For a “non-colour,” black has surely seeped its way into every aspect of our lives, from fashion and food to beauty and bathrooms.

Photography Benoît Banisse Art direction and styling facetofacedesign

01. Royal rolls

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Toilet paper doesn’t usually get us talking, but that all changed on a recent night out. After having downed one long drink too many, we staggered into the club’s restroom, bleary eyed and tipsy. We were greeted with the usual water closet fixtures and fittings (black tiles, black floors, black seats, the lot) but what really got us grinning was the matching toilet paper. That’s right people, black toilet paper. The initial novelty of our discovery having faded, we pondered what a brilliant idea this actually was. Why, we wondered, did toilet paper always come in the customary white sheets? Surely, it made more sense to censure skid marks by drowning them in a thick layering of black cushioning. Anyway, it does now. And, you know what they say: once you go black you can’t go back.

Renova Black gift pack (€7,51)
Available from Rob (Brussels), ISPC (Ghent) and their online store

02. The black panther

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The great thing about a recession (if there ever was one) is having less money to splurge and going back to basics. Whether purist or novice, nothing beats the strength of classics, especially when it comes to trainers. Get rid of all the fancy extras and you’ll end up with a cool shoe that will take you places. The folks at Puma seem to have got the memo when they decided to reissue the Suede classics – based on their 1978 creation – adding extra leather to give it a modern twist. Mixing the old with the new has never made more sense. (PP)

Puma Suede Mid classics (€99,95)
Available from Johnny Velvet (Brussels), Lux (Antwerp) and Zimba (Ghent)

03. Sex smells

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When Tom Ford introduced Black Orchid – the first fragrance under his own name – in 2006, he created an instant classic without even knowing it. Ford wanted a glamorous and distinctive scent, breaking away from the minimalism of the 90s and its clinical aesthetic. Encased in its sleek, Art Deco inspired bottle, Black Orchid is bold, heady and sensual, combining notes of sultry woods, blackcurrant and vanilla with sandalwood and truffles. Inspired by the beauty and elegance of the rare flower, the Texan designer dreamed up an elusive perfume, both mysteri- ous and noticeable. Simply put, it’s sex in a bottle. (PP)

Black Orchid eau de parfum by Tom Ford 100 ml bottle (€120)
Available from all good perfumeries

04. Where there’s smoke

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Blame it on Louise Brooks, Morticia Adams or Cleopatra, but sorting out the perfect smokey eye has been most women’s – and some men’s for that matter (Jared Leto, can you hear us?) – lifelong beauty challenge. In steps Guerlain’s loose kohl in its Indian inspired case. With its pitch-black intensity and astonishingly long lasting effects (up to six hours), it’s perfect for the waterline inner-lid, the tricky bit being mastering the wand without gouging your eye out and controlling the fallout. Paired with Chanel’s eyeliner duo: a glittery shadow powder on one side and a cake liner – to be smudged dry or used wet for a retro liquid effect – on the other, you’re good to go. Otherwise doomed to wander the earth with what could be mistaken for a decade-long heroin habit or worse, looking like a pre-pubescent emo (no offense, Jared).

Guerlain Terracotta loose powder kohl liner (€32,94) and La Ligne de Chanel (€38,14)
Both available from all good perfumeries

05. I’ll have mine black

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Why should anyone settle for boring white rice and mushrooms, sad tan coloured pasta, sesame seeds, potatoes and beans, or the same old red radishes? Perhaps there’s something off-putting about black food, although it often retains a higher nutritious value than its lighter hued counterparts. And if you’re anything like us, with cooking skills that happen to be mediocre, to say the least – these black delights are sure to provide the “wow factor”, where your burnt roast might have failed at impressing guests.

Castagno Bruno pasta “integrale di kamut con spirulina” and beluga lentils, available from Natural Corner.
Dried mushrooms, black beans, and sesame seeds, all by the brand Golden Lilu and available from Kam Yuen Superstore.
Radish, potatoes, Riso Bello Venere black rice, and truffles available from Rob.
Blackberries available from most supermarkets.