It’s amazing what comes from reading a magazine on a wet winter’s afternoon. There I was, curled up with a steaming cup of coffee and thumbing through Vogue or maybe Marie Claire, when I happened upon an article about Cary Grant and the fabulous aftershave Green Irish Tweed created for him by the House of Creed.
Naturally, my interest was piqued. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Hollywood of the 40’s and 50’s where leading men were fabulous and magnificently elegant. Those were the days. For me, Cary Grant was the gold standard of polished masculinity he wore style like a second skin. Mmm, I think my husband’s birthday was coming up what better gift than Green Irish Tweed. After all, if it was designed for an Adonis of the screen, it’s more than enough for the man of my dreams. Off into the city.
I seek it here, I seek it there. Myers, David Jones, a perfume boutique, another there. Shop assistant after shop assistant, all with the same answer. “House of Creed, you say? Green Irish Tweed, you say? Haven’t heard of it.”
She turns to her fellow assistants. “Have you heard of Green Irish Tweed? No, never, who?”
Deflated and forlorn, I turn to leave. “Wait a minute,” a voice from the Tom Ford counter speaks. “If anyone is going to have it. It will be Christine’s.”
“Christine,” I say. “Who’s Christine?” “Flinders Lane and look for the red door.” Buoyed by new enthusiasm and no longer worried about my sore feet, I rush to Flinders Lane to seek the red door. Amidst the grey austere buildings, I see the red door. Understated, intriguing mysterious. Christine’s. I step in, and down.
“Am I underground? I think. “Yes.”
Along the tartan covered hallway, I walk towards the light. My search for Green Irish Tweed a breath away. My love affair with Christine’s is about to begin. There is an immediate sense of élan, and Parisienne luxury. The aesthetic is flawless. Baroque mirrors, art-lined walls, along with a mesmerizing array of women fashion accessories such as jewellery, shoes, handbags, millinery, and perfume. I’m transfixed, in awe. Where to begin?
As if my thoughts have been read, a shop assistant appears and with warmth and charm, she introduces me to the history of the House of Creed. A spectacular history of creating fragrances from 1760 for the royal heads of Europe, world leaders, matinee idols, exquisite movies stars and notable beauties of the 40’s 50’s 60’s and beyond.
I have much to thank Christine Barro for, this doyen of George’s once Melbourne’s shop of shops where she created her legendary reputation, honed her consummate skills and savior-faire. She has imprinted her DNA and passion into Christine’s so I can become a recipient of beauty taste and style. Back to Green Irish Tweed.
Needless to say, that day in 2011, I walked away with more red packages (Christine’s signature wrapping) than Green Irish Tweed. Black in Love, Black Jade, Fleurissimo, the fragrance created for Grace Kelly on the occasion of her marriage to Prince Rainier of Monaco, and the most divine pair of Celine’s black suede and orange platform shoes that still cause a stir to this day. I love a shoe that makes your feet look sexy, but that’s a whole other story.
I remain a devotee of the opulent cult of Christine’s where notions of style, taste, and beauty never fail to captivate. I’ve come to the party late and certainly have no intentions of leaving any time soon.
181 Flinders Lane
Melbourne, 3000 VIC
03 9654 2011