Kingdom Scotland whiskey and perfume pairings for festive, fragrant fun

What could be better than whisky and perfume pairings? We’re here for them! And who better than Scotland’s first niche fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland, to bring some festive fun (and their expert knowledge) to exploring the fascinating relationship between the two?

The Scotch Malt Whisky Society (SMWS) wanted to treat their members to a sensorially immersive way of bringing together the aromatic worlds of whisky and fragrance, so they reached out to Kingdom Scotland’s founder, Imogen Russon-Taylor. No better person in the world, in fact, to offer her advice, because it was only after a distinguished career in the world of Scotch whisky, that Imogen went on to create her own fragrance house – the very first to be based north of the border.

‘Both whisky and perfume are produced by traditional distillation methods,’ she explains. Both evoke a complex sensory experience and both rely upon the innovative use of ingredients or flavours to distinguish themselves from competitors.’

The Kingdom Scotland scents chosen were Metamorphic and Portal – each of them expertly paired with SMWS Flavour Profiles of Lightly Peated and Juicy Oak & Vanilla, and the Society hopes ‘The collaboration will bring to life Society guests’ olfactory systems, igniting the senses at Society venues across the UK this festive season.’

 

 

METAMORPHIC paired with LIGHTLY PEATED – Inspired by metamorphic rock, Metamorphic fuses black pepper and tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute. As it’s warmed on the skin, the scent reveals a base of amber resin and leather. A natural fit for the Lightly Peated Flavour Profile, the scent was matched with bottling ‘Peat fire tales on Orkney’.

Metamorphic. ‘Scotland has some of the most complex geology in the world and this scent is inspired by metamorphic rock that is spectacularly woven into the landscape,’ explains Imogen. The complex, fusing black pepper and tobacco, incense, minerals and rose absolute, metamorphosing on the skin as it’s warmed to reveal a base of amber resin and leather. And in this one, you might make out just a splash of Islay malt whisky – a nod to Imogen’s own history, here.

 

PORTAL paired with JUICY OAK & VANILLA – Portal evokes a fresh, outdoorsy, gusting nose with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Sampled & sprayed with ‘Summer garden curiosity’, a match made in heaven for Juicy Oak & Vanilla.

Portal is described as ‘a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.’ It’s fresh, outdoorsy, gusting with herbaceous botanicals and bergamot, notes chosen to evoke verdant florals, resting on a veritable forest floor of vetiver and Scots pine. Kingdom Scotland’s descrition – ‘an escape to a sylvan wonderland’ – hints at its power to transport you to the shade of the tranquil forest.

Commenting on the collaboration, Imogen Russon-Taylor said: ‘I’m delighted to be working with The Scotch Malt Whisky Society. My background is in luxury whisky, so to be working with such a well-respected organisation is a dream. Your sense of smell is an incredible thing. It possesses the same characteristics as a dram, especially a Society dram, by transporting you away to great memories and special places.’ Click here to take part in this truly unique sensory journey this festive season…

Scented christmas trees & more from Maison Francis Kurkdjian

Maison Francis Kurkdjian has pulled out all the stops this season, offering new and exciting ways to scent your home (and yourself!) From fragrant Christmas trees, scented caligraphy cards and the most goregous candle, there’s also excellent news for fans of a certain best-selling fragrance who’d believe in going big or going home…

There’s no doubt that perfumer Francis Kurkdjian is one of the most stylish people we know. From the exquisite fine fragrances and accessories that have made him world famous, to his personal flair when designing the so-chic boutiques and decorating his own (of course ultra fabulous) Parisian apartment. Borrowing a little of that effortless élan for some French contemporary style, Maison Francis Kurkdjian invite you to come inside and ‘…plunge into a unique universe where the art and pleasure of giving become one. Fragrances and candles wait patiently by the Christmas tree, the theme chosen by Francis Kurkdjian, as the quiet and elegantly dressed witnesses of the season’s celebrations.’

‘O Christmas tree, o Christmas tree, how lovely is thy fragrance…’

Mon beau Sapin, the iconic holiday candle by Maison Francis Kurkdjian, now comes in a dark green colour adorned with a fir bough decorated in white and gold. Its generous, characteristic smell of a balsam fir, slightly resinous, slowly guides us towards a reassuring forest. This candle, with its specific wintery enveloping fragrance brings the finishing touch to the joyful holiday mood and memories past.

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Mon Beau Sapin Candle £55 for 190 g, at Selfridges new MFK counter

 

If you’re one of the many (many!) fragrant fans of the iconic Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum, or you know someone who is, get ready to squeal quite a lot. A whopping great supersize-me version of the fragrance has been created especially for Christmas, standing proud at 200ml, and definitely subscribing to the belief that bigger is better.

‘Baccarat Rouge 540 was born of the encounter five years ago between Baccarat and Maison Francis Kurkdjian, two luxury houses with a shared passion for know-how. Baccarat Rouge 540 tells the story of how gold is magically transformed into red, a process whose secret is known only by Baccarat. Blended with 24-karat gold dust and gradually fused until it reaches precisely 540 degrees, Baccarat’s transparent crystal slowly dons a dazzling red hue.’

This fragrance has been a world-wide best-seller for a reason: it smells incredible – we know exactly where a certain member of The Perfume Society team has been because she trails this everywhere she goes. It’s available as an eau de parfum in the clear crystal bottle and as an extrait de parfum in a deep, ruby red bottle; and if this is a present for someone you love, it’s certainly not only Santa that’s getting snogged under the mistletoe this year!

Maison Francis Kurkdjian Baccarat Rouge 540 extrait de parfum £590 for 200ml at Harvey Nichols, Selfridges, John Lewis, Les Senteurs, Harrods & franciskurkdjian.com

Thursday to Sunday there will be caligraphy on specially scented Christmas cards at the new Maison Francis Kurkdjian Selfridges counter. And they are also offering a mini Mon Beau Sapin candle as a free gift with purchase. (We absolutely will not judge you if you decide to keep this for yourself. The person you’re buying the gift for will never know, right? Right. And we’ll be doing the same, so…)

Finally, if you needed another reason to pop across to France (with the car, we think, for this one…) before Christmas, then look no further than the wonder that is a scented Maison Francis Kurkdjian Christmas tree! Sadly these are not available in the U.K. this year, but those seeking the ultimate in festive fragrance can delight in them at the following stores:

Perfumed and fireproofed Nordmann Tree, 100/120 cm:
Green natural tree from 145 euros*
Flocked tree with natural dusting from 185 euros*
Flocked integral white tree from 205 euros*
*(Suggested retail price excluding delivery)

Order from Parisian shops Maison Francis Kurkdjian:
Boutique Saint Honoré – 5 rue d’Alger, Paris 1er – +33 1 42 60 07 07
Boutique Marais – 7 rue des Blancs-Manteaux, Paris 4ème – +33 1 42 71 76 76

The mere descriptions, let alone gawping at these pictures, makes us feel instantly more stylish; and we find that theme of the Holiday tree on all accompanying boxes, gift sets, tissue paper and bags – illustrations and images drawn by Kurkdjian himself and created by his design team. So if you’re searching for that perfect present for someone special, hankering after treating yourself for a change, or heavily hinting to loved ones (we find choosing the Print Screen option and circling the ones you want in red while mouthing ‘THOSE PLEASE’ works really well); you’ll find that ‘…everything at Maison Francis Kurkdjian comes together to create a wintry harmony where an eye for detail lies at the heart of the creative process.’ Naturellement!

By Suzy Nightingale

Paco Rabanne Christmas Market – popping-up near you!

We love a christmas market, but one dedicated to perfume sounds even better, right? Well hold on to your bobble hats, because Paco Rabanne fragrances are staging the first ever fragrance inspired Christmas Market, which will pop up in four key locations across the nation over the festive shopping period.

Scroll down to see the locations and dates – and put them in your diary now!

‘A golden feast for all the senses, house of Paco Rabanne will be opening its festive doors to the Art of Gifting with a multi-sensory Christmas Market experience, offering shoppers the chance to immerse themselves in the Paco Rabanne universe.

Dedicated to bringing a fragrant universe to life unlike ever before the Paco Rabanne Christmas Market will run in conjunction with an integrated digital campaign that has been inspired by the craftmanship of the metal worker; a nod to the iconic laser discs fashioned in metal by the House of Paco Rabanne.’

We can’t wait to wrap up in something cosy, grab a mulled wine and get our noses ready to be full-immersed in fragrances. What a brilliant idea – we so hope this becomes a permanent fixture on the festive fragrance calendar!


Locations / dates:

MANCHESTER PICADILLY GARDENS 30TH NOVEMBER – 2ND DECEMBER

BIRMINGHAM BULLRING 7TH – 9TH DECEMBER

LONDON COVENT GARDEN 14TH – 16TH DECEMBER

LIVERPOOL ONE 21ST – 23RD DECEMBER

 

Written by Suzy Nightingale