STORIES Parfums reflects the entrepreneurial spirit and creativity of its roots in Ireland - an island of artists, musicians and innovation. Drawing on this wealth of inspiration has shaped the stories of my life, encapsulated through the art of perfumery and whispered in the aroma of my Eau de Parfums.
I love to shine a spotlight on our fellow creatives and am sure you will be no stranger to these Northern Irish artists, designers and entrepreneurs - from the fields of fashion and film to art and literature.
FASHION: Ruedi Maguire, Designer
Multi award-winning designer, Ruedi Maguire has been designing high end garments for more than 10 years, specialising in exclusive bespoke bridal and occasion wear. With the cancellation of weddings and large events during lockdown, the designer redirected his couture skills into making scrubs for NHS staff in local hospitals in his Lisburn Road studio. Originally from Tyrone, Ruedi is now based in Belfast.
BUSINESS: Nicky Kinnaird - Founder, Space NK
Belfast-born Nicky Kinnaird MBE is the brains behind Space NK Apothecary - and the woman we have to thank for bring some of our favourite global beauty brands into our lives.
"Throughout my travels, I discovered amazing perfumeries and pharmacies, staffed by highly trained individuals offering expert advice. I encountered specialist beauty brands created by experts in their respective fields and many of these products had never been seen in Europe. It seemed logical to put together top quality products with expert advisors." Nicky Kinnaird, Marie Claire
FILM: Jamie Dornan, Actor
A man who needs no introduction and arguably the most famous person to hail from Northern Ireland, Jamie Dornan grew up just down the road from me. Rising to fame in his role as a psychopath in locally produced BBC thriller, The Fall, Jamie broke the mould as the billionaire lead in Fifty Shades of Grey.
Open about a love of his roots, he has set up a production company in an effort to spend more time here:
“I love filming at home so much. I’ve been quite conscious about trying to play Irish characters so far and I plan to do that throughout my career if I can."
MUSIC: Snow Patrol
It's been great to see coverage of Snow Patrol lighting up the stage again in recent weeks. I can only begin to imagine how difficult it must have been for performers like this to be denied the opportunity to showcase their artistic expression in recent times.
In an open letter to the young people of Northern Ireland, lead singer Gary Lightbody said:
“Our homeland is so beautiful that massive film and TV production companies from all over the world come to film in NI. Our arts and music scene is bursting at the seams with talent...there is so much to be proud of."
ART: Aly Harte, Painter
Aly Harte's passion for her work is palpable - much of it inspired by local people, places and landscapes. A local artist from Belfast, she specialises in vibrant abstract and modern paintings in oil and acrylics.
Passionate about placing importance on everyday moments, memories and places, Aly also runs workshops, live tutorials and podcasts to educate others in her skills.
LITERATURE: CS Lewis, Author
Belfast born CS Lewis spent much of his childhood engrossed in fairy tales and books of fantasy and legend. He went on to become author of the seven children’s books of the Chronicles of Narnia, most notably The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe.
His books have sold over 10 million copies worldwide, been made into three blockbuster Holywood movies, with talk of a Netflix series on the horizon.
His life and work are celebrated all over the world, not least at the CS Lewis Square near his Belfast childhood home, with seven inspiring Narnia sculptures and an annual CS Lewis Festival.
STORIES Parfums is proud to be the first fine fragrance perfumery in a land of artists and entrepreneurs... I hope you have enjoyed this round up featuring just a few of our favourites - and that you find them as inspirational as we do!