When I first tell people that I own a horse, I’m often met with a mixed response. A few people are unfazed, but in all honesty a majority are shocked. There’s this really ridiculous belief that to own a horse, you have to be rich. And I, I can assure you, am most certainly not rich. I do not prance around on my pony all day long (as much as I’d love to, a girls gotta work) and while Beano may have a regular set of new shoes, you will never see me wearing the latest or most expensive gear. I cannot ride side-saddle, nor have I ever tried to and in all honestly I don’t think that I fall under the ‘posh’ bracket in anyway, shape or form.
Don’t get me wrong, there are huge ups to having a horse but those ups don’t involve riding around in long dresses, looking flawless as I ride off into the sunset or splashing out thousands a month, despite what the movies suggest. The Sundays spent showjumping are always a highlight, pub rides are a firm favourite, hearing Beano neigh at me when I arrive in the mornings always puts a smile on my face and having him follow me around the field makes the long, tiring days when I don’t get home until 8pm worth it. Not to mention our annual beach holiday and our trips to the local cross country course. And it cannot go without saying that having a horse also has its social side, with a yard full of people of all ages it is safe to say that there is never a dull day – even when we aren’t on board the horses!
But having a horse also brings with it ridiculously early mornings, a relatively restricted schedule because spontaneous plans have to be immediately worked around the horse (which somewhat removes the spontaneous element) and the smell cannot go without a mention in the drawbacks. As a child I was never quite so bothered by constantly smelling of horses but now that I’m working, I’m far more conscious of the equine scent that lingers on my clothes and in my hair long after I’ve actually left the yard. And with a busy schedule to work in and around both Beano and work, I’m rarely left with enough time to shower before each social occasion. Plus, in all honestly, I don’t want to shower two to three times a day – I struggle enough to find the time to shower once on most days.
And that’s why I was so excited to hear that Clive Christian wanted to collaborate, because what better way to cover up the murky smell of horses than with a luxury ladies perfume? Because, believe it or not, even I, the muddy, poo-stained, countryside girl can appreciate a good perfume.
And, as I’m a British girl through and through, if there is a time when I can help out a Britain-based company I’m often happy to jump at the opportunity and this was definitely one of those times. Clive Christian is a British luxury perfume company, that crafts rare ingredients into a series of unique and complex scents. Scents that smell far nicer than horses, I can tell you that much. And in case you hadn’t noticed, I’m not the girliest of girls. You will more often find me squelching around in the mud and shoveling wheelbarrow loads of poo than getting my nails done or having my hair cut (which, in reality, happens about once a year). But that is why I was so pleased to see that Clive Christian don’t have the typical perfume scents. Instead they use a wide range of ingredients that come together to create a number of scent that are far from your typical perfume blend. And, while the price is far more than I would normally splurge on anything, let alone perfume, it is true to say that you pay for what you get and I can definitely vouch for the quality of the Clive Christian summer perfumes. After-all, if they are strong enough to mask the smell of horses without being completely overpowering, they’ve got to be good!
The two perfumes I tried were the Immortelle and the Magnolia from the VIII Noble Collection which is new for 2017. The previous Noble Collection was the VII and was described by Clive Christian as being “truly extraordinary and yet unapologetically British”. And if you ask me the VIII collection is no different, and anything that is unapologetically British gets my vote every time. The collection comprises of a more masculine and a feminine scent, which, when used together, complement each other wonderfully. Immortelle’s base scent is papyrus, the heart note Immortelle (or everlasting) flower and the top note is bergamot. While Magnolia’s base scent is Oakmoss, the heart note is magnolia (hence the naming) and the top note is cassis, which is where the fruity note comes from. Put together and you’ve got a perfume that is strong, unlike any other perfume I’ve tried before and yet, as the brand themselves say, faintly hints of the British countryside – minus the horses anyway.
But, the best part of all? As my schedule insists on there being a necessity for minimal faffing, the 50ml bottles that these perfumes come in are ideal. They are not far off pocket-sized and so they are great for using on the run from the yard to a social event that requires me to successfully mask the smell of horses. With a little spritz I can go from wrinkling my nose up at myself, to smelling like a relatively respectful woman – who knew that the saying ‘I fall into s**t and come out smelling of roses’ could be so closely true-to-life, hey?
And so, maybe now with a Noble Collection sitting as a firm favourite in my bag, I really can start to fall into that posh horse rider stereotype…