Editors' Picks: Zara Home, British Soul & an Old Perfumery

The first Zara Home store in Canada, a hot new British singer and a perfumery that is nearly 300 years old—here are this week's Editors' Picks.

Here at FLARE, we have a lot in common: a love of fashion, beauty, magazines, culture and general wordsmithery. But as we rush around putting together the magazine and this website, we don’t always have time to share the minutiae of our passions. What do we binge-watch on a rainy weekend? What album is on iPod repeat? What movies make us cry? Hence, Editors’ Picks was born. A column where you can get to know the people who bring you FLARE—and maybe we can get to know one another a little better, too.



Truc Ngyuen, Senior Market & Style Editor

Last Wednesday marked the opening of the first Zara Home boutique in North America, at Yorkdale Mall in Toronto (a second location is slated to open later this month in Laval, Quebec). I’ve shopped at the London stores a few times, and the Canadian outpost lived up to my high expectations. The bright, spacious store sells everything from sleepwear to small décor items to soft goods such as towels and bedding. There’s not much furniture, but just like at Zara, there is a mix of fun, trendy “fast-fashion” pieces and chic basics like linens with classic ticking stripes, all curated into compelling displays. I can definitely see myself heading there again soon to spruce up the décor of my new house, and to pick up this quirky mushroom toothbrush holder (I’m secretly an avid mycologist)!

zara home truc alicia-editor


Alicia Cox Thomson, Managing Digital Editor

Although British singer Laura Mvula’s album Sing To the Moon was released in North America in June, I’ve just recently discovered (and fell in love with) her soulful voice, finger-snapping beats and strong sense of style. (Kicking myself that I didn’t see her play here in April!) The word eclectic is tossed about way too much these days, so I will try not to use it and just say that Mvula sounds like herself. But if you need a reference, imagine a bit of Solange mixed with Janelle Monae, Meshell Ndegeocello and Nina Simone. She was nominated for the Critic’s Choice award at the 2013 BRIT Awards and came in fourth in the annual BBC poll Sound Of…where critics vote on the most exciting new artists on the scene (Cali-cool sister band Haim were the winners this year). In the drum-laden single “That’s Alright” she sings: “I will never be what you want and that’s alright. I play my own damn tune. And shine like the moon.” That’s a message I can definitely get behind. Check out her first single “Green Garden” below; it’s a perfect soundtrack to a Friday afternoon. Happy long weekend!

Mvula plays Toronto on Saturday, September 7. Stay tuned next week for my interview with the singer, plus a chance to win tickets to the show!



Andrew Lovesey, Digital Editor

I was an Anglophile long before ever setting foot in the U.K. so when I discovered a little perfumery that has been splashing London in sumptuous scents for nearly three centuries, I was instantly infatuated. Nestled on quaint Jermyn Street between Piccadilly Circus and Green Park, steps from Savile Row, the original Floris boutique (opened in 1730!) remains the only signature shop to this day. I have grown to love many of their off-the-shelf colognes, but my favourite (which I’m wearing right now) is Santal. Containing tops notes of bergamot, peppercorns, cardamon, green grass and lemon zest— with heart and base notes ranging from lavender to cedarwood—the mix hits the nostrils with a wave of spice before fading into a warm, sweet smelling scent that I could wear all day. And do!