When in Rome and all that…
Here’s the thing with Stockholm. Not only is it a beautiful place to visit, with great culture and an abundance of cinnamon buns on every street (a.k.a my version of heaven), it’s also the home of some seriously cool brands. Even before we’d booked flights I was googling the founding place of some of my favourite brands just so I could pull out the whole ‘Well if you’re going to buy X, then you might as well buy X from X’s flagship original store‘ line. Surprisingly this is a justification that actually goes down really well with Mark, as demonstrated by him also making some slightly ridiculous purchases.
First up Acne Studios. Actually before I kick this off I should say that I don’t usually go mad on holiday like this, I’m quite happy just to pick up a stick of rock or a postcard (or get my hair braided with a bead on the end despite the fact I’m almost 27), but I’d put a bit of money aside to have a ‘Treat Yo’ Self’ moment Donna and Tom style. Back to my waffling. Now I’ve had a bit of a love affair with Acne Studios for years, ever since I clapped eyes on my super stylish, Parisian ex-Boss. She’d rock up to the office looking so darn chic everyday and clad in designers that I couldn’t pronounce paired with Acne boots and looked bloomin’ amazing.
It was the Pistol Boots that I’ve checked online for the past five years to see they still make them. THEY DO. In the flagship Acne Studios it was my moment. They had my size in stock and as I attempted to squish my hot and sweaty foot into the boot (I’m really not cut out for these kinds of fancy situations) I had the sinking realisation that I was between sizes and to purchase a pair would have been subjecting myself to a lifetime of blisters either way. That’s when my eyes shifted to the Jenson Black Boot. A low-heel, extremely pointed chelsea boot. Perfect. For some reason the 39 in these fitted like a glove and as I clip-clopped around the shop to give Mark a fashion show I knew they were the ones. I do however, have my eye on the royal blue pair, but I’ve given myself a swift slap on the wrist and a telling off. One ridiculous pair of boots that I will no doubt scuff up on their first outing or spill nail polish or something equally awful on is more than enough for now.
The other thing that Acne are known for are their jeans and although I usually go for my good ol’ Topshop Leighs, I fancied a chance to compare them to a higher-end counterpart. I’ve never tried a proper pair of pricey denim before. Is it all just the same thing but with an eye-watering price tag slapped on it? I’ll report back, but so far, so good with the Skin 5 RW Rinse. I tried on a few styles, but these felt just right. A mid-rise waist, with a skinny fit to the ankle and slightly cropped (although I got the longer length because I get cold ankles because I’m a Grannie). All in all a successful trip to Acne and the staff were extremely helpful and pleasant despite me shoe horning my stinky feet into multiple pairs of boots.
Next, Byredo. Now I’m blaming my many years of Into The Gloss reading for this one Every cool cat has a Byredo scent as their signature whiff and I have to say that because I’m a sheep and because the packaging might just be the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen, I was sucked in. Now I didn’t have time to visit their flagship, but I did pop to their concession in NK and the counter and service was impeccable. I explained to the assistant that I wasn’t into heavy scents and she gave me a mini guided tour of the range. Palermo was right up my street, but smelt like other things that I own, so instead I went for Sunday Cologne which is surprisingly heavier than I thought I’d end up with, but I like that it’s different to everything else that I usually spritz on.
It’s a tough one to describe but the fragrance geeks (I love a bit of Fragrantica, people get well into their reviews on there) describe it as a fresh and spicy scent with notes of bergamot, cardamon, lavender and vetiver. From description it’s not something I’d usually go for, but it’s fresh whilst also being heavy at the same time. Side note: heavy for me means that I can still smell it hours and hours later, I usually go for light scents that disappear after like 30 minutes. I know, what’s the point, eh? Anyway I feel like it’s one of those fragrances for days that I want to channel my inner cool cat vibes. Oh yes. I also purchased a candle too because candles are my weakness (along with Dairy Milk Chocolate Buttons and afternoon naps). They all smelt pretty delish, but in the end I went for Carrousel. It’s a fruity blend with some fig in there and some orange and rhubarb too, but don’t be fooled. This ain’t sickly sweet, there’s a scattering of spice too which makes this a grown-up burn.
Of course the best bit of the story is when we checked in at the airport and realised that we were 3kg over – FUN TIMES. Some good toiletries were lost in that airport bin that day. But you know, a Byredo candle wins over a full bottle of shower gel any day.
Photos by me / Edited by Lauren Shipley