lifestyle store | britain's largest collection of rare fragrances | mrs white's home & body care
Stocking Fillers & The House Of Kerosene
Stocking Fillers & The House Of Kerosene
What a wonderful week it has been. I attended a lovely Christmas Charity Luncheon organised by local community goddess Angela Burgess, which not only got me into the swing of the festive season but allowed me to sit and chat with the other local independent retailers who are an inspiring bunch. Then it was off to see Stephen Sondheim's reworked masterpiece 'Company' with the legendary Patti Lupone at The Gielgud Theatre which was the icing on the Christmas Cake!
The store is wonderfully busy and full of interesting, passionate and fun people so I am feeling very fortunate indeed and every day is a joyous experience especially as I have found good homes for almost all of my golden piglets !
This week I wanted to tell you about a new arrival, a fragrance collection from 'The House Of Kerosene'. The nose is a self taught perfumer named John Pegg and he is a 'Wrencher' by profession (which translates to 'Motorcycle Mechanic') in the chilly industrial heartland of Michigan in the U.S.
I took this to be a sign for, as many of you will know, I released a fragrance called, prophetically, 'The Mechanic' in my debut collection for St Giles as I too love the smells of oil, leather and petrol !
There are currently a handful of self-taught perfumers emerging as the leading lights of a new generation and John is most certainly among them. These are the rule-breakers who make scent simply for the joy of it and indulge in the daring and the different. They have no marketing teams or shareholders to please and with this autonomy comes the freedom to create the extraordinary and to raise the bar in terms of the olfactory experience.
The Kerosene fragrances are exciting, transporting conflagrations that engulf the senses and wrap them in a warm embrace.
My first encounter was with a fragrance called 'Black Vines' which John originally made for himself. The central note of liquorice, an ingredient much feared by the mainstream perfume industry, is both exotic and familiar, blended with balsam of Peru, incense and star anise, a dash of green fig and a dusting of vanilla. It is a cashmere sweater of a scent and I have been wearing it every weekend, luxuriating in its soft, comforting layers. 'Copper Skies' envisions the early evening, with sweet basil wafting over cedar trees with tobacco leaves beneath the bark. The dark, spicy notes of amber, clove and honey add a nuanced sweetness to the smokey air. The truly remarkable 'R'Oud Elements' completely redefines the ingredient of the decade, Oud, inviting us to enjoy the sunset with smouldering cedar and sandalwood dancing across the flames of oud and amber and all viewed through a haze of titian orange bitters. 'Broken Theories' takes us further into the night as inky clouds of agarwood and incense drift over spiced skin while occasional firey flashes of blood orange illuminate the warm forest floor of sandalwood and vanilla. And finally we emerge into the light with 'Pretty Machine' the scent of crisp, spring air with uplifting notes of lime and linden blossom, a hymn to rebirth, resonant with expectation.
Further energising scents include 'Walk The Sea' a bracing combination of sea salt, white florals, ambergris, cedar and musk that imagine a memory of hide tide clinging to the skin and, for those that don't want to smell 'pretty' all of the time, I would choose 'Dirty Flower Factory' a fallen angel of jasmine, rose and orange blossom attractively sullied by chilli pepper, peppercorns and musk.
'Kerosine' is a collection of exceptional scents for men and women, handcrafted by a singular talent whose raison d'etre is to create complex perfumes that both seduce and transport. I can think of no better way to start the New Year!
Stocking fillers come in many forms and I like to keep a little cache available at this time of year that can double up as Hostess Gifts if an unexpected invitation arrives or if I get an extra guest over the holidays. These should be chic and beautiful and look more expensive than they actually are!
Scented Candles are always a winner and this year I have stocked up on 'Precious Spice' a fantastically Christmassy candle scented with clove buds, cinnamon sticks and clementine. It is perfect for the festive season and the winter months in general as it adds a delicious, comforting aroma to the living room. The candle comes with a lid which acts as a snuffer and ensures that it looks pretty when not in use. Great quality, smashing scent, stylish and all for a very reasonable £22.
I do like to raise a smile at Christmas and our signature trays 'Meryl Sheep' and 'Wool.I.Am' never fail to engage. These are exclusive to Roullier White and made from lightweight, robust melamine. They look great displayed and are great fun for £20
Heart Key rings in gold leather are proving to be a huge hit. I have gifted twice already and the reaction has been most enthusiastic and so I have invested in a few more. I like the idea of gifting something useful but glamorous and these fit the bill perfectly. Italian leather from Harrogate for £8
I was trying to find a little coloured wallet for store cards, loyalty cards, business cards and all those other incidental bits of plastic that are foisted upon us and that we really don't want in our main wallet. The perfect solution comes from Sweden - it is small and neat and holds up to 10 cards in clear plastic sleeves that fan out for easy access. Lovely colours too in aquamarine, emerald and orange. £24.75
Finally our olive wood bread basket is a best seller. Handmade in Spain, it is beautiful and very serviceable. I use mine for crisps and nibbles, crackers for cheese and a host of other functions as well as for bread. A lovely gift for the home that will last a lifetime - you just need to oil it once a quarter to bring back the beauty of the grain. £22.99
Our last, guaranteed, delivery dates have been posted on the website and we can take orders up to and including December 20th. In store we are open until 5.30 on Christmas Eve and so any orders can be beautifully gift-wrapped and picked up anytime before then. After that I shall be devoting myself to the consumption of Egg Nog and lots of it!
May your Christmas Shopping be pain-free this w/e and I hope that you have some time to relax.