Oh my, what on earth is causing that horrible smell? It’s a sentence I say to myself at least, ooooh, once a month. I come home, open the front door and it hits me. An unpleasant scent that permeates my 65 square meter apartment. As I hold my nose, I start looking for the cause: a few Brussels sprouts I’d thrown in the trash the previous night, the sweaty shirt from yesterday’s workout in the gym bag that I had left open in the hallway, the flowers I should have thrown out days ago but didn’t – you name it, it smells. And getting rid of the source sometimes just isn’t enough. A funky smell can linger for hours, even if you open a window or two. This is one of the many reasons I have been a heavy user of Maison Berger catalytic lamps. If you don’t know what a catalytic lamp is, don’t worry. I’ll tell you all about later. For now, I’m just really excited that for their new Muse collection, Maison Berger has teamed up with none other than Jonathan Adler – the man who sparked my love for colorful interiors many moons ago. And, don’t worry, I’m going to tell you about that as well.
Full disclosure: I received the Muse Lampe Berger to try out together with the new Thé Vert Impérial lamp fragrance – lucky me!
Et voilà! This is the Jonathan Adler Muse for Maison Berger. Preparing the lamp is simple: you pour in the fragranced oil in the lamp using the funnel (which I invariably lose but that’s another story) and you put in the burner.
Jonathan Adler and I go way back
Before I go on, I have to tell you that I’ve been feeling a bit down lately. Can you imagine that? Me, the eternal optimist who has already figured out that the inscription on his tombstone is going to be “Don’t worry, I’ll dig myself out of this hole as well”, going through a rough patch? In any case, I have to admit I felt a lot better when my Muse Lampe Berger was delivered late last week. Call me superficial for having my spirits lifted by a fabulous home accessory, it’s not like I care. Besides, Jonathan Adler and I go way back. In fact, we go back all the way to May 2009, when I was on my honeymoon in New York City and my then husband and I visited the Jonathan Adler store in Soho. As these things go, I only remember bits and pieces. The man himself wasn’t there and neither was his wickedly funny partner Simon Doonan, that’s for sure. But I do remember a charming salesperson and his cute little doggy. My husband and I must have spent an hour deciding what to get. There were so many cheerful, colorful, tasteful things to choose from – a huge difference from the drabby taupe stuff that was en vogue at the time. We ended up buying the Utopia vase. Heaven knows why we did, because looking back, I really think we should have got one of those Jonathan Adler boob vases instead. And I’m not even a breast man! Later that day, we saw 9 to 5 on Broadway and then had a drink at that revolving restaurant at the Marriott on Times Square. When we told the waiter we were on our honeymoon, he brought us a plate with three strawberries. After all, marriage, he said, is all about sharing. Divorce is as well, I found out seven years later – but obviously, I insisted on getting the Jonathan Adler vase after we had broken up. What did I have to give up in return? A blue and white Jonathan Adler ashtray shaped like a zebra skin that I had just bought in London. And that’s okay, because I don’t smoke. Oh, and if I had, I obviously could have bought a Maison Berger catalytic lamp.
This is where it gets exciting! To enjoy the Lampe Berger, you have to light it for about two minutes, during which an impressive flame heats up the burner. All you have to do next, is blow it out, sit back and let the magic do its work.
Why I can no longer live without a Lampe Berger (or two)
So, now would be a good time to delve into what a catalytic lamp actually does. To be honest, I used to think that the sole purpose of a Lampe Berger is to diffuse a home fragrance, but let me tell you there’s more. You see, a catalytic lamp also purifies the air by eliminating malodorous molecules – which is a fancy way of saying it gets rid of nasty smells around the house. You fill the Lampe Berger with scented oil, you light the lamp burner, wait for about two minutes, blow it out and then let the magic do its thing. There are tons of different fragrances to choose from, ranging from floral and fresh to spicy and woody. In fact, there is even one called Christmas Cookies – and if you follow me on Instagram, it will come as no surprise it is high up on my list this month. No matter which fragrance you choose, however, all of them do the same two things: they get rid of every odor you can think of in a matter of minutes AND they fill your room with a lovely home perfume that is more effective than the most expensive scented candles on the market (believe me, I’ve tried them all through the years). I usually burn my lamp for about half an hour and then turn it off by putting the lid back on the lamp burner. If you want something that diffuses a nice smell 24/7, I suggest you go for a reed diffuser instead. Perfect for your bathroom, for example. Me, I’ve always been more of a Lampe kind of guy. In fact, I love them so much I can’t even remember who many Lampe Bergers I’ve gifted this past decade. I have one in my living room, another one in the hallway and a third one in my bedroom. I even have this beautiful book that has every lamp in it that was ever produced since Maison Berger got started at the end of the 19th century. I love looking at the different collections they have released throughout the years – it’s such a great reflection of how design and taste have changed. There are even avid Lampe Berger collectors and they aren’t afraid of paying anything up to 500 dollars on eBay for a rare model. Oh, and now that so many of us are working from home…these babies are perfect if you need a little perfumed pick-me-up in the afternoon.
The Maison Berger Jonathan Adler lamp has found a perfect spot next to the Jonathan Adler vase I bought in New York City a loooong time ago.
The Maison Berger Jonathan Adler Muse Collection
So, as I told you, I was lucky enough to get a Muse Lampe Berger from the Maison Berger PR agency – thank you very much! I’d seen photos of the Muse collection before, but I didn’t realize how BIG the lamp was until I took it out of its beautiful box. You know how as a European you can always be amazed at the enormous size of everything you see when you’re in America? I bet you’ll get the same feeling when you first see this new Lampe Berger. Mind you, it is a thing of beauty. Now, white and gold always make for a classic and sophisticated combination. The lips theme, however, gives the bottle that little extra pizzazz, to throw in one of the most fun American English words I can think of. It all screams delicious over the top American fun with a big fat wink – in other words, Muse is Jonathan Adler to a T. And speaking of tea, I will now step away from my computer for a few minutes and fill the lamp with the Thé Vert Impérial fragrance that came with it. I will be right back. Okay, I’m back. My lamp is now on – and to get a good impression of its scent, I’ve cupped my hand and held it over the lamp for a few seconds. As expected, it smells lovely – think green tea’s subtle freshness combined with hints of sandalwood and musk. Together with Voluptueuse Venise and Jardin sur la Rivièra, it is definitely a scent that will become part of my collection of recurring Maison Berger fragrances. I have to admit, however, that I might try out the two other new scents that are part of the other new Maison Berger x Jonathan Adler collection first, called Mr. and Mrs. So much to choose from! First, there’s Terre Sauvage, which I understand is leathery and masculine. All I have to do is close my eyes and imagine Peter Marino is sitting next to me on the couch. And with its grapefruit theme, Envolée d’Argumes will probably be right up my alley as well. BTW, last but not least…car owners, rejoice! There are even special Mr. and Mrs. car diffusers! If that doesn’t convince you to run to your nearest Maison Berger dealer, I don’t know what will. As for me, I’m staying in today, thank you very much!