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Palm Beach Collection – The New Luxury Scented Experience

October 4th, 2012

Any reader of my blog, or anyone they knows me personally will know there is one luxury that I don’t mind spending money on… Candles.

If I could, I would have scented candles burning around me 24/7. I love them. They make me feel different and special things, they transport me and they smell absolutely divine!

But they only smell divine if you find the right ones… And as I’m always searching high and low for great candles, I have once again hit the big time on these ones. Palm Beach Collection.

Palm Beach Collection is an exquisite new eco-friendly Australian lifestyle product range for true lovers of contemporary style, with a feeling of indulgence.

The all-natural Palm Beach Collection range is luxurious yet affordable and consists of beautiful hand-poured scented candles and reed diffusers in an extensive array of delicious scents including Vintage Gardenia (my fave), Coconut & Lime, Pear & Cinnamon, Honey & Peach Blossom and Mint Leaf & Avocado.

I did my research and discovered what Palm Beach Collection was all about and who was behind it.  Brother and sister duo, Kirsten Walkerand Mike Grey developed this incredible collection of eco-friendly soy wax and essential oil candles with the landscapes of Sydney in mind.

Kirsten and Mike’s childhood was spent in the beachside surrounds of Avalon, Clareville and Palm Beach in Sydney, where their parents still reside. Palm Beach Collection is very proudly a family owned and run Australian business. The team are passionate about ensuring their product remains Australian made close to the shores of their beloved home in Sydney.

The clever pair have travelled the globe extensively over a number of years to research and develop what they believe to be the finest fragrance creations from leading international experts in the art of perfume. From humble beginnings as a start-up business less than three years ago, Palm Beach Collection is now recognised amongst the best Australian made and owned candle collections, with more than 400 stockists Australia wide.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Mike Grey about Palm Beach Collection.

1. There are many candle collections out there, what makes your product different?

This is a very good question. I believe the story behind Palm Beach Collection and how we came about as a brand has a lot to do with creating our originality. Palm Beach Collection is not just a substandard product with a label slapped on its jar or bottle, we have created this collection with love- the love of family. The entire Palm Beach Collection team are family and we have created this together-family made and owned, it is truly a heart-warming story and I feel like this translates in our brand and product. We are an eco-friendly collection and use renewable supplies such as soy which is a big point of difference.

2. There is a luxurious beach Hamptons style feeling around the collection, have you purposely gone for this style? Is it one you live in your own life?

We love everything about the area we live in and we wanted to create a Palm Beach experience in every product we have. Our packaging and fragrances reflect our lifestyle and surroundings, being both beach and sophistication. I think this has caught the eye of Hampton enthusiasts but personally you can’t beat Palm Beach Sydney!

3. Scents trigger memories, especially candles for me. Do any of your candles bring back special memories?

Absolutely! I love how quickly I can be transported back to a time in the past just by scent. White Rose & Jasmine reminds me of our family garden where I grew up. The Jasmine is such a strong trigger that I literally visualise a certain day, just amazing. Mint Leaf & Avocado brings back Christmas for me as a small boy. I can remember the holidays and the excitement of the beach bringing back so many memories. Our scents have been created with this in mind, everyone has a history making each favourite so personal.

4. What is your inspiration behind each of the candle and diffuser concoctions?

We have been inspired by our surroundings here on the Australian Northern Beaches. Many native flower oils and beautiful citrus extracts accompanied by wooden base notes have helped create this. Mood plays a big part in the creation of a fragrance, like mentioned above scent does entice feelings through the senses. This is why I love this range, I can use a fragrance to create mood or to alter it. We have also travelled extensively and taken ideas from European inspiration, some of the fragrances being developed in Europe are just superb. We like to look for points of difference to inspire us as well.

5. It’s hard to ask a mother or father which one of their kids is their favourite – but let’s be honest, they all do! Which is your favourite candle and diffuser?

Ha ha I love it, and may I say quite the fitting question as we are brother and sister! We all have our favourites and mine is White Rose & Jasmine in both the candle and the diffuser, I generally am not a floral lover but this fragrance I just can’t get enough of!

6. What is the most common piece of feedback you get about your collection?

Love the name, love the scents and love the packaging. Also what ideas have you got for the next candle fragrance?

7. Do you know of any celebrities/high profile people that use your products? If so who and is there a story behind that?

Nicole and Lionel Richie loved the candles while they were in Australia and took some back to the US with them, Australian Olympian Leisel Jones is a huge fan and Lara Bingle and her mum also love the brand!

8. What is next for Palm Beach Collection?

We are still growing as a business and we have started to export to Europe and the UK. Along with the launch of our E boutique just last month we have a some exciting things in the pipeline.

It is important to remain dynamic in this market so without giving to much away you can expect to see some amazing newness happen to the range in the next few months.

Expanding out into new countries and representing quality Australian made products in various markets is next. We want to be the best ambassadors for Australian made home fragrance products both at home and off shore.

The Palm Beach Collection prices range from $37.95 for the Candle Collection and Diffuser Collection through $109.95 for theDeluxe Candle range. With a growing selection of more than 20 divine fragrances such as Coconut & Lime, Tahitian Mango, French Vanilla and Sweet Basil & Citrus, Palm Beach Collection continues its rapid expansion with the launch of their first e-commerce store as well as more product lines currently under development and due for release soon.

Do yourself a favour and purchase one of these candles. I love them and am stocking up on them for summer!

TIP: Grab some of the smaller ones to take with you on holidays, I’ll be taking a few to Byron Bay this year. What this does is sets a scent and a memory – you’ll be able to take yourself back on holidays while you’re burning your candle at home or the office.

For more please visit www.palmbeachcollection.com.au

My Teenage Dream Car – Range Rover Sport TDV8

June 17th, 2010

When the Range Rover Sport first came out about 5 or more years ago, I was set on the fact that it was my dream 4WD. It’s now 2010 and is it still my dream 4WD? You’ll just have to read on to find out.

The big black Range Rover Sport TDV8 Luxury sits in the glossy showroom, with it’s suspension lowered so I can easily climb in at a normal height. I opened the door, it’s tall and narrow, I expected there to be more door considering the car sits big and chunky. But the door is quite compact and reminds me somewhat of the Mercedes Benz B-Class. Closing the door, it shut nicely and solidly. Once it’s shut, I’m completely surrounded by a dark interior of buttons, knobs, screens and leather.

Sitting in the drivers seat, I felt in control of everything – the dash, the seating, the passenger seating, the view and the vision by turning my head and through the mirrors. I felt like I had complete control of everything happening around me both inside and outside the cabin.

The dash. Heavily angled from windscreen down toward the centre console, it seems almost aircraft like, but with complete symmetry. Unfortunately, the main LCD screen which controls navigation, music, video and vehicle configurations is like it’s made for the rear-middle passenger to use. It faces on an angle up towards the sunroof, and positioned facing the middle of the two front seats. I found it had to access easily, and found that I had to stretch my arm to reach for it. I also found that the anti-glare screen was hard to see because of the way it was positioned, reflecting light straight off it. I also don’t like the way it is buried between the two air-conditioning vents on either side of it.

Once you get past that issue of visibility, and you actually use the navigation via the touch screen and knobs below the screen, it’s quite good to use. Simple, clean and quick. There is no delay like many other cars I’ve driven. But again, I’ve had to stretch over to use the buttons on the far left of the cluster.

Air-conditioning is easy to use and it’s not incorporated into the main screen thankfully, which means I can do what I need to do immediately. It’s also dual-climate which is great.

All the usual functions like the compartments, gears and electronic brake are all easy to use and in easy reach.

Between the two seats, below the electronic brake sits the function for the vehicle handling, suspension and terrain settings. Here you can adjust the height of the car, you can choose how you want the car to perform both on and off road and you can choose how you want it to perform and tackle specific terrains. I found it fairly easy to use, but if I owned it, I would probably read the book to understand it and take full advantage of it.

The instrument cluster is also good and informative, with another screen showing the car’s dynamics and all the other little bits of information. The car has computers constantly monitoring it, and this info is all produced on this screen.

The seats. Comfortable, supportive and easily adjusted to suit my seating position. Unfortunately, I feel like the car punishes tall people, not by making it uncomfortable, but by making it hard to use the dashboard because of the angle it’s on. The further back you need to sit, the harder it is to use. But the seats are superb otherwise – in the front. It’s a different story sitting in the back. The seats in the back are for two normal sized adults and one 5 year old. The mechanical bits and pieces, like the hinges and rails are all visible, which makes it feel a little sub-standard.

The doors. As mentioned above, they are tall and narrow, not necessarily a design flaw, but possibly a little tough for much larger people. That aside, and I don’t envisage it to be a common problem, the only annoying thing I found about the doors was the location of the electric window buttons. They sit as far away from easy reach as possible. Again, having to reach as far forward as possible, towards the side wing mirrors. Also in the unlikely event that you leave your window open and water comes in, those buttons will be the first thing to get damaged. In a bid to do things differently, I don’t see a reason to change it and it’s not made it any easy for the driver, or any other passengers as all the buttons front and back are in the same positions.

All the doors are otherwise luxuriously covered in leather with wood grain inserts.

The body. It’s one big illusion, it sits wide and sits long, but it’s not really wide or long. It’s sporty, it’s rugged, it’s agile, it’s sexy, it’s hefty and it means business. Big 20” wheels and wide tyres add to the illusion of it being a massive vehicle. But be careful which colour you choose inside and out, it can change the look of the car dramatically.

The drive. Vicious. Ferocious. Aggressive. Easy.

The Turbocharged Diesel is excellent. Being a 3.6 litre V8 (being replaced by a 4 litre later this year), with 200kW, this thing flies. It’s not the quickest car to accelerate, but look how much weight it’s carrying! But in terms of power, geez this thing goes. It sounds great too. It’s got that vicious beastly sound, which is prepared to flatten any contenders. Towing a boat or horses wouldn’t be too much of a struggle for it either, but I think considerable weight, up-hill in a diesel will possibly struggle a bit.

The interior ride is smooth, quiet and enjoyable. The interior is bright and light because of the high seating position and lots of glass, the air suspension makes bumps smooth and soft and the visibility is great. Parking is easy, with the aid of front and rear sensors and camera.

The thing that astonished me the most, was the way it drives and how it feels when you drive it. It’s like driving a mid-sized car – this is where the whole ‘illusion’ of it being a big car comes into it. The best way to describe it would be like driving a Mercedes C-Class, it’s just a mid-sized 4 door sedan. Nothing complex about it. Driving the Range Rover Sport was much the same. Effortless and manageable.

I now understand why all the Eastern Suburbs yummy mummy’s drive one to drop the kids off at school.

Likes: Big car looks, mid-sized car feel. Powerful diesel engine. Seating comfort for front occupants. Extensive interior and exterior options for colour and wheels. Sexy and agile looks. Looks great, and will look great for a long time to come. Easy to drive, a practical car with all the attributes of a performance vehicle.

Dislikes: I’m sure I made these clear above. But it’s got to be the access to simple things like navigation, electric window buttons and knobs on the dash. The fairly unattractive rear seats that look like something out of a Tarago. The small boot, the boot space in most other 4WD’s of its kind are much longer and deeper.

Would I buy it? I know those issues above annoyed the hell out of me, but yes I would still buy it. I have loved the car for a long time, so would have to fulfil my strong desire to own it.

Price: The Range Rover Sport TDV8 – $149,990

Final say:
I really enjoyed this car, it’s got presence on the road and I love the feeling and sound of power under the big hood. I would definitely buy one, but I would have to spend a fortune customising it to look original as there are so many of them on the roads and they all look so generic. It’s like buying a Mini Cooper (hardtop).

FEDABOA Unisex Belts In 121 Colour Combinations

March 31st, 2010

When I first set my eyes on the image above. I looked at two things. What the girl is wearing and how stunning the girl is.

I immediately wanted to find out more on what she was wearing – because it is an amazing image! I went to the site and they described it perfectly – “Luxurious yet not flamboyant. Trendy and high quality”. She is wearing a range of belts by FEDABOA.

As I like to research everything I post on AdrianErdedi.com, I got in contact with FEDABOA so I could physically check out the range. When I saw the smorgasbord of colours to choose from, I was put under pressure – which colour do I like most?

I picked a vibrant red FEDABOA belt and tried it on. It look so great with the outfit I was wearing. Bright and cheery, yet definately not flamboyant or camp. I played with it and looked over the whole package. It’s strong, durable, fuctional, easy to adjust and easy to use. It is versatile and practical. They are made of 100% recyclable rubber and durable plastic, therefore making them waterproof – so they are great for skiers and divers and anything else that involes water really.

With 11 colours to choose from, including the choice to also purchase different coloured buckles which are easily removeable, you can make up to 121 colour combinations! The belts are also reversable… It’s crazy how cool these belts are!

After trying it on, I knew I had to purchase it. So the red FEDABOA waist belt came home with me. Once I got home, I opened up it’s über chic and dramatically packaged case and trimmed my belt to the perfect size. Simple.

Have a look at the website for more details of where to purchase and see these fantastic European big sellers!

www.fedaboa.com.au

The New Lexus IS250 Convertible – Sex On Wheels (Sort Of)

March 15th, 2010

When I walked towards the new Lexus IS250C, I felt timid. The front grille and headlights are agile and brawn. It’s asking to have a wild owner who isn’t afraid to use the accelerator. Or the brakes – because those brakes work!

The sexy new addition to the IS250 family is now in a hard top convertible in three models. The Prestige, Sports and Sports Luxury.

I test drove the Sports in black metallic paint with black leather interior, which is superbly appointed with all the gadgets you’d expect from Lexus.

When I opened the door, I was welcomed into the cockpit, deep soft leather seats and a high centre console, which makes it feel more like you’re in the nerve centre of a technological masterpiece. I closed the door, and heard the noise I love to hear. A deep heavy THUD.

The car has a Smart Key Card, which means there is no key. It’s a card no thicker then a credit card, which you keep in your pocket, starting the car with the ENGINE START/STOP button on the dashboard behind the steering wheel. I pressed it and out came the chilled-out roar of the 2.5 Litre V6 engine. I drove the 6-speed sequential shift, which has the paddles on the steering wheel to shift gears.

The car sticks to the road, driving into corners with the confidence of a European performance vehicle. A hard press of the brakes made me feel good about having to use them in an actual emergency. They work and they work well!

It has all the fun little gadgets to make the drive fun, safe and comfortable, Sat Nav, inbuilt bluetooth, electric seats with memory function, radar technology to monitor the road and reversing camera.

The displays, the dashboard and the buttons are all easy to use and in good reach of the driver. Everything is logical and built smart. Rear leg space isn’t too bad, and the back seats are very comfortable – they are normally forgotten about in convertibles. The roof opens and closes in 20 seconds, which is quick for when you notice a few raindrops on the windscreen at the lights.

A great range of colours and trims, accessories and standard equipment makes the Lexus IS250C Sports a great little package at around $89,656 drive away.

Likes: Standard equipment level is high, feels safe, feels strong, comfortable seats, functional and easy. Ride and handling. Lexus has great customer service when it comes to servicing and owner privileges.

Dislikes: The rear-side styling looks a little bland, bulky and awkward. Sexy car, but has something missing. A little extra power and grunt under the bonnet would be nice.

Would I buy it? Thats a hard one. It’s a great car with a great package. I’d be more inclined to look around at other brands first, and even consider a soft top for $20-$30,000 less – like the BMW 1 Series Convertible. I’d also consider the Volvo C70 Convertible.