Jo Malone Wood Sage & Sea Salt Cologne
I'm something of a monogamist when it comes to fragrance and I've been loyal to my favourite, Hermès's Un Jardin en Mediterrannée, for many years. However, I love the unique fresh, woody scent of Jo Malone's new Wood Sage & Sea Salt cologne (£40), so I waited patiently until I could pick it up at Duty Free on the way to France. It's lighter and a little more fun than the Hermès fragrance, so it's nice to have a different perfume option in my armoury.
NewTree Lavender Chocolate
Years ago, Tesco sold an unusual lavender-infused premium chocolate bar that I used to love, but then one day it disappeared. However, I found a similar product in Casino, the French grocery store chain, while on holiday and stocked up. It's a little tricky to track down in the UK, but you can order online from NewTree if you are in the US or Europe (€3.50), or raid your local Casino in France.
Pink Pepper Gin
My parents bought me a bottle of Pink Pepper Gin (£37.45) for my birthday after I had sampled it at the London Gin Club. It has a really unique warm, spicy taste and doesn't need a citrus garnish, although it is even better with some pink peppercorns sprinkled on top.
Sea of Love by The National
I've been re-listening to The National's album Trouble Will Find Me pretty much constantly since I saw the band at The O2 in November, and Sea of Love has emerged as my favourite song on the album. It isn't the title track but the lyrics do contain the album title, and I am also particularly enamoured with this enigmatic lyric with its pleading final tag question: Hey, Jo, sorry I hurt you, but they say love is a virtue, don't they? Check out the whole album: it's a corker.
The Royal Tenenbaums
When I first watched Wes Anderson's film The Royal Tenenbaums at university, over a decade ago, I really disliked it. I thought it was excessively quirky, pretentious and not very fun. Since then, I've done a U-turn on Wes Anderson — I rather liked Moonrise Kingdom and loved The Grand Budapest Hotel — so I decided to give the Tenenbaums another go. Yes, it is wacky, but it is also brilliant funny and a little sad, and with that meticulous attention to detail Anderson is famous for.