Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

My friend and I are nine years old lying in an open spaced stairs spying at all the guests at an older sister’s party. A young woman passes by and I can smell her perfume, an incident that introduced me to the warm and sensual fragrance of Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley. I remember inhaling the nice blend deep inside, and thinking it was the best smell ever. The perfume with the unisex icon has been a companion up to this day, and at the moment it leans on my chest of drawers next to other favorites.

Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was launched in 1969 and has been rated as one of the best smelling perfumes in the world. The Alyssa Ashley brand name was born in the USA during the fabulous sixties. Young people, the hippies and the flower children did no longer want the sophisticated fragrances worn by their parents, but embraced the simple essential oils which were rooted in the oriental culture. As a result Musk Oil by Alyssa Ashley was created out of the fantasy of a contemporary artist, who besides expressing his talent in painting (he held a master of contemporary art) devoted much time and energy to his passion for perfumes. The bottles and packaging he designed can in themselves be considered as an expression of modern art. ALYSSA however was the name of his youngest daughter and Ashley her nickname because of her blond hair.

Musk itself originally a glandular secretion from musk deer, was from ancient time used as a popular perfume fixative until economic and ethical motives led to the adoption of synthetic musk in the late 19th century.

The perfume can be purchased from here.



                                             Edited by Kristin Bae Mysen

The famous Iraqi-British architect Zaha Hadid died 31st of March this year, and I had to make this collage as a tribute to one of my favorite architects.

I discovered her design a couple of years ago when I visited MAXXI – the National Museum of Contemporary Art in Rome, and I immediately fell in love with her innovative and spectacular forms. As a matter of fact I got so excited that I made this blog post about the building at the hotelroom the same day.

Up to the left in the picture we see the Heydar Aliyeu Center, a museum and a conference center in Azerbaijan, and to the right the Regium Waterfront separating mainland Italy from Sicily. Down to the left the Aquatics Center for the 2012 London Olympics, and to the right the Civil Court in Madrid.

She was really an extraordinary talented architect. Watch this film from here!



Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

In a vintage store in Oslo the other day I stumbled over these skinny leather ties from the 80s. So fun to see them again, and I had to buy them right away. I remember very clearly that I gave a turquoise one as a birthday gift to a friend at one point. He told me years later that he had liked it so much that he had worn it to pieces.

And all the bright clothing at that time. I recall my bright, blue coat, and not to mention how great I felt with shoulder pads inside my dresses. I do also have a clear picture of myself working in a café with a bright, pink ribbon tied in my hair. It seems like a very long time ago.

What else, oh, yes, the pop ballads with Lionel Richie, Christ de Burgh and Diana Ross. And who will ever forget the Norwegian group “The Monroes”. I am walking down the memory lane at the moment. Last week I made a playlist on Spotify with music from the 70s, today I made one from the 80s. If you like to get into the romantic mood from the eighties, you go from here.


The 1970s were an interesting time for style and design. I was a teenager at that time, and remember with joy my new decorated room. A brown corduroy sofa and chair, a green table next to a couple of orange plastic furniture. From the ceiling a macramé with a green plant, and on the brown shelves my tape recorder.


Photo and edition by Kristin Bae Mysen

This weekend I visited my mother and spent the night in my old room. The furniture are all gone, but the hessian wallpaper in yellow and brown is still there, and an orange spotlight and striking green curtains echoe the decade.


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Yesterday I had fun playing around with my iPhone and the app “Fotoautomat” and making these memory boards. And while being in a 1970 state of mind, I had to make a playlist on Spotify with my favorites from that time. Sit back and enjoy the songs here !

And more of the colourful patterns of the 70s here !


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am the proud owner of this beautiful chair “Siesta” from 1965 made by the Norwegian designer Ingmar Relling (1920 – 2002). Relling was an impassioned designer, who created a series of functional furniture designs during his long career. Today he is considered as one of the greatest contributors to the Scandinavian Design, and fifty years later his chair stands out as an internationally recognized classic icon.

The factory Hjelle  in Norway has taken up the production of the Siesta chair with its different designs, which means that it once again can be purchased on the market.


Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

For a long time now I have been searching for this book “The life and work of Ingmar Relling” from 1991, and I was ever so happy when I got hold of a nice copy. At the moment it is the king in my bookcase.



Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

This week I really enjoyed the opera La Traviata (Italian for the fallen women) by Verdi at The Norwegian National Opera and Ballet in Oslo.

Before the performance I dug out my old, Norwegian copy of the novel “The Lady of the Camellias” and read it, because La Traviata is adapted from this French novel  (“La Dame aux Camélias” ) written by Alexandre Dumas the younger.

The book was published in 1848 and is about the beautiful Marguerite (in the opera she is called Violetta), a famed courtesan or a luxury prostitute. She is named the Lady of the Camellias because she wears white camellia flowers when she is available to her lover(s) and red ones when she is occupied.

The plot is filled with agony and heartache. The gentleman Armand falls in love with Marguerite and ultimately becomes her lover, convincing her to leave the city and the life as a “courtisane” and move with him out into the countryside. This idyllic life is broken when Armand’s father who is concerned that this scandalous relationship will destroy his daughter’s (Armand’s sister’s) chances of marriage, and secretly convinces Marguerite to leave Armand, who believes, up until Marguerite’s death, that she has left him for another man. Marguerite’s dies of tuberculosis abandoned by everyone.

This story is more or less based on Dumas’ real life. Marguerite’s name was actually Maria Duplessis, and she was his mistress for a year. She died 23 years old.

“The Lady of the Camellias” premiered at the Théâtre  du Vaudeville in Paris in 1852 was an instant success. Giuseppe Verdi immediately made the story into a opera. Later it became ballet and also the novel has inspired many film adaptions. The most famous ones are “Camille”  (1936) starring the Swedish actress Greta Garbo and the luxury prostitute of them all “Pretty Woman” (1990) starring Julia Roberts and Richard Gere. A famous scene in the latter is when Pretty woman is flown into San Francisco Opera House to see La Traviata. Watch the nice scene here.



Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I am in love with this time of the year. Picking red, juicy apples from the trees and mushroom from the forests. Planting tulip bulbs and spending the whole afternoon stacking woods.   

For more inspiration, watch this! Or buy the great book by Lars Mytting  
“Hel ved” (Norwegian version) from here  Or the English version “Norwegian Wood, Chipping, Stacking and Drying Wood the Scandinavian Way” from here.



Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

Finally it is time for mushroom picking and for bringing the cooking up to a higher level. For two days now I have enjoyed searching “the gold of the forest”. It is ever so fun, specially returning home with a basket filled with delicacies.

The other day a colleague of mine showed me his Swedish Mora mushroom’s knife, and I immediately fell in love and had to order one right away. And that was not only because the handle was very pleasant to hold, but just as much because I loved the design and that the brush was made of real horsehair. Besides the knife had a funny story. It is actually named after former king Karl-Johan of Sweden-Norway (in English Carl III Johan) who was French and reigned from 1818 -1844. Read more about him here.

Up to 1800 mushrooms were only used for lighting fires in Scandinavia, however in French cuisine they used the fungus for cooking, and therefore Karl-Johan did all of us a favor by bringing the tradition to Norway and Sweden. According to him the most noble and delicious of all fungus  was the Boletus edulis (Steinsopp in Norwegian) which he meant had the taste of hazlenut. The monarch did even cultivate the mushrooms around his residence. All this of course lead to the fact that this mushroom is called Karljohan in Swedish. And so is my knife which can be be purchased from here !



Photo: Kristin Bae Mysen

I do love this time of the year. To work in the garden with the smell of autumn in the air, and little by little preparing my garden for the change of season. In Scandinavia at the moment the flowers have their last blooming, and all the leaves are turning red, orange and green.

On my feet are my old, favorite Italian “Arno” garden shoes that I have worn for years and years. They are really solid and a updated design with the same brand can be purchased from here !



The Cardamom Law

You shall never bother others

you shall be both fair and kind,

and whatever else you do 

I shall not mind.

In this complicated world I tend to believe in simple truths like this law written by the constable Bastian in the town of Cardamom from the famous children’s book When the Robbers Came to Cardamom Town. The cheerful constable Bastian’s only concern is making sure that everyone in his town is happy.

This children’s book with the Norwegian title Folk og røvere fra Kardemommeby from 1955 is written and illustrated by Thorbjørn Egner and is considered one of the most important Norwegian children’s books.