Jean Rousseau in How to Spend It

Occasional readers may not be aware that I write a monthly column for How To Spent It – the luxury supplement to the Financial Times – under the title ‘Inside Track’.

Recent columns have included French leather company Jean Rousseau, the quality management at Mont Blanc, and an interview with perfumer Frederic Malle. Although some of them inevitably feature on the blog as well, the How To Spend It features usually take a different angle and include fresh information. Worth a browse. 

You can see the list of columns here. And the individual ones mentioned at those links above. 

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I’m sure the error wasn’t yours but I imagine Monsieur Malle would be none too thrilled to see his scents marked up to £145 for 50ml when that’s the 100ml price. Maybe numbers aren’t the FT’s area of expertise after all.



Quite offtopic, yesterday I was at the Hermès store having a look at their briefcases. I really like the Plume model in calfskin and I am looking for something more affordable. (no logos, preferably hand sewn).

What brands are on parallel in quality with Hermès?

I know you have mentioned the top range of Dunhill. What about Valextra (aside their synthetic linings)?

I got to know Isaac Reina (former Hermès designer) who has an atelier in Paris. I like their pure designs but I don’t know if they are hand sewn. Have a look if you can.




I thought the calf on the Hermès Plume was thinner bridle leather…



In reply to Nestor, what about La Portegna? On a lesser budget level, £1k or less, The Bridge, Mont Blanc and Salvatore Ferragamo all do items of reasonable quality. NB Simon, is it meant to be How To Spend It (vs Spent)?