Monday, 9 December 2019

HERITAGE SOAP by Jim Baker

Have you ever found yourself in a situation and thought that it reminded you of something that you had previously seen or read? This feeling of “life imitating art” is not uncommon but it is more surprising when it relates to a whole lifestyle change. As we grow older our goals, aspirations, and outlook on life alter. What we once saw as important we may now regard as trivial. This was the situation that ex-actor Jim Baker found himself in and his solution was to start Heritage Soap. The Northumberland company is every soap lover’s dream and it should definitely be under every Christmas tree this year.

Thursday, 5 December 2019

My Top Three Diffusers For Christmas 2019

Christmas has always focussed on candles to provide the homely scented warmth that, for many, typifies the festive season. However, the fashion for diffusers is now starting to take a real chunk out of the candle market as customers turn to a more constant way to scent their tree-dominated rooms. The advantage of diffusers is that you don’t need to worry about blowing them out and, once Christmas is over, they can even be packed away with the decorations. With the hundreds out there to choose from I thought that it would be fun to pick my favourites in my first ever Top Three Diffusers For Christmas.

Monday, 2 December 2019

My Top Five Candles For Christmas 2019

The decorations have been retrieved from the loft, the grapple with the Christmas tree lights has begun, and you still can’t remember buying the twenty metres of tinsel that’s just fallen on your head. Alongside the mix of old and new baubles that all need to be hung on the tree, every house is destined to have the gently flickering flame of a festive candle at the heart of the celebrations but, with an ever-increasing choice, it can be hard to make that perfect decision. Choosing a good quality, beautifully scented candle can be a minefield which is why I’m here to help you out with my annual Top Five Candles For Christmas.

Thursday, 28 November 2019

OMNOSTRE by Chatillon Lux

One of the Christmas rituals that I’ve always loved is sitting down in front of the television and watching an old MGM musical, especially if it’s Meet Me In St. Louis. Whether this is as a family or in sole ownership of the remote control, you’ve got to have a heart of stone not to feel your spirits lift as Judy Garland launches into “Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas”. This year I’ll have an addition to the experience in the shape of Chatillon Lux’s Omnostre, their 1904 inspired fragrance, and it promises to bring the film’s glorious spectacle vividly into focus as we visit the Louisiana Purchase Exposition.

Monday, 25 November 2019

SP MUSK by Sven Pritzkoleit

Over the years the ethical arguments surrounding the way certain fragrance ingredients are harvested has caused some to disappear from the perfumer’s palette. When I say “harvested” I don’t just mean picking a few flowers or pulling up some roots, I’m referring to the killing of animals so that we could get our hands on their hidden scented gems. One such example is deer musk. A staple of many perfumes for over a century, it is now replaced with synthetic or plant based alternatives. However, the scent has recently been recreated in all of its glory by SP Parfums and proudly released as SP Musk.

Thursday, 21 November 2019

CAPRI by Berdoues

Reinvention is often seen as the way to keep perfume companies relevant in the fast paced world of “here today and gone tomorrow.” Unfortunately many that go down this path lose sight of the special magic that made them successful in the first place, and so end up pushing their loyal followers away. A wonderful example of how to actually make this process seamless is Berdoues and, in particular, the latest addition to their Grands Crus Collection. By taking inspiration from the past and mixing it with a little Mediterranean magic, Berdoues have added some much-needed sunshine to the winter months in the form of Capri.

Monday, 18 November 2019

1681 by Carthusia

One of the wonders of fragrance is that it allows perfume companies to weave elaborate stories that aim to entice and enthral their customers. Over time it often becomes difficult to separate the fact from the fiction but, if you like the fragrance that you’re smelling, does it really matter if the language is a little flowery? Exaggeration and embellishment are all part of the scented storytelling and it helps to weave a web of desire that draws us all in. Carthusia is a perfume company that is based on the island of Capri and, alongside a wonderfully colourful history, they also produce the impressive 1681.

Thursday, 14 November 2019

LANTERN REED by Prosody London

When companies launch with a strong début collection it’s always interesting to see what direction future releases will take. Many brands stay firmly within their established style but others take the opportunity to experiment. Certain fragrances can quickly attract a loyal following and so you risk dividing your audience if you steer too closely to a favourite. This is the situation that Prosody London found themselves in after launching their original series of six perfumes. From Neroli Nuance through to Oud Octavo, the fragrances spanned refreshing to resinous but the new Lantern Reed sits apart with its evocative night-time warmth.