Let’s just say it: if you’ve come to this site looking for the next big thing in the world of fashion, beauty, LVMH brands, luxury spas, or fancy cars, you’ve come to the wrong place.

This is about a different kind of luxury … about considered pleasures and pleasures considered, about REAL luxury, which is a feeling, not a logo. It’s about helping people–those on the receiving end AND those on the giving end, whether they’re creators, designers, retailers, big brands, or hospitality–get the receiving and the giving of pleasure just right.

This blog has been a bit of a journey.  It started as an exploration of something I was seeing in my consulting work on the world of luxury: a general disenchantment with the traditional world of luxury, which was morphing into desire to look for something deeper, yet still as refined and rare.

As I looked into this more and unpacked what luxury really meant, I realized that it wasn’t about the trappings of the luxury industrial complex, but about a place where pleasure and excellence, refinement and quality come together. And as I explored further, I became really fascinated with this notion of pleasure: what it is, what creates it, and mostly why it felt that I, along with a lot of people I knew, didn’t really feel that they were getting a lot of pleasure out of life.

Now before anyone starts trying to get this kind of blog banned or whatever is done in our neo-Puritanical age, the kind of pleasure I’m talking about isn’t carnal pleasure. I’m talking about a more conscious pleasure that combines the sensual, the emotional, the mindful.

As a culture, we’ve lost track of what pleasure really means and that means we’re not living as well as we could. And that is a huge loss, a denial of what it means to be human. Sensuality and pleasure in living – perhaps in particular in America – seems to be considered beneath us:  something sordid, something forbidden. I disagree, vehemently. Sensuality and pleasure are who we are. Deep pleasure brings together our bodies and our minds, and that is something to be embraced, not shunned. Pleasure unlocks joy, happiness, appreciation, and a real sense of what it is to be alive.

And yes, it still is about luxury, because if we aspire to refinement, impeccable quality, beauty, and caring in what we do and what we choose to surround ourselves with – well, that’s luxury. It’s just an alternative and purer form than we’ve been trained to think of. In fact, I’m convinced that our lack of connection with real pleasure is what creates a great deal of the waste in this great consumer culture of ours. If we focused on real pleasure, we’d not only consume better, we’d live better, and enjoy life more. And if the people who are in the business of “luxury” created with true pleasure in mind, they might all be a little more successful.

A little about me: I’m a Bay Area-based idea shaper, instigator, communications consultant and recovering specialist in branding. I’m the founder and editor in chief of Handful of Salt (which covers the intersection of craft and design and really formed the inspiration behind all this). I live with my partner and our two highly indulged cats. And yes, these beings are the greatest pleasures of my life.