I know one thing to be sure about perfumes: they are very personal, they develop differently on each individual person and they carry memories. To be exact: they are to be chosen by yourself, (I don’t like anyone gifting me fragrances, I want to smell them first) and they represent you and the situation in which they are worn.
All this I knew to be true and then Sali Hughes, well known journalist within the field of beauty, totally pulled out a rug from under me! Sali, for those of you who doesn’t know her, is very much obsessed with exquisite fragrances. Out of all beauty she tries on and write about, I would say that this might be where she personally spends her money and encourage her readers to choose quality over quantity. She is picky and nourish some kind of eclectic, whimsy and unordinary taste. There is nothing mainstream about the way she seem to choose perfumes, and when I saw her mentioning a small Boutique Perfumery located in London (this must have been about 3 years ago) it peaked my interest.
If Sali approved then the chances were I would do too.
And so my journey entered, discovering the fabulous niche perfumery SHAY & BLUE and I abandoned all my principles right there and then by simply ordering my very first bottle online without ever smelling it!
Quite a daredevil, I must say.
What draw my attention back then (and still do) were the whole package. Sometimes, it is the look, the feel, the quality, the scent or the knowledge that peaks my interest but with SHAY & BLUE it was the fact that I got it all. All of the above from a small little boutique and a very limited range.
Dom de Vetta, a legend in the international field of fragrance had a dream of opening his own boutique. He knew the market, the production and the costumers well after holding prominent positions such as Senior Vice President at CHANEL (where he lead the way for the launch of the Les Exclussives range of fine perfumes) and then on to working as Global General Manager for Jo Malone London. I can only imagine the network he was sitting on!
He had a vision of the brand being the highest quality, only sourcing ingredients from the best place in the world; from Grasse, and make sure to create fragrances unusual for the market, not commercial of mass-produced.
His love for everything blue soon became known as the company’s name as well as the signature packaging and those decadent bottles.
SHAY & BLUE was born 2012 and the first perfume launched a year later. While his knowledge base is vast, Dom never present himself as the nose, the perfumer. He needed to find the right one to team up with, in order to realise his dream. He found Julie Massé.
This duo, the dynamite and knowledge they represent together is one of the reason why I fell so hard for the brand in the first place. Instead of hiring a well established nose, Julie entered. She fascinates me. To the point where I would love to be her friend! With french roots (and that amazing french look), born in a family of perfumers but raised in Tokyo, her diversity and cool approach to scents is quite new. With a degree from ICIPCA School in Versailles, the international school of perfumes, she is well trained and have worked under some amazing perfumers to learn the craftsmanship.
I can see why these two get along so well. They both seem to want to pioneer the industry, turn it a bit upside down but still pay attention to old heritage and the mix with french and UK old school theme. It is traditional meeting contemporary and it is, in my opinion like art.
Since that first bottle (which is a history itself when it comes to shipping fragrances to this part of the world) I’ve ordered additional and even secretly visited the store. I didn’t own That Luxurious Feeling back then but I loved how old-fashioned and sleek the store was. As a book-nerd, I almost got the feeling of old university library.
When I saw on Instagram @shayandbluelondon that the house were launching a new fragrance, I immediately made contact and due to a wonderful and professional PR lady, about a week later I couldn’t believe my eyes when the new scent, Blueberry Musk, landed at my doorstep here in Dubai!
With my stalker tendencies I have of course red countless of early interviews made with Julie and if you sum them all up, there are some notes that she constantly keep coming back to, or referring to as favourites. I don’t know how reality is but reading between the lines on all these previous interviews, I would say that with Blueberry Musk she might have created her own dream scent.
The first that meets you when spraying it onto the skin is a light and fruity, but not sweet mix of Blueberry and Orange. It is one of those fragrances that I love already before it has landed on the skin! For all of my childhood I’ve been out on the woods with my grandparents, harvesting blueberries as they grow naturally where I grew up and because of that, the first sniff takes me back to those times. Blueberries are quite earthy and with the orange mixed in, it gives a zesty note.
At the heart of the perfume there is Orange Blossom and Magnolia which makes the scent amazingly elegant and sensual. I’ve been wearing it constantly since I got the bottle and people have stopped me to ask about the fragrance. It is like nothing I’ve ever smelt on the market and it’s sexy. The base consists of Musk and Cashmere woods, also here a nod to my childhood as mom used to wear musk oil. I can’t really say what the perfume smells like, but it gives me a sense of expensive cashmere apparel and chic women chatting over tea. Best of all, it is not harsh or overbearing. It goes on soft and smooth.
Let’s take a moment and appreciate the bottle design, shall we?
Now, the perfume atelier holds fragrances for women and for men, most of them being unisex and all of them with blends and mixes what shouldn’t really work, but they do! What is unique about SHAY & BLUE is they way they work with their hands. Harvesting, drying, extraction of oils, decanting into bottles; every little step is made by hand to ensure you the highest quality possible. Ingredients are kept well in Grasse before that are ready to be shipped to London, they get their time to develop and mature. Nothing seem to be made with stress and as per the longevity, one spray on my arm is enough to hold a full day. I have never need to touch up and if I put some in my hair, well then I need to wash it if I want to change the way I smell!
All of the SHAY & BLUE range is divided into families of Citrus, Fruit, Florals, Spices, Light Florals (where you’ll find Blueberry Musk) and finally woods. It is easy to navigate through the collection and you have two bottle sizes to choose from: 30ml and 100ml. As an addition to the perfumes, there is also a full range of matching candles and some bath and body products. I haven’t yet tried any of these products, but hopefully I will get a chance to do so and review them for you all to enjoy!
This is what That Luxurious Feeling is all about: the packaging, personal service, the history and ownership, knowledge within the industry, chemistry, partnerships, education, beauty and the chance to also discover niche brands in the conglomerate jungle. You can easily understand why I would gladly present the brand to you all and encourage you to either order from their website or visit the shop or any of the high-end department stores in London to get familiar with the range. I’m really impressed with the way Dom has realised a dream and created a mark in fragrance history for us costumers to behold.
Also, as fun trivia for you my dear readers, judging by the fragrances I see you loving all over IG at the moment, I’ll say you’re already liking Julie Massés way of creating, as she is in fact the perfumer behind Giorgio Armani’s perfumes Sí Le Parfum and Sí Rose Signature♥