Sandalwood

Cally King London- Fragrances

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For some young girls trying to navigate their way around the world of fragrance, can be really quite daunting. We at The Amazing Blog have heard this from various younger sisters, nieces and friends. So, where do they begin?  Step forward Cally King a welcome newcomer to the beauty world, who has created an original concept with a range of fragrances mainly aimed at the teen market.

Cally King London was created by Kate Wright, whose inspiration came from wanting to give her teenage daughters a bearing in the over-populated and confusing world of perfume. Kate herself, recalls falling in love with different fragrances as a young girl. For her, it all started when seated in her grandmother’s bedroom watching her daily ritual of spritzing her favourite scent. She said “bottle after tantalising bottle was unstoppered for me to try, Guerlain, Chanel, Dior and I was quickly hooked. But confused!” Years later, curious to see how her own daughter would navigate her way in this world, Kate took her to a perfumery. They started trying all the different fragrances until they both became dizzy with choice and couldn’t tell one from the other. Kate added, “I realised we needed to get back to basics – to try some scents out at home, to find out what we really like. Which is how Cally King was born.”

Cally King is not only perfect for teenage girls, but for anyone who wants to experiment with fragrance. They have a handy selection on four scents which can used by mixing and matching at home. A perfect way to discover what kind of scents suit you, by smelling them individually or layering in any combination you choose. It also gives young perfume aficionado the chance to experiment on their own, without feeling pressurised by pushy sales assistants. The choice of these four eau de toilette fragrances helps to demystify perfume by offering four distinct aspects of the fragrance wheel - fresh, floral, exotic and woody. Their Gift Set presentation box containing all four is stylish, girly and elegantly designed and comes with an explanatory notebook and sample strips.

The first scent in the Gift Set that we tried was Aspen, which is a woody scent reminiscent of a forest after a heavy down pour. It smells of a combination of sandalwood/cedarwood and has a delicious chocolate and earthy finish to complete it. The second is Honor (named after Kate’s daughter), which has a fresh smell identifying to us as mainly citrus. Awakening the senses, it also has a hint of mint and fresh green leaves which adds another dimension to this zesty scent. On the other hand, Maya is a stronger more exotic and sophisticated fragrance with a moreish fruitiness of ripe apricots and spice. The final quartet in the Gift Set is Grace which is floral, feminine and light. Grace reminds us of English flower garden in full bloom, it’s the perfect fragrance to brighten up even the dullest days. Our favourite? Layering Aspen and Grace, to strengthen the floral top notes and tone down the woody base notes, it’s a great combination do try it.

To purchase Aspen, Honor, Maya and Grace see here. All fragrances are eau de toilette, 10ml and individually priced at £9.95. These scents are also available in roller balls at the same price. Cally King also offers a Gift Set here with the full quartet of scents at £30.

KIERIN NYC – Santal Sky

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Although The Amazing Blog loves London and we will likely never leave, New York City is one of our favourite cities in the world. Walking through the streets of Manhattan amidst the American hustle and bustle make you feel alive and young. Yet within the city that never sleeps, there are moments of ultimate peace and serenity. Flights to New York are expensive, but the next best option is to bring the atmosphere of the city to you with KIERIN NYC’s Santal Sky fragrance.

Inspired by the vibrant and metropolitan lifestyle of New Yorkers, KIERIN NYC has also embodied New York’s inclusive nature by creating perfumes that can appeal to all ages, genders, ethnicities, and nationalities. The company invites people ‘to be inspired, not defined or confined, by fragrance’. This ethos produced Santal Sky’s clean and unique scent designed for the modern urban individual. For this perfume, French perfumer Mathieu Nardin combined sandalwood, vetiver plant, and cardamom and saffron spices. The scent has a very strong earth and woodsy aroma from the sandalwood. However, what makes you think twice about Santal Sky are its spicy after notes. This fragrance is completely its own in this regard, and the spiciness leaves you mesmerised by the smell long after you’ve sprayed it. The overall ambience of Santal Sky is a sexy and mature scent that lasts all night while you’re getting fancy cocktails at a bar with the city lights behind you.

Despite this, it doesn’t smell too old to use in your 20’s and comes in a sturdy, stylish matte white bottle that is recyclable. KIERIN NYC has a ‘clean & conscious’ model for its brand, so all of its products are made with sustainable packaging and ethically sourced ingredients to help other communities as well as our own. Santal Sky is also cruelty-free, vegan, paraben and phthalate free, and hypoallergenic. This perfume not only has an eco-friendly mindset but smells exceptional and will bring some of the ‘New York State of Mind’ to London.

You can purchase Santal Sky (50ml) here for £65

Les Parfums de Rosine - Bois Fuchsia

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We have to admit that at The Amazing Blog, due to the inclement weather, we’ve not been tending to our gardens as regularly as we’d like. We love the fragrance that an English summer garden gives, with the freshness from budding flowers and fruits. So when we received Les Parfums de Rosine with their latest floral and fruit creation, we couldn’t wait to spritz and try.

This French perfume brand was founded by Marie-Hélène Rogeon, whose heritage comes from a long line of perfumers in the family. She is also truly passionate about growing and nurturing special breeds of roses. She has merged these two passions by creating her own brand Les Parfums de Rosine, which specialises in making and designing luxurious and beautiful perfumes all with natural essences. Mme Rogeon wanted her fragrances to be ‘immediately understandable and readable’, something unmistakable in the perfume we tried, Bois Fuchsia.

Created in 2019 by iconic French perfumer Michel Almairac, Bois Fuchsia (translated to ‘fuchsia wood’) immediately gives an uplifting fragrance with top notes of black currant and iris. Heart notes of rose, raspberry, and lychee pack a sweet smell that immediately follows. The colourful fruity scent takes inspiration from Rosa gallica (one of Mme Rogeon’s favourite roses), which is famous for its use in French preserves and jams. Although it is the patchouli, musk, and sandalwood base notes that add a classic and timeless feeling to this perfume. The woody masculine base notes add depth and complement the fruity and feminine notes to make you feel as sophisticated and fashionable.

The special Rosa gallica also inspired the packaging of Bois Fuchsia, which is in an elegant fuschia pink bottle. It is simple with no extraneous writing except a cursive ‘R’ and fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. This scent is truly evocative of a summer garden and allows you to close your eyes and reminisce, bring a ray of sunshine even on a damp and grey English day! You can purchase Bois Fuchsia (100ml) here for £142.

Khadi's Face Masks

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The best way to start a relaxing self-care routine is with the perfect face mask. We at The Amazing Blog are always on the quest to find top quality products that work with the skin’s natural balance, so we were excited to discover Khadi, an skincare company with 100% organic and natural products.

Khadi combines Ayurvedic formulations (developed with Ayurvedic doctors), to create a strong unity of body and mind. The concept of the company was formed after one of the co-founders took a trip to India. H had always suffered with a dry and itchy scalp, a problem that was solved by using a Ayurvedic shampoo. So effective at ridding him of dandruff, he brought his findings back from India. He subsequently helped to set up the brand Khadi developing handmade herbal products like Ayurvedic shampoo, handmade soaps and skincare. Although these products are from India they are also German organically certified. All their ingredients are 100% natural made with herbal ingredients which are vegan, free of parabens and artificial ingredients. These products work with the power of India’s nature, using exotic ingredients and age old wisdom.

We tried three of their herbal face masks and were very happy with the results. Starting with our favourite one the Sandalwood, which is suitable for all skin types. We found that when using this, that our pores significantly reduced. Those of us with sensitive skin were also pleased to discover that it was particularly effective at cooling and calming the skin, even protecting against sunburn. It provides a fresh and healthy complexion, moisturising the skin and subsequently smoothing any small imperfections and wrinkles. The Orange mask is slightly sweet-scented - it immediately brightened our mood when applied. Perfect for combination skin, this mask works as a natural cleanser, helping to create a smoother complexion. It can also be used on the body, by stimulating blood circulation, helping to prevent both cellulite and bloating. Finally, the Neem mask is primarily suitable for normal to greasy skin, as it works as a natural antiseptic, preventing infections, removing toxins and restoring a natural and healthy glow. It really detoxifies your skin, freeing it from impurities, as well as refining pores. It also works to fight bacteria, leaving your skin feeling fresh, without a tight sensation.

All three herbal masks use clay as a base, which clarifies and prevents inflammation. No matter which skin-type, you will find the perfect mask to leave you feeling relaxed and fresh. By cleansing, hydrating and supporting regeneration, all three masks promote more harmonious complexion. To use, mix one teaspoon of the powdery mask with water (you can add milk for dry skin, or yoghurt for greasy skin), and apply a thin layer on face and neck (or even the body if you wish). Rinse after 15 to 20 minutes, and you’ll be greeted with a hydrated and fresher skin.

To purchase one (or all) of these face masks for yourself, click here, where you will find each Khadi Herbal Face Mask for £12.90.

Christmas Gift Guide for Women

Yesterday we published our ‘Christmas Gift Guide for Men’, so we thought it only fair to share a little gift giving wisdom for women too. Besides all of the beautiful candles, and festive food and drink available, we’ve created an overview of some of our favourite gifts for women, ranging from the affordable, to the more exclusive. With our help at The Amazing Blog, we hope that you’ll be able to find what she desires, creating the perfect Christmas gift (and giving you some last minute inspiration too!)

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Let’s get started with something that won’t make you dig too deep into your pockets. All That Jazz is a specialist (and certified vegan) nail care brand, providing professional manicure and pedicure products. Founded in 2013, the company has been our go-to when it comes to nail care, especially since we loved their Caribbean Collection (see the blog post here). With their core range consisting of 36 on-trend shimmer colours, they have created their own game-plan, with a long-lasting base coat and choices of super quick drying top coat, matte top coat and top coat, specifically designed to magnify and smoothen glitter colours. Used by countless celebrities and thousands of nail technicians, this is a brand you can trust.

Bringing out four seasonal collections each year, The Designer Collection is our absolute favourite! This is the perfect add-on for Christmas, as the colours are glittery and powerful, inspired by the works of iconic fashion designers. Combining elements of runway glamour, four unique colours are created, from the timelessly chic, shimmery blue of Vivienne, through to the metallic red Coco. The collection also contains a cool nude, Vera and our favourite, the sparkling silver Betsey. The best part? This professional nail lacquer won’t break the bank. Click here to purchase The Designer Collection for just £11.97.

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Another modest choice is from Heathcote & Ivory. Established in 2000, in London by Denis Aaronson, this brand is passionate about creating beautiful products with wonderful ingredients. Their colours, textures and patterns combine an eclectic mix of novelty, with British pedigree. Their forward-thinking design celebrates the role of women in ‘making Christmas happen’, where retro Christmas wrapping designs, sparkle and glamour greet the spirits of traditional British Christmas.

A perfect gift for her is their Vintage & Co. Baubles & Belles Festive Bath and Body TinThe packaging is a Christmas dream, elegantly designed with a festive pattern and finished with a beautiful pink hand-tied bow. Containing three bathing delights infused with orange-peel oil, this is the perfect company for the relaxing self-care holidays. The gentle cleansing shower gel has a silky texture that lathers well, and the scented crystal bathing salts with sweet orange essential oil fill the bathroom with a delicious (and festive) fragrance. Finally, the softening body lotion enriched with almond oil and shea butter locks in the skin’s natural moisture, perfect for any New Year party. All three products are scented with spiced rum, pomegranate, red berries and orange zest, and are guaranteed to give the fragrance of Christmas. Click here to purchase a Baubles and Belles Festive Bath and Body Tin for £15.

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One of the sweet delights of Christmas is that there is always a beautiful scent in the air. That said, it is sometimes difficult to know how to blend fragrances together, something that Aqua Oleum can help with. This brand’s knowledge of oils spans over three generations, with over 30 years of experience in providing top quality oils, at reasonable prices. Managing Director, Julia Lawless, well known as an author and expert in aromatherapy, personally ensures that every product is of top quality - so an Aqua Oleum gift is sure to be one that will not disappoint.

Their Blending Notebook (£28) is ideal for anyone passionate about creating their perfect scents, giving clear and concise introductions into the art of blending. Introducing theory guidance and formula ideas, it is a great way to track and develop your own aromatherapy elixirs at home. Containing all essential information, journal pages to write your own formulations, a glossary of key essential oils and a perfumery chart with notes on how to train your nose, this notebook is great to get you started. It is also beautifully designed, gold foiled and singer sewn bound. To get started right away, combine this with their Clear Head essential oil for just £5.22 (10ml). It helps with breathing (particularly if a Winter cold sets in) and works to penetrate and soothe your sinuses. Equally, their Festive Joy for £6.07 (10ml) is just as great, with a heart-warming, rich, and spicy scent that is comforting and uplifting, the perfect natural room fragrance for the festive period.

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If a new fragrance is what you’re looking for, then we introduce Ancienne Ambiance. Already lovers of their Goddess Waters, we were keen to try their new Mini Colonia Gift Set. Providing luxury gifts with paraben-free quality ingredients, Ancienne Ambiance products are free from animal testing and encased in recyclable packaging.

The Mini Colonia Gift Set contains five 15ml limited edition mini roll-on perfume gift bottles, the perfect scent selection to propel your spirits. Different scents for different days, complementing your clothing and making you feel good. Although we like all five scents, our favourite is Colonia IX (nine) - an exotic, woody and oriental fragrance, blending cedar and sandalwood with a hint of patchouli. It genuinely smells like Christmas! Staying true to the origins of niche perfume, all scents are hand-produced in limited quantities (in France), with the finest ingredients. Packaged in a handcrafted purple-golden gift box, this luxury gift delivers the perfect Christmas spirit (and the box can be reused at a later date). Purchase the Mini Colonia Gift Set here for £60.

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Last but not least we introduce April Aromatics. Since trying their Rose L’Orange Eau de Parfum in August - the perfect scent for that balmy summer - this organic scents and cosmetics company has been one of our favourite fragrance houses. Founded by Tanja Bochnig in New York, the brand delivers natural perfumes with pure extracts that create inner well-being. Their perfumes are also pure and natural, and no animal ingredients are used.

We were therefore excited to try their Tempted Muse scent, the ideal present for Christmas. Packed in a silver shimmery, elegant box, it immediately put us into the most festive mood. Inspired by the nectars of the gods, with sweet fruity golden extracts of frangipani and jasmine, this perfume is uplifting and aphrodisiac. Purchase your own Tempted Muse for a loved one for €169 (30ml) here.

There you have it, five brands that have hopefully given you some inspiration for the special someone you are struggling to buy for! Whether they love nail varnishes, home fragrances or perfumes, we’re sure she’ll be opening her presents with a big smile.