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Articles

From mind to bottle or how we make our fragrances

From mind to bottle or how we make our fragrances

Today we want to take you on a fragrance making journey. We will tell you how an idea is turned into a perfume.

 

When it comes to designing a perfume, one has to start with an inspiration. It can be anything - a special person, an event, a place. Alex Verier, our perfumer, developed six of our fragrances over past four years with a particular occasion or person in mind; our perfumes are all very special to us as each one carries a story.

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Time for coffee!

Time for coffee!
Did we mention that we are serving coffee now? On this occasion, we have decided to write a blog post about coffee. We are really serious about it - we want to deliver the best possible quality and taste. That’s why we partnered with Curve Coffee Roasters from Margate - they treat coffee seriously too. Continue reading

What to see and do in Folkestone

What to see and do in Folkestone

Folkestone. A seaside town full of art, good cuisine and amazing shopping experiences. It is in fact so rich in experiences that one might get lost and confused, so we prepared a handy “the best of Folkestone” list. Happy visiting!


ART IN FOLKESTONE

Folkestone is proud to have a large collection or art called Folkestone Artworks - the UK’s biggest urban outdoor exhibition of contemporary art. Folkestone Artworks was created in 2008 alongside the first Folkestone Triennial, the festival of outdoor art. Now Folkestone has over 70 artworks in the permanent collection. You can download a map of the artworks from https://www.creativefolkestone.org.uk/folkestoneartworks/maps-and-routes
So have a walk, relax, look around and breathe the art in.

Our favourite artworks are:

Spencer Finch - “The Colour Of Water”
In 2010, Spencer Finch observed the colours of the sea in Folkestone and prepared a palette of 100 colours. He then created a large colour wheel that helps determine and describe the colour of the water. The viewer is invited to look through the aperture and match the colour of the water to one of the artist’s suggestions. You can find this artwork at the Promenade lower path between the end of Clifton Crescent and The Grand.

Antony Gormley - “Another Time”
“Another Time” is a series of cast-iron sculptures of people spread around the world, and Folkestone has two of them. Gormley’s artwork analyses the relationship between humans, nature, and the universe. The sculpture is located at the loading platform on Folkestone’s Harbour Arm.

Lubaina Himid - “Jelly Mould Pavilion”
Lubaina Himid’s sculptural pavilion resembles a ceramic jelly mould. The artist has been collecting them for many years. The artwork celebrates and memorialises the people from African Diaspora and their contribution to our culture. The artist believes that an honest conversation and an exchange of experiences help to heal the trauma. Himid’s pavilion gives space for dialogue. It is placed on the Folkestone Boardwalk.


FOOD AND DRINKS

The Bao Baron
The restaurant serves freshly made Pan-Asian street food. They specialise in bao buns and ramen and only use local suppliers. Their menu changes often as they use seasonal Kentish produce. What doesn’t change is inclusivity: there’s always a good selection of vegan and gluten-free options. They are a family-run business. You can find them at 19 Guildhall Street.

The Folkestone Wine Company
The Folkestone Wine Company is a family-run business that stresses the importance of delicious food and good music. They also have countless types of wine so they are a perfect place for both wine connoisseurs and people who want to learn more about this marvelous drink. They are our neighbors on Church Street.

Pickup Pintxos
Pick Up Pintxos offers cuisine inspired by the Basque Country. Their cooking is both traditional and experimental. They use high-quality ingredients from Spain and also from Kent. They are definitely the number one place to go if you love Spanish cuisine and the tapas culture. You can find them at the bottom of The Old High Street.

The Potting Shed
One of the not-so-well-known secrets of Folkestone. Tucked at the end of an antique furniture shop of the same name, The Potting Shed bar is a speakeasy that transports you to the Prohibition era with its decor and menu. On booking, you will be provided with a password you need to enter the bar. They only use the finest ingredients inspired by Prohibition. Find them on 34 Rendezvous Street.

PEK - Planet Earth Kitchen
PEK’s motto is “vegan for the planet”. Their plant-based menu has many gluten-free items and in their meals you will only find unrefined sugars and sea salt. Their dishes are healthy, cruelty-free, and good for the planet - what more do you want? Find them on 10 Rendevous Street.


SHOPPING

Not For Humans Pet Boutique
The shop features a large selection of products for pets, handmade by local people. They also sell designer dog coats, leads and collars, dog walking utility bags, and, surprisingly, products for the house. The humans who run the store are absolutely lovely too. So come in and give a scratch to the owner’s pet, Spanish Water Dog Brenda. The shop, like many others, forms part of the Folkestone Creative Quarter. Find them at 53 The Old High Street.


Richardson & Richardson - acrylic jewellery
The team, composed of mother and daughter, design and make all the products themselves (with the little help of the laser cutter called Bertha). They make their designs based on their many interests such as science, space, nature, and the geek culture. Their jewellery is beautiful and fun and they make bespoke designs too. Find them on top of The Old High Street.


Moo Like a Monkey
Moo Like a Monkey is a children’s shop full of well-designed products. Their range is truly incredible with wooden eco-friendly toys, books, and Scandinavian and British-made clothes. In the shop, adults can relax and browse while the kids play with many toys provided. They are placed on 65 The Old High Street.

Foras
Last, but not least, we suggest you come to our store at 11 Church Street. We make our own fragrances and we currently have seven different perfumes, all designed with a particular person or occasion in mind. They are all locally made in Kent and unisex, and we don’t use plastic so they are all eco-friendly too. We are a lifestyle store as well, offering a range of beautiful products for the house, candles, and books. We believe in helping and promoting local designers too. We also serve delicious coffee roasted in Margate for only £2! Come and visit us today!

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Why shop local this spring

Why shop local this spring

We all know that small independent shops are cute and cozy but there are many more advantages to shopping local. We gathered the eight biggest reasons to support local shops.

 

1. You help the local economy.

The British economy suffered a lot because of COVID-19 and by shopping local, you help restore the British economy as well as the local economy of Kent. Did you know that Folkestone’s old town centre boosts with over 200 independent shops? We are one of them. By buying in our shop you directly support Kentish entrepreneurs and workers. We collaborate with multiple local businesses such as Shoreline Ceramics from Ramsgate and Curve Coffee Roasters from Margate.

 

2. It’s better for the planet.

Shopping locally helps reduce the carbon footprint from transport. Over 60% of our products are locally sourced, including our fragrances made in Kent. Many local shops also choose to be greener than big chains that use plenty of plastic. Our packaging is plastic-free and we also only use paper bags.

 

3. You get a better shopping experience.

There’s no space for a nice chat when you shop online, is there? That’s why shopping face to face is better. At Foras, we never rush you and there’s always time for a nice conversation too. Our clients are really important to us and we treat them like guests rather than just customers. It’s important to us to be part of the community and to create one for our guests.

 

4. They have a great choice of products.

Local shops offer a lot of products made by local manufacturers and artists that aren’t available online - from artisan coffee to zazzy jewelry. We are proud to be working with amazing designers such as Molly Pickle whose cards, notebooks, prints, and tea towels or our bestsellers. So come and grab a crab notebook or a squirrel card!

 

5. Shopping local helps to save jobs and create more new jobs.

Independent shops provide a big number of jobs to local communities. As we manufacture our own fragrances, soaps, candles, and incense, our shop employs five people in total - that’s five jobs for local people. Multiply that by the number of independent businesses in Folkestone and you’ll see how many jobs you help create by shopping local!

 

6. It helps shape the identity of the area.

Folkestone has recently been included in Lonely Planet’s World’s Best Regions to Visit in 2022 and it’s in part thanks to its independent quirky shops. Folkestone’s Creative Quarter has also been described by Inside Kent as one of Kent’s best independent shopping areas. We are proud to be part of Folkestone’s shopping hotspot and to help shape the identity of Folkestone.

 

7. You will find great quality products.

Local shops don’t always have the budget to compete with the big brands in terms of advertising, so they focus on quality instead. Independent shops make sure that the products they sell are of great quality because they want the customer to come back, and we are not an exception. We strive to only sell products of amazing quality, be it candles or perfumes.

 

8. Shopping local saves you money.

Big supermarkets convinced us that local shops are always expensive but the research suggests that’s not true. Many of the local shops are cheaper than the big chains - our shop included. Our quality products start at £3 for a bamboo brush - beat that, big chains!

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A window to the past

A window to the past

Did you know that we have a little cabinet of curiosities in the shop full of seashells and fossils? Fossils are our window to the past, they allow us to see the beauty of the world that used to be. We have for long been captivated by their charm - our ancestors from hundreds of thousands years ago used fossilised bones to make axes, and we found some ancient fossil necklaces too. Fossils explain the prominence of dragons and giants in the ancient mythologies - animal fossils were believed to be body parts of mythical creatures. The skull of ancient elephants, with an empty space where the trunk was attached, might have created myths about cyclops, and mammoth bones were believed to belong to giant humans.

Dinosaurs are not the only fossils we find. Practically anything can become fossilised, from plants to meteorites. The process they undergo is the deciding factor. Fossilisation is very rare and occurs when an object is buried in sediment that then begins to form a rock around it. With time, the objects dissolve in the water seeping through the rock. Minerals in the water replace the object, leaving a rock replica. Size-wise, fossils can be as small as a bacteria or as large as a 15-ton dinosaur.

Fossils help us unravel mysteries from the past and determine what the world looked like, they help us understand the evolution of life too. Did you know that there was a species of parrots that was 3 feet tall? And that the feathered dinosaur Sinosauropteryx had a red and white tail? And that some crocodile relatives were herbivores? How amazing is that?! Fossils of marine animals have been found in The Himalayas which suggests that the mountains were once an ocean bed before they rose due to landforms colliding.

Even today, the fossil bones, mistaken for “dragon bones”, are used in the traditional Chinese medicine as a cure for various illnesses and as an aphrodisiac. The fossils are also often used as talismans. Fossils’ cure for illnesses is almost solely a placebo effect although they can be the source of some essential minerals.

Fossils have also a decorative function. The fossil collection and description began as early as in the 1700s although people didn’t really know what fossils represented before 1800s. Curiously enough, ancient people had a better understanding as they considered fossils to be remains of life from the past while the western scholars interpreted fossils as an attempt by rock to imitate real organisms. You can start your own collection today - come to the shop and browse our cabinet of curiosities!

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The Magical World of Mushrooms

The Magical World of Mushrooms

At Foras, we love nature. What’s more beautiful than a walk in a misty forest or on the beach on a warm day?

Let us tell you more about one of the most interesting things that you can encounter on a walk... mushrooms! Mushrooms are simply amazing. Did you know that they breathe oxygen and exhale carbon dioxide, just like us? Fungi are in a kingdom of their own.

Unlike plants, they don’t produce energy from the sun in the process of photosynthesis; taking in consideration all the similarities between species, fungi are closer to humans than to plants. What we call a “mushroom” is actually the fruiting body of the vegetative part of a fungus called mycelium and forms only around 5% of the mass of the whole organism. The largest known organism on earth is a honey fungus in Oregon with 2.4 miles in diameter - can you imagine that?


Mushrooms are widely featured in literature starting as early as the 13th century. Fairy rings, a naturally occurring circle of mushrooms, have a prominent place in the European folklore. Many legends describe the dire consequences of entering such ring - mortals that do so might find it impossible to leave it and be forced by fairies to dance until exhaustion or death. In Mayan culture, the trance-inducing properties of mushrooms were important, and in the Japanese culture, mushrooms are often associated with prosperity.


Mushrooms have many properties that make them stand out among other organisms. They can be used for dyeing natural textiles and all colors of the spectrum can be made using mushroom dyes. Over 200 species are thought to be hallucinogenic and over 75 species are bioluminescent. Many of the species are poisonous so it’s important to be able to identify well different species of mushrooms before picking them. The good news is that over 350 species are edible so you will never grow bored of eating mushroom. Mushrooms are incredibly healthy too. Many of the mushroom species have a high level of anti-oxidants and one Portobello mushroom contains more potassium than a banana. They also contain a lot of vitamin D. Speaking of eating mushroom, did you know that they contain the fifth primary taste called umami? Umami is often described as full, filling, meaty and it can also be found in soy sauce.

When it comes to mushroom smells, you will probably think about this particular, slightly acidic smell. But mushrooms can have a very pleasant smell too, starting with healthy, earthy fragrance. Golden Chanterelle has a fruity odour similar to this of apricots and the Black Trumpet smells of fresh fruit. Miller Mushroom has a particular watermelon-like smell and Lactarius hibbardae oozes coconut! Cortinarius hercynicus brings cedar wood to mind. Some mushrooms can even smell of marzipan!

Inspired by the richness of the mushroom smells, we have decided to create a fragrance that makes you think of a walk in a misty woodland full of mushroom. “Mushroom Forest” is our newest eau de parfum which features notes of earth, mushrooms, mossy woods, crab apple and wild berries. We are so excited to show it to you! It will soon be available online and in our store in Folkestone (11 Church Street). So why not come for a sniff? We are open Thursday-Saturday 10am-6pm and 12-6pm on Sundays. See you there!

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Valentine's Day gift guide

Valentine's Day gift guide

Love is in the air! Valentine’s Day is a perfect occasion to give a little present to this special someone, to say “I love you” with a sweet gesture. But shopping and choosing can be stressful so we prepared a little gift guide!

 

For lovers of good design - £25

Good design is important. Good design is harmonious and it can bring us a sense of peace. Humans are naturally drawn to beauty. So why not gift a vase with a design based on the most perfect shape - a circle? Pairs perfectly with a single red rose.

 

For those who love stories - £10

“Love in colour” contains love stories in all shapes and colours. Bolu Babalola retells mythical tales from around the world in a witty and joyful style. The imagery and language are truly beautiful. There are so many heartwarming passages in this book that it’s hard not to fall in love with it. It’s truly a perfect gift for reading enthusiasts, great to read by oneself and also with a loved one.

 

For flower enthusiasts - £18/£60

Red roses are the typical flower gifted to the special someone on Valentine’s Day - we suggest giving a rose but with a twist. Our Oxidised Rose is a modern take on the old rose fragrance. We combined the lovely smell of a fresh rose with metallic notes and we added leather notes for an extra oomph. Oxidised Rose is a unisex perfume perfect for modern men and women.

 

For those who like good quality cosmetics - £39

In our daily routine we use great face products but we often forget about hands. At Foras we sell two amazing quality hand products that will take care of tired, dry skin - Pelegrims Hand Cleanser and Pelegrims Hand Pomade. They will make sure hands are nourished and hydrated. They smell lovely too - who doesn’t like the smell of figs?

 

For people who are romantic - £20

What’s nicer to accompany a romantic dinner than a heavenly smelling candle? Bath Time smells of blackcurrant leaf, neroli and lavender. Reading Books will transport you to a cafe in New York with its notes of coffee, biscuits, chocolate and dusty books. Good Candles not only smell amazing, the company also donates 10% of sales to charities! And we have table candles too (in four colours), if you need to prepare a Valentine’s Day dinner.

 

For singles - £23

Valentine’s Day is a holiday to celebrate love. But, shouldn’t we love ourselves first? Self-care is important any day of the year. We should all be able to look in the mirror and say “I love you”. So don’t hesitate to pamper yourself a little! We’ve prepared a little self-love set: a book, coffee and a charming mug (only £23!), so you can spend a little quality time with yourself.

 

We hope that this little gift guide has been helpful! Please don’t hesitate to pop in anytime to our shop at 11 Church Street in Folkestone - we are open Thursday - Saturday 10-16 and Sundays 12-16. See you there!

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New Year resolutions with Foras

New Year resolutions with Foras

New Year can be a stressful time. We all have once made New Year resolutions that we haven’t followed. We are here to help, so we have some easy-peasy New Year resolutions for you.

 

1. To live a simpler, happier life 

We started with a massive one, didn’t we? Being happier is not easy. That’s why we suggest following hygge, the Danish way of of living well and also trying living in a simpler, less digital way (check our article about hygge and the other one about a more analogue living). The Danish follow the principle of happiness coming from the feeling of coziness and peacefulness. Think of spending the evening with your friends, wrapped in a cosy blanket - that’s hygge. A lovely mug of coffee and a good book are hygge too. Start with simple things.

 

2. To start exercising - even just a little

Exercise is crucial to staying in good health. We suggest running as it allows you to stay close to nature. Running, even once a week, has been demonstrated to improve the cardiovascular system, strengthen muscles and help to build strong bones. If all of this doesn’t convince you, we suggest reading “Coasting” by Elise Downing to get motivated. Tired of her job and relationship that were making her miserable, Elise made a radical change. With no running experience whatsoever, she decided to run 5,000 miles around the coast of Britain. “Coasting” is her story and a book that one can’t put down.

 

3. To take better care of the skin

Having a good skincare routine isn’t difficult to maintain and it’s important to keep your skin healthy. A good routine slows down the signs of aging and, in general, helps you adopt good habits. We suggest using the amazing skincare from Pelegrims. They have a truly artisan approach to skincare, making products from natural ingredients and in small batches. Their ingredients are sourced ethically and responsibly. Also, did we mention that they use powerful grape extracts - how cool is that?

 

4. To use less plastic

Plastic pollution is killing our planet. It also affects human health as toxic chemicals leach out of plastic. Not using plastic prevents pollution and reduces greenhouse gas emissions. That’s why we are determined to use as little plastic as possible. All of our packaging is made of cardboard and we don’t use plastic bags. We are proud that we can help you to shop responsibly.

 

5. To read more

At Foras, we love good stories and we love nature. We carefully curated the selection of books we are selling - a lot of them praise the beauty of nature, but we also sell poetry, cookbooks and some other very cool books. If you are just starting your adventure with reading, we suggest “The Sunday Times” bestseller, “Love in colour” by Bolu Babalola. It’s a collection of mythical tales from around the world, retold. It is beautifully written and a joy to read. Reading has many benefits - research shows that regular reading lowers blood pressure and heart rate, fights depression symptoms and even prevents cognitive decline as you age.

 

 

 

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Christmas is coming and we’re here to help!

Christmas is coming and we’re here to help!
Christmas is coming and we understand it can be a stressful time. There are all these presents you have to buy! So here at Foras we prepared a list of gift sets that you can purchase in our store on 11 Church Street, Folkestone - have a happy shopping experience! We're the perfect place in Folkestone Kent for buying independent gifts and perfume in Folkestone. Continue reading
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