Personal Effects: Lauren Joseph

The DEPARTURES contributor shares talks her favorite, can’t-live-without things. 

"I was having a hard time figuring out what my most important, everyday luxuries are until my boyfriend, who’s an architect, came back from a weekend away and unpacked his Rhodia gridded notebook and a batch of freshly sharpened Ticonderogas. It reminded me that I never leave for a trip without a pocket watercolor kit, a roll of brushes, and some good thick Arches paper tucked into my bag. On the day to day, I am always wearing a watch. My father gave my mother this little Cartier tank around the time I was born. She’s a physician, and her 30-plus hand washes a day rules out wearing a watch with a leather strap. It sat in its box for a few decades until she passed it along to me. The one benefit of not being a brilliant physician in my family of brilliant physicians: I get to wear the watch. There are two products I finish—and replenish—again and again: Le Labo Santal 33 and Aesop Deodorant. The combination is quite masculine and peppery. It’s my mojo, I just feel better with them on. I have a print from Gregory Colbert, who is a dear friend and mentor. When he gave it to me, I was living in a fifth-floor walk up in Little Italy. (Gregory lives in a converted theater house in the East Village that could fit a few small planes.) I’m not sure what was better: being gifted the piece or watching Gregory walk up those five flights of crumbling stairs in his velvet suit, with the roar of the San Gennaro festival outside. It was the nicest thing in that apartment and still feels that way six years later. Lastly, sustenance: I would live off 85 percent (and up) dark chocolate, a good chai tea, and pixie tangerines from my native Ojai, California, if I could." 


Le Labo Santal 33 perfume, from $163;
Aesop herbal deodorant, $35;
Holbein watercolor set, from $158;

Isabey pocket brush, from $17;
Arches watercolor paper, from $18;
Cartier pink gold, steel and leather watch, $4,600;
Madécasse 92-percent dark chocolate, $6;
Bellocq chai tea, $12;

Find more Personal Effects from DEPARTURES editors and our favorite tastemakers »