Monday, 28 February 2011

A Fragrant Day

The last 11 days have been possibly the busiest days of my life, but thankfully also the best. It began with The Perfume Shop afternoon tea press day at The Haymarket Hotel. Excellent location, the hotel is quirky and sophisticated.

Heading to The Shooting Gallery I was greeted by one of the lovely girls from The Perfume Shop's head office called Rebecca who took me on a walking tour of the gallery filled with fragrances. The best scents in the world all in one room and laid out according to smell and colour. The first table I was shown to was orange which represented all the fruity scents available. As one of my favourite scents, I welcomed every beautiful bottle she showed me, including the original Marc Jacobs Daisy (50ml, £44.50), Boss Orange for her (30ml, £26.50 and new self-titled fragrance Jimmy Choo (40ml, £38.50).
At this point I smelt amazing and wandered how many more fragrances I could test on my body before I smelt like an actual perfumery. Next stop is the pink table, my actual favourite smell - floral. Everything smelt as beautiful and as I did on my departure. Jean Paul Gaultier Classique (50ml, £44.99), Calvin Klein Beauty (30ml, £34.50), Marc Jacobs Daisy Eau So Fresh (75ml, £47.50) that was released into store yesterday and Issey Miyake Florale for her (25ml, £33) that launches in March top my list.
Continuing on my tour of fragrance tables we hit the brown table with all the gourmand scents you could wish for, including the chocolaty Angel by Thierry Mugler (25ml, £39.99) for an acquired taste, vanilla fragrances like Carolina Herrera's 212 VIP (30ml, £29.99) and coconut scents like Jennifer Lopez's new venture Love and Glamour (30ml, £15.99). Felt peckish by that point so could no longer resist the delicious afternoon tea. Mini sandwiches with chicken to fish fillings, Victoria sponge slices, big cupcakes and scones with clotted cream. A diet is ruined. I eat a strawberry to feel like I have a balanced diet.
The green table represented fresh fragrances with aromatic aromas. This represented most male fragrances including Paco Rabanne One Million for him (50ml, £34.99), one of the biggest sellers of all time with its top notes of fresh fruits and peppermint, and Davidoff Cool Water for him (40ml, £21.50) with lavender notes. Father's day is not that far off girls.
Finally I end my round table testing with the blue table. The orient table, my least favourite of smells, however I was pleasantly surprised with some of the fragrances on offer.  Vera Wang's Anniversary (50ml, £53.50) is lovely with notes of amber that launches on 6th March and Dannii Minogue and Tabitha Somerset-Webb's Project D (50ml, £33.50) has been a favourite of mine since its launch.
I head for a quick chat with Lewis Peacock, P&G fragrance expert to get some info about the trio of Lacoste fragrances launching simultaneously. Three colours and three scents, the first Blanc, the second Bleu and the third Vert. Quite simply there is a different scent to capture his every mood. The Blanc fragrance is pure, clean and elegant, the Bleu fragrance is powerful and cool and the Vert fragrance is fresh an relaxed for the outdoors type. 
At this point I was feeling a little heady and quickly made my way around the final few tables that hosted a further few scents including this years summer scents like the gorgeous Armani Code Summer for him and her (both 75ml, £41.50) and DKNY Woman for her (100ml, £330) which are all available from 4th April.

My fragrance wish list just got a little, but really a lot bigger.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Elle Style Awards 2011

The stylish celebs were out in force last night for the star-studded Elle Style Awards 2011 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London - hosted by a style icon in her own right, Alexa Chung.

Gossip Girl’s Blake Lively (and let us not forget - the new ambassador for Chanel) flew in from New York to be presented with the Best TV Actress award and looked absolutely stunning dressed in a blue Emilio Pucci dress. Best dressed of the night in my humble opinion! Alexa Chung sported a stylish blue YSL number and Cheryl Cole looked fabulous in a scarlet red Alexander McQueen dress while picking up her gong for the Best Music Act. Emma Watson shone in a Hakaan mini dress and was awarded the Style Icon award presented by Dame Vivienne Westwood. An honour.
Fashion winners in my eyes and Elle's - Meadham Kirchhoff received the award for Next Young Designer and Emma Hill won the award for Best Accessory Designer. Mulberry bags are my vice so I completely concur.
Other winners included Best Actress – Natalie Portman, Best International Designer – Tom Ford, Best Model – Coco Rocha, Best Jewellery Designer – Dominic Jones, Best Actor – Stephen Dorff, Outstanding Fashion Contribution – Helena Christensen, Next Breakthrough Talent – Noomi Rapace and British Designer – Christopher Kane.

Friday, 11 February 2011

Belle's Treatment of the Week: The New York Mani

Imagine a New York manicure completed in just 30 minutes leaving you with gorgeous glossed nails for the minimal cost of £12.50. Now think The Chelsea Day Spa. For my treatment of the week I put it to the test.

I head to the day spa located on the Kings Road, London on a Thursday evening to find a slightly hidden town house on the corner of the King’s Road, entrance on Smith Street. I wonder up stairs expecting the usual celeb-like spa, but to my surprise I was welcomed to something a little different. A little quirky yet quaint, smart, clean and cosy. Ideal for the 'Carrie' type who is always on the go. I am greeted by my nail technician who takes my coat, and before I know it I am sat down with a glass of lemon in water to detox, while she removed my pre-mani polish.
On the TV - Sex & The City. Feel like 'Carrie', so I sit back and let my technician pamper my nails with a soak, cut, file and shape. Following that she gets down to the cuticle work with a mini hand massage to relax. Using Jessica nail polish, my technician paints my nails scarlet red and I am ready to go. Four days down the line there is still not a chip in sight.
Highly recommended - The whole experience reminded me of New York. There is always an easy-access nail salon within a two-block radius purposely built for those on the go in need of a cheap and cheerful manicure. Visit The Chelsea Day Spa online for further info.

Wednesday, 9 February 2011

E-Cute from Mulberry

Especially for Valentine’s Day, Mulberry has collaborated with digital art genius Daniel Brown to create something cute and cutting-edge that can be delivered via E-mail – a Mulberry Love Blossom.

Mulberry’s S/S 11 collection is fresh, bright and beautiful. Imagine a fairytale filled with flowers – inspired by Frances Hodgson Burnett’s, The Secret Garden. Now imagine something that combines all the beauty and brightness of the Mulberry S/S11 prints, and the beauty of digital art - this equals the Mulberry Blossom. Is this not something you would love to receive at work from your loved one?
Available to website visitors online at Mulberry, simply choose one of the unique patterns and send the flower seed to your Valentine. The recipient will receive the email on lover’s day with a link to see their unique seed come to life and grow right before their beautiful eyes. Each flower will grow in its own organic and unique way. Want everyone to know about it? Share your fully fledged flower with your peers via email or on Facebook.
Brown said; “The ‘Love Blossoms’ project gave the opportunity to apply cutting edge generative-art principles to an established, heritage luxury brand and create a seasonal and unique gift for each Mulberry follower. Using prints from the Spring Summer 2011 collection, each flower is generated so that no two blooms are ever the same.”
Visit to start spreading the E-Love.

Miu Miu brought to life in a Series of Short Films

Explore the feminine love affair with The Miu Miu Women's Tales - a series of captivating short and seductive films at the click of a button.
Miu Miu online will broadcast the films, directed by distinctive female film makers with the ability to compel us - the fashion worthy audience. The first film online and ready to be viewed now is 'The Powder Room' by Zoe Cassavetes. An enchanting, powerfully dramatic short film complimented by the backdrop of London’s luxurious Claridges hotel.
Watch as the provocative lead model, Audrey Marnay enters The Powder Room to pamper herself with other models present, including Caroline de Maigret, Line Gost and Sophie Vlaming. Be entranced by the ultra feminine, powerful and romantic short film where gestures between women are traded in a ritual of opulent beauty.
Cassavetes said; “I love the idea of a powder room, the ritual which takes place within them is very important for women”. “There’s something special about preparing yourself, a moment before the action takes place. I love the sense of intimacy. It’s a place away from men, where you can check out other women, and re-glamourize yourself ready to face the world again”.
The short film premiered at the end of last month and is online now at Miu Miu. Further films will follow, so watch this space.

Prada Minimal-Baroque Sunglasses: Capsule Collection

Fresh from launching at the CAFA Art Museum in Beijing, China - the new Minimal-Baroque eyewear collection by Prada will be available to purchase this season. Taking inspiration from the S/S11 Prada womenswear collection the idea represents a true creative fil rouge.
Highlighting the uniqueness of the collection, artistic accounts of the sunglasses are created through the creative flair of three illustrators; Ivo Bisignano, Marcela Gutierrez and Andrea Tarella. All three gave an interpretation of the exits of the Milan and Beijing shows through their personal vision using watercolour, pastel and acrylics. Sunglasses come in white/blue, white/black and white/honey.
Beautiful for the beach. The accessory is produced as a limited edition and available this month from Luxe addresses in your little black book, including Prada boutiques and selected department stores. During the season Prada will launch a further two models linked to Minimal-Baroque sunglasses project. They will be available in April.

Miu Miu’s Magic

Another S/S11 campaign to heart is Miu Miu’s, inspired by the spirit of performance and the stage.
From Miu Miu - a seducing campaign of ultra-feminine models revealing their imagination and desires through their personalities and wardrobes. Models appear like mannequins with hair slicked back with crimson lip colour. Think on-screen costume, and flower and flame. The intense, deep, bright and bold colouring is outstanding.

Something Pretty from Prada

One of my favourite things that come from the fashion houses are the advertising campaigns - gorgeous new photographic pieces of art to take inspiration from for colour and style.
A colour-rich campaign comes from Prada - Vibrant and playful the campaign was shot by legend and long-term Prada collaborator Steven Meisel. Capturing models in dance poses and freeze frames, the images evoke the passion and fun embodied in the clothing, inspired by legendary jazz entertainer Josephine Baker.

While I was away ...

Exciting news for Serena van der Woodsen (Gossip Girl) style lovers comes as rising style icon Blake Lively becomes the new, and official face of the Chanel “MADEMOISELLE” handbag line.

The “MADEMOISELLE” campaign, photographed by Largerfield will be launched in mid-March 2011.
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