As well as a fashion fiend I am a bit of a stationery fiend. I have more notebooks than I will ever probably fill, and more envelopes than I will ever use. I often find myself oohing over crisp ivory Conqueror envelopes (who doesn’t appreciate a good Conqueror envelope?), stroking Aspinal of London diaries, and dribbling over Moleskines in Paperchase. If my Mother instilled anything in me as a child it was an appreciation for fine stationery; an appreciation that I will most certainly carry to my grave.
One brand in particular almost manages to bring a smile to my face, and that brand is Symthson. I feel that Smythson is on a complete different level to other stationers. When ever you go to a Smythson store, you’re not just going to a store; you are going to a boutique. It is an experience in itself (you must check out the flagship New Bond Street store).
Smythson was founded in 1887 by Frank Smythson, and is probably one of the best known luxury stationery brands in the world. It is the go to brand for discerning every day people, Royalty, and celebrities past, and present (Grace Kelly was perhaps one of the store’s most renowned customers). There is a level of simplicity but quality you get with Symthson that is unparalleled. The brand despite holding onto it’s old ideals is not afraid of the modern age, and fully embraces it with fresh collaborations with designers such as Erdem, and more recently Jonathan Saunders.
I love my Smythson panama notebook. Naturally I choose one titled, ‘Style Icon’ – mainly because it tickled me (it also tickles me Smythson notebooks come with their own dust bags). There is something about the soft leather cover, and convenient sizing that make the Smythson notebooks almost comfortable – more an old friend than a notebook. I am not sure if it’s the beautiful cross-grained finish, or the gilt edged pages but they are very loveable notebooks.
The ‘floppy’ books, and featherweight pages were copyrighted in 1916 as the world’s first practical portable diary. The paper is half the thickness, and weight of normal paper without compromising on quality – you can even write in fountain pen without bleed, and the pages are still opaque. Each individual page contains Smythson watermarking only visible if held up to the light. The design of the panama books has virtually not changed since the 1890′s, and is an absolute classic.
I also simply adore Smythson’s correspondence cards (believe it, or not written word isn’t dead); the crisp white laid card is available with an array of motifs, borders, words, or simply just plain (they do customised stationery also). My Smythson’s stationery has beetles on the top – I do not really know why I went for this particular design over any of the others but there is just something about it which appealed to me.
Even Smythson’s envelopes are just darling; I particularly love the shiny glittery finish inside on this particular one, and the subtle embossed Smythson on the back of the envelope.
Do you have a particular stationery brand you go to, or notebook you just love?