To say French couple Alexandre Piffaut and Sandra Fuzier are purists is putting it mildly. To elevate potpourri from how people often think of it (dried scented ﬂowers that collect dust and tiny insects while disintegrating into a mess), they looked for the best medium to distribute their brand of essential oil-based home fragrances, Mad et Len. They found it in the Sahara desert, in the form of porous volcanic rocks that absorb and retain fragrance better than traditional potpourri. The prescented rock is encased in rectangular or round brushed black metal lidded “pots” that are as heavy as cast iron, and resemble archaeological ﬁnds. Two variations are available at L’armoire. Our fave (above): the sweet and woody Black Champaka, $190. The other is the spicy and earthy Terre Noire (in a round box), $340. Each comes with a mini vial of its scent for refreshing the volcanic rock. – BG
PHOTOGRAPHY VEE CHIN, ASSISTED BY PHYLLICIA WANG STYLING SHAN
THE WATCH THAT COULD SAVE YOUR LIFE
When you’re overseas, the emergency telephone number isn’t always 911 or 999 (in Buenos Aires, it’s 107). And sometimes, when you least expect it, you simply need that number. Here’s where Apple Watch’s Series 4 comes to the rescue. It has a fall-detection function that measures unnatural falling or ﬂailing movements (like when you topple off your bike or slip on an icy pavement). It alerts you after said fall and offers the emergency service of wherever you’re in. You can either dismiss it within 60 seconds, or use it to get help. We’re glad it’s there, but let’s hope you never have to use it. – DFL
THE ACTION HERO
When Gopro sticks to what it does best – compact action cameras – it’s like Thanos: It has zero competition. Of its three Hero 7s, Black (the other two are White and Grey) makes it very possible to create pro-looking 4K videos that might have been shot with a gimbal (even without a gimbal). How: Its Hypersmooth stabilisation feature “smooths over” every shake, bump and vibration so that even a mountain bike trip over the toughest terrain doesn’t give viewers motion sickness.
Black is also made for live streaming real-time adventures on Facebook, Youtube, Twitch and Vimeo (with more platforms to come). Other cool features are Timewarp for time-lapse videos, Portrait Mode for vertical videos for easy social media sharing, and Face, Smile, and Scene Detection. It’s $595. – RT
"What goes where: A tea light candle goes through the hole on the right, and a few drops of fragranced oil go into the left. Now, inhale."
THE SHOWPIECE BURNER
Designed by Australian Henry Wilson (known for his metal works), it’s made of solid brass – chosen for its heat transferring quality and warm, comforting patina that deepens over time – and it weighs a substantial 1kg. With this sculptured masterpiece, Aesop has elevated the simple act of oil-burning into something more. Called the Brass Oil Burner, it’s Aesop’s ﬁrst interior creation, with a curved, irregular shape moulded using an ancient wax casting method that ensures no two burners are exactly alike. Maintenance is minimal: Dab away leftover oil with a tissue and give the burner a once-over with a clean, damp cloth. It’s $245. – GYH
An oil blend for an oil burner: Beatrice is a warm woodand-citrus that’s both earthy and uplifting. $53
"Although no money is required to play the music, The Memory Sound Box has a side slot of the right size for 50-cent coins, which means the tin doubles as a piggy bank."
THE JUKEBOX IN A BISCUIT TIN
This is not a box of Hup Seng Cream Crackers. It is The Memory Sound Box, a rechargeable jukebox in a Hup Seng Cream Crackers tin. Designed by Yu Yah-Leng of design agency Foreign Policy Design Group and The Social Co., a collective that does charitable projects, it has 77 tracks from the ’60s to the late ’90s (yup, they include songs by Teresa Teng, the Bee Gees, Stevie Wonder and The Beach Boys). To play, press any of the 18 buttons on the front. From http://thesocialco.sg for $500. Proceeds go entirely to the Alzheimer’s Disease Association. – BG
PHOTOGRAPHY VEE CHIN, ASSISTED BY PHYLLICIA WANG STYLING SHAN
"LV’s upgraded Horizon Soft luggage is still waterrepellent, still has as-silentas-possible wheels, and the retractable handle is still on the outside of the bag for more storage space."
THE TEMPERATURE REGULATING SUITCASE
A lot of engineering goes into the outside of most travel cases. The inside? Not as much. Designer Marc Newson (right), in his third collaboration with Louis Vuitton, has changed that with the brand’s Horizon Soft luggage range. Covered – inside and out – with a stretchy, elastic, thermo-control jacquard knit-blend, these suitcases keep the inside (and your belongings) at normal room temperature. Prices start from $3,850. – BG
THE MASCARA WAND FOR SHORT, SCANTY LASHES
Hourglass Cosmetics calls its Curator Lash Instrument an instrument because it’s literally that – a bristle-less, stainless steel wand with mini screwdriver-like grooves to help less-than-lush-and-long Asian lashes get some groove with any mascara. The logic behind the science from the New York brand: no bristles = a wand that can get to lash lines and tighter corners at any angle without smudges, or poking you in the eye. The grooves, which provide a ribbed surface, grab, coat and comb each lash evenly. From Tangs at Tang Plaza, $122. – CT
THE GLASSES FOR ALL NOSES
Despite how inclusive brands try to be, ﬁnding eyewear for Asian faces is still a try-till-you-get - the-right-ﬁt chore. Oliver Peoples makes it much easier with its Whitt glasses, which have not one but two bridges. One stays static while the second – under the ﬁrst – automatically adjusts up or down to accommodate the height (or lack of height) of the nose bridge. Each pair is $630. – RT
"All four legs of the Mavic 2 Pro are foldable for easier storage and portability. And its remote control has removable joysticks, which also makes it easier to store and transport."
"Slot your phone into the controller to connect the drone to DJI’s Go 4 app for its seven Intelligent Flight Modes."
THE DRONE OF DRONES
There are unmanned aerial vehicles and there are unmanned aerial vehicles. DJI’s Mavic 2 Pro is the kind you want for more-funless-screw-ups play. First, the fun part: It’s bigger than most (the width of a 12-inch pizza) – giving it (and us) a we-are-serious-aboutour-game vibe. It also offers the longest ﬂight time for any drone, at 30 minutes. After it’s connected to DJI’s Go 4 app via your mobile (Android or iOS), its seven Intelligent Flight Modes kick in. Two standouts: Active Track, for the narcissist, programmes the drone to track just the face, whether you’re trekking through New Zealand or riding camels in the Sahara; and Circle in Hyperlapse Mode, which sets it to ﬂy in a circular pattern around any subject while creating a time-lapse video.
Now, for the less headache-y part: To ensure its 4K videos and 20-megapixel photos are more Nat Geo than homemade, the Mavic 2 Pro has sharpness, clarity and improved colour accuracy sorted with a Nasa-approved Hasselblad lens (the Swedish camera makers’ product documented the ﬁrst moon landing in 1969) – which means you can now spend more time outdoors instead of being desk-bound, editing.
To prevent the drone from crashing into anything, all its six sides are covered in sensors designed to help it avoid or ﬂy around obstacles.
At major electronic stores for $2,149; it requires Android 5.0 or above, and iOS 9.0 or above to operate. – NP
PHOTOGRAPHY VERONICA TAY STYLING SHAN