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Q&A with PretAirporter Travel Shopping Blog winner: The Whisky Lady

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“My mission is to remove the dusty cliché that whisky is only an old man’s drink. Also working as a freelance representative for distilleries in France and estimating bottles for whisky auctions. Many of my friends say I have the best job in the world, I try to believe them but honestly, if it was true, my daily tasks would also involve free shopping sprees and cuddling kittens…”

Well, we can’t help on the kitten front, but we can certainly help with the shopping spree. Anne-Sophie, as our first overall winner for the PretAirporter Travel Shopping Blog Awards, there’s USD$300 winging its way to you as we speak. But before you dash off to the nearest bottle shop, we just have a few questions for you.

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

I have to say Scotland, of course. You’ll probably guess why…

Which airport did you last visit?

London Gatwick Airport last week during a quick stopover in London to judge the IWSC ‘Spirit Communicator of the Year’ award.

What’s the best thing you’ve bought at an airport?

That has to be whisky. You probably know many distilleries release travel exclusive bottlings. For instance, I got my hands on a very nice Port Charlotte 2007 CC:01 last week – a killer dram.

What’s the one thing you always take with you when flying?

My notebook. I like writing articles the old-fashioned way when flying, it’s this one moment where I can really be focused and alone without being distracted by my phone notifications or e-mails.

Lastly, which is your favourite airport and why?

Tough one… I like Dubai Airport for its incredible shopping experience, but I’m more familiar with Amsterdam Schiphol and really like wandering around the halls before catching a flight – it hosts nice foodie spots, a World of Whiskies shop and The Johnnie Walker House which is a recent addition but worth checking out.

What the Whisky Lady doesn’t know about the water of life, frankly, isn’t worth knowing

Thanks so much for taking part, Anne-Sophie and congratulations on winning. We hope you enjoy a wee dram to celebrate!

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What’s in my carry-on bag? – Vivienne Tang, Wellness Editor

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Vivienne Tang wears many hats. When she’s not busy judging the Mr & Mrs Smith Hotel Awards, or running The Sanctuary in Hong Kong, she can be found writing and reviewing exotic spa retreats for Destination Deluxe, the travel and wellness publication that she launched in 2016.

As such, Tang spends a lot of time on the road – or more specifically, in airports. So who better to kick-start our new interview series? Without further ado, here are the five travel essentials that Tang swears by when travelling.

Subtle Energies Facial Blend

“It is deeply hydrating and promotes collagen and elastin production.  I always slather it on when I’m flying.”

Dr. Jackson’s Coconut Melt

“It’s 100% certified organic coconut oil and therefore solidifies in cooler temperatures. Perfect for dry lips and hands. This small 15ml is a great companion if you’re on the go.”

i.am+ Buttons earphones

“They’re not only super stylish, they’re also really comfortable. I always carry them with me.”

Charlotte Olympia Cat Nap Eye Mask

“This beautiful and quirky eye mask is silky soft. Ideal when you’re trying to get some shuteye.”

Pashmina

“I got mine in Turkey. It was a great souvenir and now accompanies me on all my travels. It keeps me warm on cold flights and doesn’t take up too much room in my bag.”

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NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg deliver a lesson in French style

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Clare Austin introduces the NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg collection and talks to Charlotte Gainsbourg about her role in its creation. The entire collection will be available to travel shoppers in Asia Pacific, Europe, the Middle East and Africa from May.

Column inches and entire books have been written trying to capture the formula behind that globally-recognisable brand of insouciant French-girl chic. François Nars has very cleverly gone straight to the source. In what at first glance could seem to be a partnering paradox – a make-up line designed by a woman known for her natural look and lack of make-up – lies beauty holy grail. The art of looking fabulous seemingly without trying.

Charlotte Gainsbourg photographed in New York by François Nars

An “actress, musician and creative spirit”, Charlotte Gainsbourg is something of an artistic Renaissance woman. Known for her work as an award-winning actress (with a CV ranging from art house films to Hollywood blockbusters); a critically acclaimed singer; a fashion icon; the face of brands including Louis Vuitton and Balenciaga; Gainsbourg has inhabited the cultural zeitgeist from the moment she was born as the daughter of French singer-songwriter Serge Gainsbourg and English actress, singer and muse Jane Birkin (yes, she of the Birkin bag), the artists behind the controversial love song ‘Je t’aime…moi non plus’.

Explaining his choice of Charlotte Gainsbourg as collaborator, François Nars said: “Her allure is all in the uncompromising power of her personal style. It’s very cool and authentic, very French. But there is real inspiration in how she moves through the world. Like her lyrics, her voice, her mix of presence and humility, she is herself, through and through. Her work reflects her soul more than anybody I know.”

Charlotte Gainsbourg repaid the compliment, saying of Nars: “He made me feel so comfortable, I could do anything I wanted as long as it came from me, something personal. So that’s what I did, created this collection around my exact beauty needs.”

Before we even get to the range itself, let’s talk packaging. It’s gorgeous. Cleverly combining the androgynous appeal of Ms Gainsbourg, a masculine, military-esque khaki is the unexpected signature shade of the packaging, softened by gold detailing and feminine shapes. It works beautifully, and at once sets the tone of the collection: pretty with an edge.

‘Effortless, Elegant, Eclectic’: The Charlotte Gainsbourg for NARS collection

Inside the packaging, the NARS x Charlotte Gainsbourg Summer 2017 collection is a limited-edition edit of ‘lived-in colours’ channelling Gainsbourg’s signature look of smouldering eyes, flushed cheeks and lips ‘bitten with soft colour’.

My references had to do with actresses in films, so a natural cheek, redness from crying, running – things that move me

The 18 products include: Lip Tint; Hydrating Glow Tint; Multiple Tint; Velvet Matte Lip Pencil; Velvet Duo Eyeshadow; Kohliner and a Brush Roll. Our highlights are Charlotte Gainsbourg’s version of the iconic NARS Multiple in a sheer tinted format to give lips and cheeks a dewy, natural look, and, the Kohliner in Zinc (slate grey), Cours Du Soir (deep moss green) and Nuit D’Encre (deep navy) which all deliver the perfect Charlotte smoulder.

Charlotte Gainsbourg had full creative control of the collection which François Nars wanted to be “a complete reflection of who she is – an extremely talented and sensitive artist”

Charlotte Gainsbourg’s heritage is rooted in both Paris and London, a link which is evident in the names given to the colours of the collection. For example, the limited-edition Velvet Duo Eyeshadow comes in Old Church Street (golden champagne and deep slate teal) and Rue Allent (shimmering frost and deep forest green).

And so to the woman herself: we grabbed five minutes with Charlotte Gainsbourg to talk make-up and travel.

In an interview with Interview magazine, you said: “…it’s always collaborations, and that’s what I like. I don’t like being on my own. I’m happy meeting people and collaborating”. You must be approached regularly to get involved in projects. What made you say ‘yes’ to NARS?

How could I say no? I was flattered and quite excited because it was such an unusual request for me, I don’t typically wear a lot of make-up so I was surprised that François Nars chose me for a collaboration.

You and your mother and sisters are known for looking great while not wearing a lot of make-up. How do you feel about make-up?

I like anything that will seem natural, erasing a few signs of age.

What is your own make-up ritual?

I tend to use a skincare called Biologique Recherche. I come back to it each time I wander off and try out new things. I should know by now that that never works for me. Then it’s really just a question of camouflaging dark circles a little (not too much), spots and giving myself a little life in the cheeks. In the morning it’s too early for me to enhance lashes or lips, that can happen later in the day.

How did you decide on the products and shades for your NARS collection?

The colours actually came after the make-up type. First it was a question of what kind of product. I couldn’t go toward something that was opposite of me, so it had to be quite natural. And, in the end colours were sort of obvious for me, nothing flashy, just tinted. Emotional if possible, my references had to do with actresses in films, so a natural cheek, redness from crying, running – things that move me.

What is your favourite product from your NARS collection?

The brushes are my favourite.

What make-up lesson would you pass on to your daughters?

Don’t put too much on.

Which art form do you feel best able to express yourself in: music, acting or design?

I would say I am an artist.

What is your favourite city to visit?

Japan.

What is your favourite travelling experience?

Any time I’m with my kids.

What make-up essential do you always pack when you travel?

Smith’s Lip Balm.

True colours: The limited-edition Lip Tint formula offers a natural tint in three colours Double Decker (ruby red); Éphélide (antique rose); Promise (red plum)
Charlotte’s favourite: In the Au Poil Brush Roll each one of the five limited-edition, full-size brushes has its own unique handle
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Undressing Mr. Burberry: Eau de Parfum campaign unveiled

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This week saw the unveiling of a new Burberry campaign for Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum, an intense interpretation of the original Mr. Burberry Eau de Toilette. These days any new campaign from the British fashion house is big news as the brand enjoys a golden era under the direction of Chief Creative and Chief Executive Officer Christopher Bailey.

Josh Whitehouse, British actor and musician, returns as the ‘face’ of Mr. Burberry with perfumer Francis Kurkdjian continuing his collaboration with the brand as the creator of the fragrance.

The inspiration for the fragrance itself is the pulsing energy and frisson of excitement that buzz beneath a city, in this case, London. It tries to capture the anticipation of a night unfolding, the thrill that anything could happen. In a nod to the brand’s British heritage, the Eau de Parfum draws on classic scents of British male perfumery: Top notes of fresh tarragon blend with comforting, spicy cinnamon layered over rich patchouli with a base of dense, woody amber and smokey vetiver.

Tales of the city: The new Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum is inspired by “the anticipation of London at night”

As with the Eau de Toilette, the bottle uses elements of the iconic Burberry Heritage Trench Coat in the design details of the dark lacquered bottle: The weighted cap is modelled on the horn-look buttons of the coat while the hand-tied bow around the neck of the bottle is English-woven gabardine in honour of the fabric invented by Thomas Burberry over 100 years ago.

Josh Whitehouse is no less well-dressed in a Burberry slim fit wool mohair tuxedo with satin lapels and satin-covered buttons and a handmade silk bow tie, woven and crafted in England.

A monogramming service which personalises the 100ml or 150ml Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum bottle with up to three initials is available on Burberry.com and in selected Burberry stores.

The Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum range also introduces three new limited-edition grooming products all infused with the fragrance: Aftershave Balm; Face Scrub; Hair and Beard Clay.

Q&A with Mr. Burberry ‘face’ Josh Whitehouse

Mr. Burberry is referred to as a ‘man of contrasts’. In what ways are you a man of contrasts?

JW: I am generally quite a quiet person in my day-to-day life and more of a thinker than a speaker. However, I am also a performer so when I’m up on stage with my band I become quite the opposite. In fact, while performing in general – be it acting or music – I, like many other creative people, find that this often becomes something of a release. It is certainly one of my own personal contrasts.

Mr. Burberry is inspired by London. How would you describe the energy of London?

I find the energy of London to be almost frantic: crackling with the busy feet of the busy people running here, there and everywhere. It is a place that is beaming with creativity and life from every corner.

What three words would you use to describe London at night?

Beautiful. Fun. Invigorating.

Would you say that London is different at night versus the daytime?

London at night is like a new city: more romantic, full of fun and flair. It’s when people are out to dress up or relax and have a good time, but the hustle and bustle of all walks of life are still all around you. London never sleeps.

Describe your perfect London night.

My perfect night in London would be with close friends on a nice summer evening, having early evening drinks in Islington or Soho, then off somewhere nice for a bite to eat, followed by bowling or going to see a comedy, a play, a film or to watch a band.

What are your favourite London views at night?

One of the best views I have seen in London at night was overlooking Piccadilly Circus from the rooftop of Hotel Café Royal, where we filmed the Mr. Burberry campaign. You can see all of the rooftops for miles, and all the madness of the streets below.

You can create your perfect night with anyone (living or otherwise), doing anything and being anywhere in London. Describe it.

I would have to skydive onto Dalston Roof Park with my band, eat a hearty steak, and drink some tasty wine. Play a gig on its rooftop, then abseil halfway down, jump and land on one of those big, squishy nets and then head over to a Northern Soul night somewhere and have a dance.

The campaign for the new Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum is about the anticipation of a night with a love. How do you get ready for a night out, and what’s the best part of anticipating such a night?

There’s nothing quite like the feeling of being excited for a night out, especially if you are anticipating spending it with someone special. The best part of looking forward to it is just that: when it’s nearly time to go, you are getting ready and walking out of the door. You know you have the whole night ahead of you to enjoy.

What do you like about the Mr. Burberry scents?

I love the smell of both fragrances. The Mr. Burberry Eau de Toilette is brighter in smell: morning fresh, almost, yet zesty and light. The Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum is a deeper, woodier fragrance – it’s almost more of a romantic scent.

In three words how would you describe the new Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum?

Woody. Romantic. Warm.

How do you think a man should wear fragrance?

If a man enjoys wearing a fragrance, I think it’s nice to have a day scent and a night one. I would apply Mr. Burberry Eau de Toilette in the morning around the neck and chest area just after a shower. Then if I’m going out later, I’ll wear Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum.

There are some new grooming products in the Mr. Burberry line: Aftershave Balm, Face Scrub and Hair and Beard Clay. Do you have any favourites of these?

My favourites are the Mr. Burberry Face Scrub and Mr. Burberry Aftershave Balm; they smell amazing and are not too strong, just this lovely hint of the fragrance on your skin.

Do you feel British men have a distinct style, attitude and outlook versus, perhaps, men from other countries – and what do you think the difference is? Does this refer to you too?

I think British men are not afraid of being who they are and looking how they want to look. They don’t take themselves too seriously and can be quite irreverent, and I think this characterises their style. I’d like to think this applies to me too.

Q&A with Mr. Burberry Perfumer Francis Kurkdjian

You said that when you started working on the scent for Mr. Burberry Eau de Toilette, Christopher Bailey asked for ‘irreverent’. What did he request for Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum?

When I met with Christopher Bailey to discuss the inspiration for Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum, he asked for it to be even more irreverent than the Eau de Toilette – a more intense, deeper fragrance.

What was the inspiration for Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum?

The Mr. Burberry fragrances are inspired by London and its moments, and Christopher Bailey wanted Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum to capture the essence of London at night. It is inspired by the heritage of British male perfume and is constructed to embody the Burberry man.

How do you create a fragrance within the same family, but with a stand out contrast?

Raw materials for a perfumer can be compared to colours for a painter. You can play with them and balance them with each other to create the harmony you want to express. It means you can play with the raw material, but also choose how much of it you put in the fragrance.

Tarragon, cinnamon, patchouli, amber and vetiver are the fragrance notes within Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum. What role does each of the notes play?

These fragrance notes help to increase and underline the contrast between freshness and warmth. They bring depth and texture to the Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum fragrance.

How did you approach making the Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum?

When I was creating the Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum, I tried to capture the intense moments and the sensual vibes of the Mr. Burberry film. I immersed myself in the formula to highlight and emphasise the darker and more sensual part of the scent. The idea was to keep the masculine Britishness, but to infuse the fragrance with warmer and deeper undertones.

As a perfumer, how do you capture the energy of London at night in a fragrance?

It’s a creative process. I use my imagination, my feelings and my intuition, all together. It’s all about capturing a feeling, vibes and a sense of what you feel while in the city and to translate it to the fragrance so it has the same type of feeling.

Fragrance is great for evoking memories and your senses. What memory does the Mr. Burberry Eau de Parfum fragrance evoke for you?

The world of fragrances has been related to work for me for the past two decades. It’s a passion, but it’s also my day-to-day life. Whenever I smell a fragrance that I have created, it reminds me of the period of time when I composed it.

What is your favourite memory evoked by a scent?

The smell of mimosa is my favourite scent memory as it reminds me of the house I grew up in.