International Real Estate)

The majority of Pei’s home is floored in a combination of European marble and Tasmanian oak — materials chosen for their “lean and simple” style and capacity for adaption to various modes of interior design. Similarly, the four wood-burning fireplaces (one located on each floor) are framed by mantels cut from smooth soapstone; with the material serving to draw attention to the overall shape and design — once again, conceived by Pei himself.

Social space as centrepiece

I.M. Pei New York townhouse
(Image credit: Christie’s International Real Estate)

To be sure, the size (3,848 sq. ft.) and layout of Pei’s townhouse conferred tremendous boons on his ability to design a compelling domestic centrepiece: Between the dining room, internal staircase, library and private garden looking onto the East River, the property has no less than four settings for socialising. Nevertheless, depending on your lifestyle and the spaces at home which you gravitate towards instinctively, any one of the aforesaid are an illuminating starting point for your own modernist highlight. Bibliophiles would do well to take a leaf out of Pei’s tried and tested book — by turning literature into a focal decoration with the aid of ceiling-high, integrated bookshelves. Against this woody, neutral backdrop, you can dedicate more mental effort to the task of selecting the right furniture for the job — turning an often neglected part of the average home into a nook for work and post-meal chitchat.

I.M. Pei New York townhouse
(Image source: Christie’s International Real Estate)

In the event that you have to be blessed with a location as compelling as Sutton Place, a green-themed centrepiece is another obvious option. Rather than going for elaborate hedgerows or high-maintenance flowerbeds, the Peis opted to open up the majority of their backyard garden so as to take full advantage of their surrounds — including the East River and nearby Queensboro Bridge. This approach emphasises a high degree of restraint. For those looking to replicate this at home, decorative efforts work best when they are pursued with subtlety and limited to simple concepts like a few well-positioned pieces of outdoor furniture or a footpath between the internal and external spaces that is suitably engaging.

Randy Lai

5 Documentaries to Inspire A Home Decor Update

Posted in Interior Design

Tired of simply rearranging your furniture? Whether your home needs a fresh lick of paint or a brand new focal feature, here’s some home décor inspiration for design lovers, in the form of five design documentaries and series from popular online streaming platforms.

‘Abstract: The Art of Design’ on Netflix

The 14 episodes of this Netflix series offer extensive coverage of different fields of design with distinguished guests, including, among others, Ilse Crawford, Olafur Eliasson, Tinker Hatfield, and Bjarke Ingels, who discuss their respective fields of interior design, the design of art, footwear design and architecture.

‘Interior Design Masters’ on Netflix

If you like ‘Top Chef,’ then you will love ‘Interior Design Masters.’ Initially produced for the BBC, the reality TV series, which is now available on Netflix, pits aspiring London interior designers against each other in a competition to win a contract to design a bar in one of the British capital’s hotels.

‘The World’s Most Extraordinary Homes’ on Netflix

At a time when international borders are still, for the most part, closed, you can always choose to follow architect Piers Taylor and actress Caroline Quentin on their quest to visit the world’s most extraordinary homes around the globe.

‘Eames: The Architect and the Painter’ on iTunes

The first film to be made about the 20th century’s most famous design duo, ‘Eames: The Architect and the Painter’ offers a comprehensive investigation of the couple’s world, with archive material in the form of films, love letters, photographs and the extraordinary volume of objects produced by Charles, Ray and their staff.

‘Barbicania’ on Vimeo

A prime example of post-war British brutalism, the Barbican Estate is one of the architectural jewels of the British capital. Built over the remains of fortifications from the Roman city of Londinium, the estate is home to three towers: Cromwell, Lauderdale and Shakespeare. Structured like a private diary, the film tells of two directors, who are renowned for their work on architectural subjects, Ila Bêka and Louise Lemoine, and their exploration of this remarkable location.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.

Staff Writer

10 of the Most Iconic Chairs of All Time

Posted in Interior Design

To the untrained eye, a chair is a seemingly mundane object: expressing human beings’ need for functional seating in the various public and private settings life throws at them. And yet, throughout history, few pieces of furniture have stirred the heart and fired the imagination quite like the humble chair.

On a conceptual level, the exercise of designing a really good one transcends concerns of a technical nature to become something akin to an artistic process. Material innovation, practicality, beauty of form, craftsmanship — when done right, a great chair has it all.

Unsurprisingly, the heyday for such creations was the 40-year interlude between the 1920s and 1960s. The convergence of technological innovation and a widening of the European/American middle classes led to the emergence of the artistic movement known as ‘Mid-Century Modern’: the influence of which can still be felt today — in everything from our skyscrapers to pop culture. Naturally then, numerous chairs designed during that era have achieved the reputation of modern classics: here are 10 which we’re positive you’ll still be hearing about in 100 years.

1. Le Corbusier’s ‘Grand Confort’ (1928)

iconic chairs

Popularised by a 1985 advertisement for TDK Maxell cassette tapes, the ‘Grand Confort’ (or “cushion basket” as Le Corbusier himself liked to call it) made its auspicious debut half a century prior. Designed in tandem with architects Charlotte Perriand and Pierre Jeanneret, the Confort is in and of itself the epitome of simplicity: An elegant, open-worked chrome frame that is capable of being separated from the adjoining upholstery. Today, authorised Italian-made replicas may be purchased from Cassina and are available in a variety of single or multi-person configurations.

2. Eileen Gray’s ‘Transat’ (1927)

iconic chairs

For champions of modernism, ideas didn’t just come from obvious, consistently mined sources like biology or built structures. In the case of pioneering Irish architect Eileen Gray, her ‘Transat’ chair was inspired by the deck seats of a transatlantic steamer. The frame was shaped using complex joinery and held in place with a series of chromed brackets. Meanwhile, the headrest and load-bearing part of the seat consist of separate pieces. Despite the relaxed look, Gray’s design isn’t a simple template capable of being copied on a mass scale: That has made authentic period examples a coveted collectible, with those in excellent condition frequently fetching upwards of HK$90,000.

3. Marcel Breuer’s ‘B32/Cesca’ (1928)

iconic chairs

Like many of his Bauhaus contemporaries, Marcel Breuer sought to recontextualise traditional European arts and crafts for the modern era. This lifelong mission culminated in two of the most important furniture designs of the 20th century: The ‘B32/Cesca’ and ‘Wassily’ (more on the latter in a moment). Consisting of two pieces of solid beech fitted with woven cane inserts and affixed to a steel frame, the Cesca is one of the first modernist furniture designs to “exploit the possibilities unique to [its] material.” The bouncy, somewhat levitating sensation users get whilst seated has become almost as iconic as the chair’s cantilevered frame — explaining why it’s still so popular in 2020.

4. Finn Juhl’s ‘Model 45’ (1945)

iconic chairs

Under the broad remit of ‘modernist’ design, many enthusiasts have narrowed their focus to that movement as it appears in specific countries: Lovers of American modern have Eames, fans of Finland have Saarinen and those who gravitate towards Denmark will have heard Finn Juhl’s name crop up incessantly. The KADK alum’s magnum opus is undoubtedly the ‘45’ — an open-frame design that debuted at an exhibition held by the Copenhagen Cabinetmaker’s Guild in 1945. Easily one of the most comfortable chairs on our shortlist, it remains unrivalled to this day for how it mixes organic forms, sublime materiality and cradle-style ergonomics — the result of Juhl’s many years of research into posture dynamics and the ideal seat shape.

5. Hans Wegner’s ‘Papa Bear’ (1954)

iconic chairs

Many of the iconic modernist designers sought to marry pre-existing furniture styles with thoroughly up-to-date notions of ‘function.’ Hans Wegner’s ‘Papa Bear’ chair, which takes the basic tenets of the English wingback and sieves them through a Danish filter, is the obvious case study. Though somewhat smaller than its spiritual forebear — and nowhere near as streamlined in appearance as the chairs of Mies van der Rohe or Arne Jacobsen — the Papa Bear is an unrivalled fusion of traditional Scandi craft and nuances in form. It is, in a word, the sort of chair which ‘swallows’ its sitter whole — in a good way.

6. Verner Panton’s ‘Stacking Chair’ (1960)

iconic chairs

When it first debuted in 1960, Verner Panton’s ‘Stacking Chair’ introduced a number of firsts to the world of furniture design: it was the first single-form, single-material chair to be produced using an injection mould — which helped to optimise it for full-scale production some eight years later. Today, this groovy vision of lacquered polyurethane is still produced by Vitra and will set you back a cool HK$14,000 (approx.) for a single unit.

7. Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s ‘Barcelona’ (1929)

iconic chairs

Named after the setting for the 1929 Industrial Exposition, the Barcelona Chair is among German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s most influential furniture designs and widely considered an icon of the modern movement. The chair was a centrepiece for Mies’ own pavilion at the Barcelona Industrial Expo — reportedly inspired by his desire to create a resting place worthy of Spanish royalty. Feeding into Mies’ philosophy of “harmonising the old and new,” every Barcelona chair is an elevation of industrial material to an artistic plane. Since the 50s, the best reproductions have been made by Knoll: featuring a hand-buffed, mirror-finished frame (resplendent of Roman thrones) and upholstery cut from 40 individual panels.

8. Eero Saarinen’s ‘Tulip’ (c. 1955)

iconic chairs

One of the defining features of Scandinavian modernism (particularly of the Finnish variety) was a desire to depart from — or the very least, reinterpret — settled design conventions. In the realm of chairs, modernists such as architect Eero Saarinen sought clean and efficient solutions to the traditional four-legged construction — what Saarinen himself derisively referred to as “a slum of legs.” The Tulip was a response to that style’s perceived failings, characterised by a fluidly sculpted silhouette inspired by, yes you guessed it, flowers of the same name.

9. Marcel Breuer’s ‘Wassily’ (1925)

iconic chairs

Yes, we’re well-aware that this is the second Breuer object to make our list, but honestly, between the Cesca and Wassily, it’s hard to settle on which had the most outsized impact within industrial design. Self-described by Breuer as his “most extreme work … the least ‘cosy’ and most mechanical,” the Wassily takes the basic conceit of a club chair and strips that back to its bare (verging on austere) essentials. Akin to a metal sling, the Wassily’s seat, arms, and back appear to cradle the sitter mid-air; with their body never touching the steel frame. Named for Breuer’s friend and fellow Bauhaus colleague, Wassily Kandinsky.

10. Charles and Ray Eames’ ‘Lounge Chair and Ottoman’ (1956)

iconic chairs

Whether your first brush with greatness came courtesy of a certain NYC apartment in Mad Men or a much-thumbed Herman Miller catalogue, nothing expresses the halcyon days of American modernism like the Eames’ ‘lounge and ottoman’. Imbued with “the warm receptive look of a well-used first baseman’s mitt,” the design emerged from Charles and Ray Eames’s experimentations with steam-moulded plywood. This expertly manipulated material forms the basis of the ottoman and Eames chair: ensuring that both provide a supportive resting experience, unparalleled comfort and improve with age. Invariably, the most desirable examples are always vintage pieces manufactured in rosewood, though modern reproductions can be had for just south of HK$60,000.

Randy Lai

Give Your Bathroom a Hotel-Style Makeover With These Luxe Interior Design Trends

Posted in Interior Design

When it comes to the ‘wow’ factor of any great luxury hotel, we think you’d agree the bathroom is an important part of the conversation. Stands to reason, if you could import any element of your favourite five-star suite into the home, a hotel-style bathroom would feature high on the list.

In fact, as far as building a design-led living space goes, having the right kind of bathroom is a highly effectual means of conveying an eye for beauty and detail. From spaces that explore texture to the ultimate terrazzo temple, take a leaf out of the playbook of some the world’s most breathtaking hotel bathrooms, with seven of our favourite interior decorating tips below.

A slice of nature

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: Four Seasons Resort Bali)

Embrace a sub-tropical atmosphere by situating your bathroom closer to nature — à la the Four Seasons resort at Jimbaran Bay. Each suite’s heirloom faucets and large tubs (with caddy fittings) imbue the traditional Balinese household with a European touch.

Terrazzo edges

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: The William Vale)

In Brooklyn, The William Vale lends a healthy dose of inspiration with its all-white guest bathrooms: each a spectacular barrage of geometric mirrors and all-over terrazzo surfaces. If this composite material isn’t to your liking, try substituting with granite or veined marble for a similar (though somewhat softened) visual effect.

High contrasts

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: Vue Hotel Houhai)

For a successful case study in ‘how to intermingle high contrast in low light’, take a moment to survey Vue Houhai‘s hotel-style bathrooms. A whimsical selection of tinted screens — used on showers and mirrors — creates a pleasing foil to dark, alabaster flecked marble surfaces. Contrary to popular belief, this is a great visual trick to use in smaller, apartment block bathrooms — lending an easy-to-execute element of luxury hotel cred.

Creative tiling

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: The Calile Hotel)

If you’re bored of conventional, horizontal, slatted monochrome tiles then there’s never been a better time to eschew those for a pop of colour. In 2020, embrace new finishes and shades in the manner of the extraordinary Calile resort in Australia: which alternates the tiling in each guest bathroom between a serene palette of blue, green, and reddish pastels.

White marble

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: Hotel Café Royal)

White marble is both the most financially exorbitant yet visually striking resource for turning your wash space into a hotel-style bathroom. We’ll simply say this: if you’re going to use marble to spruce up the fit-out, its well worth using a lot of white marble. Guest bathrooms at the Hotel Café Royal in London handily illustrate the value of this advice: even extending the Tuscan masonry motif to the bathtub. For best results, make yours a centrepiece by tweaking the tub’s size and location relative to the rest of your space.

Wooden floors

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: The New York Edition)

For once, it pays to the take the old adage ‘stay grounded’ a little too literally. Standing surfaces are often a missed opportunity to impart a dose of warmth upon otherwise sterile, perfunctory spaces. In a simple twist, private bathing spaces at Ian Schrager’s Manhattan Edition swap out unpleasant linoleum tiles for blond wooden flooring — a fine match for ultra-sleek countertop and soaking tub surfaces.

A retreat-like atmosphere

hotel-style bathroom
(Image source: The St. Regis Maldives)

Another decorating tip from the always reliable ‘bigger is better’ playbook is to simply build out a huge bathroom space. For this, turn to sprawling resorts like The St. Regis Maldives for inspiration: taking note of decadent surface area-intensive features like a balcony, walk-in closet and multiple vanities. In a nutshell — everything you’d expect from your favourite five-star spa.

An edition of this article first appeared on Lifestyle Asia Singapore.

Randy Lai

The N02 Chair by Fritz Hansen and Nendo Stylishly Adopts Recycled Materials in the Home

Posted in Interior Design, What to Buy

Known for its handsome, room-enriching contemporary furniture pieces, Fritz Hansen sought out Japanese design studio Nendo in order to jointly develop the brand’s first chair using recycled materials, the N02.

Head designer of Nendo, Oki Sato, modelled the N02 after a folded piece of paper — a simple, elegant shape he reportedly discovered while working at his desk. The same fold is incorporated into each N02’s back; and doubles as an aesthetic flourish as well as a means of enhancing flexibility and user comfort.

Fritz Hansen
Japanese architect and designer Oki Sato (pictured), head of design firm Nendo.

The body of each chair is manufactured using ‘circular plastic’ — a composite of household waste polypropylene — used in items such as yoghurt tubs and sandwich bags — which are collected, processed and up-cycled within Central Europe. Fritz Hansen insists on this sourcing arrangement because of its effectiveness in reducing carbon emissions and improving waste management throughout the region.

Fritz Hansen
The N02-20 (pictured) is available in the same five colourways as the original, and features a distinctive tubular steel ‘sledge base’ instead of 4 legs.

At launch, the N02 was offered in five different colours; with the brand releasing yet another two variants on the basic four-legged design last November. The N02-20 features a tubular ‘sledge base’ leg — said to make sitting for longer periods more comfortable — whereas the N02-30 takes the ‘paper fold’ shell and transfers it onto a swivel platform. In keeping with Fritz Hansen’s theme, the base is also made with 95 percent recycled aluminium. With the exception of the latter wheeled variant, each N02 is easy to clean, space-efficient and suitable in a variety of household or commercial environments.

Originally established in Copenhagen in 1872, Fritz Hansen is a leading global design brand in the fields of furniture, lighting and interior accessories. Best known internationally for its six collaborations with the Danish Functionalist Arne Jacobsen (between 1952-1958), in recent years the brand has gone on to collaborate with other notable contemporary designers including Piero Lissoni and Jaime Hayon.

This article was published via AFP Relaxnews.

Staff Writer

Welcome to the Jungle: A Look at Versace’s 2020 Home Collection

Posted in Interior Design

Versace’s latest home and decor pieces pay homage to the much revered jungle print – a familiar print as seen on the Spring/Summer 2020 runway — celebrating the anniversary of the now-iconic jungle dress worn by Jennifer Lopez to the Grammys 20 years ago.

Now recognised as one of Versace’s signature emblems, the much-loved print transitions from the wardrobe into living spaces in the form of decorative accents for the dining table.

The vivid jungle print is composed of tropical palms, bamboo shoots and wild foliage in emeralds and limes, juxtaposed against a watercolour wash of deep forest and pine.

As seen on the new tableware collection, items are finished with a polished gold lining, intricate baroque design and the brand’s Greek mythological logo of the head of Medusa.

The new seasonal print adorns fine porcelain service plates, dinner plates, serving trays, vases, scented candles and a cigar ashtray to decorate the home — perfect for your next summer soirée at home, perhaps?

Here are some of the key pieces from the Versace Home 2020 – Jungle Collection, a loud and vibrant tribute to the boldness of Versace designs.

Learn more at Versace Home

Staff Writer

A Closer Look at The Future Relics Collection by Dior

Posted in Interior Design
Creative Director Kim Jones and New York contemporary artist Daniel Arsham bring stylish scenography into homes through their limited edition collaboration.

For Dior Summer 2020’s show, Dior Homme’s creative director Kim Jones asked renowned New York sculptural artist Daniel Arsham to create a set design featuring his one-of-a-kind monolithic sculptures, that spelled out “Dior”. Channelling the feel of precious relics that were unearthed and transformed into contemporary works, the Dior 2020 collection brings to life a number of Christian Dior’s most prized and adored possessions.

The objects include his 1951 book Je Suis Couturier that was amazingly adapted to be a jewellery box studded with crystals. Symbolic of the Arsham’s works, the collection also sees other notable items such as a pink basketball embellished with the Dior name, as well as a telephone and clock.

Staff Writer

8 Scented Holiday Candles to Make Your Home Cosy this Christmas

Posted in Interior Design

Add some festive sparkle to your home with these comforting scents of Christmas.

Cochine: Orange Amère and Star Anise

Launched in a balmy garden in Saigon 10 years ago by former London beauty industry magnate Kate Crofton-Atkins, French-Asian candle house Cochine focuses on native Vietnamese scents in its modern approach to fine home fragrances. It’s freshly released a Southeast Asian interpretation of a seasonal candle, featuring orange amère, a bitter citrus native to Vietnam, the warming spice of star anise, with a melange of holiday usual suspects such as clove, nutmeg, cinnamon leaf, on a vanilla and guaiac wood base. The glass features a limited edition design by British fashion illustrator Susannah Garrod. 

HK$490/230g from Cochine

Goutal: Une Forêt d’Or

Translating to ‘a forest of gold’, this scented candle is inspired by the morning of decorating the house for Christmas after a leisurely stroll through snow capped pines, where the freshness of winter is topped off with the zest of fresh orange and mandarin peels. This festive candle by Parisian fragrance house Goutal is dressed in a Nutcracker motif for the season, and in the spirit of sustainability, all of Annick Goutal’s candle holders can be refilled with any other candle in the collection, making this a limited edition collectible for years to come.

HK$900/300g from Goutal, Shop 20, G/F, Fashion Walk, Paterson Street, Causeway Bay, Hong Kong, +852 2613 1303

Tom Dixon: Underground and Alchemy

Following a spate of new collections released in celebration of London Design Festival — just off the heels of the Salone del Mobile earlier in the year — Tom Dixon’s latest addition to its Eclectic scents family are Underground and Alchemy. Underground features a gingery scent common of rhizomes, or subterranean-grown root plants, combined with sweetly spicy Haitian cardamom that’s perfect for the winter season. Alchemy, inspired by the age-old notion of crafting valuable substances from basic materials, is an enigmatic scent with black pepper, woody cypress, eucalyptus, patchouli and smoky guaiac wood. The two candles are encased in a chic new waisted metal vessel design, available in three sizes.

HK$330/60g from Tom Dixon, 52 Hollywood Road, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2882 2068

Diptyque: Lucky Flowers

Shopping for candles isn’t complete unless you take a gander through Diptyque’s seasonal must-haves. This year’s holiday collection is inspired by end-of-the-year festivals, with limited edition designs by artist Olaf Hajek. The Lucky Flowers candle is particularly apt for the tag-team of important holidays we have just around the corner in Hong Kong of Christmas and Chinese New Year. With notes of rose, clove and aniseed, this candle carries a positive message of good luck and auspiciousness, with a design featuring lucky charms such as a four-leaf-clover and the Japanese maneki-neko, a bearer of good fortune.

£44.17 (HK$454.31)/190g from Mr. Porter

Buly 1803: Sumi Hinoki

This well-loved scent by the artisans at L’Officine Universelle Buly captures the fresh scent of walking through an ancient winter forest, with notes of cypress, juniper berry, charred hinoki and cedar. Carved in marble with an elegant and luxurious Buly stamp, this is the perfect candle to own or gift for any woody scent lovers — doubling as an elegant decorative item long after it’s burned down. But even that would take a while — this durable candle boasts a burning time of 80 to 100 hours.

HK$1,350/300g from L’Officine Universelle Buly, G/F, 20 Wyndham Street, Central, Hong Kong, +852 2191 9005

Byredo: Chai

The soothing spices of Indian chai is just the thing to warm up a frigid room in the dead of winter — and in Hong Kong’s chilly non-insulated homes, no less. This homage to masala chai was conjured from Byredo founder Ben Gorham’s memories of his grandmother’s home in mind, with the scent of spices and black tea leaves swirling and infusing in boiling milk. A familial and cosy scent apt for a holiday spent with all your loved ones.

HK$600/240g from Lane Crawford

Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle: Joyeux Noel

Crafted by master perfumer Dominique Ropion, this seasonal candle captures the traditional essence of winter with warm spices meshed with the bracing freshness of winter pine. With pine, amber, cinnamon and an unexpected addition of cotton candy, the image this scent conjures is a candlelit living room on Christmas morning as children play and spice cake is served with tea, as a fire crackles softly nearby. You can’t get more festive than that.

HK$650/220g from Lane Crawford

Jo Malone: Myrrh and Tonka

The iconic seasonal scent of myrrh is paired with sweet vanilla and tonka bean in this luxurious scent by Jo Malone, also available as a popular cologne. Perfect to wind down a chilly winter evening, the rich scent of the hand-harvested sap of the Namibian myrrh tree is blended with the lovely layers of vanilla and almond from the tonka bean. A top note of lavender adds an herbaceous brightness to the mix so it’s not too heady, while also softening the atmosphere and helping you relax before bed.

HK$680/200g from Lane Crawford

Evelyn Lok
When not trying out the latest beauty and wellness trends, Evelyn is likely enjoying a perfectly balanced negroni or exploring some of Hong Kong's best new places to eat and drink. She covers everything from the biggest events in town to interviews with Hong Kong specialists, with topics spanning art, food and drink, health, tech, and travel.