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A book read, a Netflix watch, and a fragrance recommendation, along with the 10 commandments for a more fulfilled life, in ASPIRE+

Wear It: Oud

Warm Woody Sweetness

French perfumer and writer Jean-Claude Ellena once said, “Perfume is a story in odor, sometimes poetry in memory.” The beauty and richness of it is precisely why Oud has remained in vogue since time immemorial. A highly precious resin, also known as Agarwood, the Oud can be considered to be the signature scent of the Middle East.

Known to be ‘seductive’, the scent of Oud is woody and rich with nuances, ranging from earthy to sweet. Depending on the tree species that produce the resin, some scents may also have hints of leather and spices. As a perfumery ingredient, Oud and its essential oil are among the most valuable and rare, sometimes even referred to as liquid gold.

Among its best characteristics is its long-term persistence on the skin. As a result, the precious ingredient of artisan perfumery is often used to create particular fragrances.

Even though oud adds a masculine touch to any fragrance, when blended with roses and soft notes, it becomes bursting with femininity. In fact, it is also known as the perfume of the Thousand and One Nights. An unforgettable, mysterious scent, there is no doubt as to why Oud is characteristic to the fragrance of the Middle East.

Watch It: Don’t Look Up

The World As We Should Know It

The science fiction movies from the 70s and 80s did not get it that wrong, it would appear. The dystopian future they predicted is fast becoming a reality with incoherent content and a dissolute existence that has taken root in brand marketing, social media fanfare, and superficial lifestyles.

DON’T LOOK UP has taken the world by storm. A professor and his student spot an extinction event asteroid that is due to hit Earth in six months. They try their hardest to alert world leaders only to be fobbed off by marketing experts, viewer ratings, and egomaniacal politicians and their flunkies who refuse to take them seriously.

The movie has been criticized heavily by mainstream media channels, perhaps all the more reason to watch it, but it captures modern-day existence quite brilliantly. This allegorical take on the impending danger of climate change and human blindness to the future that is coming for us all is not to be ignored.

Starring the inimitable Leonardo DiCaprio and an ensemble cast that includes Jennifer Lawrence, Cate Blanchette, Mary Streep, and Ariana Grande, this entertaining, thought-provoking film is the perfect way to kick back after a long day’s work and relook life, the universe, and your own role in it.

Read It: The Consolations of Philosophy

The Power of Philosophical Insight

Ever grappled with life’s big questions? Ever hurt from not being recognized? Ever been betrayed by someone you love? Have you ever been so ill that you prayed for the end to come soon? Have you ever felt less than equal to others and wondered what the point to it all is?

The incredible modern-day philosopher Alain de Botton has taken all of life’s most distressing bits and broken it down into six key sections ranging from betrayal to failure. He has deconstructed what the philosophy great have said on these issues in the most easy-to-read, information-packed narrative that is genuinely relatable. He explores what the greatest minds of humanity have told about the mundane humanness of us all. And what’s even better, it’s not a thick, dreary time. It’s a little book written with a light and gentle hand. It is a book we should all have on us at all times to get us through the business of life.

Highly recommended!

Do It: Improvise Your Existence

How to 10X your life

Ten things to incorporate into your life right now to make quick and meaningful changes

  • Speak Positive Words. When you talk trash, you produce trash. It can be no other way. Be around positive people.
  • Don’t pick up your device as soon as you wake up. Look at the view, pray, meditate, listen to a favorite song instead, just for five minutes.
  • Eat some fruit every day. An apple, a pear, a banana, fresh pineapple. Eat it with complete attention to its texture and flavor and see how this alone can change your relationship with food in a very short span of time.
  • Compliment three strangers a week. Kindness is in short supply. Do your bit.
  • Limit your ‘scroll’ time. Be mindful of not spending multiple hours a day effectively doing nothing.
  • If it feels scary, do it right away. Use fear as a signal that it’s time to actually take action.
  • Observe your patterns. Notice your behaviors and responses. Treat your life like script that can be constantly improvised.
  • Remember that everything will change. It is all transitory and nothing remains the same. Whether you’re celebrating or mourning or something in between, this too shall pass.
  • Drink one more glass of water each day. Don’t pressurize yourself to get the recommended two-liters down perfectly. Just focus on drinking one more. Then add another.
  • Read up on one thing you know nothing about. Google is your friend.

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