Blu Blazer Guy Chats With Adam Ellis – Jo Loves

Blu Blazer Guy Chats With Adam Ellis – Jo Loves

Currently we’re all going through a time where venturing outdoors and travelling has dramatically reduced. As a result, fragrances have become an important vessel in transporting us from lockdown to our favourite places. There is no better ‘fragrance maverick’ that manages to merge scents and memories together than Jo Malone CBE. Her fantastic business Jo Loves is an innovative new scent, bath, body and candle collection that is inspired by special memories and moments of travel.

Meeting Jo Malone CBE

As a lover of fragrance, candles and a huge fan of Jo Loves products I had the privilege catching up with this months ‘Chats With’ guest, Adam Ellis. Adam is the head of education and customer service experience at Jo Loves. I first bumped into Adam at ’An Evening with Jo Malone’ at Space NK Edinburgh and then again in the 42 Elizabeth Street Store in London, where his passion and dedication for the brand was so profoundly evident. His creative background in the arts allows him to tell each story of the fragrance range perfectly. Due to his close working relationship with Jo Malone and his continued dedication to the brand, I thought I would catch up with him to find out more about his career and this renowned brand.

Adam Ellis

Hi Adam, thank you so much for answering my questions today. Firstly, can I ask what your background is and how you ended up working for Jo Loves?

I’m from Swansea, South Wales and trained at Laine Theatre Arts on the 3-year Professional Musical Theatre course from 2000-2003. I was lucky enough to have a great, varied career within the entertainment industry for 13 years. Some of my highlights included Starlight Express, Chicago, Hair, Spamalot.

As I got a bit older I decided that I wanted to try something else that was a bit more stable and I actually took a job at Jo Loves as a Christmas Temp. I’ve always loved fragrances and perfumes. I love that each scent will evoke a totally different emotion or memory in everyone. I worked really hard to learn as much as I could and fast forward nearly 5 years and here I am! I’m so glad I took the leap and gave it a go.

As head of education and customer service experience you must be extremely proud to work for such an esteemed brand, what is it that you love about Jo Loves?

I am incredibly proud of the role I play within Jo Loves and don’t ever take for granted the faith that Jo has in me and my ability to tell her story and launch the brand around the world. I love that Jo Loves is pushing the boundaries with innovation. It’s not scared to be different. I also love that the brand is totally authentic and a true reflection of Jo.

At the 42 Elizabeth Street store in London Jo Loves has turned fragrance into an immersive experience through Fragrance Tapas and a Candle Shot Studio, can you describe what each experience involves and what was the inspiration behind these ideas?

Jo created Fragrance Tapas to be an immersive introduction to the brand. Jo has always loved Tapas restaurants and was inspired to create an experience that served bite-sized pieces of the brand to our consumer. It’s a complimentary experience, you get to come and sit at our bar and be taken through all of our fragrances and the story’s behind each iconic scent. It’s really fun and a real must for any fragrance lover!

The shot candle experience is so fantastic. You step inside our beautiful candle studio and create your very own bespoke candle that combines two fragrances of your choice. We are the only brand in the world who offers this experience and product. It also has a worldwide patent. Both these experiences can be booked in advance by calling the shop or dropping them an email.

42 Elizabeth Street, photo by Jo Loves

It may not be easy but if you had to choose what would be your favourite scent from Jo Loves and why? 

Such a tough one! I’d have to say Green Orange and Coriander. It’s a real soulful citrus fragrance but it also got a beautiful warmth to it. For Jo, it’s an autumn day in New York, having Sunday brunch next to a roaring log fire with a large, full-bodied red wine in hand. I cover myself in it all year round though and always have compliments when I wear it.

I met the wonderful Jo Malone CBE (and you) a few years back and heard Jo’s story behind the brand and was completely hypnotised by her creativity and tenacity, how is it working so closely with her in your job role?

Jo is incredibly hands-on with the brand which I love. We work very closely together and are often travelling to launch the brand in new territories. We have such a giggle on the road together. We work very hard when we are away but we will always reward ourselves with an in cold white wine to end the day. It’s so important to celebrate even small achievements.

I noticed that within your job role you get to travel quite a lot and Jo Loves fragrances are very much inspired by memories of travel. Where is your favourite place to visit in the world and why? 

Travel is always something I’ve enjoyed. In my acting career, I was very lucky to get to travel the world and that hasn’t changed with Jo Loves luckily. I have seen some amazing places with work, including Shanghai, NYC and all over America and the Caribbean.

Last year my husband turned 40 and we travelled to Borneo on a real adventure holiday. It was a once in a lifetime trip and seeing the wildlife where its meant to be in its natural habitat was really breath-taking, especially the Orangutan. We don’t always have such adventurous holidays but we will always spend our money on travel whenever we can.

Jo loves weaves its beautiful fragrances through a number of other items such as candles, bath and body products. Why do you think the world of fragrance is so popular and what makes Jo Loves products stand out from the crowd? 

I think fragrance is part of self-expression. It’s part of how we want the world to see us. It’s so personal and many fragrances will smell totally unique on each person.

I think Jo Loves products stand out because they have been created from a very authentic place. Each one inspired by Jo’s memories or experiences. When people hear their stories it’s hard not to relate to them.

The red dot is synonymous with Jo Loves packaging, is there any significance to this?

Jo is severely dyslexic and throughout her career has always given her seal of approval to something by Red Dotting it instead of signing it off. When Jo Loves went through a period of rebranding, Jo wanted it to have its own identity for the consumer with a recognisable logo. Jo was travelling to Shanghai as a member of the great campaign and a friend sent her a bottle of shanghai Red nail polish. She dipped a pencil into the nail polish and let a droplet fall onto the white labels in front of her – EUREKA moment the Jo Loves logo was created. Jo wants our consumer to know that every product with the Red Dot has been created by her.

Jo Loves was the first to introduce the world to The Fragrance Paintbrush concept. Being such an innovative fragrance brand, can we expect any new creative and exciting products in the future?

Jo is always working hard to push the boundaries within the fragrance world so hopefully, there will be many more exciting innovations to come! Watch this space!

Fragrance Paintbrush, photo by Jo Malone

This is more for my benefit 🙂 but when will a Jo Loves Store be opening up in Edinburgh? 🙂

Well, you can currently purchase a selection of Jo Loves from SpaceNK of George Street. We are a growing brand so hopefully, it won’t be too long until more Jo Loves boutiques start popping up around the UK and beyond.

Exciting stuff! You can read more about Jo Loves and there products on their website joloves.com

Carthusia

Carthusia

I first discovered Carthusia when I was in Liberty of London where I was suddenly enthralled by their fragrances and was overjoyed when I received a bottle of their 2007 fragrance, Numero Uno. It’s exhilarating blend immediately captivated me and I couldn’t wait to find out about this fragrance house which is based on the renowned Italian Island of Capri. In 2019 I visited the island and was lucky enough to meet with Francesca Vuotto from Carthusia who showed me around their beautiful store and gave me a sneak peek of what goes on behind the scenes of their small perfume laboratory.

Walking the meandering streets of Capri I immediately knew I was approaching Carthusia. There was an enchanting fragrance that scented the air as I raced towards its entrance. Its storefront was as traditional and quant as I had hoped for, covered in green foliage, colourful flowers and a trickling water feature.

Its historic symbol created by painter Mario Laboccetta was proudly displayed above its entrance, portraying a “flower siren” a character representing the surreal and mythological landscapes of Capri’s heritage.

Carthusia’s creation has a wonderful historical story that really connects it to the Island of Capri. Legend has it that in 1380,  after hearing that Queen Joan of Anjou was visiting Capri, the father-prior of the Carthusian Monastery of St. James, picked a bouquet of the finest flowers from the island. These remained in the same water for three days and, as he went to discard them, he noticed that it had developed a mysterious and captivating fragrance. So he turned to the friar who specialised in alchemy, who then created the first perfume in Capri called “Garofilium Silvestre Caprese”. In 1948 the Prior of the Charterhouse found the old perfume formula and with the permission of the Pope, revealed them to a chemist from Piemonte in the north of Italy,  thus created the smallest perfume laboratory in the world, calling it “Carthusia,” i.e., “charter house”.

Gardens of Augustus

The Carthusia perfumery sits on an elevated position perfectly located near the scenic Gardens of Augustus and looking out onto the azure waters below. Walking into the store I was completely taken by surprise to how beautiful it was. The interior transported you back in time with its dark wooden counters and shelves lined with several fragrances and jars of dried flowers.

Hand-painted motifs on the walls echoed the flowers and herbs used in the fragrances  and a small spiral staircase added to its old-style character.

Tucked away behind the storefront was the surprisingly small factory where all the magic takes place. I was shocked to see how small the room was considering that the fragrances are distributed all over the world. This just goes to show how dedicated Carthusia is to share these beautiful fragrances all over the globe whilst still managing to retain its original roots.

Large metallic vessels holding each of the blended fragrances line the walls of the laboratory, ready to be decanted. Craftsmen in pristine white coats work passionately to create each fragrance, filling and labelling each bottle by hand.

My favourite fragrance is Numero Uno and not surprisingly I previously featured it in a video review which you can view here. I especially love this scent due to its citrusy and woody notes, but there are many more beautiful unisex fragrances to discover such as the lovely Io Capri, Corallanium and Meditteraneo which I also gravitate towards. 

So, when you visit Southern Italy and wander around the streets of the Amalfi coast, you will no doubt come across a delicate array of fragrances that scent the air. Follow your nose as you are probably within walking distance of the nearest Carthusia store. Carthusia has managed to capture the true essence of Capri in every bottle, therefore  when your return home to the grey skies, with just one spray, you will be transported back to the stunning sun-drenched Italian Island.  

Rook Perfumes

Rook Perfumes

It comes as no surprise that fragrance plays a huge part in my life. I discovered Rook Perfumes in 2018 and I immediately gravitated towards their fragrances due to their unusual scents and intriguing notes. For me, fragrances mark moments in life thus with only one spray, they have the power to transport you back to that very moment. When Perfumer for Rook Perfumes Nadeem Crowe (pictured below) said “People go on holiday and fall in love with a place, they buy a fridge magnet to remember the trip, I buy a fragrance” I immediately resonated with him. On each vacation I drive my partner crazy, perusing the perfumeries and trying to find the exact scent that will remind me of our time in that destination.

Image by Rankin Photography Ltd

Nadeem Crowe, the man behind these impressive and unique scents also has a career in emergency medicine and acting. These two careers have contributed to the production of these fragrances due to their scientific and theatrical backgrounds. After a complete re-brand and re-launch of Rook Perfumes in February 2020, I was once again captivated by the new contemporary look and range of luxury fragrances. At the core of the brand is the simple yet impactful triangle not only representing the top, middle and base notes of a fragrance but also the balance of Nadeem’s career in performing, perfumery and medicine.

 

Forest

The first of the fragrances I am going to talk about is my absolute favourite called Forest. I am a nature guy at heart so this is what initially attracted me to this scent. However as soon as I spritzed it upon my skin, it immediately transported me to a moment in my childhood. Each year I would visit the Scottish highlands with my family, going for long walks and playing in the forests. With just one spray it felt as if I was standing there looking up at the towering trees and inhaling the fresh pine-scented air. It’s a beautiful green, woody notes are both uplifting and comforting, transporting me directly into nature. This is much needed due to our current situation.

 

Forest – Image by Rankin Photography Ltd.

Notes:

Top – Cypress & Pine,

Middle – Black Pepper, incense and green notes

Base – Patchouli, Cedar and white musk

Blu Blazer Guy Rating: 4.5/5

 

Undergrowth

Undergrowth again exudes a stunning range of natural and uplifting notes that at first glance I didn’t think I would like, but it completely took me by surprise. On the initial spray, you get a hit of refreshing garden mint and grass. It somehow reminds me of a lush green garden after the rain, where the sun slowly warming the soil and the aroma scents the air.  As the mint dies down the rich woodiness of the vetiver and earthiness of orris really comes through, which settles beautifully on the skin. Again, if you need a hit of nature, I would definitely recommend this as I can imagine it being a refreshing scent in the summer months.

 

Undergrowth – Image by Rankin Photography Ltd.

Notes:

Top – Soil, Garden Mint, Grass

Middle – Green notes, mandarin, orris

Base – Vetiver, patchouli and white musk

Blu Blazer Guy Rating: 4/5

 

Rook

This scent wasn’t my favourite fragrance in the group, however I understand completely why others would like it. For me, It’s quite a daring combination and I am usually quite safe with my fragrance choices so it’s all down to personal choice. Rook is impactful from the first spray and is described as “strong and phenolic with a big puff of smokey firewood and birch tar”. Even though these notes are not my personal choice, this fragrance makes a good evening scent with great longevity due to its unique ingredients. I find it too overwhelming for my liking and prefer a fresher scent but if you’re an adventurous individual who’s looking to turn heads then this is definitely for you.

 

Rook – Image by Rankin Photography Ltd.

Notes:

Top – Birch tar, tobacco

Middle – Castoreum, cardamom, ginger, civet, agarwood

Base– Incense, ambrette, ambergris, guaiac wood and musk

Blu Blazer Guy Rating: 3/5

What I truly love about this fragrance house is all the scents are unique and interesting. I am so thankful that due to the power of social media I was able to connect with this forward thinking brand. Like all small businesses and perfume houses it is a very difficult time at the moment, therefore it is very important to support them in any way we can. So why not play your part and treat yourself to a luxury fragrance from Rook Perfumes. In addition, I would like to take this opportunity to thank Dr Nadeem Crowe and all his NHS colleagues for everything that they are doing at this time.

 

Nadia Banaisa – Founder of Les Soeurs de Noe

Nadia Banaisa – Founder of Les Soeurs de Noe

In celebration of National Fragrance Week (16th – 22nd March), I caught up with founder of Les Soeurs de Noe. This luxury niche fragrance house was born and created in Brussels, Paris and New York and inspired by Nadia’s childhood memories of travel, people and cultures. Le Soeurs de Noe launched in 2019 at London’s exclusive Liberty Department Store and as soon as I saw the gorgeous packaging and ingredients, I couldn’t wait to try them. I immediately fell in love with the unique and stunning fragrance notes and I had to reach out to Nadia to find out more about the inspiration and creation of this wonderful fragrance house.

Can you tell me a little bit about yourself and did you have any experience with the creation of fragrances before?

I was born and raised in Belgium with two cultures, Belgian and Moroccan. I travelled to Morocco many times from birth to visit my grandfather, and I have many memories of smells associated with those trips. His beautiful garden in Tangier was surrounded by Olive and Fig trees and I remember the scent of jasmine growing in his garden and the beautiful scent of orange blossom inside the house.

The intense colours of Morocco, as well as all the sweet smells have developed an indelible bond between my memories, emotions and fragrances. These memories were my introduction and my fascination with fragrances. I had no experience in the creation of fragrances but I‘m still training my nose every day and I have learned this new language of communication with my perfumers. I really love the way we work together.

What inspired you to create this luxurious range of fragrances? 

All the memories of my childhood inspired me but also the relationship to cultures, nature, people and many places around the world are a huge source of inspiration.

Where did the name Les Soeurs de Noe come from?

I have two daughters ‘Yara and Nahla’ and one Son ‘Noe’. My nostalgia for the past has been revived by the birth of my children. Thanks to them I found the strength to realise my dream by creating les Soeurs de Noe. This is why I dedicated the name to them. ‘The Sisters of Noe’.

Nadia at Liberty London

To bring your fragrances to life you chose master perfumers Jerome Epinette (known for the likes of Floral Street) and Pierre Wulff (who has worked with Byredo). What made you choose these individuals to create your vision? 

I was introduced to Jerome Epinette and Pierre Wulff by my designer Pierre Dinand who’s a close friend of Pierre Wulff during a trip in New York. We had a dinner and we got to know each other, started talking and we decided to work together. I really love their work. They are very talented and immensely creative perfumers.

I really developed a strong friendship with both of them. There is a dialogue and an understanding with Jerome and Pierre. We sit together and I am trying to get them to feel my emotions. The brief could be very visual or based on words, raw materials, music, a place, poetry, images,…

What captured my eye at first was the stunning packaging and bottle and the striking blue cap, how did the design come about? 

I worked with the designer Pierre Dinand and immediately fell in love with his work. He created the perfect association with luxury and craftsmanship. I wanted a round bottle to reflect the cultural diversity, the softness and the generosity of Les Soeurs de Noe. Its geometric motifs evoke all of the stories at the origin of Les Soeurs de Noe but also each person’s story. I wanted to use a new colour code in the luxury world for the cap and the packaging. Pierre and his wife Danielle came to visit me in Brussels for Christmas a few years ago. Danielle was wearing a magnificent necklace with a blue pearl. I loved it and this was my inspiration for the Colours of Les Soeurs de Noe. I was informed by Pierre Dinand that this necklace was part of a selection of jewellery that was proposed to Yves Saint Laurent by Pierre Dinand for their Opium project in 1977. In spite of its originality and beauty it was not selected by YSL. Now, more than forty years later, Les Soeurs de Noe is bringing it into the limelight.

A few of the fragrances are connected to the orient, where did this inspiration come from? 

I travelled a lot with my parents during my childhood and I was fascinated by different cultures and people I met. Being multicultural, I am sensitive to cultural diversity and I try to consider that very much in the creation of my fragrances. Les Soeurs de Noe explores this indefectible bond between the Orient and the West, establishing links between both regions’ heritage and cultural richness.

One of my favourites is Oud Rose as it has that perfect balance between Oud and Rose that I have been searching for, so thank you! Did the perfumers manage to encapsulate your memories perfectly first time or were there a few changes along the way?

Thank you very much Scott! The creation of each fragrance is unique and an emotional process. I focused on the feeling that the scent should evoke and worked with Jerome and Pierre to create it, we did several changes to get the final one.

Photo by Ahmed Bahhodh

Apart from your own range, do you have your own particular favourite fragrance and what do you look for in a scent when purchasing one? 

I always tried to find the fragrance that I am comfortable with physically. It is really important to know who you are. It’s subjective. One of my favourite fragrance is Chergui by‘Serge Lutens’. It takes me back to my earliest scent memory in Morocco with my grandfather. I remember the chergui wind blowing in his garden and all the smells associated with it.

Can we expect any further beautiful creations from the Les Soeurs de Noe range? 

We really want to grow slowly and create a truly unique fragrance experience. Now, we are working on new scents that will launch in the future.

Finally, can you sum up your perfumes in three words? 

Authenticity (quality, creativeness), respect (people and environment) and sharing.

Head to my latest video to find out more about each of the fragrances.

Christmas Gift Guide 2019 – Unisex Fragrances

Christmas Gift Guide 2019 – Unisex Fragrances

It’s that time of the year again where we peruse the websites and wander the shops trying to find that perfect Christmas gift. According to website Deloitte, the UK is the highest spending market in Europe, spending an average of £567 each at Christmas. With such an abundance of products out there to choose from I thought I would compile a selection of products that I have experienced and would make the perfect Christmas gift.

Here is my Blu Blazer Guy Christmas Gift Guide: 

Fragrances

Fragrances are an essential part of my personality, allowing me to express how I feel daily. I find it captivating that with just one spray, a fragrance has the power to change our mood, boost the spirit and conjure up old memories. I especially love seeking out unique and unusual scents and often spend numerous hours pursuing the next up and coming scent. My first guide covers my favourite unisex fragrances that have all recently been launched in 2019.

Le Soeurs de Noe – Oud Rose

This fragrance created by New York Perfumers Jerome Epinette and Pierre Wulff is the perfect blend of Floral and Spice.

Top Notes: Saffron, Davana and Incense
Heart Notes: Centifolia Rose and Freesia
Base Notes: Agarwood, Black Leather, Patchouli

Available exclusively at Liberty’s London online and instore
£160.00 – 100ml

Miller Harris – Leather Rouge

This fragrance by British perfumer Miller Harris and created by nose, Mathieu Nardin, blends together a gorgeous selection of woody/leather masculine and feminine notes. At Christmas the fragrances come wrapped up in a beautiful sustainable silk scarf, so you are technically getting two gifts in one.

Top Notes: Black Pepper, Raspberry and Saffron
Heart Notes: Red Rose, Orris and Violet Petals
Base Notes: Patchouli Fraction, Leather and Liquid Amber

Available online at Miller Harris and stores throughout the country
£150 – 100ml

Perris Monte Carlo – Italy Collection – Arancia Di Sicilia

I’ve spoken about this fragrance house previously on my blog and have absolutely fallen in love with their range of scents. Arancia Di Sicilia (Oranges of Sicily) is the most recent fragrance and combines a different range of notes inspired by the Italian island of Sicily.

Top Notes: Blood Orange Brown Extract (from the rind), Blood Orange (Juice and Peel)
Heart Notes: Almond Accord and Cinnamon
Base Notes: Labdanum Absolute, Caffe Absolute, Musk and Amber

Available online
£120-£140 – 100 ml

Acqua Di Parma – Signatures of the Sun Collection – Yuzu

One of my favourite fragrance houses have recently launched additional scents to their signatures of the sun collection and one of my favourites is Yuzu. Named after the rare fruit of Japan, this sparkling and energising fragrance is the perfect boost for this time of the year and blends both citrus and floral notes.

Top Notes: Yuzu, Bergamot and Sichuan Pepper
Heart Notes: Lotus Mimosa, Violet Leaves and Jasmine
Base Notes: Musk, Liquorice and Sandalwood.

Available online and in-store – Lid and Bottle can be customised.
£197.00 – 100 ml

Acqua Di Parma – Colonia – Artist Edition

The original Colonia continues to delight the world with its citrus aroma’s but this new artist edition has added a slight contemporary flair to its packaging. Acqua di Parma has teamed up with Italian artist Gio Pastori who’s illustrations has been embellished on the traditional yellow packaging.

Top Notes: Lemon, Sweet Orange and Calabrian Bergamot
Heart Notes: Lavender, Bulgarian Rose, Verbena and Rosemary
Base Notes: Vetiver, Sandalwood and Patchouli

Available online and in-store
£155 – 180ml

Check out my IGTV video for more details and keep your eyes peeled for further gift ideas.

 

Miller Harris – Perfumer London

Miller Harris – Perfumer London

“Miller Harris tells contemporary urban stories through complex fragrances. We start with nature – with distinct greens and woods, with carefully sourced floral notes, iris from Florence, French violet leaf, jasmine from Egypt, Tunisian orange flower – but we frame these precious botanicals in complex and unconventional ways.”

From their description above its evident that London perfumer Miller Harris sources only the best ingredients to create each and every one of their luxury fragrances and products.  Founded by Lyn Harris in 2000, after years of training in prestigious French perfume schools, the brand has grown from strength to strength creating over fifty fragrances so far, putting British perfumery firmly on the map.

I first discovered Miller Harris in a London airport while waiting on a connecting flight and was immediately drawn to their unique selection of fragrances. While I perused the extensive range, the Miller Harris ambassador recounted the story behind each of scents making them even more captivating, and it is from that moment that I was completely hooked.

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I love how the packaging exudes a perfect balance between contemporary and classical – some bottles delicately dispersed with floral designs and others with a more modern twist. Having explained my adoration for unique fragrances in my previous post , Miller Harris is another brand that has certainly caught my eye. Their high quality, finely sourced ingredients are combined to create a beautiful range of scents most of which can be worn by all genders  – another important aspect that I love in a fragrance.

The first fragrance I immediately fell in love with was Étui Noir. This scent is described “like a well-worn leather jacket” so you can imagine the depth of notes used in order to portray this description. Starting off with citrus and pepper notes, it soon melts into a luxuriously sweet and smoky combination with lasting impressions of leather.

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This warming scent emanates opulence and is perfect for for those days when you want a rich and enveloping scent. One of the best things though is its longevity, allowing you to spray it on the body and truly experience it’s fascinating notes as it slowly radiates off the skin throughout the day.

If you are looking for the perfect unisex summer fragrance, look no further than ‘DANCE amongst the lace’ which has just launched in 2019. Part of the Forage Collection of perfumes, it centres itself around the uniquely fresh scent of cow parsley, otherwise known as Queen Anne’s lace. It combines a crisp and invigorating duo of minty notes blended with mouthwatering lime and zesty verbena, together with a lush base of vetiver and moss. Other notes include red berry, cardamom, spearmint, peppermint, bergamot, fennel, angelica root, geranium, blackcurrant, sandalwood, musk and myrrh.

This fragrance is like nothing I have smelt before, the initial citrusy explosion soon settles to reveal an unusual green earthy scent. For me the refreshing mint notes really shine through, radiating from the skin throughout the whole day. It has fantastic longevity and even on the recent warm days I could still smell the scent hours later. I am a huge fan of Miller Harris and always look forward to seeing what they come up with next. This is another winner from this fantastic British fragrance house.

Another firm favorite of mine is Tea Tonique which is inspired by a trip to a tea plantation. As soon as you spray this one onto the skin it has an immediate uplifting effect, perfect on days when you need that little boost of energy. Miller Harris describes this as “early morning mist rolling over rows of neatly planted shrubs, bringing with it a sparkling and refreshing zest from the crisp leaves. Tea Tonique captivates the senses, an infusion of Italian bergamot and floral earl grey, the earthy intensity of maté, and the smoky facets of birch. The cooling spice of nutmeg provides contrast to this delicate and uplifting perfume.” It comes in a whole range of additional products such as hand wash and lotion, a range that truly adds a spring to your step.

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For more information and to check out their fantastic range visit millerharris.com

  • Étui Noir – from £75.00
  • DANCE amongst the lace – from £95.00
  • Tea Tonique – from £75.00
  • Tea Tonique Hand Lotion – £18.00
  • Tea Tonique Hand Wash – £18.00

Multrees Walk – Edinburgh’s Luxury Shopping Area

Multrees Walk – Edinburgh’s Luxury Shopping Area

When it comes to high-end shopping in Edinburgh, Multrees Walk is always the first place that comes to mind. This unique part of the city is located just off the prestigious St Andrews square and provides a little slice of luxury retail therapy. In true Edinburgh fashion it manages to balance an up market retail experience whilst retaining that unique friendly Scottish approach, allowing you to browse in a more relaxed pace.

Not only is Multrees Walk home to Scotlands only Harvey Nichols it also houses some exclusive brands such as French fashion house Louis Vuitton, British fashion house Burberry and most recently the flagship store of Scottish cashmere giants Johnston’s of Elgin.

Multrees Walk is a fantastic shopping area, not only for browsing the exclusive range of stores but also to take in the relaxed and stylish ambience. As a local to Edinburgh and a frequent visitor to Multrees Walk I thought I would share with you my favourite stores to visit and their fantastic range of products.

Harvey Nichols

Harvey Nichols is one of my favourites stores to visit! It provides a place where I can eat, drink and shop all under one roof as is perfect escape from Edinburgh’s renowned rainy days. As a huge fragrance lover, I of course gravitate towards their ground floor where they have a fantastic range of well known luxury scents such Creed and Maison Francis Kurkdjian as as well as some niche brands that I have included in previous blogs such as Kingdom Scotland and Ideo Parfumeurs.

Heading upstairs is their extensive range of men’s designer clothes where you can find items to suit your individual fashion style. I adore male fashion accessories so I enjoy browsing their range of bags, belts and shoes. I particularly love their range of Valentino backpacks and Christian Louboutin shoes.

The fourth floor is now home to Pad Lifestyle; a lifestyle store which sells a range of designer items for the home. Being a huge fan of Jonathan Adler I was very happy to see that they stock his range. Their range of candles are also exceptional and include the renowned Tom Dixon and L’Objet.

If you are looking for a great place to have a drink or two then head to their Forth Floor Bar which is the perfect place to unwind. They have a great selection of wines, spirits and creative cocktails and in my opinion one of the best Vesper Martinis in town.

The muted lighting, contemporary design and low key music provides a space to relax and their stunning picture windows provides a delightful view out towards the north of the city.

Louis Vuitton

French fashion house Louis Vuitton is renowned around the world, so we are very lucky to have one of their boutiques located at the entrance to Multrees Walk. I am always captivated by their unique and colourful window displays which tantalisingly draws me in every time. You can peruse their selection of bags, shoes and other leather goods or in true Blu Blazer Guy fashion head straight to their new fragrance collection (My favourite being ‘Sun Song’). What I really adore about this store is the friendly and knowledgeable staff. They seem to give off a certain pride for working for this luxury brand and can inform you about every single detail of each product.

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Their Luxembourg trainer definitely caught my eye and of course it has to have a flash of blue. This comfortable trainer can be worn in both formal and casual settings and i recommend accenting it with a nice blue blazer.

Burberry

Burberry has always been a favourite of brand of mine and when in need of a new jacket I visited the store to get some ideas. I was very surprised by their contemporary ranges of menswear. I have always been a big fan of their renowned range of trench coats but it wasn’t until one of their knowledgeable staff shared the story behind them that it really captivated me.

Their grey Chelsea Heritage Trench coat was my favourite due to its clean-cut silhouette and slim fit finish. Although it is a more traditional design it has been re-imagined to provide a more contemporary look.

Nespresso

Who doesn’t love coffee right? I am one of the many who can’t go a day without sipping on one. Working right around from Multrees Walk I am not too far from the fantastic selection of coffee’s available to buy from Nespresso. Every time I visit the store the customer service is extremely friendly and they always manage to entice me to try a new blend of coffee.

The best thing about it is that you can try any of the coffee’s before you buy, making sure you get that perfect blend to take home. You may leave with a huge caffeine high at the end but that just gives you an abundance of energy for more shopping on Multrees Walk!

Johnstons of Elgin

Luxury cashmere manufacturer Johnstons of Elgin recently launched their flagship store in Multrees Walk with their summer collection of cutting edge lightweight textiles and knit innovations. The spacious 2,000 square-foot store spans two floors which has been exceptionally designed, housing a beautiful collection of Woman’s and Men’s Clothing, scarves, accessories and home interiors. I recently attended their exclusive press launch and it was fantastic to see the faces behind the brand and to watch the passion for this new store shine through.

I especially love their Spring Summer 19’s Ischia Collection, the soft colours echo the buildings of the Italian Island and the fit and quality of each garment is second to none.

Multrees Walk
Edinburgh
EH1 3DQ

Father’s Day Gift Ideas

Father’s Day Gift Ideas
I don’t know about you but when it comes to Father’s Day I find it very difficult to get my dad the perfect gift. Over the past year I have come across some amazing products and experiences and I thought I would share them with you to make choosing your Father’s Day gift that little bit easier. Whether it be for your father or a special father figure, I am sure you will find the perfect item.
SKINCARE
House 99 by David Beckham

David Beckham was determined to create a new grooming brand that supports men in their quest to feel and look their best. The House 99 range provides a selection of products covering skincare, hair-care and shaving. With its slick black and white masculine packaging and logo it’s the perfect understated choice for those fathers who want to experiment with grooming products.

I recently attended their event to try a few of their products and I was very impressed with the range. Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

Face Moisturiser Greater Look – This multi-effect formula helps hydrate the skin and reduce shine whilst protecting it from pollution. I especially love how even though it has lightweight texture it still manages to keep the skin moisturised throughout the day.
75ml – £22.00 at house99.co.uk

Toning Lotion Spruce Up – This is a fantastic product for re-energising the skin and adding a boost of hydration to replenish lost moisture, especially after shaving.
200ml – £18 at house99.co.uk

Bronzer All Bright – Most men are a tad dubious when it comes to using a bronzer or fake tan,  but this product manages to solve the problem.  Once applied to skin, this refreshing gel gives a natural and healthy looking glow. It also provides the skin with an intense dose of moisture and evens out the skin complexion; a great all in one product that is quick and easy to use.
75ml – £18.00 at house99.co.uk

FRAGRANCE

Like our fashion sense and style choices, we are always on the lookout for unique ways to show off our personality.  In my personal opinion, a fragrance is just the way to do this, therefore it makes a fantastic Father’s Day present.

Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

 

Carthusia

For a unique fragrance choice why not choose a scent by the house of Carthusia which comes from the beautiful Italian island of Capri. Most of the ingredients contained in the fragrance are indigenous to the area of which they are made. I recently had the opportunity to visit their perfume factory in Capri and I was amazed by the passion and dedication that goes into each bottle. With high quality ingredients, its distinctive history and its beautiful geographical location make a fragrance from this house a special and unique gift.

Numero Uno is one of my favourites from this house and is perfect for both young and mature men. This Citrus/Woody fragrance contains the beautiful top notes of Orange and Bergamot with a heart of Ylang-Ylang and base of Vetiver and Musk. This truly gives an opulent scent and leaves you with an uplifting feel.

RRP £80 for 100ml at libertylondon.com. See my video here for more information.

The Perfume Studio London 

Design Your Own Fragrance for Men – If your father is a true fragrance lover then why not treat him to a gift where he can create his very own bespoke fragrance. The Perfume Studio London have created a specific collection of kits allowing you to do just that.

Each kit comes with easy to follow instructions, equipment and a 30ml glass bottle which can be personally inscribed. In addition, it also contains six perfume blends that have been meticulously selected by their in- house master perfumer; Francois Robert.

The process is very easy to follow and it’s a fun way of getting involved in creating a fragrance that is unique for your Dad.

£49 (£54 including personally inscribed bottle) at theperfumestudio.com 

See my previous blog post here and video here for more information. Also look out for my giveaway on Instagram. 

Jusbox Perfumes

Jusbox is a luxury fragrance brand inspired by the world of music so if your Dad is little more daring or is a fan of the music industry then this brand is a great choice.

No Rules – This aromatic and woody scent is perhaps for the more daring fathers out there and is inspired by the leather clad era of punk. With top notes of Aldehydic, Ethereal and Saffron, middle notes of Lavender, Vinyl and cinnamon and base notes of Leathery accord, Birch Bark and Musk its a fragrance that plays between the cold notes of metal and the warmness of leather.
75ml – £140 Exclusive to selfridges.com

 

SHAVING

Acqua di Parma – Barbiere Collection

Acqua Di Parma are known for their iconic range of quintessential Italian colognes but did you know they also have shaving products? Their Barbiere range is a modern interpretation of a long tradition of shaving, Italian style.

Each one of their products comes in their striking yellow packaging and contains the fresh light notes of their renowned cologne. Here are my Blublazerguy top three choices:

Soft Shaving Cream – This is the perfect choice if your father prefers the traditional method of shaving using a brush. This rich cream is formulated with pomegranate seed oil, lemon oil, extract of basil and hyaluronic acid which helps prevent irritation and reddening.
125ml – £47.00 at acquadiparma.com

Shaving Gel – This shaving gel is for those men who favour a quicker shave without the irritation. This luxurious gel immediately transforms into a refreshing and creamy lather for an ultra- comfortable shave.
150ml – £31.00 at acquadiparma.com

Refreshing After shave Emulsion – To finish off the shaving routine, this Refreshing After Shave Emulsion is the perfect solution. The smooth and rapidly absorbing emulsion hydrates the skin and soothes any irritation.
100ml – £52.00 at acquadiparma.com. For more information on the fragrances, head to my blog post here

DRINK/FOOD EXPERIENCES

I always get asked what to get a Man that has everything? You cannot go wrong with treating them to an experience. For Father’s day I have selected my top three Blublazerguy choices:

Darnleys Gin. – Gin School Distil Your Own Experience

If your father is a gin lover then why not treat him to the Darnley’s Gin ‘distil your own” experience. Housed in a small cottage at their distillery in Fife is the Darnley’s school of Gin.

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Here you can learn about the history of Gin and how different botanicals can be used to enhance its flavour. You can then pick your own botanicals from their vast collection and craft your very own blend of Gin in their mini stills.

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After naming and labelling you Gin, you get to take your unique bottle home. I recently visited the distillery and found this experience unique, fun and highly informative.£100pp weekly on Friday at 3pm and Saturday and Sunday at 11am at darnleysgin.com

The Balmoral – Father’s Day Whisky & Beer Experience

 

Located in the prestigious Balmoral Hotel is the fantastic SCOTCH, a bar that sells over 500 malts, blends and vintages from all over Scotland. I experienced one of their whisky journey’s a few months ago and really enjoyed it.

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Whisky Journey Experience

Now they are offering a special Father’s Day Whisky & Beer Experience. They have partnered with The Edinburgh Beer Factory to pair beers with their Whisky Ambassadors’ chosen drams.
Sunday 16th June from £25.00, advance booking my emailing scotch.balmoral@roccofortehotels.com

Prestonfield House – Rhubarb Restaurant

Situated only five minutes from Edinburgh City centre is the impressive and renowned Prestonfield House hotel, owned by hotelier-restaurateur James Thomson OBE. Why not treat your father to a wonderful meal at their renowned restaurant, Rhubarb.

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The restaurant spans over two large adjoining rooms. Each room is adorned with high ceilings, sash windows and walls of beautifully restored historical paintings. Again, the decor echoes the rest of the estate with antiques, historic architectural features and lavish materials.
Three Course Set Menu Dinner – £38.00 at Prestonfield.com Head to my previous blog post for more details.

National Fragrance Week – Luxury & Niche Fragrances

National Fragrance Week – Luxury & Niche Fragrances

Coco Chanel Said “No elegance is possible without perfume. It is the unseen, unforgettable, ultimate accessory.”

When choosing a fragrance, we all seek to find a specific scent that accentuates and reflects our own personalities. However, in a vast and ever growing fragrance market, it is a tad difficult to find a scent that is unique to you. In such a market it is difficult to find a fragrance that no one else is wearing and like clothes, we all long for something different that portrays our individuality.

If like me, you sometimes crave a fragrance that is a little bit different then this is where the niche and luxury fragrance market come into play. There are a selection of brands appearing on the market that provide certain exclusivity, allowing you to choose a fragrance that has high quality ingredients and stunning packaging. Some people often disregarded these brands for the fear that they would not like them once they arrive. Luckily more fragrance companies are producing discovery sets, allowing you to purchase a range of samples so that you can experience the scent before you choose the one you prefer.

For National Fragrance Week, I recently sought out some niche and luxury brands and had the chance to enjoy their range of fragrances. Here are the selections that caught my eye (and nose):

IDEO Parfumeurs

This unique brand originates from the centre of the Mediterranean, from the beautiful city of Beirut in Lebanon. Taking advantage of this fantastic location, IDEO has created a range of fragrances that take influence from the Middle East, Europe, Africa and Asia. Founded by Antoine and Ludmila Bitar, they have crafted a beautiful selection of unisex perfumes that not only bring together the energy of Beirut but also explore its many contradictive facets. Therefore each fragrance exudes a timeless elegance with a touch of originality and a splash of freedom just like the city it come from.

Head to my Facebook or IGTV IDEO Parfumeurs video where I talk about my favourite scent in the collection, Prison Blues.

GALLIVANT – Fragrance for Urban Explorers

You know how much I love travel and fragrances! This brand manages to ingeniously combine both of my passions. Gallivant is a small independent perfume house in London created and founded by Nick Steward where each fragrance is inspired by a selection of cities from around the world. By using natural ingredients that are hand crafted in France and England, Gallivant have produced a range of high quality yet unique unisex fragrances.

Head to my Facebook or IGTV Gallivant video where I talk about my favourite scent in the collection, London.

ZOOLOGIST

When I first heard of this fragrance house I was immediately fascinated by its unusual story. Founded in 2013 by Victor Wong this Canadian based company has produced a quirky range that has been lovingly inspired by the animal kingdom. Each scent captures a unique eccentricity and personality of a particular animal. What they have ended up with is a vast array of cleverly constructed perfumes that are truly unique and fun to explore.

Head to my Facebook or IGTV ZOOLOGIST video to discover my favourite scent in the collection, Elephant.

M.INT – That Which Triggers Emotions

With a tagline of “That which triggers emotions”, I was immediately intrigued by what this brand had to offer. Their website provided a contemporary and artistic vibe providing a current slant on a perfume house that I had not seen before. Launched in 2016, M.INT released a range of 20 unisex fragrances, each created by renowned perfumers all over the world. Although each of the fragrances has their own unique personality, the collection comes together perfectly, creating a wardrobe of luxurious fragrances. The packaging is slick and modern and houses a bottle that is completely unique and the vast array of choice means you won’t be stuck for choice.

Head to my Facebook or IGTV M.INT Parfume video where I talk about my favourite scent in the collection, Azure Haze.

KINGDOM SCOTLAND

Founded by Imogen Russon-Taylor; Kingdom Scotland is the very first Scottish fragrance house capturing the very essence of the beautiful country it originates from. The fragrance collection made its debut in 2018 with the first three expertly crafted scents; Metamorphic, Albaura and Portal. After working a lustrous career in the aromatic world of Scotch whisky, Imogen already understood the complexities of creating a product that consisted of a variety of notes and distinguished ingredients. Seeing the connection between the sensory experience of whisky and perfume, she used this powerful knowledge to shape her vision of Kingdom Scotland. Through in-depth research, she began to develop further knowledge into the Scottish history of perfume, unearthing historic records detailing stories that fed her inspiration. After finding a perfumer who perfectly matched her vision, Kingdom Scotland was born. Imogen has created a beautiful collection of unisex fragrances that capture the imagination and transport you to the natural landscapes of Scotland.

Head to my Facebook or IGTV Kingdom Scotland video to see more about my favourite scent in the range, Portal.

Perris Monte Carlo – Italy Collection

Perris Monte Carlo – Italy Collection

Based in the opulent surroundings of Monte Carlo is the renowned fragrance house: Perris Monte Carlo, headed by creative director, Gian Luca Perris. Gian is the second generation of the Perris family to delve into the world of luxury perfumes.

Gian took a more thoughtful approach when creating Perris Monte Carlo and wanted to explore the core values of the fragrance industry. He was successful in this by constructing a range of fragrances that focused more on the scents themselves rather than the marketing of the brand name. This approach allowed them to seek out the most premium raw materials from around the world and create a collection of perfumes that are both unique and luxurious. By combining methods of extraction that respected the traditional elements of scents, together with modern innovation, Perris Monte Carlo are truly bringing back the art of perfumery.

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From the first moment I discovered this brand, I was immediately enthralled by their use of finely sourced natural materials. Their black collection manages to take you on a whirlwind tour of the world with just a single spray. Within this collection, my favourite is Cacao Azteque fragrance. This is the perfect scent to allow you to escape the cold winter days of Scotland.  With a spicy opening of black pepper, pink pepper and cardamom the senses become truly heightened. Before long it takes you on a sweet and delicious journey, transforming into a rich and delectable aroma that drifts of the skin.

Photo by Anna Gianuzzi & Stefano Marino

Before I drift off completely, I am here to talk about their newest collection – The Italy Collection which pays tribute to the citrus essences of Southern Italy. These three new fragrances manage to encapsulate this part of the world by creatively capturing the warmth of the sun, the characteristics of citrus and natural ingredients from the Italian countryside in every bottle.

Mandarino di Sicilia

Imagine pulling a mandarin fresh from the tree and peeling its skin as the oil of the zest spritz into the air and envelopes your senses. This is what I get when I first spray this fragrance. Usually, I am not keen on fragrances that are overly fruity but the citrus and green qualities of the bitter orange and petitgrain help to balance out the fruitiness of the mandarin. The addition of floral notes at its core brings this fragrance to a whole new level, striking a perfect balance between masculine and feminine. This highly energetic infusion was my favorite in the collection, due to the complex notes derived from different varieties of mandarin.

Bergamotto Di Calabria

Bergamot is the main composition of this fragrance giving it an immediate spicy yet sweet beginning and Perris uses a particular type of bergamot from the Calabria region of Italy. In order to capture its essence, Perris manually remove the pulp from the fruit, leaving the rind to be compressed on a natural sponge. Due to its persistent and energetic character, the combination of bitter orange and lemon notes of this essence make this a common top note ingredient for many fragrances. Perris has managed to enrich this ingredient by delicately combining it with orange blossom, neroli and jasmine, adding a delicate floral touch. The addition of sandalwood and musk means that it settles to a lovely creamy and woody scent. I especially enjoyed this in the morning as the Bergamot was very uplifting and I particularly loved the addition of neroli as it’s one of my favorite notes in any fragrance.

Cedro di Diamante

The Diamante citron (Cedro di Diamante) is a large citrus fruit named after the Calabrian town of Diamante where most of the cultivation of this fruit takes place. Perris Monte Carlo encapsulates the sparkling zesty nature of this, creating a scent that is infused with a mix of citrus, floral and spices. Here I feel Perris Monte Carlo have created a multifaceted fragrance which develops into a more masculine aroma.

I usually tend to stay away from citrus based fragrances due to their short longevity and simple characteristics. However, Perris Monte Carlo have managed to develop a new collection that adds a more complex and intricate dimension to these natural citrus characteristics. Their use of high quality and luxury ingredients have created a group of fragrances that are truly uplifting and luxurious; a perfect addition to anyone’s fragrance collection!

Head to my IGTV to see more.

Perrismontecarlo.com