Tag Archives: creating sensory experiences

Sense of touch: Fabrics

In my quest to find the very best ways to invite others to experience their senses in the very rich, intense ways I myself do, I give you this: 

Velvet, cotton, angora?
Doesn’t matter.
The point is to touch it.
Feel it. Experience it.
Know the difference
Between each one
As you feel it
Beneath your fingertips.
Try a caress.
A grab.
A fistful of it.
A snuggle against the fabric.
Which one most reminds you
Of who you are?
(Wear that one!)
And revel in your sense of touch.

Fancy Rubber Gloves

I have a thing for colorful, “fancy” gloves. The ones in the nice colors,  with the printed cuffs. It makes cleaning so much more bearable.

My latest set:

Bring some color to your cleaning!

Bring some color to your cleaning!

Wait, Why Are There Mushrooms in My Chocolate?!

I love the World Market section at one of my local Bed, Bath, and Beyond stores. I became acquainted with World Market several years ago but didn’t have one close by. While it doesn’t have all the departments that a “real” World Market store would have, at least there is a food section, which I become engrossed in during every visit.

I’ve tried some of the World Market chocolates, but I’m also happy to see other brands- Chocolove, Vosges, and Madecasse. On my latest visit, I got deeply discounted Vosges and Madecasse bars. I was so excited. Granted, the flavors were not necessarily tops on my list, but at the unbeatable prices, I had to try them. Yes, even the Super Dark Reishi Mushroom & Walnut bar. Who on earth would have thought to put mushroom bits into chocolate?

Vosges, Super Dark, chocolate

Vosges Super Dark Reishi Mushroom and Walnut

On more careful reflection, I realized that my question is unwarranted, as I myself have done some unusual things with chocolate (one day I will tell you about them). So I gave this bar a try. I was really impressed! I liked the “earthy” taste that the mushroom gave to the chocolate. It wasn’t even an acquired taste for me– I instantly liked it. I hadn’t even heard of the reishi mushroom up until this point. How interesting that it is considered the “mushroom of immortality”, touted as an antioxidant with the power to suppress the growth of tumors, heal the lungs, and suppress coughs (among other things).

Is there enough of this mushroom in the chocolate to make a difference? I wouldn’t know, but at the very least, it offers an interesting taste journey…enough to give it its own space on my sensory blog.

Stargazer Lilies

Today’s post focuses on the senses being engaged in both a pleasing and unpleasing way. A prime example is the Stargazer Lily. I find them beautiful to look at, especially the ones that were recently gifted to me. They stayed folded within themselves for a couple of days before slowly starting to bloom out and reveal their big, beautiful white petals and center.


photo 1 (16)


Carefully looking at all its contours, one could quite simply go into a reverie.
Until, of course, the moment when met with its fragrance. How could such a beautiful flower emit such an odor? A heavy, waxy, funereal smell.

This got me to reflect on the idea that not all sensory experiences have to be pleasant. The very instant that I have been moved by a sensory trigger, whether pleasurable or otherwise, is something to be noted. Our senses take us on journeys not only to deliriously sensual escapes but also to nostalgic corners of our past, to faded memories and unfinished business. Our senses allow us to experience all of life, and use those experiences to learn more about ourselves and the world in which we live. It is through our senses that we learn which herbs and berries are poisonous, which animals to stay away from, and how to “feel” a storm that is approaching.

So I decided today to embrace the unappealing odor of the stargazer lily and remember that with every sniff, I can reflect in such a way that it becomes a teachable moment. Perhaps that smell is a cry to look more closely at the petals. To practice patience and stay open-minded about what could be next. stargazer lillies


stargazer lilies2

2 stargazer lilies

A New (To Me) Fragrance

Throughout most of my life, I lead with my nose. I’m taken away by aromas that I find fanciful, or bring me back to another place in time, or create vivid images in my mind. I’ve always been attracted to scent/fragrance/perfume.

Since I was 15, I’ve been wearing Tuscany per Donna by Estee Lauder. It smells of warmth and sensuality to me, very womanly, a hint exotic, with notes that seem “familiar” yet complex. As a lover of all things fragrant, it would seem only natural that I would not be so loyal to one particular fragrance. Sure, I’ve dabbled along the way with other scents, some obscure, others more popular (Angel by Thierry Mugler comes to mind), but I never nixed Tuscany out of my regular fragrance repertoire. For the last 8 years or so, I have been wearing Tuscany almost exclusively, with no changing up of my ‘signature scent”. On the rare occasions that I would wear something else, I’d spray a quick spritz from my Tuscany bottle too, just to feel totally dressed.

While looking for a birthday gift for my mother, I was browsing through Sephora, determined to find something with a “beach scent” for her. The one that she really loved has been discontinued and I was hoping to locate a comparable replacement. No such luck, but as I was peering along the shelves, my eye caught L’Occitane’s Cherry Blossom. I gave myself a spritz and it was near-instant love. I thought it would be great for my mother (in spite of its lack of “beach smell”) and set to wrapping it up. While she liked the scent, it wasn’t quite “her”, so I wound up acquiring the bottle (don’t worry, I have a replacement gift in the works!).

L'Occitane Cherry Blossom

L’Occitane Cherry Blossom

I am shocked that I’ve discovered something that I am liking almost as much as Tuscany. I can see this becoming a “regular” for me. I’m very pleased at how long-lasting it is, particularly since it is an eau de toilette. I like that the products are made with natural ingredients. Perhaps most of all, I like how the scent makes me feel. Though the scent is not close to Tuscany, the feeling that I get from it is so similar- feminine, warm, sensual. Cherry Blossom is a bit more crisp, a bit more girly, but has enough warmth to make me feel… warm! Inviting! Sensual! Totally sigh-worthy!

L'Occitane Cherry Blossom

Windows Open!

Autumn is my favorite time of year, and I love getting an early glimpse of crisp breezes, colorful leaves, and everything else that comes with the season. I love the opportunity to open the windows and let the breeze in…and to pull out the knee-high boots! Today is the first time I’ve worn them since summer kicked in full-force, so I decided to mark the occasion with a post and a pic:

leather boots

What signals the “official” changes of the seasons for you? Is it a calendar date, a “feeling” in the air, something else? How do you engage your senses during each season? If you are so inclined, please share in the comments!

Fresh herbs- Tarragon

When I’m looking to make a meal quickly, I sometimes reach for Trader Joe’s Butternut Squash Triangoli. I boil them as directed on the package, then quickly saute them with a little butter and cinnamon (mmm)! This time, I added some fresh tarragon to the mix. It added a nice spin to a familiar flavor for me.

Butternut squash triangoli (Trader Joe's) sauteed in butter with cinnamon and fresh tarragon.

Butternut squash triangoli (Trader Joe’s) sauteed in butter with cinnamon and fresh tarragon.

I always enjoy experimenting with flavors and this is a combination that I may try again in the near future! I also like how the tarragon looks on top of the triangoli.

Bringing a Taste of Home to the Office

These days, it’s quite common to spend one’s lunch hour eating in the office at one’s desk. What are some things you do to create a more homey environment? What can you do to make your daily lunch a more sensory experience? 

Even the simple action of bringing leftovers from home rather than ordering takeout can make lunch a more “homey” experience, but I try to take it a few steps further. No little salt and pepper packets for me. I bring a salt and pepper grinder (purchased at Trader Joe’s for an affordable $1.99 each) to engage in the experience and give my meal more of a “freshly prepared” feel. 

trader joes pepper salt grinder

Salt and pepper grinders (“Everyday Seasoning”) from Trader Joe’s.

I use sturdy, reusable containers rather than the “typical” takeout containers and use a colorful placemat. REAL flatware also makes a huge difference! I also bring in fancy printed napkins so I have something nice to look at while I eat. 

homemade lunch real flatware

Homemade lunch and REAL flatware!

These subtle, easy, and quick tweaks make such a difference in engaging the senses and making an at-the-desk lunch much more appealing! Try it some time and let me know what you think!