The things I love in the world of guilty luxuries: week 1

One of the biggest perils that accompanies my (not-so-secret) love for reading The Times and Tatler is that I gain a sneak peak into the world of guilty luxuries. In most instances they’re not the luxuries I can afford. In many ways, that gives reading about them a slightly enticing edge. Affordable or not, they influence whatever makes it onto my fantasy shopping list, forcing me to do more work.

That in itself is no bad thing. As I’m in the weird little limbo-like gap between leaving my last training post and starting a new career in paediatrics, writing like my life depends on it will work to my advantage. Financially, at least. My high-end journalism reading habit is also inspiring me to write about some of the luxuries I adore, as well as those that I stumble across in my own bid for a comfier lifestyle.

To kickstart my efforts in detailing these luxuries on a weekly basis I’m looking into the world of Diptyque candles, skipping queues in Orlando, an incredibly Waitrose-esque type of formula milk, my ongoing lavender cravings, and the insanely rich individuals who fly their massage therapists several thousand miles around the world because the masseuse in their hotel just won’t do. After that unnecessarily long sentence (I’m sure the point of big bold headings is to somehow avoid that), let’s go…

Blowing advances on Diptyque candles and DVF dresses

You can’t put a price on an amazing smelling living room. Especially when you have to work in it.

Earlier this week I mused over whether buying a first class train ticket makes me more productive or not. The conclusion was that it largely isn’t worth it, but that didn’t stop me from buying another one earlier today.

While enjoying my more recent first class train journey, I dedicated an hour to reading Tatler. Peeking between the glossy covers (and making my way past the first 20-30 pages of ads) gave me the chance to read about how some authors spend their advances. One opted for a moleskin notebook (classic), a Diptyque candle, and a DVF dress.

I’m a serial expensive notebook offender. Most end up soaking to death in my bag after my shot-to-pieces water bottle leaks all over them. While I’m yet to own a Dippitique candle (but now giving it some serious consideration), I have burned many a Jo Malone favourite to its bitter end.

As for DVF, maybe I’ll own one of her dresses one day. For now, I’ll have to treasure the bag I purchased from the OUTNET last year before my best friend’s wedding.

Flying a massage therapist across the globe because the services in Rome are lackluster

Is there something strange about your masseus? Who ya gonna call? Charlie McCorry! CC: StevePB at Pixabay

Amongst the most ridiculous tales of lavishness I’ve ever read is one that featured in The Times earlier this week. To save those who are earning billions upon billions each year subjecting themselves to sub-par hotel massage services, Charlie McCorry’s team of beauty experts fly thousands of miles around the world. Okay, so they don’t just cover massages. They’re there when there’s a need to deliver a rash-free bikini wax and natural looking spray tan too. And much more.

As a woman who will occasionally drive 50 miles to get her eyebrows waxed, I can sort of empathise with this degree of lavish spending. I mean, I am nowhere near being sickeningly rich enough to drop in excess of $20,000 on a massage. Also, I am far too impatient to wait for someone to fly to me, I’d suck it up and use the hotel option. If you read the article on McCorry in The Times you too will be quite impressed at how she seized on a niche market of ridiculousness to make her business boom.

Paying to avoid the crowds at Universal Orlando

I really don’t want to stand in line for the Hogwart’s Express this year… CC: Stuffed Suitcase

When it comes to the list of reasons that illustrate how I’m capable of slightly absurd behaviour, my efforts to avoid queues is pretty close to the top. I’ve been known to pay for fast track airport security perks even when I’m flying at the least busy time of day. My previous role as cabin crew came with the absolutely delightful experience of never queuing at an airport, which I now sorely miss.

I’ve been giving some serious thought to purchasing fast passes for every theme park I visit when I go to Orlando with my daughter this year. I also paid extra to enjoy the upstairs seats on a 747, both because of the faster service and the prospect of not standing inline for an eternity at MCO. I’ll make my final decision once I’ve figured out whether or not it’s necessary to pay extra to stand at watch the Magic Kingdom fireworks from the Tomorrowland Terrace. Yes, that decision is being influenced by my hatred for queues too.

The goats milk formula you’ll only find on the shelves of Waitrose

When your usual tins of formula just aren’t twee enough and you must impress your breastfeeding friends, there’s this.

It’s rare that you’ll encounter a weird luxury in the NHS, especially when you’re working in paediatrics. However, during one of my more recent teaching sessions on diarrhoea in children (surprisingly common this summer), lactose intolerance came up. After discussing the usual Similac prescriptions and the surprisingly tasty reintroducing milk scale, we entered a discussion about a type of formula milk you’ll only find at Waitrose: Nanny Care Longlife first infant goat milk.

Coming in at £25 per tin, it’s eye-wateringly expensive compared to other types of formula milk. But it does feature a whimsical picture on the side that I’m guessing is designed to make us all yearn for times gone by. Complete with our very own neighbourhood Little Bo Peeps. So far, one Waitrose user has rated it with an admirable 5-stars. I’ll keep an eye on the Overheard in Waitrose Facebook page for further discussions.

(I refuse to post on Mumsnet for fear of being virtually lynched).

Lavender L’Occitane shower gel


Hands up if you hate that devastating squelching-cum-hiss-like sound that disrupts your shower when your favourite gel has met its end. Okay, so maybe it’s only those who are particularly precious about their shower gel. I am definitely one of those people.

At some stage during my previous battle with insomnia I acquired a strong army of lavender pillow sprays, candles, bath salts, and shower gels. Today, only one of those items remains a firm feature of my day-to-day life: my Aromachologie Relaxing Shower Gel by L’Occitane.

In all honesty, this wonderous creation didn’t become one of my (un)necessities until my partner bought me a L’Occitane advent calendar. Now I feel overwhelmingly sad when I run out of it. Said sadness disappears roughly around the time I find some wine and/or chocolate.

Today my last bottle of Aromachologie came to an end, which means it’s Amazon Prime to the rescue. But, at least Amazon’s rapid delivery service is in existence. Even if it doesn’t always keep our advertising regulatory bodies smiling.

Do you own any guilty luxuries? Or have you read about some that seem so ostentatious they wouldn’t even feature in Marie Antoinette’s consciousness? (If she were alive today, that is). Feel free to share. 



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