Author Archives: Beth


I love nothing more than getting a peek inside a gorgeous home. I hate to admit this, but before parenthood and play dates, my hubby and I went to a few too many open houses back in the day just to check out the interiors of some of the gorgeous homes in the city. Have you ever done that? I think most of us probably have so I have to think I am not alone in my hopes of catching a glimpse.

When I received the House Beautiful February 2014 issue in my mailbox, I could tell right from the cover shot that I was going to like the interior of this particular Chicago home. I was shocked to learn that this home was in fact new construction as many details would lead me to think otherwise. The interior design was done by New York-based designer Stephen Gambrel. He is one of the best but I probably couldn’t afford even a half hour of his time.

The foyer sets the stage for the home with the magnificent black and white marble floor and the bold red on the staircases. At first the red took me aback but it has since grown on me. Not sure if I would have gone for it personally but it definitely sets the stage for this home with a big ol’ bang. The Suffolk chandelier is one of Stephen Gambrel’s own designs, it is part of his namesake collection for The Urban Electric Company.


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You may not know him by name {yet!} but I am certain you are familiar with many of his lovely creations. In fact, French perfumer Francis Kurkdjian has created 40+ fragrances for some of the biggest names in fashion: Yves Saint Laurent, Versace, Giorgio Armani, Elie Saab, Lanvin, Dior, Narcisco Rodriguez and the list just goes on and on. In fact, he received the prestigious Prix Francois Coty award in 2001 recognizing his lifetime achievements and in 2009, he founded his own luxury fragrance house, Maison Francis Kurkdjian. Francis Kurkdjian is one of the most celebrated perfumers of our time. 

So what goes into making a perfume and how did he become a master perfumer in the first place? Luckily, I had the distinct privilege to ask this master perfumer some questions. Maybe you are like me, when I spritz myself as I walk out the door, it is mainly just habit, I honestly have never really given a second thought to the process and skill that has made the fragrance possible. The truth is so much goes into making a fragrance. Here is the scoop, I bet you will learn a thing or two, I sure did.



Can you tell me about when you first discovered your love of fragrance?

There was not even the shadow of a perfumer on the horizon in my family. After a short-lived career as a classical ballet dancer, I pursued couture and fashion to continue my family history: the father of my mother was a tailor, and the father of my father was a wedding dress designer and a fur dealer. Both had their own ateliers with a private clientele. Unfortunately, my pencil refused attempts at design, and I could not enter the fashion school I wanted.

At age 14, I read an article about several perfumers in glossy pages of a French magazine. It was a true revelation. I found out that the couturier was not the one who was creating his perfumes. There were people behind it, and it was a very special craft. Perfume is so much linked to the couture world; it’s so close to the skin, even closer than a piece of clothing. It’s the ultimate emotional accessory that builds so many memories and gives you a real feeling of being a woman (or a man), seductive and sensual. After reading that piece in the magazine, I then decided I would become a perfumer and started to research about perfume school and I found out about ISIPCA (the perfumer school in Versailles – France). At age 15 my parents took me there to visit the school and we had a meeting with the director. I was too young of course and the school director told me I had to come back after I had a masters degree in science. I applied to ISIPCA at age 20, and graduated in 1992.

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Chances are many of you may already know her but today’s post is about none other than Erika Bearman, a.k.a. The OscarPRGirl, you know, the girl with the dream job. Yeah, being the SVP of Communications at Oscar de la Renta surely wouldn’t suck and sounds like pure fantasy to me. Per her @OscarPRGirl Twitter account here is how she describes her daily grind…PR girl for Oscar de la Renta reporting from inside one of the world’s most prestigious fashion houses. 

Nice! Sign me up. Sure sounds like a great gig to me. This fashionista has been bringing it since she was brought on board in 2008 and has created quite the following, as demonstrated by her 273,850 followers on Instagram and 267,000 followers on Twitter. You can also follow her on Tumblr

She has become a style star that’s for sure and no shock her highly coveted closet was featured in The Coveteur. She shared the following with The Coveteur, “I am best known {I think} for taking the brand’s reputation for outfitting ladies who lunch to ladies {and girls} who tweet at lunch.” Needless to say, I am pretty fascinated with her. Here is a pic from The Coveteur photo shoot. At the time of the shoot she was totally rockin’ platinum blonde locks. I love it! 


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Seems mixing things up a bit continues to gain momentum. Yes, we all know mixing prints has been all the rage for quite some time now but why not mix it up a bit with something else? Do the unexpected and dare to be different? How about your earrings? I know I am lovin’ this cool mix and match collection from Lionette by Noa Sade and can possibly see a trend in the works. This collection is dedicated to Noa’s mother because guess what? Her mom never wore a pair of matching earrings in her life. I know I am diggin’ it. Here is my very favorite pair from the mix and match collection, it is more understated which tends to be what I gravitate towards…


 Sinner & Saint

Yeah, baby! I must get my hands on a pair of these lovelies. However, if you like to be more bold check out some of the other smashin’ pieces from the mix and match collection…

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