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I recently had a chat with Bear about the notion of travelling to places where you feel an instant affinity, a connection that goes beyond just enjoying the time you have there. This doesn't necessarily have to be a whole country, perhaps it's only a specific site.

I am easily seduced and have a precondition to fall in love with beauty, which might skew my perception of a real connection for the most part. Yet on our recent first trip to Cyprus a spark was ignited for an already over indulged deity, Aphrodite!

I suppose what happened, was on visiting the sites dedicated to the myth, I was so enamoured by the overwhelming beauty, that I drew purposeful parallels between this goddess and my own effervescent ideology of me and by extension ENVIE.

Here is a snippet of what goes on inside this head {and heart} of mine, to allow for such irrational reasoning:

- Aphrodite, like me, was an island girl!

- As Goddess of Love, Beauty, Pleasure and Procreation she would certainly endorse my watchwords of Lust, LOVE, Live!

- She was obviously a Redhead! {as depicted in Botticelli's 'The Birth of Venus'}


Petra Tou Romiou, Paphos, Cyprus

My most memorable moment was visiting The Sanctuary of Aphrodite in Paphos, gazing over the Mediterranean. There is a simple dream I have, of owning a sprawling home open to receiving and entertaining family and friends. Of course in a warm climate where we can indulge and escape under the sun and stars, enjoying fresh foods plainly prepared, lounging in light layers, hiking up hills and swimming freely. I sensed this vision so strongly on this site, which resulted of course, in my unrelenting outpouring of my reverie to the husband... he takes this all with a mighty pinch of salt, but shares my ambition!


Paphos, Cyprus

Naturally as we wound our way around the Troodos Mountains I'm occupied with designing this villa, embellishing it with aspects such as 'inner courtyard', 'stone stairs', 'glass walls' and 'infinity pools'. I imagine how Aphrodite might have swanned around her own palace, barefoot and beguiling the long summer days, reclined on romantic daybeds.


As I research imagery of classical Greek architecture I recall the interiors aphrodisiac that is the Villa Kerylos in the south of France {am desperate to visit!}. This beauty offers endless inspiration for the future endeavour. A subtle palette is lifted with exquisite detail applied to every surface, resulting is a rich but refined rendition.


Beaulieu-sur-Mer, France

Perhaps this is all a pipe dream but my mission in finding and sharing my inspiration is to continue to inspire others to give in to theirs. Think about it... what's your aphrodisiac?


Alexander J Leslie


1 & 3 - Phil 'Bear' Taylor - All rights reserved

2, 4, 5, 6 & 7 - Pascale Arminjon-Taylor - All rights reserved

Villa Kerylos images via pinterest

'Birth of Aphrodite' via


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