3/4 Oz Tonic Maison - Syrups

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As much as we enjoy cocktails, making our own at home is never quite the same as when done by a mixologist. At The Amazing Blog we always like to impress our guests by making cocktails. So, the idea of creating our own tonics with syrups, playing with the flavours and strength to suit, certainly intrigued us. Which is where we discovered the drinks brand ¾oz Tonic a clever concept for customising our favourite drinks.

The names came from ¾ of an ounce (approx 25g in metric), which is the amount of syrup needed for each glass to make your perfect tipple! ¾ oz Tonic was born in Montreal, Canada where these syrups are handmade with only 100% natural ingredients, they are non-alcoholic and offer a delicious array of tastes and aromas.

There are five flavours in the range, but we only tried just three: Ginger Ale, Spritz and Tonic syrups. Ginger Ale Syrups is one we’ll never tire of. Made with fresh ginger juice, hops, sugar cane and citric acid, this syrup is so refreshing to drink just mixed with sparkling water.  Or to create an ‘Irish Buck’ prepared with a glass full of ice, poured with ¾ of Ginger Ale Syrup, 1 ¼oz of your favourite spirit (Irish whiskey in our case), finished with 2-3oz of sparkling water, stir well and enjoy. We found that unlike shop-bought mixers, this bursts into life tasting zesty and fresh with its sweet warming ginger. This was our favourite of the three.

Next, we have The Spritz Syrup is a non-alcoholic version of the classic Italian-style bitters aperitif. Key ingredients are with cinchona bark infused water, cranberries, grapefruit and orange zest, cane sugar and natural quinine. Your palate will experience some pleasant sourness at the beginning, ending with a dry finish. We also tried Spritz with sparkling wine which were an ideal match. If that’s not your drink, try mixing it as suggested for a Negroni or top it up a notch as a Manhattan! For the classic Spritzer add 1 part of Spritz, 2-3 parts of sparkling wine, 1 part sparkling water and an orange slice (for Instagram purposes obviously!) with lots of ice to finish.

Last but not least, is the signature Tonic Syrup. Unlike other tonics, Tonic Syrup has an attractive amber colour that caught everyone’s eyes. It is similar in its ingredients as The Spritz Syrup; however, with this we noticed had a slightly more distinctive bitterness, which is probably due to the more undiluted Cinchona bark ingredient.  There is also sugar, lemongrass and orange zest too making that quite a dominant taste; NB it’s not for mixing with your more subtle flavoured gins. It tastes raw and punchy with a feeling of apothecary goodness. They suggest adding ¾ oz of the Tonic Syrup, 1 ¼ oz of gin (or vodka) and 2-3 oz of sparkling water on a glass full of ice. Whether you want cocktails or mocktails, these delicious and handy bottle syrups make great drinking partners. We recommend getting your ¾ Tonic syrups  240ml bottle at £7.99 from Waitrose here

 

Jonathan Ward – Roscuro Candle

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We don’t know about you, but when we eventually flop down on our sofa after work, we think that there’s nothing better than relaxing, watching a flickering candle flame and surrounding ourselves with a gorgeous fragrance. And as regular readers will know, at The Amazing Blog we’re big fans of candles! As the nights draw in with this unpleasant dank autumnal weather, it’s speeded up our search to find exotic scented candles to uplift our flagging spirits. Today we wanted to share with you one of our latest #amazingfinds and candle discoveries with ‘Roscuro’ from Jonathan Ward.

Jonathan Ward is a British home fragrance producer, who makes hand-poured candles using organic coconut oil, bees and vegetable waxes. They are all about clean-burning. These candles are certified organic by the Soil Association and the brand has fast become something of a pioneer in the world of home fragrances. Jonathan Ward made his foray into fragrance back in 1979 developing his first-ever perfume. Fast forward into 2018, where together with his European partners in Greece and London he developed his first candle collection ‘Scent of Time’.

This collection is a combination of thirteen candles all inspired by historical figures and their legacies, but in a rather unique way represented through fragrance. We were very kindly sent ‘Roscuro’ to try. This is candle is inspired by the artist Caravaggio, where ‘chiaroscuro’ defines his painting technique of creating ‘light and shade’. For those not familiar with Caravaggio, let us explain, he is probably best known for his painting ‘The Calling of Saint Matthew where he uses a painting technique bringing people and objects from the shadows into the light. Talking of light, we lit this candle last night and can happily confirm that it gave a glorious aroma with a heart-warming fragrance blending base notes of Bailloni wood and amber; hints of iris, honey, and hay giving it a delicacy, and shots of prune and patchouli as top notes. Particularly now with the sun so low in the sky creating dramatic shadows as the days shorten, this candle’s fragrance takes us seamlessly through a journey from autumn to winter. Best of all, its hypnotic aroma fills the room without being overpowering.

This elegant candle is contained in a glamorous double old fashioned style whisky glass which is perfect for repurposing for a second life. We also love their use of the traditional GF Smith British papers used for the stylish boxes and labels. Not forgetting to mention their double cotton wick which allows the candle to burn cleanly for up to 45 hours. Jonathan describes this candle as ‘warm nostalgia’, and we couldn’t agree more. He has an excellent nose for an enticing fragrance and now we’ve experienced the mesmerising Roscuro - we’ll certainly be returning to try more. These candles are available exclusively online here for £40 (240 mg); or at one of their eight partner shops here in London, Los Angeles, Hove, Stockport or Fife.

 

Aroma Spray Tea Tree Ravintsara

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The Amazing Blog team are always up for a history lesson, and this week we get to mix that with our favourite duty to our readers of sourcing the latest and greatest #amazingfinds. So, first off let us introduce you to the Tea Tree Ravintsara Aroma Spray from Saint Côme Laboratoire which has to be unashamedly inhaled to be believed! Formulated in particular to keep the winter bugs at bay, it’s a best seller in France. The key ingredient oils of tea tree known for its anti-bacterial properties and ravintsara for treating infections, wounds and cuts – make this an unbeatable combo if you are working in a busy office with lots of coughs and sneezes. This spray is a concentrated formula of 100% pure, natural and premium grade essential oils. A big plus is that its vegan-friendly, with no sulphates, parabens or silicones and you’ll soon be everyone’s best friend when you release the delicious fragrance emanating from this bottle. Note to the wise though, because of this purity and concentration, a little goes a long way and therefore this 100ml bottle will thankfully last and last!

Laboratoire Saint Côme is a family run business based in Dijon, France, owned by Christian and Claude Richard, who come from a long line of pharmacists, and who have always been inspired by the very first doctors of medicine who went on to become saints - Cosmas and Damian. A philanthropic duo who didn’t believe in charging their patients, but pursued a life of healing and discovery of the best natural healthcare possible, whilst avoiding chemical drugs at all costs. Similarly, Christian and Claude have pushed the apothecary herbal side of their business, enjoying far-reaching success with each product. With Christian focusing on the natural remedies side, Claude has concentrated on the cosmetic range, bringing together a formidable business formula.

The award-winning Tea Tree Ravintsara spray is by no means the only concoction on offer, but it is certainly a corker and a great introduction to this fabulous range. A single squirt will transform any room, and certainly eliminates any nasty germs or disagreeable odours you may want to get rid of - peppermint may be the initial hit of fragrance you get, but it is closely followed by sweet orange and oregano giving you layers of the flavour depths. Truly one to have to hand where a tone of scented ambience is required, and at £11.99, it is a bottle of luxury which will last and last. See here or for the complete series of seven here which are also available to enjoy.

 

Friday Favourites - Hair Masks

Well, it’s finally Friday and time for another of our Friday Favourites! Have any fun weekend plans that require you to look radiant? Maybe a date night? Or just finally having some time for a bit of self-care? At the Amazing Blog, we like to take time out to apply a weekly hair mask. Whether it’s lying in the bath relaxing with a glass of something chilled, or feet up on the sofa watching Netflix - all are ideal moments for allowing a hair mask to work its magic. Today we have three of our favourite hair masks to introduce, they are hair mask and treatments that will not only leave your hair shiner and more nourished but also help to moisturise your much-neglected scalp too.

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Let’s start with the 72 Hair Intense Replenishing Mask. 72 Hair was started by the Greens, a family of hairdressers with over 40 years of combined experience. With three generations of hairdressers, Gary has salons in Miami and London, while Matt is one of London’s go-to colourists. Johnny is 72’s ingredients expert, hand-selecting the finest ingredients to make up the formulas; while Nick is passionate about communicating 72 Hair’s philosophy to clients. As a joint effort, they decided to come together with their experience and knowledge and create an exclusive range product for both their salons and clients.

Winner of the 2018 Hair Awards the 72 Hair Mask is an ideal way to show your hair some love. We recommend using this alone or with the full range for 72 hair. We used it once a week, waiting 10-15 minutes before rinsing for best results, although it can be used more often on damaged hair. Infused with avocado and wheatgerm oil, your hair will be shinier, stronger and more nourished as It penetrates to de-frizz and is suitable for all hair types. It certainly left our hair smooth and tangle-free. To buy your 72 Intensive Replenish Mask for 250ml at £25, see here.

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Lore Originals was started with the mission to create a simplified, unisex haircare range that provides integrity and health no matter your gender. A joint-effort between acclaimed stylists, clients, British chemists and perfumers, Lore Originals is suitable for all hair types. With Lore Originals, ‘his and hers’ products are a thing of the past. They are meant to be minimal and the products are all multi-use and versatile.

Packed with natural oils, essential acids, advanced scientific compounds and marine plant cultures the Legend Dry Mask provides complex levels of conditioning and strengthening. The Legend Dry Mask is pre-shampoo mask, and unique because it must be applied to dry hair for concentrated absorption. Volcanic marine bio cultures assist in prevention of heat-induced environmental stress and scalp dehydration, something that most people have. Not to mention, the scientific actives target the core elasticity of the hair which helps to speed up the drying time, great for those of us on the go! As mentioned, it works best on dry hair leaving where you leave mask ‘to set’ for a minimum of 15 minutes in surrounding temperatures of 25 to 40 degrees, which gave us the perfect excuse to have a bath or sauna (make sure to keep the hair dry). Free from parabens, sulphates, triclosan and MIT; with key ingredients including cystine co-polymer, green tea extract, kaolin, shea butter, sunflower and grapeseed oils. This was the best smelling hair mask, we loved the subtle green tea fragrance, that left our hair smelling simply divine. If you would like to purchase the Lore Legend Dry Hair Mask, it can be purchased here in a pack of 6 individual packets of 30ml each for £38. Ideal for travelling or taking on holiday.

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Zenz Organics is a Nordic professional beauty and hair care company founded by Anne-Sophie Skjødt Villumsen who also founded the first green hair salon in Denmark back in 1999. After developing allergies towards chemical-based hair products during her apprenticeship as a hairdresser, Anne-Sophie was inspired to create her own line of organic and vegan hair care products. That’s where Zenz Organics was born.

The Zenz Organic Treatment Pure No. 03 Hair Mask is perfect for every member of the family. Made from only organic ingredients and without synthetic perfumes, it leaves the hair silky and soft without weighing it down. We love how it uses organic cold-pressed avocado oil and purified aloe vera to strengthen the hair from scalp to end. It coats each strand with a protective film to maintain the intensity of salon coloured hair, making it ideal for those who use dye. It is meant to be applied on freshly washed hair once a week but can also be used as both a rinse-out and a leave-in treatment. One of us here, has a very sensitive scalp and she said that this is the first EVER hair mask that hasn’t irritated her scalp. So it gets a big thumbs up from us. We’re very excited to have made the discovery of this brand and look forward to trying more from their range. The Zenz Organic Treatment Pure No. 3 Hair Mask 250ml can be purchased here for £39.

Which one will you choose?

FiiLit – Parfum du Voyage

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As we were discussing here at The Amazing Blog, perfumes are an expression of ourselves, they tell a story and reveal a few of our personality traits. We all love to smell enticing, wafting into a room with some delicious fragrance or other. In fact, some of us can’t leave home without a spritz of our favourite fragrance! We find particularly when flying, security can present a bit of a problem as we’re not able to take 100ml+ bottles in hand luggage. FiiLit has the answer, with their travel-friendly ‘Perfume Sample Set’. These are ideal for slipping into a pocket or small bag and can literally be taken everywhere. FiiLit perfumes are not only perfect for travelling but they will also take you on an olfactory journey around the world. Each fragrance is inspired by the country from where the natural ingredients are sourced.

FiiLiT, from the Anglicism ‘Feel It’ was founded by Regis and Eloi, who are two scent enthusiasts who have created a range of perfumes that remind them of their nomadic worldwide travels. Apart from creating fragrant memories from different cultures and communities, they also wanted these elixirs to be good for the skin and the planet. FiiLit perfumes are vegan and made with a range between 87% to 100% of only natural ingredients. They have partnered with Stéphane Piquart's company BeHave to source their base ingredients and essential oils. BeHave works with multiple NGOs to get the ideal balance between quality ingredients and giving back to the communities.

The FiiLiT’s ‘Perfume Sample Set has 9 different eco-friendly Eau de Parfum fragrances, each represents a country or region. So why not indulge your senses and take off on your travels with some of our favourites: TUMBAO - CUBA a zesty touch with lime, blue ginger, cardamom, tobacco and rum perfume; or dip your feet in Polynesian waters with TEHANI - POLYNESIE the aroma of santal tanzani, tiare, citrus cocoa, ylang-ylang and patchouli. Perhaps immerse yourself in the Amazonian jungle with SAUDADE - AMAZONIA while smelling passionflower and fruit, guaiac wood, cabreuva tonka and balsam of Peru. Or take the opportunity to relax with the aphrodisiac scent of ylang-ylang, marigold, ravintsara, geranium, vanilla, and cinnamon from the land of Madagascar with WAKA - MADAGASCAR.

Have we piqued your interest? Then do try the others in the Sample Set which are inspired by Bali, Japan, Cyclades, Provence or Babylonia. To get your FiiLiT ‘Perfume Sample Set’ see here for £8.10. Once you’ve found your fragrance, why not upgrade to the 50 or 100ml bottle starting from £53.10 here. Then once you have run out, simply buy your refills here. Perfect!