M&S: Tell us about your new range of bath and body products.
Emma: The idea behind Live Well Look Well is to surround yourself with beautiful smells all day long, so it's a complete range of bath and body products, such as hand washes, hand creams, bath milks and oils, body lotions and creams, fragrance diffusers and scented candles. We've also tailored the products to the fragrances, so, for example, in the Black Iris range, which is very sophisticated and luxurious, there's a really rich body cream and a lovely silky bath oil, whereas in Love & Flowers, which is fresh and pretty, there's a lighter body lotion and a bath milk. The right fragrance can really lift your mood.
M&S: How will you incorporate the designs synonymous with Emma Bridgewater into the new beauty range?
Emma: The packaging for the beauty and home fragrance range has been specially designed for each fragrance. It's not based on existing Emma Bridgewater designs, but each one is very typical of our style: clean and simple, but fun and a little bit quirky too. With our pottery, we aim to create pieces that bring a smile to your face when you use them, and this range is the same. I wanted the products to give the kind of feeling you get when your favourite song comes on the radio and you dance round the kitchen, or when you wake up early and sneak back to bed with a cup of tea – little things that just make life nicer.
Emma Bridgewater is known for her bold, charming designs for the home featuring pretty, colourful patterns.
Try the Live Well Look Well Room Diffuser in Black Iris, Emma's personal favourite of the three scents.
M&S: Where did the inspiration for the three scents come from (Love & Flowers, Tea & Oranges & Black Iris)?
Emma: They're all inspired by smells and scents that have been important to me over the years. Without even realising it, we all collect a bank of fragrance memories and that's what I tapped into. Black Iris came from the real irises that my mum always used to grow, really deep purple ones that had the most incredible scent – very soft and subtle, so that you had to bend right down and really bury your nose in them to smell it, but absolutely beautiful.
Tea & Oranges has a very fresh, citrusy scent that was inspired by memories of making marmalade at home – it's not a sweet fragrance, it's got that slightly bitter edge you get from a good marmalade. There's a waft of smoky China tea too – I have a massive tea habit – and a hint of coriander and cardamom that reminds me of one of my favourite things, going to a market abroad and choosing new spices to add to the ingredients in my kitchen. And Love & Flowers is inspired by the wonderful scent you get when you cut a bunch of old-fashioned roses from the garden and bring them indoors, but it's also got Mediterranean herbs in it, which remind me of wonderful holidays. Look out for our Christmas range too, which has lovely designs that are full of Christmas spirit.
M&S: What was the process from concept to production?
Emma: To create the fragrances I worked with a wonderful perfume house in Grasse, in the south of France, the home of perfume. Much the same way that we make all our pottery in Stoke-on-Trent, the traditional home of English pottery, Grasse is the place to go.
The process of creating the fragrances is quite amazing – you go with just the whisker of an idea and they bring it to life. They weave this extraordinary spell, adding tiny amounts of this and that, which they know will give you the scent you really want. For example, with Love & Flowers, I knew I wanted roses, but in fact, rose oil on its own is quite disappointing – it's only when they add the other notes to it that you suddenly get the smell that conjures up a beautiful bunch of velvety roses.
Then I worked with a company in Devon to blend the fragrances into gorgeous-to-use products, with really effective skincare ingredients like shea butter, cocoa butter and sweet almond oil – it was important to me that these products don't just smell nice, they work too. We've also got lots of ideas for new products – we might do a men's range, and I'd love to expand the home fragrances, especially for the kitchen.
Emma with her husband Matthew who creates some of the beautiful designs seen on Emma Bridgewater pottery.
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