Bowfin’: one of our favourite Scots words… We hesitate to use it to describe our Jacobite heroines but they probably didn’t smell that nice
Our range, REEK. is a celebration of our heroines and heroes. Our first release, DAMN REBEL BITCHES. is inspired by Scotland’s Jacobite women. Urban Reivers first came across the tales of these brilliant but bowfin’ ladies many moons ago, as stories from our childhood. Later, we read Maggie Craig’s wonderful book Damn’ Rebel Bitches, which draws on original documents, letters and stories…. It’s an inspiration.
When it came to making our scent with artisan perfumer, Sarah McCartney from 4160 Tuesdays, we wanted to use ingredients which captured the essence of the Jacobite lifestyle, minus the odours that were natural (if unpleasant) in an era when people didn’t bathe as much as we do today. Our eau de parfum, contains hazelnuts, pink peppercorns, blood oranges, clary sage, malt and a breath of fresh air, yes that’s right fresh air, something people of the 17th and 18th centuries got plenty of as their lives were mostly rural.
Pink peppercorns are produced from a startlingly red fruit grown on the Schinus Molle tree. These were an exotic luxury in Jacobean times, and their sweet-sharp flavour gives this perfume a warmth which blends with the woody, citrus notes. The blood oranges create a luxurious feel and gives the scent a kick, similar to the clary sage which has an aromatic fragrance. And at the heart of our perfume is hazelnut, which was a staple of the Highland diet. The island of Colonsay was famous for its hazelnut colonies and this woody, rich flavour makes the perfume sing. Mix all these wonderful ingredients together and voila! A damn good bottle of perfume. We can’t wait for you to try it.
Just a little message for today, step outside, take a breath of fresh air and be glad you aren’t bowfin’… and join our mailing list!
From Scottish Potatoes to Heather Rose Gin
You’d think it was all distillery visits and perfume testing round here, and that’s not far off. Fresh off the back of our trip to Ogilvy Farm in the heart of the east coast countryside, we embarked upon our next great quest, from the rolling hills of Glamis with the taste of Scottish potato vodka lingering to the rolling hills of Perthshire and the scent of gin. With great poise and misplaced confidence we pointed our taxi driver enthusiastically into the heart of the countryside, after passing several farms and country houses and nervously watching the fare climb, we eventually found our self at a lovely old farmhouse with ‘Strathearn Distillery’ in iron lettering above the door.
We were greeted by the team and were shown around the distillery, learning about how their increasingly popular gin is made and what struck is the most is the volume this small team (small in number, not in stature) produces. Our favourite, the “Heather Rose Gin” is created by storing the gin in barrels with sacks and various herbs, spices and juniper berries. As if this all wasn’t enough work, they also create bespoke gins and have an up and coming whiskey in casks made of different types of wood, as opposed to the commonly used oak cast.
After seeing how much the team really care about encouraging and implementing new ideas, we had the tough job of trying to number their products. With a smile on our faces and a belly full of Scottish gin and whisky we waved a fond farewell to this fabulous team who peculiarly doubled in number right before our eyes. Much rest was had as we made our way back to Edinburgh. The job is tough, but someone has to do it…
To find out about the launch of our Perthshire Gin Bramble swally box and other products, join our mailing list!
A Weekend Of Photo Shoots and Prop Hunting
It’s been more busy than usual this weekend at Urban Reivers HQ. We’ve been getting our products ready for months but this weekend we pulled everything together for a shoot with talented photographers Bethany Grace and Ryan Laing. Our team worked into the night, sourcing last minute ingredients and scouring Edinburgh for gooseberries and what not. Jenn our seamstress was up so late it was hardly worth her going to bed again before driving our silks through from her studio in Glasgow.
A huge thanks to Vixy from Stewart Christie for the legendary tweed jackets to set off our silk bow tie and pocket squares and to Goodwin’s Antiques for Jacobean-style jewellery to grace our very own Damn Rebel Bitch.
Seeing all our products through the lens after much tweaking, setting and resetting by the professionals was magical. From Damn Rebel Bitches. sitting on a set scattered with blood oranges, malt and pink peppercorns. To finally seeing our Find Your Way Home range on models – it’s as if our big ideas suddenly sprang into life! Now it’s time to to pick out favourites and get them up on the website. Oh and make the site. We’d better get on that, busy busy!
To see more behind the scenes from our product shoot and look book have a look on our feed on twitter, instagram and facebook!
Dropping By Distilleries
Here at Urban Reivers we recently decided that a good stretch of the legs was needed. For a few days we swapped Edinburgh’s busy streets and scent of brewing for the rolling hills of the countryside and the scent of distilling. Having spent a lot of time emailing and calling the team of our favourite Vodka suppliers, Ogilvy Vodka, a good old fashioned face-to-face visit was on the cards.
With a map in hand we ventured north beyond Desperate Dan’s home in Dundee in search of the 1 year old Ogivly distillery. After spending 20 minutes travelling in the wrong direction in a taxi from Forfar, we finally found ourselves at a quaint little farmhouse near Glamis castle. We were greeted by a group of unimpressed looking cows alongside a much friendlier looking Graeme Jarron, one of the founders of the business. He talked us through the laborious and completely original process they created in order to produce their highly sought-after (and delicious) Scottish potato vodka and explaining ‘Cow Booze’ to us.
From field to bottle, the potatoes go through a number of stages involving boiling, mincing and fermenting until they are eventually sealed into the stylish Ogivly bottle. Which was in fact designed by co-founder of the company, Caroline Jarron who, as well managing the business’ marketing, is a successful interior designer. Before it reaches the shelf, the bottle is sent to Poland and Italy to give it a frosted effect and the foil lettered ‘Ogilvy’. We know you shouldn’t judge a vodka by it’s bottle but let’s face it, a good-looking bottle helps! We sipped, we savoured, we LOVED it. How delicious.
Keep an eye on our Urban Reivers feed for more exciting trips and product development!