Shay & Blue launch Kings Wood…

Shay & Blue have been exciting fragrance lovers since 2012, founder Dom De Vetta’s previous roles being Senior Vice President at Chanel and Global General Manager of Jo Malone London, joining with talented Grasse perfumer, Julie Massé, to create his very own fragrance house.

We were thrilled to get the opportunity to exclusively preview their latest – Kings Wood – in our New Man Discovery Box, and now the fragrance has officially launched, we’re able to fully celebrate. Scroll down to watch our Unboxing review of the fragrance…

Shay & Blue say: ‘Kings Wood is a unique men’s fragrance. Different and distinctive it is a real statement of confidence. Bursts of fresh pineapple are blended with the natural aromatic of fearn leaves to create layers of freshness with an intriguing depth. The base notes of fine leather and English oak leave an impression of classic masculine refinement.’

We’ve noticed a resurgence of heritage woods being used in contemporary fragrances – and here, English oak is showcased in all its majestic glory, and the pineapple makes for welcome change to those who prefer something a little more adventurous than citrus in the opening notes. Crisply green fern leaves are enhanced by a sprinkle of warm pepper on a luxuriously smooth and reassuringly solid base, and the supple leather in the dry-down just makes us want to snuggle up for a deeper sniff…

We filmed an Unboxing session live on our Instagram channel, and have now uploaded this to YouTube so everyone can enjoy – watch it, below! We get sniffing Shay & Blue Kings Wood around 23:50 on this video if you want to skip straight to it, and Part 1 of the Unboxing is also available on our channel if you want to sniff-along with all the scents.

We’re absolutely loving the pineapple in Kingswood, it’s a different kind of fruity – lusciously juicy but with a spikiness that cuts through the smoother, richer notes. But did you know that pineapples were once a symbol of wealth and welcoming, being so expensive they could be rented (at extortionate prices!) for hosts anxious to prove their importance, and still adored for their thirst-quenching exoticism?

If you want to try a sample of Kings Wood along with our other carefully curated fragrance selection, you can buy The New Man Discovery Box here. And we know those of you who’ve already got in touch to tell us how much you love Kings Wood will be anxiously counting the hours until it officially launches on 1st September, so you can finally get your hands on a full-size bottle in-store.

Shay & Blue Kings Wood £85 for 100ml natural spray
Buy it at shayandblue.com

Written by Suzy Nightingale

Six spook-tacular scents for Halloween…

pumpkin-pie-30_grandeThe American influence of Halloween celebrations have long since hit our shores, and although we may not have their lust for pumpkin pie, we certainly enjoy wearing the scent of it on our skin. Think sweet cinnamon and clove gently warmed over wafts of pumpkin and it’s basically autumn, bottled. Talking of lust… did you know that, according to a study at the Monell Institute in Philadelphia, the smell of pumpkin pie increases the arousal level in men by 40%? We’re not sure if this only applies to our American friends, but would be intrigued to hear if this perked up your party!
The Library of Fragrance Pumpkin Pie £15 for 30ml eau de toilette
Buy it at Boots
bat-60ml-front_grandeCanadian niche brand Zoologist perfumes theme their fragrances around the characters of animals, and what could be more appropriate for Halloween than their Bat? A highly unusual swoop into a tropical forest to feast on sycamore figs and banana becomes a resiniously deep plunge to lush undergrowth and damp earth. Zoologist suggest that you… ‘Allow yourself to hang, draped in pitch black, as alluring musk wafts over you with every unfolding of the thousands of leathery wings that surround you.’ We somehow imagine Sesame Street’s The Count wearing this: ‘VUN! Vun Bat, ha ha ha!’
Zoologist Bat $125 for 60ml eau de parfum
Buy it at zoologistperfumes.com
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Trick or Treating is all about the kids, right? Well why not give in to indulgence with this utterly delectable fragrant interpretation of Charbonnel et Walker’s Sea Salt Caramel Truffles? Created by talented young perfumer Julie Massé, she’s somehow completely captured that moment your teeth penetrate the crisp shell of the truffle as the bitter-sweet caramel oozes forth. Bourbon vanilla adds creaminess and the whole experience is a warm hug of comforting joy that definitely won’t ruin your teeth (or your waistline). But perhaps add an actual box of truffles to your shopping list as well – for scientific “compare and contrast” reasons.
Shay & Blue Salt Caramel £55 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at marksandspencer.com
beaufort_london_coeur_de_noir_eau_de_parfum_by_andrew_ogilvy_photography_2A library lit only by the glow of the crackling fireplace, filled with ancient leather-bound tomes and sheafs of vellum still wet with black ink – this gloweringly intriguing scent is inspired by the founder’s grandfather’s intricate drawings of yachts, shelves of nautical fiction and tattoos. With a fabulously murky heart of vanilla pipe smoke buoyed by richly spiced West Indian rum, it’s part of this fiercely independent British house’s Come Hell or High Water collection and resonates with the evocation of romantically sighing spirits and ghostly flickerings in candlelit rooms…
BeauFort London Coeur de Noir £95 for 50ml eau de parfum
Buy it at beaufortlondon.com
ghost-eau-de-toilette-for-her-5050456200337-whitelightYes, alright, this isn’t at all scary – but it’s the perfect scent for ghouls about town to spritz if they’re feeling elegantly ethereal and up for a spot of light haunting rather than full-on Exorcist-like possession. With a cool peachy kiss combined with freshly juiced pear and mandarin, this could have become overtly sweet yet always stays the right side of tart. The softly swooning jasmine and lightly dusted violet petals are deftly sprinkled with patchouli for an earthily sophisticated base that really impressed us. Loving the pretty, pearlised finish of the glistening bottle.
Ghost Whitelight
Buy it at The Perfume Shop
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Enigmatically sulty, this pink peppercorn spiced celebration of darkness beckons you in to a warmly powdered heart of jasmine and violet before misting the shadows with swirls of incense. As the smoke drifts skywards, the erotically charged base of musk, vanilla and patchouli becalms the piquancy of dried fruits and woody papyrus. Distinctively addictive, we foresee a tremulous heroine wearing this while battling the forces of darkness in a Gothic novel, using nothing but her cunning guile and a fortuitously placed hatpin.
Olfactive Studio Chambre Noire £110 for 100ml eau de parfum
Buy it at Roullier White
Written by Suzy Nightingale

Salt is in the air: a latest trend…?

A trip to the great British seaside is always a real treat, truly to behold come rain or shine – whatever the weather actually. Though, I’m pretty sure I’m not the only one who is rushing to the coast for one last dip, before we officially draw a line under summer. It’s in our DNA as Brits to want to escape to the sea, whether it’s to walk the dog and wonder how on earth you’re going to get said wet canine back in the car, or the craving of a ‘wake-up’ like none other as you brave the great ocean.

Perhaps it’s the smell that’s so addictive. In the heat it’s dry, dusty sand and sun cream, but with a twist of watery freshness blown in from the shore. In the cold, it’s the thick heavy wind that batters you from every angle, ‘blowing out the cobwebs’, so to speak. For both, there is always one key ingredient – salt. We love the stuff. Perhaps because of these experiences, or perhaps it’s the sticky, certain ‘tang’ we can’t quite put our finger on.

There are some incredible historical scents that include sea salt, of course who could forget Miller Harris‘s Fleur de Sel, or Heeley’s Sel Marin? This season, salt is in the air again and we think we’re spotting a trend floating in the undercurrent.

 Jo Malone London Wood Sage & Sea Salt  £82 for 100ml cologne

Try it at: www.jomalone.co.uk

Classified as a woody fragrance, created by master perfumer Christina Nagel, it perfectly captures the spirited feeling you experience when walking a windswept shore.  The fragrance clogs the nose with a freshened, heavy sweetness, but retains warmth, like cold, weather-beaten cheeks that burn. Notes include ambrette seed, red algae, grapefruit, as well as those key components – sea salt and sage.

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Shay & Blue London Salt Caramel £55 for 100ml

Try it at: www.shayandblue.com

Salt brings caramel alive and this is clearer than ever in Shay & Blue’s latest scent, Salt Caramel. Created by Dom De Vetta and Julie Massé – taking their inspiration from the Queen Charbonnel et Walker’s sea salt caramel truffles – it’s a truly indulgent fragrance. Notes include burnt caramel, sea salt, sandalwood, tonka bean and vanilla. Good enough to eat.

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Calvin Klein Reveal £37.50 for 100ml eau de parfum

Try it at: The Perfume Shop

Created by master perfumers Jean-Marc Chaillan and Bruno Jovanovic to summon feelings around the smell of sun-kissed skin in the evening sunset, enveloped in cashmere. The top opens with fresh and flavorful sea salt and pepper. The heart adds ambergris and powdery iris, while the base is smoothed with sandalwood, musk, cashmere and vetiver (another potential female fragrance trend we’re sniffing of late).

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Written by Alice Crocker