Friday, 18 March 2016

A trip into London and a very early start

Tuesday was a day for me to run around London all day to find as much research and inspiration for my current university project on perfume, and of course, find some time for a little shopping and lots of food! It was a long day, up at 6 am and returned back in Notts at 11pm...

I went to all the famous stores, Liberty's, Selfridges, Oxford Street Topshop and other niche perfume stores to find out more about my target audience, speak to industry professionals and find inspiration from everywhere. The flowers in the photo below were outside Liberty's and I couldn't resist taking a photo as the sun was shining bright and the summer feel I've been looking for was in the air.


Monday, 14 March 2016

A world where flowers only bloom at night....McQueen


Bloom At Night... the McQueen way of course

£285...thats how much Alexander McQueen's new perfume would bite into your bank account. Maybe something I would love to afford one day, but as a student it's not really on my cards, however, that doesn't stop me from admiring and being astonished at how insanely beautiful the process is for this perfume!!

Take a look and admire the creativity and meaning behind the famous new fragrance.

"Unveiling the artistry of fragrance, McQueen Parfum is for the woman who blooms in the dark. Inspired by the craftsmanship of haute parfumerie, McQueen has created a unique scent made from the precious essence of three night-blooming flowers. Sambac Jasmine is the essence of power and romance. The flower opens under the moon, exuding a sweet and complex aroma until the morning. Tuberose is the warm, intoxicating heart of seduction. A rare and deep extract, it is both regal and forbidden. Ylang Ylang is the mysterious scent of a perfect morning. Most fragrant at first light, its exotic, yellow flowers are potent with a sense of renewal and transformation. Solid, sensual, with the artisan’s love of form, the parfum bottle is a small work of art. A timeless shape, tactile and beautiful in the hand. Gold feathers crown the bottle, reflecting bespoke craftsmanship that is pure McQueen." -

Bottle-making process-


Friday, 11 March 2016

Reflective Journal for Creative Networks part 1

This module is about constructing a fragrance brand, opposite to the last module where I was to focus on deconstructing a brand and breaking down the main parts. Thinking about the FCP triangle, the consumer, packaging and selling a story for a product that really is only coloured liquid that smells nice.

This module focus’ more on primary research to help idea development, I have done this through questionnaires both online and asking people of Nottingham and London at home about what scents they like, preferences on fragrance packaging and what they feel is missing in the market. I have learnt the key elements of communicating a brand through narratives such as sensuality and indulgence and what message is being portrayed for the brand. Other contributes can be from colour palettes to the location that an advert is based. I have learnt the importance of collaborations and how they drive foot traffic and can strengthen the credibility of the brands for example Stella McCartney and Adidas. Collaborations can be between artists, brands, bloggers and retail, the opportunities are endless, anything that can open up a window for new product categories. There must always be a strategic purpose behind the collaboration or there becomes a risk of losing brand equity.

Our reading week looked further into the FCP process and the importance of thinking outside the box and the impact a good form of promotion can bring to a brand. The books given focused on creativity and the importance of story telling, something key for a fragrance brand. A question stated- Why is story telling so important to the creative process? “Well, its what we build our ideas around. It’s the very fabric of our thoughts. If the idea is the foundation of the creative process, then the story is the vehicle that delivers it, making it memorable”. Without a story, a brand cannot connect to their audience. We have been encouraged to begin a scrapbook, something I have always loved and helps me with understanding my progress, I can see what looks good and keep those key tear outs that inspired me or informed me on new concepts.

As part of a team we presented our primary and secondary research that has helped our idea development. We focused on three main macro trends, personalisation, eco/natural ingredients and relaxation. From here we looked into how scents have catered to these trends and what could we as a team contribute to the market. By looking at what’s happening in the world globally, we have decided to aim our brand to the working women. There has become an increased need to stand out in the fragrance industry but also as a customer, scent is personal to the individual, one does not fit all. Our feedback showed we need to step back from a product idea and continue to find more primary research around the idea concept to get more of an understanding of what our target audience really needs.

Moodboard- Find your story...

Currently at university, we have been in full swing for our first module of building a scent product/brand. As a team, we have focused on 3 main macro trends that we could research and find a gap in the market for a scent product. 

Personalisation-Natural ingredients-Relaxation/Escapism 

We have looked into secondary research but focused mainly on primary research to get a more in-depth understanding of our target audience- The Working Women.

We are travelling to London next week to gather further primary research to support out ideas and get a better understand of what 'The Working Women' feels is missing within the scent market.

Personalisation we have discovered is needed in such a crowded industry, the customer needs to feel like the brand is catering for THEM, one does not fit all!

Natural Ingredients have become a large trend over the years with brands like LUSH focusing on this and being very successful. People are far more aware of what products they are putting on their skin and hair so is there a new and creative way to cater towards this issue?

Relaxation and escapism retreats are popular at the moment with people needing to get away from the stress of day to day life, is there a gap in the market to help with this problem? 


M A C X AVAF- MAC Nottingham Launch

The new MAC store has opened in Nottingham and it's definitely better than the small store they previously had. The new store consists of products to buy and also a make-up bar area where you can get your makeup done professionally. It had a great bubbly atmosphere and the interior is amazing!!  Fun yet sophisticated. At the moment they have a colour carnival of creativity, costumed models, DJ's, live art body painting and makeup bars in full flow, so if you're in Nottingham be sure to go and check it out!

The interior stands out most for me, I love the layout and product placement of having other items that work well together being placed together, the customer can then get an idea of what would work well together. BUT at the back...the MAC sign is gorgeous to me, the electric colour palette sums up the brand, its fun yet it's powerful! I will be booking an appointment to get my make-up done here very soon!


Tuesday, 8 March 2016

Zara: 'Ungendered'

Perfume started the trend of unisex products, a fragrance for both men and women. This how started to run into fashion lines, we saw Rihanna's new clothing line with Puma demonstrate ungendered clothing and now the worldwide store Zara has just released their very first line. 

I have become a regular customer at Zara since moving to Nottingham. If you are the same, you may have noticed the new section under TRF, 'ungendered'. It features unisex basics including t-shirts, tracksuits and jeans modelled by both a male and female model. The fashion industry has a long history of playing around with the rules with gender such as YSL's first Le Smoking suit for women or recently Alessandro Michele's gender-fluid vision for Gucci. The question that stands though, has Zara done this for a trend reason or for a progressive new way of shopping?

I believe there will be an increase in brands following this idea, would this then lead to further equality for women? On the flip side, the collection consists of basics for a reason, t-shirts and sweats....something that men and women both wear is it as groundbreaking as it first sounds, I am not sure?!

We will have to wait and see...

Sunday, 6 March 2016

My new favourite purchase from Topshop- Cigarette trousers

Say hello to my new wardrobe member. I have been looking for something other than jeans or leggings to wear for a while, so when I came across these monochrome checked cigarette trousers I had to try them on!!

They are perfect for this annoying weather stage, it is not freezing but it is not warm enough for shorts and skirts, so I though I can pair these trousers with a basic white top and a jacket or even a knit jumper! Trousers are not normally my cup of tea and they don't really work for me but sometimes picking an item up and trying it on can make a huge difference! Somethings look much better on than what they look like on the hanger....but of course somethings look fabulous on a hanger and just a NO NO when I try them on!

I've been home this weekend to see family and take a breather from the heaps of uni work that has appeared but starting Monday its back to normal, boo!


Friday, 4 March 2016

Embroidery and embellishment trend

With the obsession of minimalism and basics in fashion reaching its peak, embroidery and embellishments have begun to appear all over the catwalk shows and really do make the artisitc looks even more attractive. 

There was and still is a huge trend on  minimalism, I'm guilty of this too but sometimes you need something extra. The embroidery took on a new meaning at Gucci and Etro. The detail of the moment when it comes to clothing and accessories is embellishment and embroidery finishes, something that was all over the spring and fall runways and certainly worth investing in. 

Here are some pieces ready to buy now so that you are on trend and ready to hit the summer months. 

1-Topshop, 2- Miss Guided, 3-Miss Guided, 4-Zara, 5- Boohoo, 6-Topshop, 7-Miss Guided, 8- Zara, 9-ASOS, 10- River Island, 11- Boohoo, 12- Nasty Gal


Thursday, 3 March 2016

Tuesday, 1 March 2016

Protein pancakes to start off the first day of March

I'm not sure how we are in the month of March, where has the time gone!! For me it's been about juggling university work, cheerleading practice, going back and forth from home and part time work...but one thing I always have time for is a good breakfast to start the day off!

Here are my protein pancakes for you to try, they are fabulous and get me out of bed in the morning, well make it that little easier anyway!

1 banana, roughly chopped
1 scoop of protein powder, I use cookie and cream!
1 egg
25g rolled oats
2 tablespoons of almond milk (you don't have to do this bit, but I find it makes the pancake a little easier to cook)


Then add coconut oil to a pan and poor small little portions into the pan, then serve with honey, yogurt or berries...or all of them together!!


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