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Autumn as a Time of Comfort

Although summer is heavily romanticised for its blue skies, warm weather and recreation time, the transition into the cooler autumnal season is not unwelcome. Our natural surroundings produce a gorgeous warm toned colour palette in ambers, golds and maroons while the cooling weather provides charming thoughts of wrapping up warm and consuming hot beverages.

The official start of autumn is marked by the autumn equinox, which this year occurs on the 23rd September. As with in spring, this is the second point in the year in which the length of day equates to that of night, and from this point onwards our nights grow longer. In response, we tend to retreat inside to seek comfort from the chilled outdoors, which provides us with the perfect opportunity of cultivate our safe havens and take care of ourselves. 

We’ve put together some ideas of how you can embrace the equinox by preserving and refreshing your home, mind and body.

 

Home Scent

Incorporating scent into your space is a simple way to create a warming atmosphere and to promote relaxation. Clusters of scented candles alongside low lamp lighting produce soft, comforting glows, while burning incense fills the air with a rich, silky aroma. During the day, a simple spritz of room fragrance would be sufficient alongside the delicate autumn daylight. We would recommend woody and mossy scents to emulate the earthy essence of nature as the leaves begin to fall, or spices and orientals to warm the senses. All of these combinations can be found in our incense stick range; No.88, Dark Rose and Frankincense & Myrrh.

 

Autumnal Inspiration

Despite autumn being a season of change, decay and harvest, this is not to say it is soulless. As mentioned, the iconic colours of autumn can be quite incredible, and by nature warm in their hues. To increase the comfort of your space, bring in more soft, textured throws, rugs and cushions that imitate the warm autumn tones. These could be items that you’ve stored away over summer, or a chance to update your soft furnishings to reflect the sense of change that autumn brings. Dried flowers such as craspedia, achillea and lavender are a great way to keep nature alive in your home, and will last through the season.

 

Self indulge

As well as preserving your home, autumn is a good time to take care of yourself after the busy summer season. As social plans start to settle and before the influx of Christmas parties, give yourself the opportunity to relax in your space and self pamper. Set aside regular evenings and slow Sunday mornings to recline in the bath, using products that will sooth and release warming aromas. After soaking, apply moisturising creams and oils and care for your often neglected nails. Our No.88 Moisturising Body & Bathing Oil will help rejuvenate the skins texture while filling the room with its rich and woody scent.

 

If you feel inspired to bring autumn into your home, explore our Home Fragrance range. If you would prefer to pamper yourself, discover our Body & Bath range


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

The Cultural Influence of Fragrance

Sunny summer, the most popular season for holidaying, is coming to an end. But for us, September is the best time to travel. High temperatures abroad settle to be just right, while the best resorts are shedded of the high season crowds. Travel is innate to the Czech & Speake brand, as not only is it pinnacle to living a luxury lifestyle, but it is travel experiences that provided our founder with the inspiration and learning of ancient perfumery methods to develop a number of our most provocative scents.

In the culturally diverse and increasingly integrated world we live in today, there are still elements of life that remain firm in reflecting individual cultures, and like food, fragrance is one of those things. In homage to our favourite month for travel, we’ve provided some insight into which scents are historically characteristic to specific cultures.

Europe

For the French, perfume is considered as important to culture as food and wine; it is traditional for girls to be taken to purchase their very first fragrance as young as 12 years old. As demonstrated by the iconic Chanel No.5, musky, dark and spicy scents are favoured, representative of the richness and grandeur of France’s fashion ancestry. The further south into Europe you go, scents tend to be fresher as influenced by the produce of the Mediterranean land, for example citrus and neroli are prominent in Italy due to the abundance of orange blossom fields. Spicy notes are often combined with these citrus notes as a result of the influx of exotic eastern travellers at one time in history. Similarly, here in the UK the ‘English garden’ has been a major influence, with powdery floral scents remaining a top choice, but with so much cultural integration the British public’s tastes can be quite exotic.

Czech & Speake’s Spanish Cedar inspired by the Menorcan landscape well represents the common Mediterranean combination of citrus and spice with notes such as bergamot and Cedarwood.

The Middle East

In the Middle East, fragrance is deeply rooted in the culture. It is used as a personal statement and holds as much, if not more significance than the clothes they wear. Traditionally, their garments would be infused with scent using smoke from an incense burner, as well as ritualistically layering on oils and finally spritzing on the heady perfume. As scent is used as a form of greeting and representation of identity, tastes evolved for fragrances that project and last. Notes tend to be full-bodied and strong, such as woods, ouds and earths.

Czech & Speake’s Dark Rose was developed from the authentic tradition of perfumery of Indo Arabi. The highly concentrated EdP combines the rich extracts or Rose of Taif and Cambodian Oud, intrinsic to the cultures history of perfumery.

USA

In a culture that loves indulgence, American’s have an affinity for gourmand notes such as fruity, sweet and vanilla. However, there is certainly a significant popularity for lighter florals as a result of the countries original associations and shared history with us British. Countryside scents such as lavender and rose are found to remain fashionable. There is also a broad hispanic population who’s tastes are more similar to the europeans, desiring scents that capture the Mediterranean or the vibrance of Caribbean. Woods are popular as well as citrus, musks and vetiver.

Czech & Speake’s Cuba captures the zesty produce, and spicy warmth of the the old town of Havana, appealing to those in Latin-America.

Discover Czech & Speake’s full range of culturally influenced fragrances. If you’re interested in the fragrances referenced within this article, shop Spanish Cedar, Dark Rose and Cuba.

Sources: Grist, Marie Claire, Byrdie


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Things to Consider When Selecting Your Bath

At Czech & Speake our original product and specialism is a range of beautifully engineered bathroom fittings. As this is our niche, we do not supply a pairing tub, but what we can do is aid you in choosing the right bath to suit our versatile, timeless fittings, and how to best curate your bathroom space. To give you the best possible information, we’ve sourced advice previously given by experts in the industry.

Choosing the best bath

Get the most use out of your bathroom

“Think about the scale of your bath so that it is proportional to the room. There are now many compact baths to choose from if you have limited space. Consider where the taps will go – a double-ended bath is rendered single-ended if a tap is mounted at the end. Instead, choose to mount the taps in the centre.” – Jonathon Carter, marketing director at Victoria + Albert Baths.

A compact, free-standing bathtub is perfectly proportioned to the narrow bathroom space in this converted heritage home.

Seek out contemporary materials

“Weight can prove an issue with some free-standing baths. Acrylic and cast stone resin composites are both good lighter options, but be careful when choosing because cheaper alternatives may not provide sufficient strength. We recommend Iso-enamel baths – they weigh a third of an equivalent cast-iron bath so there is no need to reinforce your floors.” – Phil Etherden, managing director at The Albion Bath Company.

Australian brand Artedomus produce streamline, velvety textured bathtubs from Cristalplant, a bio-based material that’s high performance, reminiscent of luxury stone, while light in weight.

Consider the size of your space

“A free-standing bath is better in a larger space where it takes centre stage with plenty of space surrounding it. For smaller spaces, build-in bath can be a good choice. It is also a much better option if you plan to have a shower over the bath, too.” – Leanne Robey, Designer at Ripples Bathrooms.

This grand interior space lends for a strong feature, freestanding bathtub.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: Industry advice: Kitchen’s and Bathrooms, dwell.com, www.yellowtrace.com.au, estliving.com


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

 

 

Men’s Style Tips with London Sock Company: Socks for The Changing Seasons

In 2013, two friends working in the city noticed that their male colleagues were using socks to showcase their personality, and make them feel confident in the morning. An idea (and a company) was born.

Six years on, and London Sock Company is proud to be one of the UK’s leading brands for men’s dress socks. The brand draws on its British heritage, with designs inspired by Savile Row tailors and some of London’s most iconic places.

As part of a collaboration between Czech & Speake and The London Sock Company, the stylish brand have provided their wisdom of the ways in which you can transition your wardrobe from summer to autumn using their vibrant socks:

Socks for the changing seasons

As Britain collectively sighs with relief at the approach of autumn (so long 40 degrees in London… single-digit temperatures, we are ready for you), it might be time to refresh your wardrobe. Luckily for you – and us –  socks are a part of your outfit that can be worn throughout the year, but there are subtle seasonal differences that can help you transition your style from the warmer to cooler months. Here are three London Sock Company ways to autumn-proof your wardrobe.

Your future is bright

Autumn doesn’t have to mean all darker hues. Adding a splash of colour into your outfit can brighten up your mood as the nights close in. Try some of our most popular styles, such as East India Saffron for a pop of yellow, or our Pink Friday for an eye-catching touch of blush.

For East India Saffron, click here.

For Pink Friday, click here.

Do you want to treat yourself to a selection of our boldest colours? Our Brave New World, six-pack offers a different colour for each working day and an extra pair to rock on Saturday, if you so wish.

For Brave New World, click here.

A passion for pattern

Some patterns are timeless; they can come in many shapes, sizes and colours, but always remain a wardrobe staple. For us, these are stripes and spots, so we have curated our favourite selection of patterns for the discerning gentleman who wishes to step up his style game.

If your wardrobe mostly includes basics and block colours, introducing a pattern can elevate any outfit, for serious style points. Our Spot of Style collection is elegant yet understated and these designs are available in a range of colours, from Classic Black to Burgundy.

For Spot of Style collection, click here.

When it comes to stripes, you can’t put a foot wrong with our Mayfair Merino Wool Red Stripe. This versatile combination of red and navy will add a statement to any outfit.

For Mayfair Merino Wool Red Stripe, click here.

Keep in classic, and classy

Need we say more? Classic colours will always be a surefire option for any occasion. We have recently introduced our 100% Cotton range, which is finely knitted from pure Scottish Lisle Cotton, making them soft, durable and breathable. This selection of colours will be a sophisticated addition to your wardrobe, with an autumnal feel.

For 100% Cotton, six-pair box, click here

To enjoy all of London Sock Company’s designs and read their expert style guides, visit www.LondonSockCompany.com

To participate in the London Sock Company X Czech & Speake competition, click here

You can also discover Czech & Speake’s journal take over ‘Men’s Style Tips with Czech & Spake: Fragrance for the changing seasons here

 

Which Scents Suit Your Skin Type?

Shopping for perfume requires diligence. There must have been a time in your life in which you were entranced by the scent of a friend or acquaintance, and eagerly asked “what are you wearing?” in order to hunt it down and reclaim it as your own. But to your dismay, the smell had quite the opposite effect on your skin.

There is a science to this; different skin types have their own properties and differing pH balances, which have unique reactions to individual scents. As well as this your lifestyle can be a factor, down to your diet, whether you smoke and even the medication you take can have an effect on your natural aroma. If you resonate with this and feel puzzled as to why you cannot identify with a suiting scent, we’ve categorised different skin types and paired them with harmonising Czech & Speake colognes, to better help you understand your own skin.

 

Oily Skin

If your skin is more oily by nature, fragrances tend to magnify on contact. This is because perfume ingredients are attracted to oil. As certain elements of the formula are heightened, it is likely that you will find sweet notes to become insipid, while top notes that usually disappear more rapidly, (such as citrus), are able to hold for longer and smell truly divine.

We recommend:

Neroli and Oxford & Cambridge

These two Czech & Speake scents are light and refreshing, but not without impact. With both opening on a citrus note, neroli and orange for Neroli and bergamot for Oxford & Cambridge, your oily skin will take hold of these delicious fruits and project them in the most pleasing way.

 

Dry Skin

On the other end of the scale, dry skin requires heavier fragrances with a strong base to ensure the notes will last, as delicate scents can disappear. Dramatic chypres, spices, woods and orientals are your best bet of holding out, with a truer reflection of the bottled aroma as less alteration has occurred from your skins pH balance.

We recommend:

Cuba and Vétiver Vert

Many Czech & Speake fragrances would suit this skin type due to our highly concentrated formulas designed for the purpose of quality. However our favourites at the moment are Cuba and Vétiver Vert. Cuba is smoky and spicy with big base notes such as frankincense and tobacco that will sing through beautifully. While although Vétiver Vert is green, its sandalwood base and the earthy note of vetiver gives it a muskiness and intensity.

 

Normal Skin

If you are lucky enough to have normal skin, meaning it is neither dry nor oily, you will find that most fragrances will smell fairly true on the skin. As mentioned before, this can vary dependent on your consumption and lifestyle habits.

We recommend:

No.88

If this is your skin type, we advise a trial and error process with perfumes from a whole range of fragrance families, until you find the perfect fit for your nose. If we were to recommend, our classic No.88’s clever, complex formula is one that appeals to many.

 

If you have oily skin discover our Citrus and Herbaceous Collections. If you have dry skin, explore our Woody and Oriental Collections. If you have normal skin, view our full fragrance range.

What to See at London Design Festival this September

London’s summer period never ceases to provide an abundance of unique events that showcase creative talent. If you had the misfortune to miss out on the sunny season, don’t threat, as one of the most expansive in the industry returns to London this September.

London Design Festival quite literally takes over the city, spanning across dozens of locations with an endless programme of events. If you wish to take part, It would be virtually impossible to attend them all so we’ve done our research and picked our top three must see exhibitors to help you narrow down your options.

David Gill Gallery: Sebastian Brajkovic

Nestled in the district of St James is the beautifully chic, world renowned David Gill Gallery who will play host to an inaugural solo show of subversive artist, Sebastian Brajkovic, giving audiences an exclusive insight to his latest work. Brajkovic specialises in crafting sculptural furniture from classical design styles which he elegantly distorts, twists and skews. Since his recognition, the artists work has been identified as a modern classic of design, collected by major institutions such as the Victoria & Albert Museum and the Museum of Art & Design in New York, to feature in their permanent collection.

 

The Victoria & Albert Museum: Matthew McCormick

If you appreciate contemporary art that challenges, the unlikely destination of the Victoria & Albert’s bright, historical interior entrance is to be consumed by a mass of dark reflective structures. This was a strategic decision by Canadian artist Matthew McCormick with his installation ‘Avalanche’, who wishes to instil a sense of entrapment and heightened consciousness in visitors as they are faced with their own morality.

 

Design Centre Chelsea Harbour: Christopher Farr Cloth

For those that favour soft furnishings, head over to Chelsea Harbours Design centre to appreciate the craft of artisanal print house, Christopher Farr Cloth’s latest collections. The pop up exhibition will be a rich and immersive experience as not only will audiences be invited to view the beautiful end products consisting of afghan rugs and hand-crafted textiles, but they’ll be taken through the design and making process, with skilled embroiderers of Kabul responding to the brands designs with their own unique interpretations.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: Sebastian Brajkovic, London Design Festival, Christopher Farr Cloth


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Behind the Scent: Neroli

Neroli Cologne Spray 100ml

Despite its delicate nature, the fragrance note has been used time and time again by copious iconic brands, dominating lists each year as a top summer fragrance. Although light, neroli is surprising; a delicious harmony of citrus and flora, addictive to inhale. In the height of summer, dark, heady fragrances may be obtrusive and thick in the already humid air, so the crisp and refreshing scent of neroli is a desirable alternative. To honour the beloved scent, we would like to share with you the background of an original in the Czech & Speake collection, Neroli.

Czech & Speake’s Neroli is packaged in a suitably soft toned box, and with a closer look you’ll notice that Napoleon Bonaparte’s hat makes up the geometric print, branded with the C & S emblem. Our founder, Frank, was inspired by an original 18th century formula allegedly blended for the military leader, a documented lover of neroli scent who was said to have used Eau de Cologne extravagantly throughout his life. Czech & Speake’s interpretation captures the the sweet, waxy blossom of the orange flower suffused with the zest of the fruit to create a scent characteristic of warm climates, but with an ability to refresh.

About neroli fragrance

The essential oil is derived from the blossom of the bitter orange tree, fruited with the sour orange. The citrus of this tree may be too sharp for consumption, but it is this very bitterness that makes each element of its produce far more aromatic than other varieties. The leaves, twigs and fruits provide much desired essential oils but it is the white neroli blossom that is truly thrilling to the senses, with its complex aroma that fuses floral and green, with hints of orange and honey.

Why it has remained a classic

Neroli’s use in perfumery dates back to the 17th century, named after the Italian town of Nerola in homage to the land’s Princess, Anna Maria de La Trémoill. The Princess was the first person to distil orange blossom to form the essential oil which she soon made her signature scent, perfuming her clothes, gloves and bathwater. Neroli has found continuous use in perfumery, with particular popularity in the Victorian era where it was generally used as the base for eau de cologne, along with lavender, bergamot, lemon and rosemary. Since then, neroli can be found within the formulas of many great perfumers, including the iconic combination that is Chanel No.5.

The benefits and symbolism of neroli

If you’ve ever taken a whiff of our Neroli cologne, you’ll be aware of how evocative and true to nature this scent is. Neroli’s stimulating essence makes this oil an ideal candidate for aromatherapy, with properties that promote tranquility and love. As a result neroli has deep associations with romance, and perhaps the most notable example is its symbolic use in weddings, traditionally Chinese, as omens of purity, moral virtue, fruitfulness and fertility.

Neroli may be delicate but it is certainly compelling, remaining as one of Czech & Speake’s most loved, versatile and top selling – alongside No.88, of course.

If you’ve been inspired by the scent of neroli, click here to purchase our popular Neroli Cologne 100ml. Alternatively discover our Neroli Bath & Body range.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Why Washing and Grooming Should be Relished in the Summer

Washing and grooming is routine for us all to feel our best and function during our work life and downtime. During the cold, tiresome months of winter where by we lack energy from reduced exposure to sunlight, it can be hard to maintain motivation for the social custom. As the weather warms there is certainly a need to up your hygiene, but equally the summer season provides great pleasure in doing so. Here is a list of reasons why you should relish your regime this summer and how you can get the best out of it. 

Embrace the shower

As much as we love sun for gracing our skin with a glowing tan and pulling us out from seasonal lows, it can be harsh on the body. As you well know, the higher temperatures will increase perspiration, so regular rinsing is kid-stuff. But you have to be aware of how considerable the grease build up can be in your bodies crevices and locks. There is undoubtedly a need to be more thorough with your routine, whether that be adding a second dose of shampoo to cut through grease left behind, or choosing high quality washes such as our Neroli Hydrating Body Wash that will suitably clean as apposed to masking an odour.

Czech and Speake Neroli Hydrating Body Wash and Oxford Cambridge Hydrating Body Wash

 

Tackle the heat

In the height of summer, temperatures can become tedious, disrupting proactively and sleep. A cool shower can do a lot for you in these conditions. The chilled setting will reduce your body temperature which then sets a higher threshold for perspiration. As well as this, brisk water allows your skin to hold in moisture, which is crucial when faced with the dehydrating capacity of UV rays. It is also useful to use products designed to hydrate. Our multipurpose bath oils will emulsify water, producing a softening effect to your body, or will alternatively act as a moisturiser when applied directly to damp skin after showering. Another tip would be to take your cool shower before bed; it has been proven that we sleep better when our body temperature is on a decline.

Czech and Speake No.88 Moisturising Body and Bathing Oil 50ml and Neroli Moisturising Body and Bathing Oil 50ml

 

Seize your summer glow

When the sun’s out, so is your skimpier wardrobe consisting of shorts, vests and and sandals, worn to endless summer calendar events. In the harsh light of day, your body is faced with much more exposure than the latter part of the year, so it is important to keep up appearances and give time to those parts that have been neglected for some time. Your toe nails in particular will require some TLC after a long period of hibernation; our manicure sets are well kitted with all the tools you need to bring them up to scratch. But don’t fear the exposure, the sunny weather naturally instills a sense of self-confidence and feeling of attractiveness, through lifting our mood and providing skin with a healthier glow. The sun is an enhancer, so a spritz of your favourite scent will be lifted in the heat.

Czech and Speake Manicure Set in Blue and White and Villa Ausonia Eau De Parfum Spray 100ml

 

If you’d like to improve your regime for the summer weather, discover our hydrating bath & body collection and grooming range.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Bathrooms with a View

The bathroom is a multipurpose space of hygiene and therapy, but this concept is often lost in the fast paced, modern world. Traditionally a place of escapism, relaxation and indulgence, it is now the place that we spend as little time as possible in, to get clean quick to begin or end the day. This is hardly surprising when the majority have been built purely for function, concealed from the outside with high level windows, frosted for your privacy but limiting desirable natural light.

We recommend that you challenge your reservations and experience bathing with view to reconnect with the pleasures of cleansing – after all, baths used to be constructed outside for communal use.

Here are our top three bathrooms with a view:

 

Song Saa Private Island, Cambodia

If solitude is important to you for your bathing ritual but an enhanced experience is sought after, Song Saa’s Private Island is the destination to discover. This tiny island off the coast of Cambodia has been transformed into a utopian resort, built sustainably to harmonise with the stunning landscape. It may be a trek to get to involving several modes of unconventional transport, but all of this concretes the exclusivity of the location. Every element of the resort is architecturally beautiful, but of course we are most drawn to the bathroom. The huge stone bathtub is embedded within a wooden platform, with a bath-rack fashioned from a natural piece wood reflective of the rural island. But what really luxuriates the space is the surrounding frameless glass, truly letting in the idyllic outdoors.

 

One Vandam Penthouse A, Soho New York

As well as hotel design, there have been some incredible projects for penthouse apartments which wholly make use of the top floor views. A project to die for brought by architecture and interior firm Studio DB, is One Vandam Penthouse A, located at the tip of a New York skyscraper. The objective of the build was “to create a modern environment that draws from the character of the surrounding neighbourhoods.” This is certainly achieved with numerous, vast window panes encased in the high-ceilinged walls letting in the fabulous Art Deco architecture of the facing buildings. The bathroom is a little more modest with a singular wall-length strip in which the bath is positioned in front, creating an intimate viewpoint over and above the spectacular city.

 

Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund, China

Described as an ‘urban retreat’, hotel Banyan Tree Shanghai on the Bund captures the serenity of a refuge while located amongst the vibrant Chinese city. Set back on the bank of the Huangpu River, guests can feel at peace beside the gentle water and take in the distant skyline to the fullest extent. Much like Song Saa, the master bath was selected as the ultimate point of relaxation to absorb these immersive views, with the vessel fitted right up against the wall length windows.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: International Traveller, The Telegraph, Studio DB, Cosmopolitan 


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Czech & Speake’s Holiday Guide: How to Pack for 3 Different Holiday Types

Founded on the notion to provide fine quality products to aid a rich and pleasureful lifestyle, Czech & Speake live and breathe luxury. As recorded in history as far back as the infamously indulgent Romans, the opportunity to discover a new culture and allow yourself to switch off from work and worries, remains to be the pinnacle of luxury. We truly advocate the holiday, having designed a travel range to make the whole experience a lot easier and to facilitate bringing with you your favourite lavish products.

As it’s the season for travel, we’d like to share with you our top destinations for three different luxurious holiday types, paired with high-end suitcase must haves.

 

City Break: Helsinki

If you desire an escape from your daily routine but find solace in activity and culture as apposed to sun-soaking, a city break will satisfy your needs. We recommend a visit to the cool capital of Finland, Helsinki. As you would expect from the design lead Scandinavian’s, the city is run with the upmost efficiency. The streets are clean and the tram system runs smoothly which provides a sense of ease and tranquility that is not often found in buzzing capitals. This contemporary energy is dispersed across the city, spoiling visitors with sleek, cutting edge restaurants and bars as well unique, soul-feeding experiences. You can take in the cities beautiful architecture while open-air swimming at Allas Sea Pools, or release your endorphins in the stunning pine-clan sauna, Loyly.

What to Pack:

Upkeep your appearance to match the sleek city. Pack Czech & Speake’s No.88 Travel Shave Set to maintain a close and sharp shave, and keep teeth squeaky clean with Marvis’ Ginger Mint Travel Toothpaste. Appreciate Scandinavian design and travel with a Sandqvist’s Damien Leather Weekend Bag. Embrace the casual Nordic culture and wear a clean-cut Cotton-Twill Chore Jacket from Richard James both to chic bars and daytime strolls. Meander the cityscape in classic but sturdy Wingtip Brogues from Grenson while immersed in the incredible sound of Sennheiser Momentum True Wireless headphones.

 

Beach Holiday: Sardinia

If you seek a beach holiday, Italy’s Sardinia will not disappoint. The island contains endless golden beaches with heavenly gradients of turquoise. In a country associated with style, it is unsurprising that this magnificent scenery is paired with glamour, appearing as the landscape in numerous Hollywood movies. Strips such as The Costa Smeralda ooze opulence, with luxury hotels, restaurants and boutiques lining the coastline. If you want to escape the glitz you can discover the ruins of Sardinia’s ancient nuraghic culture, indulge in the the Italian’s impeccable cuisine or simply take in the rugged landscape on costal walks and swims.

What to Pack:

Head to the beach with style, wearing Kirk Originals Harvey Round-Frame Tortoiseshell Sunglasses and Italian designed Rubinacci Printed Swim Shorts, all carried in a Black Calf Leather Trolley Case, also Rubinacci. Maintain appearances after exposure to the elements to look smart for the lavish bars. Wear Triumph & Disaster No Dice Suncream to enhance natural sun protection, and bring with you a Czech & Speake Air-Safe Manicure Set in Blue & White to groom rugged, beach-worn nails. For the costal walks, pack Fracap’s Moro Sandals.

 

Glamping: Mount Rushmore

Perhaps you want to escape the bustling world and be at one with nature, but would prefer to do this in comfort and luxury. Glamping is worth a try, and company Under Canvas is the one to choose. The founders mission was to bring friends and families together to experience the immersive outdoors in amenity and style. The company have eight deluxe resorts with impressive safari inspired tents including kingsize beds, ensuite bathrooms and wood burning stoves, with no offer of wifi to encourage visitors to ‘unplug’. Our favourite site is located by America’s iconic Mount Rushmore, with activities offered such as massages, hiking tours and gold panning.

What to pack:

Under Canvas’ tent might be all inclusive but nothing compares to your own personal colognes and toiletries. Czech & Speake’s Three Compartment Gentleman’s Travel Case in red leather has the capacity to store all of your favourite washroom items. If hiring such a grand outdoor suite amongst beautiful surroundings, it would be shame not to entertain in style. Harrod’s Picnic Basket for 4 has all the fine crockery, cutlery and glassware needed, while Snow Peak’s Hotlips Titanium 600 Mug is a more practical option for sipping hot brew on chilled evenings. For those days of activity, Prada’s Suede boots and Rain’s red Jacket are the trendy but hardwearing go-to’s, with a Sony a7 II Compact System Camera to capture the memories.

 

If you’ve been inspired to book a holiday to any one of our recommendations, discover our travel range. Click to shop No.88 Travel Shave Set, Air-Safe Manicure Set in Blue & White or Three Compartment Gentleman’s Travel Case in red leather.

Sources: Condé Nast Traveler, Under Canvas, as well as site links to products.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Why Traditional Methods are Making a Comeback

With the ever-advancing speed of technology, the production of material goods has spiralled and in response fast fashion and throwaway culture has dominated for sometime. But at long last, awareness for our planet has heightened and remains continuously topical, prompting a growing impulse to shop mindfully with a preference for quality. Traditional brands such as our own are remerging and finding a new relevance to the modern consumer, providing products and remedies that have stood the test of time for their quality, thoughtful design and longevity.

Discover selected products in our range and learn why traditional methods are the most sustainable:

 

Traditional shaving

Our shaving sets complete with a silver tip badger brush, weighted razor and imprinted shaving soap unified with a co-ordinating stand, certainly look the part when stood handsomely on your bathroom shelf. But it is not simply the elegant classic design that gives it purpose. The substantial nature of the anodised aluminium that makes up the foundation for each product, prevents throwaway habits. You simply only need to replace the blades when no longer sharp and the soap when used up – but believe us, the traditional, quality soap formula enables extended periods of use. These soap replacements are re-bought packaged in recyclable paper as apposed to non-biodegradable throw away plastic razors and harmful aerosol cans that only last a second.

 

The classic bar of soap

At Czech & Speake we have always advocated the classic bar of soap. For a while, the bar of soap was neglected, only found infused with olive oil in Greek tourist shops or balanced on a hotel towel. But it’s making a comeback with likes of Tom Ford imprinting their logo onto their rebranded ‘cleansing bar’. There is a reason it is regaining relevance, the traditional bar just asks for simple paper packaging while only requiring a little handling to throughly lather your hands. In comparison the more contemporary liquid pump design is much weaker in its effect and empties so rapidly, usually contained in unsustainable plastic. With our soaps, the same manufacturing method has been used since the 19th century, and yet provides a product that has far surpassed more recent developments in soap production. 

 

Pharmacy bottles and shaker tops

An interpretation of the reagent, glass pharmacy bottle. The traditional vessel used to package our aftershaves, bath oils and colognes is acknowledged for its recyclable, reusable and robust material, while its simplicity is something quite beautiful and timeless. A contemporary twist on the classic shaker top design is engineered to provide you with carefully measured drops, ultimately preventing wastage while extending the products life line. Perhaps most brilliantly, the formulas inside are made up of natural essential oils using traditional perfumery methods, which means not only are they beneficial to your skin through antiseptic or soothing properties, but when washed away no nasty artificial chemicals will end up in the ocean.

 

If you’re looking to invest in products that will last, discover our Grooming, Bath & Body and Fragrance ranges. Bottle refills coming soon…


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

How Fragrance Tells a Story: Understanding the Notes

It is 2019 and advancements in technology have quickly transformed all elements of our society, whether that be how we socialise, how we work and significantly, how we buy. Online shopping provides us with the ease and convenience to trawl through vast amounts of consumable content to make comparisons, assess reviews and select the perfect product to be delivered straight to our door. At Czech & Speake we have embraced the digital world and are proud of our up-to-date ecommerce service, but we cannot deny that shopping for aromatic products online can be rather challenging.

In light of this we thought we would provide you with a guide to better understand the complexities of a perfumes notes and layers, enlightening you to the story telling power of scent. Hopefully then you will be well equip with the perfumery lingo to confidently purchase through a screen.

Top, middle and base notes

When you look at the descriptions of a fragrance on our site or through other perfumers, you will see its components listed in the form of top, middle and base notes. These determine the complex way in which the fragrance sets off and reveals itself to you once released from the bottle and when in contact with your skin.

The top notes, which tend to be fresh, citrusy and herbaceous, are the lightest and the very first notes that you smell. It is in this sense that perfumery can be compared to narrative, as the top notes set the tone or ‘scene’ for that scent, giving you an indication of whether you will enjoy the full aromatic experience. There’s a sort of romance associated with the top note, as it quickly fades, giving you just a tantalising taste for you to savour and relish.

As the top notes evaporate, you are guided into the middle notes, sometimes known as the heart notes, which are as the name suggests, the heart of the fragrance. These are fuller in body and therefore longer lasting with a strong influence on the later appearing base notes, which you can relate to the core structure of a story. It is typical for these notes to be floral or fruity; scents that are pleasing and well-rounded.

As you reach the end of the sensual journey, the base notes unfold. These notes correspond and intermingle with the middle notes to provide the fragrances full body, which is considered to reveal the scent in its truest form – perhaps you could call it the ‘grand finale’. This stage of the perfumes transformation is known as the ‘dry-down period’, with the purpose to ensure that the scent leaves a lasting impression. Heavier notes are used to achieve this such as woods, musks and spices

As with narratives, it won’t always be so straight forward and linear as that, for example sometimes the base notes can make their way from the base to the top to provide a sense of instant gratification. With any luck, from this guide you can now recognise the prominence of your favourite perfume notes.

 

If you feel more confident shop online for fragrance, discover our full fragrance range. If you would like further information on which fragrance families our colognes belong to, click here.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Why Wimbledon is the Most Stylish Sporting Event

Sporting tradition is an aspect of British culture that we love at Czech & Speake. All year round, the calendar is packed full of age-old events that stay true to their spirited roots, from Ascot to the Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race that inspired our namesake Oxford & Cambridge product range. The summer months are of course the most thriving in an attempt to avoid Britain’s famously unpredictable, rain-likely weather, offering us a stupendous line up of competition, each with their own unique charm.

A quirk that is common for many, as seen across race days throughout the country, is the dedication and usual requirement to dress up for the occasion. But for us, Wimbledon holds a certain prestige in terms of style. This is perhaps due to the quiet, understated nature of the game that is by some means hypnotic, enabling spectators to remain fixated for up to 3 hours of play. As a result the crowd bares a sense of respect, reflected in their attire. 

It is not unknown that Wimbledon is closely associated with fashion. Unlike other sports, the players all-white uniform is incredibly chic and has become iconic since its establishment by the Victorians, extending to influencing fashion outside of the sport. Aptly, this summer Burberry have released a limited edition collection inspired by the court, having dressed players and spectators since the games conception. 

Rene Lacoste won the Davis Cup in 1932, wearing his iconic embroidered crocodile motif. (Photo by Topical Press Agency/Getty Images)

In terms of the attendees, remarkably there is no strict dress code outside of the royal box but an unspoken agreement to arrive groomed and suited, generating such strength in individual style with a true sense of willingness to look the part. Each year an array of famous faces grace the stands in the suavest of tailoring with fresh haircuts, clean shaves and slick specs. 

Jude Law and girlfriend Phillipa Coan dressed with a sense of cool at Wimbledon 2018. (Getty Images)

 

If you’re lucky enough to attend, let Czech & Speake prepare you for the day. These are our top picks for the event:

Neroli Cologne

A spritz to the wrists and the neck of Neroli is our recommended fragrance choice for the day out. The delicate scent is paired back but not without impact, much like the understated event. It’s crisp, lightness will refresh in the warm summer sun.  

 

No.88 Shaving Set & Stand

Wimbledon is not the place to don your rugged took, use our No.88 Shaving Set to achieve the closest of shaves. The traditional brush and soap method is far superior to a shaving foam canister, for the brush aids in lifting the hair away from the face so that they can be easily caught by the razor

 

Manicure Set

The nails must not be forgotten! It would be a great shame to have put all that effort into your attire but to be let down by unkempt hands or toes peeping from your best sandals. Our manicure set is made up of 8 instruments, covering you from simple clipping to cuticle care

 

If you’re attending Wimbledon or other stylish sporting events this summer, click to shop Neroli, or explore our grooming range.

Cover photo, Palace and Adidas tennis-ready streetwear collaboration 2018, GQ

Combining the Bathroom and the Bedroom

Traditionally a concept reserved for hotels, the bath in the bedroom is an indulgent commercial design choice, now emerging in the layout of contemporary residential interiors. This is unsurprising when you consider the popularity of open plan living, with every modern kitchen equating to a diner and living space.

Combining the bedroom quarters with a bathroom sanctuary may be a little more risqué, but it is a concept we are fully behind. In history, the baths purpose was not simply reserved for hygiene, rather bathing was a form of recreation, therapy and a means to socialise. It seems puzzling that the bath should be boxed off to a utilitarian space when the vessel aids relaxation as much as the bed, so why not bring the two together for an enhanced living experience?

Below we have selected our favourite projects that seamlessly combine the bathroom and bedroom:

 

Peter Fleming and Pfeffer Torode Architecture 

Peter Fleming has his fingers in many pies. With an initial education in interior design, Fleming furthered his studies in iconic institutions such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, allowing him to not only curate a space but design the furniture within it. One of his career successes was founding Building No.9, a design focused gallery producing objects that blur the line between sculpture and furniture. His vision is clear in the design of this bathroom-cum-bedroom, with the usually functional bath tub displayed as a piece of art in synergy with the surrounding furnishings. 

 

Gervais Fortin and Ecologia Foundation

Incorporating the bathroom into the bedroom made perfect sense for Gervais Fortin’s ‘Ecologia Montréal’ house. The homeowner commissioned Gervais Fortin in collaboration with the Ecologia Foundation to build a house that is both architecturally stunning and conscious. With carefully considered shapes proportions and clever BioGeometry science, the open plan, voluminous and multi-functional space is designed to be a healthy place for inhabitants to live. 

 

Johnny Holland of Hackett Holland and interior designer Suzy Hoodless  

The collaboration between interior architect Johnny Holland and interior designer Suzy Hoodless brought together two individual tastes, resulting in the creation of an eclectic space filled with striking yet harmonious contrasts. The liberal mind set expressed by the pair challenged conventional residential layouts and most significantly, allowed for the bathroom to look in place in the bedroom. This was achieved through marrying the hardware with the soft furnishings, using clashing graphic prints and repeated flashes of gold in the fittings, accessories and details. 

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: lesleemitchell.com, contemporist.com, houseandgarden.co.uk


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Your Guide To Grooming On-The-Go

We’ve teamed up with Neat Nutrition to create the ultimate guide to grooming on-the-go. Created with convenience in mind, we’ve got unmissable advice to help you create a grooming regime that fits within your busy lifestyle, including the key, intelligently designed and great quality products you need to enhance your daily routine…

 

PART 2: 

Dive Into Your Diet

Maintaining glowing, youthful-looking skin isn’t just about the products you use – what you’re putting in your body is also crucial. Make sure you’re getting a full range of good quality vitamins & minerals to boost the health of your skin. Start the day strong with a nutrient-dense protein smoothie – try Neat Nutrition’s chocolate avocado or green peanut shake recipes to sneak in a healthy dose of greens first thing.

 

Check Your Protein Intake

Protein is an organic compound made up of amino acids, which are the building blocks of our bodies. Tissue in the body then use these amino acids to build and repair. But what does this have to do with your grooming routine? Well, hair, skin, nails, even your body’s immune system, are all built from protein.

If you’re looking to improve the health of your hair and skin, try adding a good-quality protein supplement into your diet. Neat Nutrition’s whey and vegan protein plans, are fully customisable and delivered straight through your letterbox.

 

Get Hydrated

Staying hydrated is one of the best things you can do for your health. Water is the main component of all cells and tissues in the body, and plays a key role in physiological balance, including many different skin functions. Staying well hydrated will help your skin to retain more moisture – giving it a more supple appearance – and will help to flush out impurities and improve blood flow.

 

Don’t Scrimp On Sleep

When life gets busy, sleep is often the first thing to slip down the priority list. But it’s time your body needs to restore, recover and rejuvenate – so when you’re lacking sleep, all elements of your health, including your skin, hair and nails, will suffer. Drift off with ease after a stressful day with the help of lavender (read more here) – soak in a lavender infused bath before bed using our lavender bath oil or simply dab a few drops onto your pulse points for your skin to release its calming aroma.

 

Read more: click here to head over to Neat Nutrition for Part 1 of our guide to grooming on the go…

 

 

Our Top Yacht Designers

Czech & Speake have had the fortune to be included in numerous exciting interior projects throughout the years, from Ralph Lauren’s New York country house to opulent hotel suites, but some of our most impressive cases see us fitted in the bathrooms of luxury yachts. You can see our Cubist collection in Nuvolari & Lenard’s interior for ‘DB9’ or our Edwardian collection in Laura Pomponi’s ‘NERO’.

With a keen eye on the world of yacht design, we are deeply anticipating the arrival of The Superyacht Design Forum at the end of this month, held in the Design Centre in Chelsea Harbour. If you need more background on the exclusive event, it was established for industry insiders to provide them with specialist new thinking, intelligent solutions and spark inspiration to push forward the future of superyacht design.

In response to the upcoming event, we have chosen our top three yacht designers working in the global market, paired with some of their most influential projects:

 

Winch Design

Extraordinarily, we are lucky enough to have a number of world-renowned yacht designers born out of Britain. One we admire most is Andrew Winch, who’s studio has a prolific portfolio, working with private jets, helicopters, lavish residents and significantly, yachts, where Winch received his original training. Inspired by ideas of freedom and seclusion, the team design each space with the intention to enclose the client within a safe and serene setting. Our two favourite projects, ‘Cloud Nine’ and ‘Here Comes The Sun’, incorporate the studios signature stone and cream colour palette, enriched with textural detail in reference to the natural elements – apt for a vessel that resides in the ocean.

Cloud Nine by Winch Design

 

Bannenberg & Rowell

Dickie Bannenberg and Simon Rowell continue the legacy of the father of contemporary yacht design, Jon Bannenberg. The London based studio may have a modest team of fifthteen, but this by no means limits the remarkable scale and quality of work they produce. Perhaps it is this intimate work environment that enables designs that emit such pleasure; ‘Moon and Sand’, ‘Promise’ and ‘Galactic Star’ are just a few, named accordingly to reflect the hopeful and utopian sensation the team wish to convey. Most appropriately named ‘Joy’, is a yacht that has truly embodied this notion with its streamline form and imaginative use of glass to bring the blissful natural surroundings inside.

‘Joy’ by Bannenberg & Rowell

 

March & White

Elliot March and James White came together as two architects with an acute understanding of luxury. Establishing a headquarters in their capital of London, the brand achieved international recognition, opening further design studios in New York and LA. The vast scale of the company allows March & White to fulfil their all-encompassing interests in aesthetics, designing for architecture and interiors as well as yachting to achieve their comprehensive vision of providing ‘lifestyle experiences’. Our favourite of their projects, ‘M.Y. Blue’ certainly serves an experience. The interior is like no other, with luxurious textual materials sweeping across the ceilings, walls and floors, coloured in a neutral, refreshingly light palette designed to elates the senses.

‘M.Y. Blue’ by March & White

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: Winch Design, Bannenberg and Rowell, March & White websites

Cover Photo: ‘Here Comes The Sun’ by Winch Design


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

How to Celebrate Summer Solstice

Summer solstice, the longest day of the year, commences this weekend. The occasion may not be as widely acknowledged as other marks in the calendar, but it is one we believe is worth celebrating.

For obvious reasons, we love the solstice for the prolonged daylight it bestows, due to the sun reaching its highest point in the sky. In light of this (quite literally) we are filled with anticipation for the coming months of summer parties, picnicking, and every other excuse to immerse ourselves in the outdoors.

But it is the very happening of the solstice that we are most inspired by. In Latin, ‘Solstice’ translates to sun-stopping, and this is because the sun appears to stand still at its peak height, before reversing to continue our seasonal cycle. Taking that time to pause, reflect and gratify is significant to us at Czech & Speake as it is the basis of what our products provide.

In homage to this, we’ve created a guide of how you can celebrate the celestial event:

 

Rise early and refresh

To feel the full effects of the longest day of the year, begin your day early and rise with the sun. It may not be easy to leave the comforts of your bed or abandon your curious dream narrative, but there are some serious benefits in doing so. Your skin is in its best state in the morning having had the chance to mend itself and rejuvenate overnight. This means the AM is the best opportunity to care for it in its freshest state. Use this time to properly groom, moisturise and cleanse, not only for your body but to put you mind at ease for the day ahead.

Self-Reflect

The solstice is a chance to self-reflect. In preparation for the occasion, spend your evening amongst nature, whether that be in your own secluded garden or travelling to a nearby woodland. To further enhance the calmative atmosphere, incorporate scented candles and outdoor incense sticks into your surroundings as an aid for meditation. Bask in the warm evening sunshine or practice yoga and perform sun salutes to the solstice. Try our Frankincense & Myrrh Outdoor Incense Sticks; the aroma of frankincense has the ability to lower stress and promote relaxation.

Sip a floral brew

Once you have reached an optimal state of calm, sit back and enjoy the solstice with a suitable pre-prepared drink. Traditionally, elderflower has deep-rooted associations with the summer solstice, as the fragrant shrub is in peak bloom around June time. A homemade, elderflower cordial would be a divine addition to the evening set up. Alternatively a warming tea would do, perhaps infused with the famously soothing buds of lavender.

 

If you feel inspired to celebrate the summer solstice like us, discover our Body & Bath or Grooming range to enhance your early morning routine, as well as our Home Fragrance range to set the scene for the occasion.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

A Look Back at Our Favourites from Last Years Masterpiece Fair

The Royal Hospital Chelsea becomes a visually immersive hotspot during the summer season in our capital. Mesmerising displays of horticulture graced the gardens of the institution just last month for the prestigious event of Chelsea Flower Show. Next in the calendar, arriving at the end of this month, is high-brow art fair Masterpiece London – and we couldn’t be more delighted.

If you know little about the event, Masterpiece showcases some of the finest art ranging from collectables to brand new talent in the market today. The show is a true spectacle, with a vast range of art, design, furniture, jewellery and antiques curated in a uniquely interwoven way, with placement decided by visual effectiveness as opposed to categorisation by subject.

Take a look at our three favourites from last year:

 

Mattia Bonetti, Elle Lui chair

Represented by the David Gill Gallery of Saint James is contemporary artist Mattia Bonetti. Known for his surreal, dreamlike furniture, the Paris-based designer is an exemplar of those who are able to merge the worlds of art and design. The Elle Lui Chair exhibited at the show last year is evocative of the artists affection for nature; a feature that has recurred in his designs throughout his expansive career. The idea to attach sculptural figures to an organically twisted chair frame is imaginative in itself, let alone to pair this with playfully appliquéd, colour-rich cushioning – inspired.

 

Cindy Chao: The Art Jewel

Branded ‘The Art Jewel’ besides her own name, Cindy Chao crafts each of her fine jewellery pieces with the mentality to create ‘miniature pieces of art’. She uses 18th century artisan techniques to form elegant designs with contemporary flair. Last year at Masterpiece, Chao exhibited her Black Label collection, catching the eye of a judging panel consisting of art-world experts. We can see why; the intricacy and technique expressed in every element of her work, from the concept drawings to the final 3-Dimensional pieces, is truly flawless.

 

Koike Shoko

Internationally renowned Ceramist, Koike Shoko was represented at the fair last year by Galerie Dutko’s showroom in Mayfair. The Beijing-born artist creates gracefully formed vessels inspired by her love of the ocean, and the choice to use earth-deriving Shigaraki clay lends the perfect material-tool to bring these creations alive. Formed with slab building techniques, each piece is hand-crafted with individual grooves, curves and scores with a glaze coating that embraces the uncontrollable but beautifully organic effects of the firing process.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: Masterpiece London, The Jewellery Editor ,Galerie Dutko


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Which Scent is Your Father

For many countries, Father’s Day falls on the third Sunday of June and each year it tends to creep up on us, as dad modestly expects and asks for nothing.

It is true for the majority, that the father in our life does not rely so heavily on things, but instead has developed extraordinary character and appreciation of experience – but one thing he is likely to have an affinity for is a personal fragrance. Scent has the power to speak on a personal level, highlighting personality traits and interests with its story and distinctive perfume notes.

In response, we’ve come up with four discernible father types and paired them with a corresponding Czech & Speake fragrance.

Which scent is your Father?

 

The Fun-loving Father

Products featured from left: Cuba Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake, Mr Leight Roku S Sunglasses; Mr Porter

The Fun-Loving Father is younger than his years. He would never turn down a social occasion and is always the last to leave, enjoying the challenge to outlast his minors. Certainly not shy, he is well known for his vibrant character, booming voice and distinctive look; loyal to his classic shades and signature drink, typically with cigar in hand.

Paired with: Cuba Cologne Spray 100ml. Contained in a brilliant red bottle, the heady, spicy mix of Cuba is striking when it hits the nose, which matches up to a man of such character. Not to mention it contains notes of rum and tobacco – some personal loves to a father of indulgence.

 

The Father Who Means Business 

Products featured from left: Black Onyx & Rhodium Half Suite Shirt Studs and Cufflinks; Budd, Turnball & Asser Ribbed Silk Tie; Mr Porter, No. 88 Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake.

This father had a clear vision of his future from a young age. Motivated by quality and classic design, he has passion and adrenaline to work hard in order to achieve the life he desires. He has seriousness for his work and purpose, but with an underlying sense of wit that comes forth and surprises. Each of his suits are tailored to fit without flaw, opting for elegant black cuts from reputable brands that he relies on.

Paired with: No. 88 Cologne Spray 100ml. Our signature cologne is undoubtedly the fragrance for The Father That Means Business. It’s rich, complex formula has earned its way to becoming a classic scent, perfect for a man of refined taste and sophistication.

 

The Domestic Father

Products from left: Japan Best Gardening Set; Mr Porter, Neroli Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake, Suede Winter White Slipper; Mulo.

A creature of comfort. The domestic father is reserved, calm and collected. A sensitive soul, he keeps himself to himself but when he speaks it is greatly insightful and will always come to aid when help is needed. His taste is cultivated and appreciates simplicity and routine, finding solace in the garden with a natural green thumb.

Paired with: Neroli Cologne Spray 100ml. Neroli is a timeless scent, and Czech & Speake’s interpretation is light, fresh and delicate. Its poignant notes evocative of the naturally occurring antiseptic in orange blossom depict the kind, nurturing qualities of the Domestic Father.

 

The Adventurous Father

Products from left: Spanish Cedar Eau De Parfum Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake, Ami Cotton-Satin Bucket Hat; Mr Porter, Serapian Leather Cabin Trolley; The Rake.

Having worked hard for most of his life, The Adventurous Father feels as though he deserves his hard-earned leisure time; taking as many holidays as he pleases. With a natural sense of adventure, this father has always been one for a spontaneous trip with an eagerness to explore and take risks; bestowing him with endless life stories. As with his approach to life, his taste is daring, choosing clothing and products that are bold in colour and design.

Paired with: Spanish Cedar Eau De Parfum Spray 100ml. The exotic, resinous aroma of Spanish Cedar reflects The Adventurous Father’s cultural interests, while the vivid casing and high concentration of the EdP formula, embody his courageous character.

 

If any of these scents epitomise your father, click here to shop: Cuba, No. 88, Neroli or Spanish Cedar.

To see the full range, visit our fragrance pages.

Most of the featured products come from our collaborators or brands under our stockists.


Our Favourite Contemporary Projects

The contemporary bathroom is the pinnacle of luxury. Of course we are advocates for classical and iconic design styles that will always remain luxurious in their own right, but there is something quite spectacularly immersive about a space designed to reflect ultra-modern development. These state-of-the-art interiors are designed with the upmost intelligence providing streamline functionality, sensitivity to the senses, and the ability to amaze through visual innovation.

Finchatton

It is within Finchatton’s Mantra to remain at the cutting edge. The Chelsea based design studio has been going for exactly a decade, but it could be easy to assume that they’ve been around much longer with grand projects that emit a great sense of dignity and interior wisdom. This master bath designed for a Knightsbridge penthouse apartment is every ounce luxurious. As dominant within contemporary interior design styles, minimalism is key here with a focus on functionality and use of high quality, natural materials, understanding that it is good design rather than ostentation that is the truest indulgence.

 

Zaha Hadid

You’ve been living under a rock if you have not heard the name Zaha Hadid. Sadly no longer with us, the architect left her legacy with a rich portfolio of projects that defy architectural geometry, as well as being the first woman to receive the Royal Gold Medal from the Royal Institute of British Architects. Not long before her death in 2016, Hadid had been working on a large body of interior work, including a unique collection of bathroom fittings in her signature curves, intended to imitate water flow. This showroom featuring the collection pieces in their intended interior setting astound with avant-garde shapes, monochromatic contrasts and intelligent lighting.

 

Mayfair Residence featuring Czech & Speake

We must not forget our very own contemporary designed bathroom range in collaboration with David Chipperfield Architects. The prolific, London-born architectural practise is recognised for its elegant, modernist design style. Having established around a similar time to us, Chipperfield seemed like the perfect partner to develop an exclusive contemporary Czech & Speake collection. The images show the titled DCS/FSD range fitted within the shower-room of a Mayfair residence. The fittings in this range have been cleverly designed with definitive lines under a minimalist aesthetic yet carry a certain softness in the finish, so the choice to pair them with a sweeping interior of natural, light stone is a stroke of genius; for both elements are striking yet soothing in conversation.

 

If you’d like to view our DCA/FSD range as discussed in this article, click here. Alternatively, discover all three of our collections.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

What Would Your Garden Look Like at Chelsea Flower Show?

It’s an exciting week ahead, as today is the start of this years Chelsea Flower Show. Located a mere five minute walk from our Pimlico Road showroom, a ripple of anticipation has hit as vibrant floral displays emerge, adorning the fronts of the surrounding stores in Belgravia and Chelsea to honour the prestigious event.

If your knowledge is lacking, the event is held each May in the grounds of the Royal Hospital Chelsea, dating back to 1913. At this time it was known as the Great Spring Show and was a quiet affair, modestly confined to a single marquee. As you must know by now, the event expanded to become the worlds most famous flower show; having survived the war, each era saw growth in the number of exhibitors, attendees (including famous faces and Royale’s), and increasingly daring and more immersive garden designs.

A group of young women pose with flowers at the show in 1973, source The Telegraph

With sponsorship from brands and charities, garden designers are given the opportunity to bring concepts to life in a landscape form, whether that be to raise awareness of our planet, showcase the work of charities or a celebration of the beginnings of great brands. There have been many superb and awe-inspiring show gardens over the years, but one we felt particularly compelled by was sponsored by fellow beauty brand L’Occitane in 2016. The L’Occitane Garden designed by James Basson, brought to life the Haute Provence; the home of the brands founder who in 1976 discovered an abandoned steam distiller which influenced him to produce essential oils from the local herbaceous plantlife.

The L’Occitane Garden, source the BBC

As perfumers, the incredible resources that come from the natural environment act as the inspiration as well as being the fundamental element of our products. A brand with the same wisdom, The L’Occitaine garden inspired us to conceptualise a Czech & Speake Garden, which perhaps one day might just go to show…

This is how we envisage the Czech & Speake Garden…

As you enter the Czech & Speake Garden, your eyes will be transfixed on the grand, Edwardian water feature, central to the opening lawn – water being symbolic and the core of everything we do within our luxury bathing concept. Surrounding the feature sit four unique flower beds for each of the overarching fragrance families; floral, oriental, woody and fresh. With a closer look, the significant flowers, herbs and fruits of each of our twelve fragrances can be found nestled within the appropriate beds, producing a gorgeous and heady and aroma.

As you venture past the opening section, you find yourself in an enclosed leafy pergola, adorned with circular vanity mirrors that create the most beautiful dappled light as the sun seeps through and bounces between them. Amongst the mass of reflection is an outdoor seat, crafted from a regal freestanding tub with ball and claw feet, cladded with bespoke leather cushions in our signature brilliant red.

As you leave the almost hypnotic pergola enclosure to the final section of the garden, you are faced with a large stretch of lush striped lawn to give space to great British sporting activities or perhaps a leisurely afternoon tea in the sun. 

…What would your garden look like?

 

Vist our Pimlico Road store to see our floral display in homage to the event.

Cover image sourced from the rhs.org. 

Are you excited about chelsea flower show? Discover our floral scents. If you’d like to know more about which fragrance families our scents belong to, click here.



 

Our Favourite New Entries on House & Garden’s Top 100 Interior Designers List

This month, House & Garden magazine released their distinguished list of the top 100 interior designers working in the United Kingdom. If you do not know of this list, it has been running for 20 years by the leading interior magazine, with the team extensively researching and carefully selecting the best in the industry. The list contains a number of mainstay greats, but with each new addition comes a handful of fresh faces who have been chosen for producing particularly spectacular work in the last year.

It is these exciting newcomers that we most anticipate, as we love to see the innovation and current direction the interior world is heading towards. These are our top three:

 

Kate Guinness

Kate Guinness is certainly new to the game, only establishing her interior business in 2016 having previously worked in design for performance. She told House & Garden:

‘My first career was in set and costume design for theatre and opera. I loved it, but I came to realise that I wanted to create real spaces for real people, which would last and grow over the years’.

Her theatrical roots show through with spaces expressing a buoyant use of colour, pattern and cultural references, yet they never feel artificial with an astute understanding of the homes function. We particularly admire Guinness’ ability to be incredibly eclectic with her style in a way that is sensibly harmonious, pairing beautiful antique pieces that eek character and life with modern fittings, stylised paintings and playful glassware.

 

Kitesgrove

The London based Kitesgrove is a more established interior design house but had never previously made the list. The studio is known for their focus on using artisanal craftsmanship and combining luxurious materials, with the company promise to provide comfort, quality and authenticity. Being Chelsea based, Kitesgrove have the good fortune of being tasked with grand townhouses and apartments as their canvas, which they dress in soft toned colour palettes to honour the classical architecture and spatial volume. Often, a token colour-rich, design-led furniture piece is added to cut against the neutral backdrop and breath life into the space.

 

Rachel Chudley

Rachel Chudley is a brand new name to us at Czech & Speake, but when her exuberant interiors made the list this year, our eyes were fixed and our hearts were stolen. The young designer is highly motivated by the arts as she told House & Garden:

‘ My style is playful with a focus on art. I think that interiors should reflect their inhabitants’ quirks and passions’.

With a team that consists of artists as well as designers, Chudley is able to produce spaces of refined comfort and creative expression, and if you take a lot at her portfolio you will be exhilarated by the drama and originality that each space projects.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Interiors Instagram account.

Sources: Kate Guinness Design, Kitesgrove, Rachel Chudley


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Behind the Scent: Vétiver Vert

Green is the colour of the moment. Not only is it the vernal season, but we’re seeing limes, neons and sage front the catwalks for Spring, while every trendy cafe in London is decked top to toe with plant life. Most significantly, environmental protection is eternally topical with desires raised high to feel closer to nature, for both the benefit of the earth and for our own health and wellbeing. In light of this, we’d like to share with you the ins and outs of our greenest fragrance, Vétiver Vert.

Bottled in Emerald glass within a box debossed with the namesake perennial, the green-family scent was created in homage to the classic masculine fragrance. Our founder, Frank Sawkins, has always loved the earthy and unusual notes of Vétiver fragrance, which lead him to create his very own interpretation. The intention was to refresh the traditionally spicy formula, which was achieved through incorporating green woody notes to add depth and complexity, then finished with a zesty citrus-mandarin top note to rejuvenate and modernise.

 

About vetiver fragrance

The essential oil derives from the Haiti grass Vetiveria zizanoid, or as its better known simply as vetiver. It is a perennial plant with stiff stems, long narrow leaves and fine, entangled roots which contain the unique aroma. Extracting from this part of the plant provides an earthy, woody, musty scent with facets of bitter chocolate and smoke.

Why it has remained a classic

The plants fragrant earthiness with its darker, musky undertones provides a scent that is distinctive and surprising, evocative of our natural land with an element of mystery. The essential oil has been used in perfumery for centuries, but these curious properties were recognised and acclaimed during the 20th century, and surged to popularity for use in masculine fragrances by the likes of Givenchy, Carven, and perhaps most iconically, Guerlain, who produced their sophisticated, geometric encased scent in the 1950s. Not only has it lasted for its unique fragrance, the oil has valuable fixative qualities that are able to support delicate or more volatile fragrance notes, making it a highly sought after ingredient.

Original poster advertisements for Guerlain’s Classic Vetiver Mens fragrance.

The benefits of vetiver

Vetiver is unique in the sense that it can not be substituted with reconstituted oil, and it is impossible to replicate synthetically which means it can be relied on as an entirely natural oil. In history, vetiver was referred to as “The Oil of Tranquility”. Similar to lavender, the aroma is a relaxant, and has been found to balance emotions and quieten busy thoughts.

 

Vetiver is iconic, exceptionally different, and in-line with modern mindsets regarding affinity with our earth and personal wellness. Our refreshed and genderless formula that is Vétiver Vert upholds the natural characteristics of the oil, and enhances them with clever combinations to make relevant in a contemporary setting.

This week if  you spend over £90 on aromatics, you can receive a complimentary traveller 15ml Vétiver Vert when applying the code VERT15.  Alternatively, click here if you would like to purchase a 100ml bottle.

Sources: Daly Beauty



 

Natural Colour Palettes: Our favourite projects that evoke pure relaxation

The bathroom is a valuable room in the home. It acts as an operative space to perform your daily morning ritual, or a private refuge to wind down and recharge. In order to achieve full relaxation, the setting plays a fundamental part – It can be the difference between a harsh fluorescent light and a warm-glow bulb, but it is the colour of the walls that ground the space and set the tone for the entire interior.

It is true that with the right styling a multitude of colour palettes can be worked with to produce a luxurious, sanctuary atmosphere, but natural, earth tone palettes have stood the test of time, remaining perhaps the most successful in achieving a total state of calm. This is proven by the likes of the Japanese and their concept of zen or the timeless, clean nordic aesthetics of Scandinavia.

See our three favourite earth tone projects that embody relaxation:

 

Itlas Pavimenti

Masters of wood, Italian flooring and furnishings brand Itlas Pavimenti, focus on producing sustainable product taken from, and reflective of the environment. In this interior the stunning, ancient architecture of the build has been appreciated along with its natural, time-worn deterioration, and become the inspiration for this project. Striking, contemporary features have been fitted within the grand space, using Itlas Pavimenti’s signature material of wood alongside furnishings that colour-match the surrounding stone. The light backdrop induces a welcoming, airy atmosphere while highlighting the soft textural details of the worn brickwork.

 

Sophie Paterson Interiors

This London and Surrey based design studio creates luxury, residential interiors with the philosophy that the spaces they design must be comfortable and liveable, as well as being beautiful. Using the buildings Art Deco facade as its inspiration, a neutral colour palette sweeps across the interiors of this Marylebone apartment, but by no means does this make it minimal. As visible in the bathroom, a patterned wallpaper has been used to line the walls, yet it does not feel obtrusive through a considered selection of calming colour-ways and careful pairing with the furniture and fittings.

 

Pierre Yovanovitch

French interior designer Pierre Yovanovitch has developed a reputation for designing  spaces of great strength and sobriety, fitting his expansive architectural spaces with strict lines and balanced volumes. Despite the interior of this space being entirely angular, it is softened by Yovanovitch’s use of smooth textured stone and wood in a natural, taupe palette, warmed by the glow of the feature fireplace.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

Sources: Living Etc., Brad S Knutson, Sophie Paterson Interiors, Boca Do Lobo


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Smelling Colour

If you think about some of the leading names in perfumery many package their products in the form of a branded uniform, often monochromatic and minimal, which perhaps sprang from Coco Chanel’s iconic black and cream box. At Czech & Speake, something that makes us a little different from the rest is our proud use of colour. Our product shape stays true to the original antique pharmacy bottle form, while the design of each perfumes packaging has been developed independently to tell the unique story of each scent, and this is significantly expressed through colour.

When we inhale a scent our mind makes connections with visual interpretations, which you might assume is largely down to life experiences and our cultures frequent associations with physical objects and smell. For example the zesty aroma of a lemon triggers visions of yellow. Although this is a factor, our brains can in fact be far more complex than that, as a research study published by PLOS One showed how individuals from a range of cultures consistently linked smells with certain colours, and when unexpected colour-smell pairings were made, the experience was noted as unpleasant. These compatible connections suggest that our sense of scent is working on a neurological level.

With all this in mind, we are passionate that our sense of smell has the capacity to be extremely visual, which is why a defining colour was chosen to tell the story of each Czech & Speake scent. We’ve selected some of our most evocative fragrances with details of its inspiration relating to colour.

Spanish Cedar

The scent of Spanish Cedar was inspired by our founders childhood memories of holidays to Menorca. The formula aimed to capture visions of sandy coves and sun bleached pines, and the key component to achieve this was to incorporate the unforgettable resinous aroma from the cedar tree. The woody notes in this fragrance produce a scent that is musky by nature, which in research was proven to be widely associated with orange and brown. The tangerine orange box is as radiant as the Mediterranean sun, paired with an amber toned bottle to embody the resinous, earthy aroma.

 

Vetiver Vert

Vetiver Vert personifies Czech & Speake as a brand associated with the classics and our founders interests in traditional perfumery. The modern interpretation of a notorious masculine fragrance is made up of a majority of green components, with the leading note of vetiver – a form of bunchgrass. The study suggested that a vegetable scent is most consistently linked to the colour green, while nature is innate, and the fresh, raw smells of the wild are inbuilt. An almost entirely green box and bottle seemed the most appropriate way to represent this lush scent from the green fragrance family.

 

No.88

Our most iconic No.88 is an exception to Czech & Speake’s colourful fragrance range, as the bottle and box are packaged in the achromatic colours (colours without hues) of black and white. The woody fragrance named after the address of the first Czech & Speake showroom is the most complex, containing a range of contrasting notes that produce a deep and mysterious scent. The dark exterior alludes to the hidden and unknown as well as power and control, which perhaps is why it has remained our most popular; it is a scent that can be interpreted individually, encouraging unique visual perceptions and provides confidence to each wearer.

 

If you would like to explore our colourful fragrance range click here. To know more about the different fragrance families, view our fragrance finder.

Cover illustration by Maria Yugen.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Best of Belgravia and Chelsea in Bloom

May is an exciting month for us as it’s the return of the coinciding flower festivals, Belgravia in Bloom and Chelsea in Bloom. We’ll forgive you if you have not heard of the annual event as it is something a little alternative for the classical streets. To give you some insight, stores within these districts (some big named brands alongside London independents), participate in producing magnificent floral displays reflective of an inspiring theme.

We eagerly await the influx of immersive installations commencing on the 20th of May, but in the meantime we’d like to reminisce and share with you our favourites from last year:

 

Annoushka

Located in Cadogan Gardens, Chelsea, independent fine jewellery brand Annoushka laced their beautiful red brick archway with elegant flora in response to last years theme ‘Summer Of Love’ for Chelsea in Bloom. The bursts of delicate white clusters capture the precious nature of Annoushka’s jewellery while mimicking that ecstatic and passion enthused feeling of love – not to mention its likeness to a floral wedding arch.

 

Provenance

We appreciated contemporary Butcher, Provenance’s quiet execution amongst candidates that can sometimes feel too showy. The Notting Hill based butcher provides their city village with high quality home bred meat from good-minded farmers, and their modest display alluding to nonchalant summer days well reflects their honest philosophy.

 

Poliform

Italian furniture brand Poliform instilled an entire garden in their grand showroom window on the Kings Road. Grass, shrubbery and flora formed a trailing dress that encased a female lover; elegantly seated in the appropriately named chair design ‘Grace’. A nod to Italy’s prominent place in both the luxury fashion and interior worlds.

 

Les Senteurs  

Just around the corner from our showroom in Belgravia is fellow Perfumer, Les Senteurs. The installation task was nothing out of the ordinary for the stores visual merchandisers – adorning the powder blue exterior with captivating floristry is something they do all year round. The theme for Belgravia in Bloom last year was Frieda Karlo, and Les Senteurs chose a lemon tree to represent Kahlo’s exotic and vibrant artwork inspired by her native surroundings of Mexico. The yellow fruits popped against the brands signature blue store front.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

Sources: Chelsea in Bloom, Mayfair and Belgravia


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

A Guide to the Floral Fragrance Family

With spring in full bloom, it’s the perfect time to opt for floral fragrance. Florals are the most popular of all the families, and are the backbone of virtually all perfume formulas. Notes can be easily recognisable when the natural scent is left to speak for itself, but may also be cleverly disguised when combined with complex notes to create a complete scent that is very unique. If you’ve ever sniffed our mysterious and most classic No.88, would you believe its base is entirely floral?

If you’re a devotee to floral fragrance or perhaps have been charmed to know more about this significant family, see our guide to three of our favourite floral notes:

 

Rose

Rose is historically connected to perfumery, gaining its status as the ‘Queen of Flowers’. For centuries, the rose symbol and its fresh, heady scent has had deep associations with romance, which is perhaps why it has remained so iconic – subconsciously we use scent to attract a mate, and the natural aphrodisiac in flora plays with our endorphins. Rose oil can be extracted in two different forms; a natural steam distillation process provides the essential oil ‘rose otto’ while a solvent extraction is used to obtain the precious and highly concentrated ‘rose absolute’. The process requires haste as the dewy petals must be picked before 10am to catch the fragrance at its best, before the sun evaporates its powerful aroma.

Czech & Speake fragrances containing rose: Rose, Dark Rose, No.88

 

Lavender

Lavender is extremely recognisable in its scent, and has been used for centuries as a natural remedy to heal, sooth and aid with sleep through its calming aroma. The Romans used the essential oil to heal wounds and added drops to their bath water. The name in fact derived from the latin word ‘lavere’ which means ‘to wash’. The scent can range between sweet and sharp depending on the variation of the plant. French lavender, for example, sits closer to a sweet, floral aroma where as Dutch lavender has a crisp and medicinal scent. Although the scent is so distinctive, its herbaceous nature can be played with to push it towards cool, mint, herb-y or warm, spicy herb-y when combined with different fragrance notes.

Czech & Speake fragrances containing Lavender: Oxford & Cambridge 

 

Neroli

Neroli is an essential oil extracted with steam-distillation from the blossom of the bitter orange tree – the bitter orange may be too acidic for consumption but it is this intensity that makes it more aromatic than other varieties. Through using the blossom of a fruit tree, the aroma has the unique character of being both floral and citrusy, which provides a scent that it fresh and uplifting. It could be placed in a similar category to lavender as the oil works as a relaxant with properties that are restorative. The orange flower has become synonymous with weddings, originally used in ancient China as a symbol of purity, love and fertility which is reflective of the fruit-baring tree.

Czech & Speake fragrances containing Neroli: Neroli

 

If you’ve been inspired by floral fragrance, explore our floral fragrance range. If you would like to know more about the different fragrance families, view our fragrance finder.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Spectacular Lighting

Considered lighting is essential to any interior space. If time has been invested into the design, layout and selection of the most beautiful furniture and fittings, then it would be a great shame if they were not well lit to display them at their best. Of all the rooms, the bathroom demands the most complex lighting; not only is it a task-oriented space where clarity of sight is required for your daily grooming rituals, but it is also a space of indulgence, desiring ambient surroundings and visual appeal.

We’ve been on the hunt for exciting light designs that are both beautiful and fit for purpose, and these were some of our favourites:

 

Porta Romana, Scallop Shell Wall Light

London brand Porta Romana promise to produce highly crafted, original and quirky designs, and they have more than fulfilled with this fanciful, oversized wall light that imitates a scallop shell half. Using the natural shape of the scallop shell, warm white light is directed upwards to create a soft but compelling ambience. Throwing light up at the celling illusions a larger space, while adequately filling the room. Along with its functionality, the antiqued plaster finish brilliantly depicts a valuable artefact, which makes it a rather luxurious focal point – perhaps a treasure found deep at sea, or Goddess Venus’ iconic shell plinth.

 

Arteriors, Linkka Chandelier

Much like Czech & Speake, Arteriors is family run, so we’re always inclined to support fellow brands with this authenticity. The Linkka Chandelier is a modern interpretation of the iconic Spudnik chandelier, which initially took its inspiration from the radical form of the first satellite sent to orbit in 1957; Spudunik-1. We love Arteriors’ elegant take on the retro fitting; by toning down the more usual and sometimes too flashy starburst effect, the piece remains striking through its unexpected vertical composition and oversized opal glass spheres which emit softened but radiant light. The graceful design and calming light source will be perfect for setting a tranquil atmosphere in your bathroom sanctuary.

 

Curiousa & Curiousa, Swan Tassel

We’re thrilled that award winning British brand, Curiousa & Curiousa, have progressed their wall light range to IP45 standards, allowing their elaborate, blown glass designs to be used in wet areas such as the bathroom. Founder, Esther Patterson started her brand with a passion for British-made craftsmanship, and has successfully used these traditional skills to produce bespoke designs with a very contemporary aesthetic through an exciting use of colour and contrasting materials. We’re particularly fond of the Swan Tassel design; the long hanging fringing attached at the lip of the glass shade is rather sultry, providing a desired sensuous tone for the place you self-indulge and beautify.

 

Czech & Speake, Cubist Wall Light

At Czech & Speake, we produced two wall lights to accompany our Art Deco inspired Cubist bathroom range. As with all our accessories, they’re designed to function in a bathroom space, made from high quality, hard wearing chrome or nickel with a beautiful black cased glass shade crafted from a traditional bohemian glass making technique. While the structure is as sturdy as our bathroom fittings, the sparkling light effects released from the bevelled glass shade truly embody a vision luxury, and evoke the glamour of the 1920’s as intended.

 

If you’d like to shop our Cubist light fittings click here. Alternatively you might be interested in exploring the entire Cubist Bathroom Accessories range.

Sources: Arteriors, Curiousa & Curiousa, Porta Romana, Andrew Martin.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Sleep Better with Lavender

It has been officially spring for about a month now. Our days are longer, the sun is warmer, and the earth is awakening around us. With the arousal of nature, you would expect that we too would gain an energy kick after leaving our semi-hibernative states during the winter period. But instead, many of us find ourselves tossing and turning in bed each night, resulting in endless lethargia.

This is normal! It takes time for our bodies to adjust to sleep-wake cycles to match the changing season, especially with the man-made practice of daylight saving. The exposure to more daylight can encourage us to take on more each day, and discourage our bodies to wind down and rest. We certainly appreciate the additional evening sunlight, but the shift in routine can be rather jarring.

This disruptive process of change can be challenging to counteract, but an age old remedy we swear by is the use of Lavender. It is likely that your mother would have championed this form of aromatherapy, taught on from her mother, and so on. But this is no myth, there is a reason the use of this heady flower has been passed down through history.

Decades ago, it was being used by some of our favourite pioneers of health and beauty, The Ancient Egyptians and Romans (if you read our previous piece ‘Men Have Always Been Grooming’ you will learn how the men of these tribes proudly beautified). The Egyptians were known to incorporate lavender into massage oils, while the Romans used it for headaches and healing wounds. Through time, the soothing properties recognised by our ancestors have been well researched, now predominantly finding their place as a natural sleep remedy.

The potent, herbal aroma may not directly improve sleep quality but rather induces a sense of calm and lowers stress and anxiety, which relaxes the body to lull you into a deep and gentle sleep. The scent interacts with the neurotransmitter GABA, which helps to switch off the brain nervous system activity, diminishing unwanted anxious thoughts, emotion and restlessness. The power of aroma is quite remarkable.

If you’ve been yearning for a better nights sleep, here are some ways you can use the fragrant flower:

 

Oil the skin

A common form, when using for sleep therapy, is lavender oil. Apply a few drops to your pillow to allow the scent to be inhaled during sleep. It is advantageous to also apply the oil to your pulse points such as your wrists, behind the ears, your temples and your feet. The pulse points are areas on the body where the veins sit closer to the skin, therefore these spots emit the most heat to develop the scent most effectively. At Czech & Speake our lavender based Oxford & Cambridge Bath Oil can equally be used to lightly fragrance the skin, as it contains a high concentration of lavender essential oils.

 

Lavender Tea

Many of us rely on the caffeine in tea for alertness during the working day, but caffeine-free herbal options can create a calming bedtime atmosphere. As well as the comfort of sipping tea, the heat of the water diffuses the lavender scent around you while you settle down to rest. After consuming the hot liquid, it in fact results in cooling your body down by evaporating the excess water from your skin, so that your body is a comfortable temperature to sleep.

 

Soak

Similar to the effects of drinking tea, a bath before bed allows you to wind down, and prepare your body for rest. As well as applying to moistened skin, our Oxford & Cambridge Bath Oil’s can be added to hot bath water for a luxurious and aromatic experience, while our Body Wash from the same collection can be used to lather the skin. Through soaking and lathering, your entire body will be lightly fragranced, which is not only a pleasure for the senses but an effective method of allowing the calming lavender scent to reach you.

 

If you desire better sleep, explore our Oxford & Cambridge Body & Bath range. If you just love the scent of lavender, shop our signature Oxford & Cambridge Cologne spray.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Why Easter Traditions Reflect Good Wellbeing

Easter is very nearly here, and far more anticipated for 2019 as its arrival is later than last year by nearly three weeks! The most desirable aspect to many of us is the rare double bank holiday that that sits either side of the weekend, which gives us abundant time to wind down from our busy lives and spend time with those we care about most.

Although the valuable time off seems most relevant to us now, the real, religious meanings of Easter can be somewhat lost in contemporary life. We’ve been busily refreshing our knowledge on the roots of the celebration, realising how the thoughts and traditions behind it promote a good mindset of hope – and can too, be rather indulgent. The concept of self-love has been highly drawn upon in recent years, so we’ve come up with some virtuous ways of how you can translate these easter traditions into your home life, for you and your loved ones to take pleasure in.

 

Fill your home with candles and flowers

Czech and Speake Frankincense and Myrrh Fragrant Candle

In churches worldwide, it is traditional for celebrations to commence at midnight on Easter Eve, with the lighting of candles as symbol of purity, and banishment of darkness. By dotting candles around our home, you too can use the warm glow of the flame to illuminate your environment and switch off from any gloom or unease that might be occupying your mind. Scented candles are better still, for they not only visually enhance your space but they also capture your sense of smell with scents that soothe and comfort. Our Frankincense & Myrrh candle contains cedar-wood; an aroma that triggers feelings of vitality and wellness, while its sandalwood notes provides mental clarity.

As well as candles, churches are filled with flowers on Easter Sunday to represent new life. By surrounding yourself with fresh blooms, you too will gain a boost of life, as plants are a natural mood enhancer. Their positive energy is also known to increase the level of compassion you feel for others, the perfect setting for you to welcome family and friends into your home during the celebration.

 

Self-indulge

Czech Speake No.88 Shaving Soap

For the traditional Easter church ceremony, Priests dress in their best and most colourful robes. You should also take the opportunity to feel your best. With the downtime provided by the bank holiday, give yourself the freedom to take time, and self-indulge in your grooming and pampering routine. Take a long bath infused with your most luxurious products, give time to shave properly and dress in your favourite pieces with a spritz of the cologne you reserve for special occasions. When you feel good about yourself it raises your confidence and strengthens your relationships with those around you. You want to be glowing for the family affair.

 

Feast!

And finally let’s not forget a tradition that has stood the test of time, an excuse to feast! Easter Sunday signifies the end of lent, for those more committed it means the end of fasting but many of us can put an end to simply being ‘good’ with what we eat. Put on a gallant spread of yours and your loved ones food luxuries; the weekend is a holiday after all, so treat it as so.

 

If you’ve been inspired to fill your home with candles, follow the link to browse our home fragrance range. If you’d like to pamper yourself for the Easter, click to view our aromatics, grooming or bath & body ranges.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

How to Add Art to Your Bathroom: Whether it’s a Painting, Objet d’art or a Mural

A space that is often confined to function is the bathroom, and if not left bare, it is lazily adorned with framed photographs of family holidays or gimmicky postcards and prints in response to the notion of toilet humour. As bathroom enthusiasts, we regard the space very highly. After all, the bathroom is the only place in the house where you can go to be completely alone; unquestioned – a zone of total intimacy. So what better room to put thought into the design and hang your favourite works? As art too is appreciated on a very personal level.

See these beautiful examples of how art can be incorporated into your bathroom:

 

Paintings

In the master bath of this downtown manhattan loft, owners Alice Childress and Christopher Daniels’ have boldly hung an inherited 18th century painting above their reclaimed marble tub. With help from designer Courtnay Daniels Haden, the homeowners have artfully combined the usual focal point of the bathtub with the magnificent painting, which works through the complimentary antique nature of the pieces, both with gold details in the frame and fittings. The two coexist so pleasingly due to the unique coincidence that the width of the painting aligns almost perfectly with that of the tub. By choosing the artwork alongside your fittings, you too can include dramatic wall art in your bathroom.

 

Objet d’art

This bathroom designed by renowned British art collector John Kasmin, better known simply as Kasmin or “Kas”, is a brilliant example of how objects and sculpture can be incorporated into a bathroom space in a way that is both considered and without connotations of clutter. Shelves are a necessity to a bathroom to hold the ever increasing lotions and potions available on the market, and Kasmin has established a discerning method of fitting floating ledges to display the carefully selected objects so that they not only compliment one another, but also the toiletries that sit alongside them.

 

Murals

A space efficient way of featuring art in your bathroom is through lining the walls. This contemporary Southern California residence shows how flat-surface can make a big statement in the powder room. Unlike wallpaper which is made up of a repeat pattern and sold to the masses, a wall mural is a singular scene that covers the entire wall space, which by nature tends to be bespoke and more intricate in design. You might think of it as an all-encompassing, speculator work of art, which you could spend hours appreciating from the comfort of your bath.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

Sources: Elle Decor, The World of Interiors, Architectural Digest


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Congratulations Cambridge! On Their Shining Victory

This week, we have the weekend blues stronger than ever as we relive the celebration of the just past, Oxford and Cambridge Boat Race – one of our favourite events of the year.

In Britain we are known for our eccentricities as a nation, and have many quirky customs that we’ve never thought to question, allowing them to become intrinsic to our culture. To name a few, have you heard of Cheese Rolling? This ludicrous tradition takes place in late spring in the Cotswolds; the event has become so renowned that thousands gather on Cooper’s Hill in Gloucestershire to watch contestants roll a wheel of Double Gloucester to the finish line. Some other bizarre sports include, egg throwing, pancake flipping and black pudding hurling.

Cheese Rolling record breaker, Chris Anderson. A victory photo from last years race

Not so humorously food based and a perhaps a little more sophisticated, is the iconic Boat Race – certainly the most recognised of all the eccentric sports, and one of our countries best-known annual sporting events. Let us tell you how it all started, how we celebrated and why we’re devoted.

Dating back to 1829, the rowing race begun as a head-to-head match between the prestigious Universities of Oxford and Cambridge boys boat clubs, which later included a women’s race in 1927, dividing the race into two open-weight eights. The original race occurred after old school friends challenged each other from their respective universities during their Easter holiday break. The first race was held at Henley on Thames, later moving to the River Thames in London in 1836, with much dispute of Cambridge preferring London and Oxford preferring Henley.

A photo of Cambridge training when Hugh Laurie rowed for the team in 1980 (Photo by Dennis /Getty Images)

In spirit of the longstanding race we put on our most elegant outerwear and wellingtons from brand Aigle, who are the official boot partners for the race this year (we recommend waterproofs in England’s unpredictable weather). We headed down with flasks of tea to our favourite viewing point of Chiswick Pier, a location with incredible views of the final stretch of the race. The audience roared as the earnest rowers gave a final, monumental push towards the finish line. to commemorate yet another year of buoyant play, we headed to the 150-year-old Duke’s Head pub at Putney for a celebratory drink.

Team colour boots designed by the official boot partners for the race, brand Aigle

It is this joyous atmosphere the sporting tradition instils that we love so much. What a brilliant notion that two young men playfully challenged their opposing university boat clubs to a jovial race all those years ago, and for it to make history as one of our most loved and globally observed sporting events. What better inspiration for our traditional lavender and truly British in character product range? The namesake Oxford & Cambridge collection.

Czech & Speake Oxford & Cambridge Cologne Spray

 

If you’d like to explore the collections inspired by the race, click here to shop our Oxford & Cambridge Cologne Spray, the Bath & Body collection or the Grooming collection.

Sources: BBC, The Guardian, The Telegraph, Aigle.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

A Look Back to Milan Design Festival with Our Top 3

We have been eagerly anticipating the month of April, as it means the arrival of one of our favourite events of the year; Milan Design week.

If you have little knowledge of the prestigious occasion, the week-long event encompasses the global capital of fashion and design towards the beginning of the month, each year. With several events held across the city, the most significant is ‘Salone del Mobile’, translated as Milan Furniture Fair. The exhibition showcases the latest and most innovative furniture and design from countries across the globe.

Each year that we’ve attended, the monumental displays and inspiring works of talented designers have astounded us. Here is our choice from 2018:

 

The Bloom Cabinat by Adam Goodrum and Arthur Seigneur

A piece that couldn’t have gone unnoticed at the exhibition was the vibrant ‘Bloom Cabinet’ by industrial, Australian designer Adam Goodrum and French marquetry artisan Arthur Seigneur. Inspired by the exotic lotus flower, the pair used the ancient straw inlay technique of marquetry to form the bold yet delicate and extraordinarily luminous, petals. Through a careful selection of colour pigments, the layers of pattern form a brilliant gradient, transforming a traditionally crafted design into something very fit for a contemporary setting.

 

Open Sky by Phillip K. Smith III

American artist Phillip K. Smith III stunned us with his mirror installation designed in collaboration with fashion brand COS. The faceted mirrored structure was situated in the courtyard of a 16th-century palazzo, with the location providing the inspiration for the piece. Smith III described his intention to be to “pull the sky down to the floor” and to “merge the beauty of the surrounding architecture and the sky over Milan, creating an ever-changing experience”. And he did just that – we were overwhelmed with the sensational Milanese surroundings.

 

Les Petits Nomades by Louis Vuitton

The fashion house of Louis Vuitton put on a grand display to launch a collection of decorative leather objects for the home. Consuming numerous rooms, the objects were instilled atmospherically amongst the baroque walls of the 19th century Palazzo Bocconi. Each piece was imagined by selected reputable designers, provided with the theme of travel. The range included vases, portable lamps, mirrors, soft furniture, but one of our favourites was the striking ‘“conversation” chair by André Fu, which featured elegant, swooping leather-covered arms to imitate the motion of traditional Asian ribbon dance.

Ribbon Dance Chair was designed by André Fu

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

Sources: Yatzer, Dezeen, Arthur Seigneur

 

 

Men Have Always Been Grooming

At Czech & Speake one of our most distinctive and popular products is our Manicure Set and its travel-fit successor, the Air-Safe. A unique quality of our brand at its conception was the idea to create, luxurious and indulgent grooming products for men, in a market place where products were predominantly designed for women. Times have changed! And we’re thrilled. The word unisex is customary, and the minimal, honest design of our manicure set range is accessible to all. But what might seem the most radical is the amplification of the daily-use men’s grooming market; trendy barbers can be found on every corner in London, and high-profile fashion houses, Tom Ford and Marc Jacobs, have released subtle-use men’s cosmetic ranges.

We’re here to inform you that male grooming is no new concept, and should have never been restricted for one gender to relish in as it has been in recent times. Here are some intriguing men’s beauty tales in history you might not know about:

Would you believe it was originally men who first painted their nails? Dating back to 3, 200 BC in Babylonia, manicures were unrelated to gender, instead nail paint was used to determine status; the darker the colour the higher your ranking. The well polished hand was much rather a symbol of luxury. But most remarkably, warriors would paint their nails black and green before going into battle, with the belief that war-painted nails would provoke fear in their components. They would receive hours of treatment before combat to ensure their manicure was immaculate.

At a similar time, the idea of self-cleansing and the wearing of cosmetics was habitual to the Romans. Indulging in hygiene was deemed important, which is why we’ve been left with the magnificat public Roman bath houses in areas of the world. After soaking, men were known to bask in perfumes, powder their faces and wear subtle rouges on lips and cheeks.

One particular powerful male figure at this time in history who was said to be addicted to beauty, aromatics and grooming, was Alexander The Great. The undefeated warrior established a botanical garden in his city with plant cuttings he’d gathered on his travels, in order to extract the most lavish and diverse oils, perfumes and cosmetic products. He was also a pioneer of the clean shave. Previously it was considered emasculating and reflective of degeneracy, but Alexander challenged this notion, with his soldiers following suit, and became the ruler of the largest empire of the ancient world.

So there you have it. These gallant historic figures testify that grooming is, and always should have been, a powerful tool.

 

Illustrations: Joe Mckendry

If you’d like to view our award-winning Air-Safe Manicure Set, or our 8-piece Manicure Set, click here to view our range. Alternatively, click here to view our full grooming range.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

The Great Possibilities of Stone

There have been many impressive and exciting developments of man-made material in recent times, such as the exploration of concrete blends from brands such as Kast, or the sleek, solid surface material of Corian which had a surge of popularity in contemporary interiors. However, we must not forget the extraordinary and stunning material that can be received from the earth, and no matter how notable newly developed material may be, natural stone will never be surpassed. We’re here to remind you of the diversity of stone and how leading interior designers have been creative with it.

 

Jean-Louis Deniot

You may have heard of the prolific Jean-Louis Deniot, who has been at the top of the interior game for some time now; perhaps for his ability to be versatile and not cement himself with a signature design style, instead focusing on an aesthetic that reflects the location he’s been tasked with. Deniot doesn’t shy away from grandeur, filling his interiors with art, sculpture and eclectic furniture, but something he does quite remarkably is to incorporate interior fittings crafted from natural stone. As visible in this bathroom designed for a Miami penthouse, Deniot fitted the entire master bath in textured marble with incredible detail, in order to showcase the extraordinary natural stone. Notice how the walls, floor and cut-out vanity are panelled so that the intricate pattern flows seamlessly across the space.

 

If you feel swept away by Jean-Louis Deniot’s white marble master bath, we’ve pulled together a few swatches of stone varieties in heavenly pale tones.

 

Ryan Saghian

Jean-Louis Deniot has become somewhat an interior icon, meanwhile a designer who’s plummeted to popularity this year is Ryan Saghian. Saghian is extremely daring with his design style; he’s not afraid to pattern clash and often opts for darker colour palettes in unconventional spaces, such as the traditionally white bathroom. Fond of geometry, the designer is known for using parquetry, a technique more commonly used for wooden flooring. Saghian re-works this traditional method using stone and marble, either in contrasting varieties or cut from the same stone to create a unique pattern-on-pattern effect. The heavy use of pattern may be elaborate, but the dark and natural tone of the material maintains a sense of calm and certainly feels luxurious.

 

If Ryan Saghian’s unorthodox bathrooms inspire you, explore stone varieties in mysterious dark tones and breathtaking natural vivid colour.  

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

 

Sources: Architectural Digest, Elle Decoration, Ryan Saghian’s website and Instagram


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Which Scent is Your Mother

Mother’s Day is almost here and it is certainly a celebration worth acknowledging – she lovingly carried you for nine months after all!

Childhood memories are likely to be the most defining of our mother, as it was a time we most needed her nurture and accordingly, she would have been a major role model in our lives. From years of observation and affection, a strong sense of our mother’s style and personality has been developed, and we believe this can be matched to the characterful notes and design of specific perfumes due to the powerful story-telling nature of scent. To demonstrate this, we’ve come up with four discernible mother types paired with a suiting Czech & Speake fragrance.

Which scent best suits your mother?

 

The Classic Mother

Products featured from left: Wonderlust Jasmine Bloom Teacup & Saucer; Wedgewood, Vintage brooch; Chanel, Rose Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake.

 

The classic mother is as the name suggests. She embodies the vision of the classic English rose; she is elegant, gentle natured and refined. Inspired by all things vintage, she socialises in tea rooms and her icons come from 1950’s Hollywood movie stars. Her fashion taste resides in classic cuts, devoted to the original fashion houses, with particular dedication to the style lessons of Coco Chanel.

Paired with: Rose Cologne Spray 100ml. This fragrance is the perfect pairing, with its original inspiration deriving from the essence and spirit of the classic English rose. The soft, floral notes depict the kind and tender nature of the classic mother.

 

The Yoga Mother

Products featured from left: Raffia Tote Bag; Toast, Yoga Mat; M&S, Sculpture; Ruth Duckworth, Villa Ausonia Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake.

 

This mother is most as ease amongst nature, with a particular inclination to be by the sea. Because of this she prefers to surround herself with objects made from organic material or that imitate natural forms, and chooses clothing with simple cuts in muted and earthy colour palettes. In her leisure time she focuses on self-care or cultural activities, with a passion for yoga and art.

Paired with: Villa Ausonia Cologne Spray 100ml. The contemporary and minimalist exterior of Villa Ausonia alongside its oceanic, green and citrusy notes is the ideal fragrance for a women who feels most content by the salty sea.

 

The Socialite Mother

Products featured from left: Pink Silk Bamboo Bag; Hai, Vétiver Vert Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake, Calici Milanesi glassware; Agustina Bottoni, Dimore Studio interior; source Another Magazine.

 

A natural hostess. The socialite mother is happiest when she’s entertaining and surrounds herself with a fun and fashionable crowd. Preferring the finer things in life, you’ll find her with a martini at hand by the bar in a stylish hotel. Her taste is sophisticated and chic, with an astute sense of whats in Vogue.

Paired with: Vétiver Vert Cologne Spray 100ml. Vétiver is a classic scent which represents fashionability and elegance, and Czech & Speake’s zesty, modern interpretation of this provides the À la mode mother with a fragrance she desires.

 

The Preppy Mother

Products featured from left: Le Jardin de la Maharani twilly scarf; Hermés, 13 Inch Magnetic Satchel in Leather – Vintage; The Cambridge Satchel Company, Oxford & Cambridge Cologne Spray 100ml; Czech & Speake.

 

Coming from a background of good schooling, this mother is well educated, polite and spirited. She prefers to live amongst grand architecture in a buzzing city, but equally appreciates an escape to the countryside where she can fulfil her love for natural surroundings, and take part in sporting activity. Her clothes are tailored and athletic; choosing brands that are reflective of her lifestyle.

Paired with: Oxford & Cambridge Cologne Spray 100ml. With lavender notes evocative of the British countryside and its inspiration taken from the famous top English Universities and sporting tradition, this fragrance is the perfect suit for the Preppy Mother.

 

If any of these scents epitomise your mother, click here to shop: Rose, Villa Ausonia, Vétiver Vert or Oxford & Cambridge.

To see the full range of fragrances visit our fragrance pages.

Our Favourite Projects that Use Pattern

When you consider the deluxe bathroom, it is likely that your head will jump to visions of minimalism, clean lines and single, light colour. This may be because this modernist design style has remained a dominant trend for some time now, promoting the idea that a clean, fresh space is the answer to achieving a sense of calm, serenity and pure luxury. We would like to contest this popular mindset and show you how colour and pattern can be used to make your bathroom a poised and chic sanctuary.

Here are some of our favourite projects that use pattern:

 

Patrick Puntny’s Oakland Bungalow

Designer Patrick Putney opted for wallpapering the ceiling instead of the walls in a mysteriously leafy print by Cole & Sons. The clever design ekes the patterned paper from the ceiling just down to a high level border which sits upon painted panelled walls. This is no new concept, the Victorians were advocators of the decorative ceiling in their lavish homes, wallpapering every inch of the space, with the principle that the higher the ceiling the more elaborate the decor. This modern interpretation pairs an ornate celling with clean, white walls, to gain a sense of drama and opulence without feeling overbearing or claustrophobic, achieving the freshness a bathroom space desires.

 

Beauta Heuman’s Vibrant Zebra’s

Award winning Beauta Heuman has developed a studio known to create playful and imaginative interiors who work closely with their clients in order to reflect their unique personalities in their homes. A strong example of their work is a project designed for artist owners of a grand London house. Every room in the house is bold in colour with distinctive fittings, and the bathroom is no exception. The use of pattern and full colour, specifically vibrant red, is rather daring but in fact works well in making the space feel intimate, warm and sensuous – and where better for that then the space in which you cleanse and pamper?

 

Poppy Delevingne’s West London home by Joanna Plant

Daughter of a notorious socialite, It girl and model Poppy Delevingne, is a true West Londoner. When she left her family home in Belgravia she settled nearby in a beautiful townhouse in Notting Hill. To ensure the decor did justice to the houses’ grand architecture, interior designer Joanna Plant was enlisted, with her studio’s philosophy to provide quality of finish with a dedicated team of craftsman and suppliers. This was honourably lived up to in every room, but we particularly love the attention to detail in the master bathroom, with walls clad in an elegant, hand-painted silk covering from artisanal wallpaper brand, De Gournay. The skill in the painting is truly awe-inspiring, creating an indulgent, dreamlike space perfect for a young-at-heart English rose.

 

If you’d like to learn more about our brand,  follow us on our newly established Czech & Speake Bathrooms Instagram account.

 

Sources: Architectural Digest, House & Garden, Elle Decoration


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Forest Bathing

At last, the weather is warming up and nature is abloom, gradually coaxing us out of the comfort of our homes. With self-care still a dominant notion in our society, we predict the return of the trend ‘forest bathing’. If you missed it the first time, let us enlighten you to the workings of this trend, how you can implicate it, and why we’re devoted to the bathing concept in every sense of the term.

The movement was originally lifted from the Japanese; a therapy known as ‘shinrin-yoku’. The theory suggests that by immersing yourself in a forest setting, there will be great advantages to your health and wellbeing. With scientific proof of the benefits such as slowing down heart rates, reducing blood-pressure, improving sleep, it is no surprise that the newly coined term of forest bathing has had a surge of popularity.

 

Transport yourself to a rural setting with our Villa Ausonia fragrance, which captures the lingering intoxicating scent of distant pine forests.

 

Bathing by definition refers to the submersion of the body in water for cleansing and for medical treatment. If you delve into history you’ll discover the importance of bathing across cultures, and there are no surprises that bathing holds great significance in Japanese culture; the primary purpose is relaxation as apposed to the function for hygiene. Other cultures have been truly dedicated the idea of bathing as a form of healing, such as the ‘ayurvedic’ bath in India in which the body is cleansed in water infused with medical plants and essential oils.

At Czech and Speake, our founder recognised the power and importance of the the ritual of bathing which inspired Frank Sawkins to develop his luxury bathing concept; something that is often lost in a contemporary fast paced society, where no one has a moment to pause and bathrooms are built solely for performance. We’re passionate about bathing, both in the traditional sense, and theoretical, modern interpretations of term such as our current favourite; forest bathing.

To make forest bathing more accessible to you and to enhance the often neglected bath time experience, here’s how you can combine nature into your ritual:

 

Bring the outside in

Why not fill your bathroom with plants, herbs and blooms – if you live in an urban environment, venturing to a forest to bathe would be simply impossible to fit into your daily routine. But whether or not you live somewhere green, it will only benefit you more to be surrounded in your home due to their ability to purify the air and relieve stress and anxiety, heightening the already relaxing power of the bath. Choose Air Plants and Ferns, as these plants will survive in low light and thrive with moisture.

 

Bring the nature to the bath

Taking inspiration from the India’s ayurvedic bath, infuse your bath water with flower buds, leaves, herbs and oils. You can place these in a muslin bag of convenience. As well as the pleasure of intense natural scent the plants will provide, their properties will sooth muscles, reduce stress and even draw out infection. You may use chamomile, Eucalyptus, lavender, rosemary, rosebuds – the list is endless. Unlike the majority of man-made bath products available, our bath oils are made from a high concentration of fine essential oils, and therefore will act as an effective remedy.

 

Bathe Outside

Szechenyi Baths, Budapest

Many of us may not have the luxury of owning a bath, or perhaps do but the space is built for function and is so far displaced from comfort or nature. Across the globe it is possible to bathe in natural hot springs, one of the most famous is ‘The Blue Lagoon’  in Iceland, a geothermal spa with naturally steaming water. Others include Szechenyi Baths in Budapest, Conundrum Hot Springs, Colorado, United States and the Thermae Bath Spa here in England. Unlike the others, this may have to be a more occasional retreat, but would be the ultimate forest bathing experience.

 

If you would like to bring nature to your bath, try incorporating our Oxford & Cambridge Bath Oil with high quality, pure lavender.

You can shop our full range of bath oils by clicking here.

Sources: Gardenista, Katrian Lee Chambers, The Evening Standard


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

Top 5 Basins we are Loving at the Moment

In the contemporary world we live in, we are so spoilt for choice with the vast amount of stunning and unique interior design styles available in the global market. When designing a new bathroom, it is commonplace for most attention to be channelled into the selection of the bathtub, the archetypal focal feature of the space. We believe however, that every design element should be considered in unity, and in this article we’re advocating the often overlooked basin.

Here are five bold basin designs that hold their own:

 

London Basin Co.

We’re completely taken by London Basin Co. not only for their beautiful basins, but also for the Mother-Daughter partnership that founded the company. With Czech & Speake being family run, we earnestly support this authentic business style. In their manifesto they state: “We want to create basins that transform bland bathrooms into stunning spaces.” and they do just that with hand finished porcelain, adorned with patterns that mimic ceramic design predominately from eastern and oriental cultures. Our favourite in their range is named ‘Coralie’ which resembles traditional Chinese blue-and-white porcelain; refreshed when paired with contemporary tap and plug features. Cobalt blue holds huge significance in the history of Chinese ceramics, a precious pigment used on products reserved for special occasions. This sense of luxury still resonates and translates well into a contemporary environment.

Click here to view basin.

 

Kast Concrete Basins

The unlikely material of concrete has become a prominent and highly regarded choice in modernist design. Often seen in the architecture of spaces designed for the arts, the material holds the ability to be cast into dramatic, clean shapes and sculptural forms, while still possessing the softening, organic properties of natural stone. We love how Kast have embraced the material and explored its versatility through producing a broad range of distinctive, cast shapes, as well as unique finishes and colour tints achieved through specialist blends. From the range, we are particularly drawn to the ‘Iva’ basin for its pleasing grooved texture and elegant duck egg tone which so beautifully compliments the rose gold fittings.

Click here to view basin.

 

Kohler

American manufacturing company, Kohler, may not be so niche and strictly bathroom focused, but with so much to offer it is very possible to find gems amongst their product ranges. We love their ‘Antilia’ wading pool glass vessel basin. The basin is simple in form, but holds huge strength due to the unconventional material of cast glass which has been lightly textured to give the illusion of gently rippling water. The effect is glorious both visually and tactically, so much so that it provokes an unruly desire to touch and feel.

Click here to view basin.

 

Antoniolupi

Italian brand Antoniolupi very much holds the same values as us, with its creator’s original concept to look at the bathroom in its entirety. Because of this ethos, their range is expansive, with focus not only on sanitaryware, but also cohesive accessories, from mirrors to lighting and even wall decor. With high attention to detail on each bathroom element, the brand has come out with some spectacular individual pieces. Their free-standing basin named Ago185, is an example of when art meets design; the elegant marble, available in white Carrara or black Marquinia, is deceptively seamless where the basin meets the base – a purposeful sculpture.

Click here to view basin.

 

Czech & Speake

And finally how could we not include one of our own basins? We’ve explored some great innovations in modern bathroom design which make use of exciting new materials, daring colours and flawless manufacture, but alongside all of this – our Fs Hand Washbasin stands strong. The Fs collection in which the basin is included, was designed inspired by Ferrovie dello Stato, Itlay’s beautifully designed state railway, with each piece containing gentle curves and bevelled edges. The basin is produced in fine vitreous china with a durable finish in alpine white. The classic approach to design remains prominent through its elegance, timelessness and functionality. After all white is the easiest to keep clean!

Click here to view basin.

 

If you’d like to view our Fs Hand Washbasin as discussed in this article, click here. Aternatively you might be interested in exploring the entire Fs collection.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

 

Spring as a Time of Renewal

 

With the weather perking up and our days are growing longer, and yet this realisation consistently takes us by surprise each year; as if the endless darkness of winter blackens out our previous memory of the seasons before.

The official start of Spring, 20th March, is marked by Spring Equinox. One of the two points in the year in which the light and dark is balanced, and our days and nights are equal. An old wives tale suggests that only on the day of Spring Equinox can you balance an egg on its head. Whether you believe it or not, this is myth we’re very fond of, partly for the absurdity and humour of it, but primarily because of what the egg and ultimately Spring represents – a universal symbol of re-birth.

We believe that revival is vitally important for our well-being and progression as human beings, whether that be refreshing our environment, clearing our headspace or trying something new. In preparation for the arrival of the Equinox we’ve come up with a list of rituals to aid you on your journey to renewal. (No we are not going all “new age”!).

 

Refresh your space

You will have certainly heard the expression of spring cleaning, in which it is traditional to deeply clean your home from top to toe. There are many origins to this, with roots in religion, history and even our biology, as in winter we have lower energy levels due to lack of sunlight to fulfil a deep cleanse. With the arrival of more daylight you should take advantage of your elevated energy levels and declutter, rearrange or redecorate your home. Once the space is refreshed, uncluttered and cleaned, to avoid it feeling too sterile, light some incense sticks as a way to stimulate an atmosphere while maintaining the intention of the spring clean, through their ability to purify the air and leave behind a sensation of freshness.

 

Clear out emotional baggage

As brilliant as it is that us beings have evolved to be so in touch with our emotions, they can be rather destructive. For example, when you are not able to let go of a memory of something that once was, but no longer is. With a chance to restart, we advise that you focus on the present, and try your best to let go of the past. In this process of letting go, you will allow you body to unwind, and if you have cleansed your space as described in the first ritual this process will go hand in hand. As well as the the purifying properties of the incense sticks, aromas such as Frankincense, Sandalwood and Cedarwood are calming fragrances and will encourage relaxation and reduce stress.

 

Try something new and self-refresh

A key method of rejuvenation is to try new things and limit convention. This could be done by saying yes to new social opportunities, visiting a new location or challenging your day-to-day routine. All of these things will benefit you by broadening your mind as well as bringing a sense of excitement to your life.

As well as physical activity, it can be beneficial to make changes to your personal style. Move away from the products you rely on – you may have a signature scent that you’ve trusted for years and never allowed yourself to explore different fragrance families. You could be surprised to find that you equally suit a very different scent, which can be rather reinvigorating.

To enhance the sense of a ‘new you’, allow yourself to be pampered and groomed to feel refreshed, whether that be done professionally or as a personal ritual in the comfort of your newly cleansed home.

 

If you’ve been inspired to sanctify your home, browse our home fragrance range. To learn more about our brand and keep up to date with our products, follow us on Instagram.


Located in North America or would like to pay in Euros? Please visit our US site here and our EU site here.

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