The wealth required by nature is limited and is easy to procure; but the wealth required by vain ideals extends to infinity. - Epicurus
What is luxury? Is it material? is it immaterial? It can be both. Luxury is an interesting concept to dissect in our current age of decadence and excess.
It is excessive, right? Or is that just what some people want you to think? Excessive relative to what? Someone else’s ideal existence…
Let us not be confused, what is a luxurious to one person is a commonplace to another. You too might see luxury as pure pleasure and excess forgetting the positive aspects of something luxurious.
I believe you are wrong to think that luxury is simply an excessive pleasure. Perhaps the societal framing is askew. An imperfect world view. As THE PHILOSPHER (Aristotle) said - everything is relative.
Sometimes luxury is flying private. Sometimes luxury is being a legacy admission at Harvard. Sometimes luxury is being able to golf at any time of day. Sometimes luxury is a one of a kind experience like a private concert. And sometimes luxury is purchasing the Porsche that your neighbor always wanted
Luxury is a concept that often refers to the state of having or experiencing something that is characterized by high quality, refinement, exclusivity, and often associated with comfort, opulence, and extravagance in popular culture. The GOOD stuff. It goes beyond basic functional needs and encompasses elements of rarity, superior craftsmanship, and exceptional experiences. This is too narrow a view.
The term luxury or luxurious can be applied to a wide range of domains, including goods, services, experiences, and lifestyles. Luxury goods may include high-end fashion, premium vehicles, exquisite jewelry, or luxurious home furnishings. Luxury services may involve personalized concierge services, top-tier hospitality, or exclusive travel experiences. Luxury experiences often entail indulgent vacations, fine dining, or spa treatments that go above and beyond ordinary offerings. There are levels to this life. Which one are you on?
Uh, I invented swag
Poppin' bottles, puttin' supermodels in the cab
I guess I got my swagger back, truth
New watch alert: Hublots
Or the big face Rollie, I got two of those
Arm out the window through the city, I maneuver slow
Cock back, snap back, see my cut through the holes - Jay Z
We associate luxury with comfort, quality, wealth, and aspiration. But it wasn’t always that way: the word originally meant lechery and lust. Luxuries were things people lusted after and not always in the healthiest of ways. Like in the past, we still lust for luxuries. The luxury of taking a holiday, the luxury of silk sheets, and the luxury of massages, and golf outings. Luxuries make us feel better, but feelings can be deceiving - the reality post indulgence is often very different. What is lusted after is often dangerous. But who doesn’t like a little danger in their lives?
This essay is not about the much discussed luxury beliefs of our current zeitgeist. Rob Henderson has done a wonderful job elucidating this topic. This essay is mainly about hedonistic luxuries. The kind everyone secretly desires yet rarely discusses. Nearly discussing luxury is a somewhat luxury of itself.