Welcome to Nota Bene Wares.

Nota Bene Wares was formed by Matthew Brooks in 2012 in Nottingham, England. It was bourne of a passion for hand-produced, thoughtfully designed objects that are simple, hardwearing and beautiful. This is overlaid with a great interest in history and in particular the history of everyday life and of design, and it is our intention that this is reflected in the products we sell. However, whilst you will see historical references in our products, they are by no means slaves to the past; they simply resurrect the bits that are today refreshingly different by contrast to the sea of disinteresting, ubiquitous items which fill our daily lives.

The essence of Nota Bene Wares:


We want our products to form a refreshing contrast to their alternatives. For example, we won't ever wrap things in plastic; it is just too normal, and we are not fans of a shiny finish (no magpies here). We will only ever use materials which are beautiful in their integrity such as pure essential oils, tactile, imperfect recycled greyboard, and rustling, opaque waxed paper, and all of our packaging is laboriously printed on an old fashioned letterpress, just because it gives a slightly embossed finish which can't ever be achieved through using digital printing.


We tend to go about making things the hard way, to ensure we get exactly the result we want. Some of our stationery uses unique paper sizes which are non-standard, meaning we have to cut every page on an old-fashioned guillotine (hair-raising in its sharpness), but this means we get a notebook of exactly the size and shape we want. We have created all of our fragrances from scratch using 100% natural essential oils, which have to be mixed to the exact proportions required every time we make up a batch of candles or soap. Finally, the pleated packaging you see on our candle wraps can only be done by hand, and revives the techniques which were used in packaging decades ago (Lever Brothers - later Unilever - employed a team of girls whose special task it was to pleat-wrap their shaving sticks by hand, on a mass scale).


Our products do not fit into any particular category, other than that they are well made, beautiful and useful. 'Wares' was commonly used by retailers and manufacturers until the mid 20th century to describe a broad range of products which in were in some way coherent and in the same vein we like to think our products suite together pleasingly in a similar aesthetic. We also think wares just has a rather nice ring to it, so we popped it onto the end of 'nota bene' (latin for 'note well) and there we have it- Nota Bene Wares was born.