Shay & Blue


New British fragrance name Shay & Blue‘s founders believe that modern fragrance ‘should stand on the shoulders of giants’ of past perfume greats. So what you’ll discover, decanted into their beautiful pale blue bottles, are fragrances created according to the great traditions of perfumery:  beautiful smells, perfectly constructed, created with some of the most precious materials that the fragrant world has to offer:  May roses from Grasse, zingy Sicilian limes, white narcissus, mimosa, juicy blood oranges, Bourbon vanilla…

In his ‘previous life’, Dom De Vetta was a Senior Vice President at Chanel and Global General Manager of Jo Malone Ltd. (Personally, we go back even further than that with Dom, to his Lancôme days.) His vision for Shay & Blue was to create a new perfume house:  ‘a boutique company of talented individuals who will guard the flame of traditional fragrance know-how, preserving quality fragrance-making techniques for future generations.’ So Dom has teamed up with new-generation perfumer Julie Massé, who brings her creativity and know-how to the creation of Shay & Blue‘s growing portfolio of fragrances. Born in Grasse, the global heartland of perfumery, Julie has trained with some of the perfume world’s true legends, including Christine Nagel and Pierre Bourdon. (Read more about Julie here in her ‘Nose’ Q+A for The Perfume Society).

The fragrances are hand-crafted and hand-filled in the UK, but Dom and Julie also work closely with Grasse producers, tapping into their expertise. In Grasse, ingredients are still ‘hand-picked’, hand-weighed, hand-distilled: an artisanal style of production which makes for the highest-quality ingredients. That care and attention is why Grasse is still the go-to source for fine perfumery, even in today’s high-tech world.

AMBER_ROSEThe initial collection of six fragrances brings us Blood Oranges, based around one of the fragrance ingredients du jour: it’s tangy, citrus, juicily inviting – and dries down to a sensual finale of musk, charred woods and amber.  Amber Rose (pictured here) is a classic romantic floral, fusing May rose with gourmand note dulce de leche, on a radiant white amber base.  More recently, Shay & Blue has added Blacks Club Leather (created in partnership with Blacks Club of Soho, one of London’s most bohemian membership clubs), recreating the scent of the crackling hearth, leather-covered books, and smooth brandy…

Shay & Blue is increasingly widely retailed (including, now, in Australia) – but to explore the collection in depth, we suggest a visit to their Crawford Street store, in London’s Old Marylebone:  a short stroll west from Marylebone High Street.  With a slightly gentleman’s clubby feel itself, it’s kitted out with antiques and tasteful objets, and is a very pleasurable place to while away a little me-time.  Everything is packaged in the smart blue boxes, making each feel like a special present.  Find Shay & Blue‘s debut boutique at 80 York Street, London W1H 1QW/0845-548 0113.

And the name?  ‘Shay was my grandmother’s name,’ explains Dom.  ‘And who doesn’t love the colour blue?’

Who, indeed…?


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