29 April 2012

Tom Ford Private Blend collection - Selfridges Birmingham

I was lucky enough to be invited to a private tour of the fragrances in the Tom Ford Private Blend collection just launched at Selfridges, the only retailer to sell this range in Birmingham.

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The Private Blend collection is split into 6 different categories - Oriental Woods, Leather, Floral, Tobacco and Eau De Cologne. The scents are not categorised as masculine or feminine.

I was taken through the whole collection and told about the inspirations behind each fragrance - tropical travels, gentleman's smoking clubs, leather armchairs are just a few.

The designs are based on glass apothecary bottles with gold name plates and will look luxe on any dressing table.

I described the scents I usually wear - fresh, powdery and clean. We started going through each scent individually starting with Neroli Portofino. I loved this instantly, with Tunisian Neroli, Italian Bergamot, Sicilian Lemon, Winter Yellow Mandarin, Lavender, and Orange Flower, Rosemary and Amber. It whisks you away somewhere exotic and tropical, cased in a lovely dark sea green glass bottle.


My other personal favourite was Champaca Absolute so unusual I hadn't smelt anything like it before which is down to the unconventional composition. It takes a rarely used single note and then adds a sequence of secondary ingredients which layer to create the most gorgeous addictive fragrance. Perfect for an evening out.

I hope to be adding both of these to my collection.


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Oud Wood, one of the bestsellers along with Neroli Portofino and Tuscan Leather


Do you own any of the Tom Ford fragrances? Have you got a favourite?

I definitely recommend you stop by the Tom Ford counter to try a couple of the scents especially if you are looking for something original.


“Private Blend is my own scent laboratory; it’s where I have the ability to create very special, original fragrances that are unconstrained by the conventions of mainstream scent-making. Private Blend is designed with the true fragrance connoisseur in mind.”
-Tom Ford



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27 April 2012

Blog i'm loving

Elise from Living Doll blog. Despite being so tiny and petite often wears tougher outfits with really great accessories. I'm very envious of her bag and jewellery collection. I really think she has my dream wardrobe too.

Another highlight of her blog that I love is her travels around the world. I definitely reccomend reading back over the last couple of months on her blog purely to see the posts from the lion sanctury she was volunteering in. Very cute cub photos!


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All images from Living Doll

24 April 2012

Snapshots

I've been working away over the last few weeks so blogging was put on hold. Now i'm back to usual schedule!

Snapshots from the last month or so. Looking back at the lovely weather we had is quite depressing considering the amount of rain we're getting now.


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Hyacinths at the hotel
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Tapas made at home

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Hotel bed

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Cocktails

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I heart decaf coffee

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Sitting pretty - Peacock basking on the balcony at the hotel

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Tiny daffodils

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Gorgeous English gardens

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Sweeping grand drive

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Spring blossom

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Fruit beer

17 April 2012

New in skincare - Chanel Hydramax

My latest skincare purchases that are doing the world of good for my de-hydrated skin. I'll update soon with more in depth review and the rest of my skincare routine.

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Hydramax active serum

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Hydramax active moisture cream

15 April 2012

Valencia, Spain - Day 3

Day three we were determined to make the most of our last full day and woke to a scorcher of a day, we hopped on the bus this time taking a different route and hopped off at the Bio Parc, a large expanse of natural flora and fauna and animal park with natural breeding programs and no cages, more purpose built grasslands and habitats.

We spent nearly all day here the gorillas making a big impression - it was lovely to just take time out in the hot sunshine.

Later that day we started to walk back and I got us a little lost so we hopped on the metro to take us back to the old city. We found ourselves sat outside a little Spanish bar and ordered a little jug of sangria. Also a must!

Later that night we decided the last thing to eat on our Spanish break was of course Tapas, most of which was devoured before getting any pictures, roasted ham with paprika, grilled baby squids, spicy red sausages set on fire in alcohol and huge grilled garlic langoustine and a bottle of Spanish Rioja. Such an simple and delicious meal.

After that we came across a little pop up bar and tried a local drink - Agua de la Valencia. Sounds refreshing and very likely to trick you into thinking your drink juice! sparkling wine, fresh Valencian squeezed oranges topped with free poured vodka. Two jugs of this and we were ready for bed and a sore head the next morning.

Nothing to do the following day except a leisurely check out a walk to the metro and soaking up the final rays of sun.

I hope you enjoyed the Valencian photos and blogs!

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13 April 2012

Valencia, Spain - Day 2

Day two, a late outdoors breakfast in the Plaza del Reina and a wander down to the Central Mercado the vast grand building that houses the city's market stalls. Such fabulous food there and a massive variety of produce from meat to fish, to veg to cheese and canned goods and the odd hardware stall. We even discovered a little British stall selling Marmite, Cadburys and the like!


We bought a small tub of delicious cured dried mini sausages to munch through and I picked up some paella spices and saffron to bring home.


We thought it a good idea to get our bearings and hopped on the city tourist bus and hopped off at the port and beach. The beach was a big surprise to us, a clean vast expanse of sand with sparkling sea backed by a few small hotels and restaurants. It seemed so under developed compared to most Spanish beach resorts.


We walked along the beach front eventually ending up on the terrace of a restaurant for last orders of lunch - of course we had to order a paella which was delivered cooked fresh in a huge typical pan. We could not stop digging into this the flavours were just amazing, I'm sure we could have eaten this again it was that good.


We needed to burn off a few calories after that and walked over to the re-developed marina where the Formula one street circuit is. We hopped back on our bus seeing a few more remaining sights, although we didn't visit them the Oceanografic, and the arts and science buildings are stunning looking.


An ice cream was in order once we hopped off the bus and although not the best pairing together I couldn't say not to two scoops, one of my favourite cafe and tried violette which was beautiful!


Our feet were a little weary so we headed back to the hotel for an hour before heading out for a late dinner again. This time not so typically Spanish as we ate in an Italian! A pretty decent one though and discovered the neighbourhood we were hoping to find. It looked miles away from our hotel but in reality was a 5 minute walk!

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