Monday, 30 December 2019

THE SORCERY IN SCENT

The art of perfumery has always felt as though it had a slightly mystical side to it with those gloriously scented potions being mixed to attract, empower, or even relax the wearer. The way that the ingredients combine to create that magically fragranced result is a testament to the skill of the perfumer, but could there be something else at play here? We’ve all heard people say that they’ve “fallen under the spell” of their favourite scent but it set me wondering whether there could be a little more to this than merely just the romantic language of perfume. Could there be something else at work within your favourite fragrance?

Monday, 23 December 2019

IT'S A BLUE CHRISTMAS

When Chanel launched Allure back in 1999 we had been on the brink of a new century and the company wanted to mark this with the release of a new scent for men. The Allure range would go on to spawn many flankers, the industry’s term for variations on an original idea, with the most successful arguably being Allure Homme Sport and Allure Homme Edition Blanche. However, in 2010 it was decided that the time was right to move away from this series and to introduce, what Chanel described as, “the spirit of a man who chooses his destiny.” Bleu de Chanel was born and the latest chapter in men's fragrance had begun.

Thursday, 19 December 2019

MY TOP CHOICES FROM 2019

They say that time passes quicker as we get older and that definitely seems to have been the case this year. It only feels a moment ago that we were celebrating the start of 2019 and here we are, twelve months later, getting ready to slide into a new decade. Over the past year I’ve written ninety two articles for stephanmatthews.com, with another two to come, and thought that it would be fun to revisit a few of my favourites. It was difficult to choose what to include but, from Bengals to bamboo, there were a few that really stood out for me. So, I wonder whether I've included one of your favourites?

Monday, 16 December 2019

UNSCHEDULED WANDER by Elementary

Starting a new perfume company is a venture that can be fraught with delays and disasters but, if you’re lucky, can also prove to be one of the most exciting rides of your life. Everyone offers opinions on bottle styles, graphics, and even launch dates so navigating people’s good intentions can be tricky. Sometimes coming at the whole enterprise from a different angle can reap its own rewards and this is where we find ourselves with the latest addition to the perfume market. Elementary has launched Unscheduled Wander, an olfactory Time Machine that positively revels in the androgynous beauty of the chypre fragrance.

Thursday, 12 December 2019

What’s Really Happening On The High Street?

With the run up to Christmas now in full swing you’ll often hear how important this time of the year is for retailers. November and December sees businesses take upwards of 30% of their yearly money in just two months, so you can understand just how much importance is placed upon the festive period. There has been a lot of talk about the death of the high street and the end of retail “as we know it” but what is it really like on the front line? In an effort to understand what is actually happening on the shop floor I temporarily returned to my retail roots and became, once again, one of the many beacons in black.

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.