Tuesday evening was magical. I hosted my book club for the first time and had a blast decorating with Tom Robbins book, Jitterbug Perfume as my inspiration. This my first Tom Robbins novel and it won't be my last. I was completely enthralled with the story and all of Robbins's philosophical musings. His analogies are like nothing I've ever read before! Honestly, this book is both crazy and ingenious. I didn't even think I would like it, but I threw caution to the wind and dove right in. It's one of those novels that stays with you long after you lay it down.
Check out my beet themed centerpiece. If you've read the book, you will get this connection. If you haven't, check out this synopsis. Let's just say that the humble beet plays a very important role.
The silver tea pot relates to the one of the main female characters, Kudra. The book discusses extensively the art of perfume creation, so I wanted to include apothecary elements too. I love my little mortar and pestle that I found at a local antique store.
I served a Greek themed spread in honor of the Greek god Pan, who also played a major role in this novel...yes like I said a tad crazy. A roasted beet and feta salad that I made was super easy and loved by everyone.
The rustic texture of the beets contrasted with the silver and glass makes for a lovely and original arrangement. This has definitely inspired me to create more centerpieces with vegetable elements. It's a lot less expensive than flowers too!
We dined alfresco on my patio under twinkling candles and a spray of fairy lights strewn through my wisteria.
The conversation was very stimulating to say the least. Robbins really challenges you to be open-minded and encourages you to view things in an entirely different way. Among the fascinating meanderings of Robbin's mind he throws out truly prolific lines:
"We waste time looking for the perfect lover, instead of creating the perfect love." — Tom Robbins
"The unhappy person resents it when you try to cheer him up, because that means he has to stop dwelling on himself and start paying attention to the universe. Unhappiness is the ultimate form of self-indulgence. When you're unhappy, you get to pay a lot of attention to yourself. You get to take yourself oh so very seriously." — Tom Robbins
"Our individuality is all, all, that we have. There are those who barter it for security, those who repress it for what they believe is the betterment of the whole society, but blessed in the twinkle of the morning star is the one who nurtures it and rides it in, in grace and love and wit, from peculiar station to peculiar station along life's bittersweet route." — Tom Robbins
As a little take home gift for my ladies, I created my own version of the famous K23 or Kudra perfume. I couldn't resist getting out my essential oils and giving it a go. It's a jasmine themed scent with a lemon and tangerine top note and a sandalwood bottom note. (I didn't have beet pollen on hand so it had to do). My friends seemed to enjoy it, deeply inhaling the fragrance and applying it to the inside of their wrists.
All in all, it was a fabulous night. Good friends, plenty of french red wine, yummy food, a riveting novel and wonderful discussion - doesn't get better than that.
Hope you are reading something inspiring.