Tuesday, 29 August 2017

Spotlight on Ormonde Jayne White Gold

This is not a paid post. Products are press samples.

Wearing fragrance is akin to slipping on a little black dress. It should make you feel good and uplift you. Of course, it should also have that je ne sais quoi which makes you stand out from the crowd.

When it comes to fragrance Ormonde Jayne, a niche perfumer always seems to hit the mark. Linda Pilkington, the founder of the brand, makes scents that manage to break new ground yet are sophisticated as well. Linda is always searching the world for exquisite, rare ingredients for her luxurious scents.

I was hooked on Vanille D’Iris (£90, Ormonde Jayne Perfumery ormondejayne.com) from the moment I first smelt it. This melange of iris absolute fused with a soft vanilla underpinned with vetiver, amber and musk is absolutely gorgeous. I often get stopped and asked what I am wearing.

One Parfum, part of an exclusive collection for Selfridges (£235) is an opulent creation of florals tempered with ambers and wood. This gender-free fragrance fast became another favourite.

The recently-launched White Gold, (Ormonde Jayne Boutique, Harrods & Selfridges – matt white bottle exclusive, £260.) is the completion of the Gold Trilogy. White jasmine absolute, white musk and orchids are the stars of the show that together are sensational. I am not usually a jasmine fan, but this perfume dries down to something special without being heavy and overpowering. It is perfect for any occasion day or night.

I turn a lot of fragrances so they insert do not smell quite right on me but with Ormonde Jayne I have no problem in building up a fragrance wardrobe. 

By Daralyn Danns

Friday, 25 August 2017

Wine of Italy

This is not a paid post. Products are press samples.

There is something special about Italian wine. It is all about quality rather than quantity. Having recently returned from Milan and Turin, I noticed a few wines cropping up on menus which are worth taking a look at. So if you usually go for a pinot grigio or a glass of prosecco here are some great alternatives. 

Gavi di Gavi, Bric Sassi, 2016, Roberto Sarotto, Piedmont, £11.72, Berry Bros. & Rudd (bbr.com)
This renowned crisp, fragrant light white wine is bursting with refreshing peachy flavours. It has more oomph to it than a lot of others of its genre. My favourite Gavi di Gavi to date. It slips down a treat.

Fratelli Berlucchi Brut 25 Franciacorta DOCG NV, £22.50, ocado.com
Franciacorta is the fizz that discerning Italians choose. Hailing from near Milan you would expect this wine to have style and it does. Made in the classic “champagne method”, they tend to have lots of bubbles and be slightly softer. Franciacorta has more character than a prosecco. (Prosecco tends to be fresher and slightly fruitier.) Fratelli Berlucchi, a highly-respected winemaker in Italy, has with this blend of chardonnay and pinot blanc created an extremely drinkable bubbly.

Bardolino Chiaretto, Monte del Frà, Veneto, £11, Berry Bros. & Rudd
Made from entirely corvina, this dry wine oozes tangs of raspberries and strawberries with just the right amount of freshness. This is a real gem. Great as an aperitif or with pasta. A taste of Italy at home.

By Daralyn Danns

Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Spotlight on Redken No Blow Dry Air Dry Stylers

This is not a paid post. Products are press samples.

When colour supremo Josh Wood was announced as global colour creative director of Redken, it made me sit up and take notice of the entire brand. I know Josh would never put his name to something that was not a stand-out line.

It is not just hair colourants that Redken excel at, as I discovered, when I put its No Blow Dry Air Dry Stylers through their paces.

Since I had highlights in my hair which ruined it, I have tried to limit the use of hair dryers and straighteners to keep my tresses in better condition. And it has worked. Apparently, according to Redken, I am not the only one. About half of women in the UK are limiting their use of heated appliances. While more of us are embracing our natural textures.

When time is tight or it is too hot to battle with a dryer, it would be wonderful to wash and go. But in reality not many of us are blessed with hair that does not need a helping hand.

So, I was rather intrigued to try Redken No Blow Dry Air Dry Stylers (£17.50, redken.co.uk). There are three formulas, one for each hair type: fine, medium and coarse which have air-tex technology with flexible polymers which control but still allow movement.  

I started with the one for fine hair. You simply scrunch a small amount of the cream into your hair and leave. I tried it on a hot day. My hair did revert into its natural wavy state but without too much fluffiness. Next time I mixed a small amount of the one for coarse hair with the fine and that produced an even better result.

After I applied the No Blow Dry, I pushed my hair behind my ears to create a softer wave and then let it air dry.Usually I only leave my hair like this when I am travelling but I think even in London on scorching days I can “wash and go” because with these creams I did not look like I had been dragged through a hedge backwards. The result was natural movement with bounce.

By Daralyn Danns