It’s no wonder British fragrance brand Shay & Blue is sweeping the world.
If you haven’t yet heard of boutique perfumery Shay & Blue, you should spend some time getting to know it. It is a British boutique perfumery based in Marylebone, London built around the values of authenticity and integrity, but it is also about affordable luxury.
Each of the 20 fragrances is bursting with natural and unique inspiration from the many aspects of English and European life from English interiors to chocolate shops, and even blood oranges. Many of the blends are left to stand and mature for three months, much like fine wine.
At the heart of the brand is the passion of the brand’s founder, Dom Devetta.
We caught up in Greenwich in London last week.
Dom has worked with some of the world’s most luxurious fragrance brands, and walked away from them to start his own business.
He has one of the most prestigious CV’s in European fragrance, having worked at Chanel for a decade and as Global General Manager at Jo Malone for four (he effectively replaced Jo Malone when she left).
“When I worked at Jo Malone, we were creating the future of the brand, and we called it vision 2020. We wanted the fragrance to be a billion dollar business by 2020,” he says. “And my friends who are still there tell me it is on track to happen one year earlier than we had hoped.”
Despite such an enviable and high profile position in one of the world’s leading fragrance companies, Dom had a yearning to open his own business and take a leap of faith in himself. He sold his home to finance himself into his own business.
“When you bungee jump or sky drive, there’s that moment of fear – you think; what have I done & then there’s nothing but the thrill. There have been moments when my heart has been in my mouth, but I read the story of Dyson vacuum cleaners, and James Dyson said in an interview that for the first 10 years, it didn’t work & suddenly the business turned the corner.
“It’s normal when you start, as no-one has heard of you. You need to put a lot of energy into climbing the hill. Once it takes off – after 2-3 years, it then grows quickly. I am so glad I did it, sometimes it is the spookiest feeling.
“My mother is French, so I believe in beauty and beauty products and in the detail. Keeping it real is so important so real ingredients, flowers, fruits and spices are within all of the products.”
Established in 2011, Shay & Blue is growing in England, Germany, Australia, the USA and the brand is now entering the Middle East and Russia. They have won several awards including Best new Fragrance House 2014 from The Beauty Shortlist.
“To anyone starting their own business, I’d say just persevere and have patience – there’s a moment when it catches on fire,” Dom reflects.
One of the differences with Shay & Blue is that the fragrances are full of natural, strong ingredients, but at a much more affordable price. The smoky blue glass bottles are elegant and a show piece, as is the packaging. “We are about affordable luxury. Our products are less than half the price for the same quality (as others in the marketplace).
“I believe fragrance should be fun, and you should be able to pick it up & not feel guilty.”
The products are cruelty, paraben and pthalate free.
The stunningly rich fragrances is available at Harvey Nichols in London and David Jones in Australia or online.