Around 2000 years ago, trade across Asia through into the Mediterranean and Europe was facilitated by what’s now known as the Silk Road – the routes that people took between the continents. This thin network between city and city, and culture and culture is what facilitated the exchange of goods and – in the long run – people and ideas between different cultures and has had a profound and very real effect on the world today. One of the main goods that went travelling down that ancient road – as well as silk, of course – was perfume, and many of the oriental, exotic scents we see today are a product of the combination of western perfumery and Asian spices. The world gets better the more diverse it is, and we think the Silk Road proves that like nothing else does.
So, as far as fragrances inspired by far-off-lands is concerned, there’s an enormous variety to choose from. Almost all modern perfumes could be said to have inspired people at one point or another – the ingredients for any single perfume, scented candle, or reed diffuser are more likely than not collected from three continents across many countries by countless skilled foragers, farmers, and pickers. Perfume is a global product and the best perfumes have combinations of the best things from every continent. Exotic spices and fragrances from one part of the world are guaranteed to be wonderful all on their own, but they’ll be even better with more fragrances to compliment them. That’s why we’re lucky to sell such variety and wonderful mixtures – jasmine can be mixed with orange blossom, which can be mixed with ylang ylang, which can be mixed with guava, which can be mixed with Sicilian lemons and the end product is truly astonishing. We’re living in the golden age of perfume and we count ourselves very lucky to be part of that.
So, without gushing too much more about what a great time for perfume the modern world is and what advantages we have with increased globalisation, we’re hoping to open your eyes to the world of perfume and scent, and the way how a certain fragrance can be tailored around a place – after all, scent is the most pervasive of the senses. The things people talk about when they visit Morocco or Beijing or Sao Paulo isn’t the sights or the scenes or the architecture – no, it’s the scents that people remember and it’s what they’ll talk about long after they’ve come home. Scents are what stick with you and what remind you of a certain place or a certain time more than any other.
One of our very favourite perfumes designed to represent somewhere far away is Lampe Berger’s Amber Powder fragrance. Packed full of scents that 1000 years ago would have been reserved for the richest kings, and with complementary notes of anise, citrus, iris and cedar, this is a wonderful perfume packed full of scents and inspiring towards travel and adventure – try it and you’ll see what we mean! Or, if Amber isn’t your bag, why not try Stoneglow’s deceptively simple White Sands candle? This candle is overflowing with gentle fragrances that, whilst entirely indescribable on their own, when combined create a wonderful sensation of a beach far away with a gentle breeze and not a care in the world for 50 miles around. It’s a truly excellent perfume.
On the topic of far away beeches and white sands, one of our favourite brands – WoodWick – have another fragrance to add to their range that’s as delicious as it is interesting. Their stylishly designed Beach Boardwalk candle is packed full of notes from a saltwater breeze, white sands and natural vanilla grass, and due to their clever wooden wick, is set against a smoky, darker scent that offsets the rest of the perfume beautifully and leads to a natural-feeling and simply delicious chord that will take you far, far away from ‘all this’ in one breath. Simply superb.
We’ve got two more tropical scents that are also inspired choices for those who want to travel with their nose before they jump on a flight. Lily Flame have one of their immensely fun, stylish tins available with a wax filled with bright, hot scents. Mango Fandango is a rare perfume – it’s spicy and tangy in equal measure, with a chord dominated almost entirely with mango scents. It’s a delicious, single-minded perfume that will get you energised and raring to go within the first 10 minutes of smelling it. Delicious, exciting and very original – if this doesn’t make you want to travel, we don’t know what will. That is, of course, if it’s not the last perfume on our list. Another selection by WoodWick is Ocean Escape, this perfume is from their trilogy range. Meaning, of course, that it’s really a wonderful collection of three different perfumes all in one stylish container. With chords ranging from Tradewinds all the way through to Sunset Beach and finally into Tropical Cooler, this candle will take you on a journey without you ever having to leave the living room.
A thousand years ago people were trading spices on the banks of the Mediterranean to trade again in cities around Europe and, eventually, the entire world was filled with the scents of Asia. That was a wonderful time for perfume, but now with modern trade and methods, master perfumers are able to make the very best perfumes out of the freshest ingredients from all around the world. We’re lucky to be able to offer them, and the perfumers are lucky to be able to make them. The golden age of home fragrance is now, and it smells great.