Let's talk about coffee
I had always been a mainstream coffee drinker. I was a real Starbuck girl till I was about 23, then switched to Costa. The two coffee shops felt like safe options, they were nice inside and you knew what you were getting. Whether you ordered a caramel macchiato or a popcorn flat white, you knew, it was always a safe option.
My coffee drinking however changed dramatically one day. I was spending four months in the US, Colorado, and I was recommended to go to a coffee place called Two Rivers. I went, ordered a latte and sat down. On the side of the cups was stamped, ‘coffee is a fruit’. I was intrigued. My latte came and I took a sip.
The latte tasted like no coffee I’d ever tasted before. Almost like, if coffee were a fruit, it would taste like that. It was smooth, but not in the Starbucks smooth way, almost more exotic. It was love at first sip! Not only that but the people making the coffee seemed to really care about intricately perfecting every step in the process. Their passion had created a work of art.
That was the day I was introduced to artisan coffee. A world where details mattered far more than profit.
When I moved back to England, I wanted to find coffee like the coffee I’d tried at Two Rivers. I was recommended this new place called the Greenhood in Nottingham, I walked in and stood fascinated as the owner passionately told me how they’d began and about how they make their coffee. I then saw him weigh out every component in the coffee, grinds the beans, add the milk and then handed it to me. I took a sip.
Mind blown - again.
I’m trying not to get too philosophical here but there is some very deep that happens when you experience something, another person has absolutely perfected. Like you’re being introduced to a new realm of life. A kind of enlightenment, if you will.
You won’t find these artisan coffee houses, advertised on the BBC or even on facebook. Most of them, don't even have websites. The only way to really find out about them is word of mouth. If you don’t know someone who has tasted their coffee first, you probably wouldn’t even notice they were there and you’d keep sticking with the friendly but one-dimensional chain coffee house you’ve been going to for years, never knowing there is another world of coffee out there that you could experience.
Ok so, why is the founder of a perfume subscription company talking about artisan coffee?
In a similar way to the coffee industry, the perfume industry has an incredible wealth of artisan perfumers who craft and perfect different scents, usually over years. They use the best ingredients they can find and are creating something of marvel and wonder instead of something that simply drives profit.
Most people would have never heard of these artisans, let alone smelt their fragrances.
So they just stick to what they know. Gucci, Marc Jacobs, Lancome, Chanel.
I started Bare&Bond out of my own desire for a dramatically better experience of trying and buying new perfume. I wanted to create an experience that felt authentic and indulgent. It was actually only after I had started to form the bones of Bare&Bond, that I actually discovered the richness and depth of artisan perfume itself.
I remember the moment very well. I had been to meet Sarah Ireland, founder and nose of Sarah Ireland Perfumes. She was pretty new to the industry but had taken it by storm. We sat in a little shopfront in the middle of the New Forest and she told me her journey of teaching herself how to create incredible perfumes and what led her to perfumery in the first place. It was heartfelt and it felt like we really connected in a very authentic way. I left with some tester bottles of her perfume.
As I drove up the road heading back to London, I was surrounded by forest and decided it would be a waste not go for a walk while I was there. I decided to put on one of Sarah’s perfumes for my walk.
Keahia by Sarah Ireland Perfume.
It was a kind of fragrance I would never have normally tried but - my goodness - I’m glad I did.
On that walk, I experienced fragrance in its own right, for the first time ever. It wasn’t a fragrance that was designed to make me feel a certain way, blend in or stand out. In fact, it was a fragrance that stood on its own, almost allowing me the privilege of experiencing it.
There is a sort of magical power, whether the artistry is experienced through coffee, perfume or a painting, that leaves you questioning and rethinking very macro ideas of being and existence. Art enthusiasts have described such experiences for decades.
We’ve found the perfume artisans, the locals of the perfume industry. The people, passionate about their craft and artistry. They have the most amazing stories to tell. You don’t have to be special to connect with these perfumers, no need for any letters after your name, you just need to know where to find them and we’re here, to point you in the right direction. Join the Bare&Bond experience today to start connecting with the perfume locals and marvelling their artistry for yourself.Discover Artisan Perfume