Last week I had the pleasure of having Breakfast with Arran Aromatics Brand Director Andrew Russell and Becky White PR at one of my favourite brunch locations, Cafezique, on Hyndland Road. A select group of bloggers were invited to learn more about the company, test some of the most popular fragrances and question the Brand Director over a delicious breakfast.
I have to admit that I did not know much about the company other than the fact they were based in Arran (go figure!) and that they did bath and body products. Other than that, I was blind to how diverse the brand actually was – until now.
Who are they?
It all started when Janet Russell and her husband Iain, a former nurse and policeman, bought a petrol station after they moved to Arran. Within the gift shop attached, they started selling homemade mustard and other condiments. The gift shop side of the business expanded into the Arran Mustard Company and Arran Provisions until it was sold at the toss of a coin in 1986.
Fast forward to 1989, Janet started making soaps and body creams in their kitchen which were inspired by the scents and landscape of Arran, an island they both loved. Arran Aromatics was then born. Their most famous and best selling signature Essential Collection blend – After the Rain – was created 15 years ago to capture the unique, fresh scent of Janetâ€™s garden following an Arran rain storm.
Brand Director Andrew Russell, the son of Janet and Iain, spoke to us about three popular fragrances Citrus Shores, Eydis and Velvet Isle. The top, base and long lasting notes that each fragrances has and how long it took to develop each of them- approximately two years.
When you first smell Citrus Shores, it is incredibly refreshing and combines the scents of lemon, grapefruit and bergamot along with cassis. Velvet Isle is an evening fragrance with notes of ylang yang, lemon, orange and fig leaf.
As much as I loved those fragrances, my favourite had to be Eydis. With bergamot, citrus, rose and honeysuckle, as soon as I smelt it, I fell in love. So much so that I’ve worn it ever since being introduced. We were lucky enough to be given the three fragrances along with a matching bath and body product to take home with us and they have now become firm staples of mine.
Talking with Andrew was rather interesting as I know from my own point of view that deciding on a new perfume takes a few seconds. I spray the fragrance and if I do not like the initial smell, I’m instantly put off. When Arran Aromatics create their fragrances, they work closely with a perfumer on a mixing desk to get the perfect notes.
Fragrances are tested in intervals of 1 hour, 6 hours and 24 hours to determine how it develops. This determines how long lasting the fragrance is and helps perfect the initial smell that is make or break in the fragrance world. No matter how much you may like a fragrance, when it goes on your skin, it can smell completely different than on another person. Welcome to the wonderful world of chemistry.
With half a dozen fragrances under development currently, we were lucky enough to sample two- Citrus Rock and Delightly. My favourite of the two had to be Citrus Rock, as the name suggests its a wonderful combination of citrus and salt. It was very light and fresh. Defiantly a day time fragrance that I could see myself wearing in the future. Of course they are still under development and it will not be until next year that we will probably see them on the shelves.
After all the chat came breakfast. Cafezique is one of my favourite locations for brunch in Glasgow and it did not disappoint. I had a great morning learning more about Arran Aromatics, meeting a few bloggers I never had the pleasure of meeting before and catching up with those I do.
Have you ever used any Arran Aromatics product before? If so, what are your favourites? Let me know!
Note: Thank you to Arran Aromatics and Becky White PR for the invitation.