Remember the time

It’s the first of July, it’s summer, and when everything goes well, lots of sunshine, and many happy faces! I love summer, sunshine, flowers, and I am a happy person, who likes to smile. But today, for 15 years now, this month brings also some sadness. It’s also a period for me to remember some loved ones, who passed away. My mother and ‘grandma’ Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan

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Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (1906 – 2000) in vintage Cartier picture frame, handmade bronze lamp by Daum, Art Deco pendulettes by Cartier, Wedgwood vase (all private collecton), flowers by Bloom Studio (Click photo to enlarge).

Exactly 2 weeks after the death of my mother, ‘grandma’ Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan passed away.

Playing as a child in the garden of Yakymour was a happy, innocent time, thanx to ‘Grandma’ Yaky and to Sadruddin, where an by whom I could be fully myself and forget ‘the bad things’, and get some strenght.

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She had a big heart. No matter what kind of religion, man or women, or even sexual oriantation, she was véry openminded, Yakymour was always an open house.  “We should take care of eachother, everybody should be loved!, We are here on earth to do good, and not to harm or judge people, so lets love” she always said. And that’s what she did! She teached and showed me a lot! I’m always be grateful to that.

We talked to each other occasionally on the phone. You were so tired. Taking care of my mother, and the things that had to be done afer that, made that we haven’t seen eachother anymore…. everything went soo quick. Begum Om Habibeh ‘Mata Salamat’ aka Yvette Labrousse died on 1 July 2000, in Le Cannet, near Cannes, at the age of 94 years.

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Begum Om Habibeh Aga Khan (1906 – 2000) in vintage Cartier picture frames, Wedgwood vase (all private collecton) (Click photo to enlarge).

Like my mother she had the wish to stay in her own house, her own room, her own bed. She had some wonderful people who loved her and who took care of her: thanx Jeanet.

In the years she gave me some beautiful presents, like these to vintage sterling Art Deco Cartier picture frames. I gave them a special place in my house, and sometimes I change the pictures, to think about the wonderful time we had.

Time flies, sometimes it (still) feels like yesterday! You where very special to me, I will always remember the time! Thanx always!

gr.Jean Amr

From Paris With Love: Lampe Berger

As long as can remember, there was a Lampe Berger in several rooms at Yakymour, and, as a child I was always facinated by them. Not only because of the scent it spread, but also how it worked….

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Cartier Art Deco Basculante Clock, Cartier Art Deco Triptique Clock and Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge)

Begum Om Habibeh had several different scents she could use for her Lampe Berger , depending on mood or occasion. I grew up with them, my grandmother had one, my mother, and me, myself and I…. and still facinated, and enjoying it a lot!

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Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge).

I can tell you how wonderfull it is, but first: what is it? A Lampe Berger is a fragrance lamp, also known as a ‘perfume lamp’, ‘catalytic lamp’ or  ‘effusion lamp’. The lamp disperses scented oil, using a heated stone attached to a cotton wick. The catalystic combusion wick was originally developed in the 19th century for use in hospitals and mortuaries. A Frenchman named Maurice Berger was the first to receive a patent (in 1897!), and the company he founded, Lampe Berger, is the oldest worldwide manufacturer of the device though there are a growing number of companies making such lamps. For myself: I go for the original!

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Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge)

The lamps are sold on the premise that molecules that cause bad smells are inherently unstable and the fragrance lamp’s flame-less, low-temperature catalytic combustion speeds up the decomposition process, converting odor molecules into harmless substances (such as carbon dioxide and water). While the lamps are no longer considered effective for use in hospitals, they have remained popular as air fresheners.

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Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge).

The fragrance lamp’s process is initiated by lighting the stone burner seated at the mouth of the lamp. After a few minutes the flame is extinguished by blowing it out. But; the heated burner remains active as the flame-less, low-temperature catalytic combustion process; and diffuses the aromatics throughout the room. The lamp does not operate with an open flame, making it much safer to operate than scented candles. Its lower operating temperature also means that, unlike scented candles, the aromatics are diffused very efficiently into the ambient air without being burned. One of the by-products of these fragrance lamps is low-level ozone, which has been attributed to the “purification process” of the lamps in eliminating odor.

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Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge).

At Yakymour there where a few Baccarat crystal Lampe Berger’s, and my mother owned a Limoges porcelain one. Even today the ‘bottles’ are availble in countles kind of shapes, styles, colors, materials and price ranges. From classic, to ultra-modern, from around 39€ to 1500€ and everything in between. Every year Lampe Berger invites a designer or crystal house to design a limited edition for them. So… something for anyone..

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Lampe Berger Bacarrat (Privat collection)(Click photo to enlarge)

Notice:

The lamp fuel contains 90% isopropyl alcohol and should be regarded as a highly flammable liquid. Furthermore, to start the catalytic wick according to the instruction it is necessary to light the catalytic burner with a flame and let it burn for approximately two minutes until it reaches the correct operating temperature. At this point the flame should be extinguished in order for the oil to be diffused.

Some point sound logic maybe, but still: precautions should be taken to avoid any possible hazards:

  • Make sure the fuel container is in perfect condition, perfectly tight and not leaking.
  • When not in use, make sure the airtight cap is on at all times to prevent evaporation (alcohol vapour/air mixture is highly flammable!).
  • Do not leave unattended during operation.
  • Do not use in an unventilated room.
  • Do not inhale, ingest, or use the lamp fuel in any other manner.
  • Use only original Lampe Berger fuel, not fake ones!!
  • Take extreme caution while refilling the fragrance lamp. Make sure there is ventilation, and that there is no open flame.
  • In case of any spillage, wipe the area carefully before lighting the lamp.
  • Do not fill lamps on wooden furniture or use a lamp without a dish underneath it. The fuel will damage furniture.

Soon more about Lampe Berger, and its scents, here on Yakymour.

by Jean Amr