Travel Diary: Maldives Beach Paradise

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I’ve been lax in blogging – there’s been so much going on! We’ve got some exciting news to announce, but I’ll save it for next post. In the meantime, I thought I’d share some pix from our May trip to the Maldives. We stopped over on our way back from India. It was a much needed respite after attending the High Point Furniture Market, a 3-day wedding in Jaipur, as well as a full on sourcing tour in India…

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If you’re looking for down time, the Maldives is the place to go. We stayed at Velingandu Resort, which is in the North Ari Atolls. The Maldives is a series of islands in the Indian Ocean about 600 km off Sri Lanka. Literally, the islands are the peaks of old volcanoes in the middle of the ocean.

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It is the lowest lying country in the world (the highest point is 7+ feet) and so is ultimately vulnerable to the rising seas. Known mostly for it’s resorts, the capital is Male – which is kind of like Hong Kong – super dense and vertical (but much smaller).

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Most resorts are accessed by seaplane taxis. (Those closest to Male are reached by speedboat).

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It’s a “slap me, is it real?” kind of place. The water is incredibly clear, the sand pure white, and fish everywhere…

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In fact, there’s really nothing to do other than eat, drink, swim, and relax. What else is there to do when the island is only 150 x 600 meters?
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I could ramble on about this unique, Muslim country, but I’m sure you’d rather just look at the pretty pictures. For more info on this island, I highly recommend the book “Gate Crashing Paradise – Misadventure in the Real Maldives“. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m always skeptical of places that look too perfect…

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But who’s to argue when every sunset takes your breath away.

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For More Info:

Veligandu Island Resort & Spa
North Ari Atoll
Maldives
Telephone: +960 666 0519
Fax: +960 666 0648
Email: ­reservations@veligandu.com

 

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Travel Diary: Visiting the Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque in Abu Dhabi

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It was a full moon when we visited this magical Sunni Muslim mosque in Abu Dhabi. Earlier in the day, we had been told by a hostess in the Etihad that the best time of day to visit was in the evening. I love photography and I was skeptical – would I be able to get good shots at night?

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I shouldn’t have doubted. It was like stumbling into Arabian Nights, albeit designed by Steve Wynn. There were acres of gleaming white marble, shimmering gold leaf columns, and chandeliers illuminated by millions of Swarovski crystals.

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The mosque is named after Abu Dhabi’s late Sheikh Zayed bin Sultan Al Nahyan, whose goal was to build a venue representative of the cultural diversity of the Islamic world. He is buried on the grounds of the mosque.

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Built between 1996 and 2007, it is the largest mosque in the United Arab Emirates and the eighth largest mosque in the world – covering more than 30 acres.

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Notice how small the Imam’s minbar (pulpit) is compared to the rest of the room.

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The mosque features the world’s largest carpet made by Iran’s Carpet Company, and designed by Iranian artists Ali Khaliqi. It is 60,570 square feet and took 1300 knotters two years to complete.

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Sheikh Zayed Mosque is inspired by Mughal, Moorish and Persian mosque architecture – particularly the Badshahi Mosque in Lahore, Pakistan and the Hassan II Mosque in Casablanca, Morocco.

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During Ramadan, more than 35,000 people visit a day. A sign board for the daily prayer times is mounted on the wall.

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We were blown away by the level of detail and artistry everywhere.

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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque has seven imported chandeliers made by Faustig in Munich, Germany. Each contains millions of Swarovski crystals.

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Women are required to cover their hair, arms and legs when visiting. The mosque provides covering if you didn’t bring your own.

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The Sheikh Zayed Grand Mosque is situated between the three main bridges connecting Abu Dhabi City to the main land (Maqta, Mussafah and Sheikh Zayed bridges). It is a quick 30 minute drive from the Abu Dhabi International Airport.

Visiting Hours: Sun – Thurs 9am-10pm Friday 4:30-11pm

For more information go to: http://www.szgmc.ae/

Peacock Pavilions: Marrakesh Global Design Oasis

IMG_4959If you’re a fan of global design, you’re probably familiar with My Marrakesh, the blog about Moroccan living by designer, hotelier and humanitarian Maryam Montague. She’s become quite the phenomenon over the last few years. Not only the writer of a drool worthy design blog set in North Africa, she’s the author of the recently published “Marrakesh by Design” – a guide to fabulous Moroccan design.IMG_4594

Oh, and there was the article in Elle Decor… So when my husband and I decided to travel to Morocco for our 10 year wedding anniversary, a stay at Peacock Pavilions was a must.

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Designed by Montague and her architect husband Chris Redecke, Peacock Pavilions consists of a main house and two stand alone villas. We stayed for 3 nights and were lucky to have the Atlas Villa all to ourselves. IMG_4584

Peacock Pavilions is filled to the brim with Montague’s objets trouvés. Everywhere you look there are tassels, sequins, pottery, embroidery, feathers, carved wood, intricate tile work, and elaborate stencil designs. It is a veritable trove of Aladdin’s treasures. I was lucky enough to peak behind the doors, camera in hIMG_4984and…IMG_4567

Below is the gorgeous Golden Gazelles room we stayed in. J’adore the French poster and the luxurious stenciling behind the bed (based on a screen Maryam saw in a Christie’s catalog). Moroccan embroidered pillows and a vintage Kantha blanket make the bed pop while the African mud cloth fabric on the wood chairs are a nice contemporary accent. By keeping with the black and gold color theme, the different cultures and styles blend beautifully.

IMG_4533This is the view from the bed. What a marvelous fireplace! I could imagine cuddling up in this bed on a cold winter night. So romantic.IMG_4546This is the view from the rooftop patio above our bedroom. Throughout the day you can hear the call to prayer from the local mosque. Olive orchards surround the property and we enjoyed the delicious olive oil they produce from the trees each year.IMG_4745Here are some pictures from the main building. You enter Peacock Pavilions through these amazing rooms. I could spend hours looking at all the lovely and eclectic pieces (Egyptian driving glasses and Coptic crosses) in this collection.IMG_4578 IMG_4583 IMG_4586Maryam sells her treasures through the website Red Thread Souk. Here are some of the gorgeous Moroccan rugs on offer…IMG_4588If I had room in my suitcase I would have snapped a couple up. Morocco is frustrating in that way – too many beautiful pieces and not enough weight allowance in your luggage. But Maryam does ship internationally, so I may still buy one yet…IMG_4949And here are more lovely room shots…IMG_4974IMG_4596 IMG_4934IMG_4950 IMG_4963Drooling yet? Peacock Pavilions is all about the details. Inlaid antique door furniture, old Moroccan posters and French newspapers, jewelry hung as art… IMG_4975How about this tasseled saddle, old djellaba cape or hanging tasseled hoods? Have you noticed there are a lot of tassels at Peacock Pavilions?IMG_4923 IMG_4951Don’t you love the beautiful stenciled stairs and tile work on the floors of this kitchen?IMG_4970 IMG_4972The color and pattern mix at Peacock Pavilions is never overdone or too matchy-matchy which makes the decor feel fresh and not theatrical. The combined effect is totally inspiring. I came home and immediately started re-organizing my own travel collections. Isn’t that what travel does? Open your eyes to new possibilities?IMG_4572 IMG_4960 IMG_4967We hope you enjoyed our virtual Moroccan postcard and are inspired to new heights in global design chic. And if you get a chance, you really should visit…

Go to www.peacockpavilions.com

 

Travel Diary: Shanghai’s Shifting Skyline

IMG_3106We travel to China four times a year, and it’s always fun to watch the changing skyline. It has changed dramatically from our first visit in 2006, and I was curious to see what it looked like 20+ years ago. A friend recently sent me a photo, and I was blown away…s_s03_aTX1292LHere’s a shot of Shanghai in 1987. Wow! The skyline today is really beginning to rival Hong Kong. And from what I hear, that’s exactly what the government intends to achieve.IMG_3094

Shanghai is the world’s fastest growing city – growing at a rate of 10% a year. The current population is 23.5 – nearly double what it was in 1987.

IMG_3080This is the newest tower going up – Shanghai Tower. It will be China’s tallest building and the world’s second tallest skyscraper, at 2,073 ft high. It is scheduled to finish by the end of 2014.IMG_3083It goes up into the clouds…
IMG_3121One of our favorite Shanghainese restaurants overlooks the Bund – Shanghai Min (in Mandarin it’s Xiao Nan Guo). After indulging in amazing hong shao rou (red-cooked pork) our tradition is to take an evening stroll and check out the ever-changing river skyline.
IMG_3132The ghosts/buildings of Shanghai’s past, still line the Puxi side of the Huangpu River. These stately historical Bund buildings once housed numerous banks and trading houses from the around the world.IMG_3123Today they are home to high end restaurants, nightclubs, boutiques and museums. IMG_3119It’s fun to see the old and new in close juxtaposition. Shanghai continues to be one of the most dynamic, interesting cities in the world.

Travel Diary: Gotta Goa Beach Vacation

Goa Path BeachOn a buying trip to India in March, we finally got to Goa. (Sorry – the puns are hard to resist.) Long a stopover on the hippie trail of the ’70s, Goa continues to be a hot spot for jet set travelers, Bollywood stars and honeymooning couples.

IMG_2045I’ve long been under the misconception that Goa was a city. It is actually India’s smallest state, but with over 75 miles of coastline, there’s a lot to see and do.

IMG_2047The toughest part is picking your beach…

IMG_2202We flew into Dabolim Airport and drove an hour and half to Ashvem Beach in North Goa. Ashvem and Morjim beaches are both relatively quiet and draw a hip, artistic crowd.

IMG_2027We decided to go “glamping” – opting for tented luxury over a large resort environment. Amarya Shamiyana has four beach tents which are air-conditioned, complete with sitting room, two sinks and a shower.

IMG_2032IMG_2075Breakfast is served upon request, and you’re a mere 100 feet away from the Arabian Sea. I definitely was living out my Arabian Nights fantasies at this lovely hotel.IMG_2105We spent the third night at Paros, Amarya’s property down the beach.

IMG_2174IMG_2170The tents weren’t as large or glam, but the eating area has gorgeous ocean views. IMG_2183The food is delicious and we had access to a totally deserted beach. If I had to pick, it would be difficult to choose a favorite.

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I also spent one of the days browsing the funky boho-chic boutiques on Ashvem Beach. Full of eclectic Goa-wear, there are a lot fun things to shop. IMG_2052Jade Jagger has a hot pink shop here and I couldn’t resist picking up a dress and ruby ring. IMG_2061 IMG_2059I also got a sneak peak of her super cool compound (located nearby) when the credit card machine didn’t work. She has it decorated with Tibetan god/goddess pictures, rattan and a lot of hot pink. Very chic.IMG_2057

Another good stop down the beach is the chic French beach cafe – La Plage. It’s the heart of the Ashvem beach scene and serves up some yummy French and international cuisine. IMG_2043IMG_2072We had a lovely time in our brief Goa sojourn and are plotting a way back to sink our toes into the beach sand. If you get a chance, you must Goa too!

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Amarya Shamiyana – Ashvem Beach, (Next to La Plage Restaurant), Mandrem, Goa-403527, INDIA

Paros by Amarya – Turtle Beach, Temba Vaddo, Morjim, Goa – 403527, INDIA

Travel Diary: Uluwatu, Bali – Surfer Paradise

IMG_8931 (2)Do you ever wish you were an athletic 20 year old traveling in Asia with an open itinerary? Uluwatu, Bali evokes this kind of yearning. I’ve been learning to surf on Seminyak Beach and I was asking my teachers where they go to catch the big breaks. One word: Uluwatu.IMG_8959 (2)A friend of mine surfed Uluwatu in the 60s (when he was an athletic 20 year old with an open itinerary). He said they had to hand their surf boards to each other down the side of a cliff to reach the water. And while Uluwatu still requires a fit physique to reach, there are now a warren of trails and stairs that reach the beach. Surfing is a whole other story.
IMG_8936 (2)IMG_9040Located on the Bukit Peninsula, Uluwatu is home to some of the biggest and most prestigious surfing competitions in the world. We happened to visit during low tide, which requires surfers to walk across the reef to catch the breaks. At times like this, the waves are for experts only.IMG_9019 (2) IMG_8997 (2)

There is an entire village built up on the side of the hill overlooking the breaks at Uluwatu. Warungs (cafes) will store your personal goods while you surf, in hopes you’ll buy a Bintang (beer) and some food after you’re done. There are also a ton of internet cafes where surfers are uploading pix of their latest surfing exploits to their jealous friends all over the world.IMG_9027 (2) IMG_9047Did I mention the buff bods? Oh yeah, there’s that too. Lots of eye candy…

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And after a day of surfing, there aren’t much more beautiful places in the world to grab a beer and watch the waves break against the sunset…IMG_9048 IMG_9044Are you an expert surfer? For more info on surfing Uluwatu, go here.

The Bukit Peninsula is connected to Kuta through Jimbaran by the busy Jalan Bypass Nusa Dua and this is the only route in. Traffic is pretty crazy so expect at least a 40 minute drive from Kuta.

Travel Diary: Doris Duke’s Islamic Art Inspired Shangri La Home

Doris Duke's pool at Shangri La.
Doris Duke’s pool at Shangri La.

It’s been a crazy couple months and I’ve been remiss in posting. So let’s do some catching up! At the end of August my husband and I spent a week in Oahu. I finally got a chance to visit Doris Duke’s mythical Shangri La home. A regular feature on design blogs like Style Court Doris Duke’s house seamlessly blends architectural traditions from India, Iran, Morocco and Syria as wells as 1930’s modernist architecture. And oh what a beauty it is!

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When Duke died she left almost a billion dollars. Her will stipulated the funding of the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art which owns and manages the site. Our tour guide was super informative and taught us a great deal about Turkish and Persian tile work, and pointed out recurring motifs in Islamic artwork.

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The setting is stunning – right on the beach near Diamond Head overlooking Oahu’s rocky coastline on the Pacific Ocean. For over 60 years, Duke commissioned new pieces and continued to add to her artwork collection. A total of 3,500 art pieces are on display.

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The only child of a tobacco magnet, Doris Duke inherited a great deal of wealth upon her father’s death when she was only 12 years old. Duke’s love of Islamic art began on her honeymoon in 1935 when she traveled to Egypt, India, Indonesia, China and Japan. The trip ended in Honolulu. The marriage didn’t last, but her passion for Islamic art was ignited.

Doris Duke and then-husband James Cromwell at Shangri La, 1935 (photograph by Martin Munkacsi)
Doris Duke and then-husband James Cromwell at Shangri La, 1935          (photograph by Martin Munkacsi)

Duke’s collection includes a wide variety of pieces including Persian and Turkish (from Iznik) luster pottery and tiles, Spanish lusterware, Syrian inlaid wood furniture, Syrian pierced brass lamps, and colored glass bottles from Iran. Interestingly enough, she left very little in the form of memoir regarding her collection choices but her commitment to Islamic art is evident in the mission statement of her foundation: “promote the study and understanding of Middle Eastern art and culture”.

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The master bathroom at Shangri La. David Franzen 1999. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai’i.
Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 2012.) Damascus Room East wall of the Damascus Room. On display in the historic wall vitrine are examples of Syrian, European, Iranian and Turkish works of art from the DDFIA collection. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 2012.) General view of the ceiling. The four hanging lamps were purchased with the room from Asfar & Sarkis. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 2012.) Detail of the Damascus Room's 'ajami surfaces. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's 'ajami surfaces. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's ceiling. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's ceiling. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's 'ajami surfaces. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's 'ajami surfaces. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.) Detail of the Damascus Room's 'ajami surfaces. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: Philipp Scholz Rittermann, 2005.)   Historical Images of This Area The Damascus Room was originally built as a guest room, July 31, 1937. Shangri La Historical Archives, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Because of its Moorish-European—especially Spanish—furnishings, the guest room was sometimes referred to as the Spanish Room. July–August 1946. Doris Duke Photograph Collection, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation Historical Archives, David M. Rubenstein Rare Book & Manuscript Library, Duke University. Photograph taken in Damascus in c. August 1954 of Georges Asfar seated in the retrofitted interior purchased by Doris Duke in 1952-53. Shangri La Historical Archives, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Photograph taken in Damascus in c. August 1954 of the retrofitted interior. Shangri La Historical Archives, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. The east (Koko Head) wall of the Damascus Room during Duke’s lifetime, no earlier than 1962. Shangri La Historical Archives, Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. Damascus Room, 1999. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 1999.)    Damascus Room, 1999. Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai'i. (Photo: David Franzen, 1999.)
Damascus Room – Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art, Honolulu, Hawai’i.     (Photo: David Franzen, 2012.)

During the tour we weren’t allowed to take pictures inside so I’ve included some images I found online. Unfortunately we weren’t allowed into Duke’s Mughal Suite which was inspired by the Taj Mahal. Duke commissioned inlaid marble works from Agra, using the finest pure white Makrana marble. Her outdoor Mughal Garden is also an homage to the garden and water works in front of the Taj Mahal.

Mughal Garden at Shangri La.
Mughal Garden at Shangri La.

When you walk through Duke’s home and gardens you can’t help but appreciate her love of beauty and art. I highly recommend this book: “Doris Duke’s Shangri La A House in Paradise”. The tour has inspired my own further study into Islamic art motifs which I’ve seen on our trips to India and want to delve into further.

DorisDukeShangriLa_cover_FINALTours must be book in advance with the Honolulu Art Museum. For more info check out the website here. If you’re coming for vacation, book before your leave because the tours sell out quickly.

Travel Diary: SIFR Aromatics – Kampong Glam, Singapore

Perfume Oils - Sifr Aromatics
Perfume Oils – SIFR Aromatics

One of my latest obsessions is perfume oils. Last year I discovered a wonderful old shop in Delhi’s Chandini Chowk district, called Gulab Singh Johri Mal. This Mughal era parfumery specializes in attars – scented oils derived from botanical sources. I was hooked. So when I landed in Singapore, one of my first stops was SIFR Aromatics, a niche perfumery passed from father to son.

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Parfumier Johari Kazura

SIFR Aromatics is on Arab Street in Kampong Glam – Singapore’s oldest Muslim district. Owned by parfumier Johari Kazura, SIFR has a range of small batch scents handcrafted by Kazura, as well as a beautiful perfume bottle collection mounted on beautiful dark wood cabinetry built by Indonesian craftsmen. What intrigued me most, was the possibility of creating my own bespoke fragrance.

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Luckily for me, Kazura was in the shop and available. (An appointment is recommended.) I gave him a list of my favorite fragrances and scents – Tom Ford’s “Jasmin Rouge” (Sambac jasmine and spices) , Kilian’s “Back to Black” (cherry, leather, tobacco and honey) as well as Comme des Garçon’s “Ouarzazate” (pepper, spice, incense).

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Since I’m new to this arena and had limited time, I started by smelling Kazura’s line of fragrances and found a smoky perfume oil to use as a platform to build on. He continued to add ingredients – jasmine, oud and other oils – until we arrived at balance I liked. He then encouraged me to leave for an hour or so to let the oil settle on my skin. So we took a nose break to check out the historic Raffles Hotel and grab a Singapore Sling (crossed off the Bucket List).

Nearby Abdul Gafoor Mosque.
Nearby Abdul Gafoor Mosque.

It’s important to let a fragrance settle because the notes change as they are exposed to air and the oils in your skin. And after an hour or so of smelling a bunch of different fragrances, it’s easy to have sensory overload. Taking time out to sniff coffee beans is a great way to wipe the olfactory slate clean.

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After checking out Singapore’s colonial past, we cabbed it back to SIFR and I collected my new fragrance – “Jasmine Smoke”. Johari wrote down the ingredients in his notebook, along with my contact information so I can order more when the oil is gone.

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The wonderful thing about oils, is the fragrance lasts a lot longer than an eau de parfum. Perfumes are mixed with alcohol and the fragrance dissipates much quicker than oils. And there’s something really cool about wearing a fragrance no one else has.

Customized perfumes range from $75-$200.

SIFR is at 42 Arab Street, Singapore
Hours: Mon-Fri 11am-8.30pm
Sat 11am-9pm
SIFR Aromatics Website

Travel Diary: Celebrating Holi in Rajasthan

We just got back from a buying trip to India where we have been sourcing unique reclaimed Indian furniture. The trip marvelously coincided with a holiday in India called “Holi”.

David getting some local color.

Holi is an ancient Hindu celebration of Spring, which is known as the “Festival of Colors”. It is observed on the last full moon of the lunar month.


Participants traditionally throw bright, vibrant paint powders at friends and strangers to celebrate the arrival of spring.  It also commemorates the Hindu god Krishna’s pranks, and allows people to drop their inhibitions and simply play and dance.

We had a blast celebrating with one of our Indian factories and spent the afternoon throwing paint and dancing with the factory workers.

David and Julie looking very colorful.

Some of the factory workers were dressed up as women dancers, and a DJ played loud dance beats.

The paints took days to come off, but it was well worth it. A great time was had by all! We can’t wait to join in the merriment again.


Travel Diary: IB Anom – Master Balinese Mask Maker

Ida Bagus Anom – Master Balinese Mask Maker

We took our second trip to Bali last June, and I finally got to visit the town of Mas – Bali’s ancient mask carving village near Ubud. Balinese mask making is steeped in history and tradition. Before a man can become a carver, he must go through a purification ceremony and understand the rituals associated with the sacred masks.

Meeting IB Anom.

We had the good fortune to visit legendary mask maker Ida Bagus Anom who has a workshop in Mas. Born in 1953, Anom lives in the same compound where his ancestors have lived more than 700 years. He learned the art of mask making from his father Ida Bagus Ketut Gelodog who also passed on the traditions of dancing and puppetry.

A young IB Anom. Image from “Balinese Masks – Spirits of an Ancient Drama.”

IB Anom is a local legend – his traditional masks are used by Topeng dancers and pantomimes all over Bali. He is also known internationally and was featured in National Geographic’s 1989 documentary “Bali: Masterpiece of the Gods”.

IB Anom demonstrating dance moves associated with this mask.

Sacred Balinese Barong masks are made from the pule tree. A ceremony is done asking permission of the tree’s spirit, to use the wood for a mask.  The sacred aspects of the mask come from the wood, the consecrated mask maker, magic letters inscribed into the mask, and a ceremony which bestows the mask with spirit power. This process can take up to four months. Most villages in Southern Bali have at least one Barong mask in their temple.

A mask carver in Anom’s workshop.

In his 1937 book “Island of Bali,” Miguel Covarrubias wrote that masks used in the Barong dance, “have great power in themselves and are kept out of sight in a special shed in the death temple of the village. They are put away in a basket, wrapped in magic cloth that insulates their evil vibrations, and are uncovered only when actually in use, when the performer-medium is in a trance and under the control of a priest.”


The masks IB Anom carves are also made from the pule tree, whose wood is flexible enough to be shaped into a mask and light enough to wear on the face. Each mask has over 40 coats of paint (20 coats, sanded and then another 20 coats) and takes several weeks to construct.

One of IB Anom’s beautiful unpainted Buddha masks.

Unpainted masks are used for decoration (not for dancing). They are mostly made from waru wood which is a kind of hibiscus known for its variation in wood grain.

IB Anom’s “Queen Gunapriya Dharmapatni” made using Japanese paint techniques.

In 2001, Anom was invited to Japan to train with one of Japan’s greatest mask makers. This visit transformed his work as evidenced by this mask of Javanese Queen Gunapriya Dharmapatni (married to King Udayana Warmadewa and mother of Anak Wungsu who famously ruled over a very peaceful and prosperous time in Bali 1049 – 1077 AD). This mask was painted using matte Japanese paints (as compared to the shiny lacquer of traditional Balinese masks).


For a more in depth study of Balinese masks, check out “Balinese Masks – Spirits of an Ancient Drama”. It is a nice introduction to this rich tradition and has many beautiful pictures.

IB Anom’s Mas gallery.

To find Ida Bagus Anom go to the town of Mas (near Ubud) and look for his workshop on the edge of a football field on the main road. Beware of artists with similar names. (Ida Bagus, for example, is the name of male members in a particular Hindu caste.) However a reputable taxi driver should be able to find Anom’s famous workshop quite easily.

IB Anom’s workshop and home – Mas, Ubud – Bali.