If you have stayed at The Dunstane post-refurb, you’ll have already experienced the heavenly scent of the Noble Isle products in our rooms. We don’t mind admitting we’re slightly in love with their range, so thought we’d find out more about the brand from founder and director, Katy Simpson.
Katy told us how she started the business with 3 former colleagues back in 2011, they all had the passion to create a truly British brand, “During the creation of the brand, we travelled the length and breadth of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to source authentic, quintessentially British ingredients that celebrate our rich cultural history” We love having a product at the Dunstane Houses which promotes the local area, are all your products designed to do this?
We promote farmers, charities, conservationists – people doing exceptional things in our country. Each producer is incredibly passionate about their ingredient. So the most important factor when making our products is that we use British extracts from local celebrated producers from the British Isles. Perry Pear from Gloucestershire Orchards, Barley from the Balvenie distillery, Beetroot from Monmouthshire, Elderflower from Cornwall, Samphire from the Irish coastline and Willow Song from Suffolk – to name just a few!
Can you take us through the process of creating a new scent?
The first thing I do is research an interesting story – something happening in the British Isles. I visit the producers, find out more about them and their story, take photos and samples and then I am ready to brief into my fragrance house. I send my “nose” (fragrance creator) a brief about the story, including evocative imagery of the raw ingredient and landscapes. Like an artist using oil and canvas, a master nose, paints you a picture with aromas. It is well known that smell is our most powerful sense and a fragrance is more emotive than a picture. The most exciting part is when the fragrances are presented – closing your eyes and letting the aromas create a story in your mind.
Where did the inspiration for ‘Heather Honey’ come from?
At the beginning of my journey with Noble Isle I visited Gleneagles for the weekend. It was my first-time visiting Scotland in the summer months and as I drove down the picturesque, rugged country lanes, I was astounded at the beauty of mother nature in this part of Scotland. Purple mountains were the backdrop to this miraculous part of Britain and it wasn’t until some later research that I understood it was the heather making these mountains purple.
Heather is the only nectar surviving plant at these high altitudes, and this hardy little alpine shrub provides the alluring colour palate of Perthshire. Heather Hills Honey take millions of bees up to the mountains each summertime and the delicate blossoms of the heather give the honey a naturally distinct taste. You can try it for yourself, it’s served at breakfast in the Ba’ Bar at the Dunstane Houses.
Being British and promoting the provenance behind the extracts is incredibly important to Noble Isle. It is the heart and soul of our brand and our customer enjoys edinburgh the stories of the local producers who are doing incredible things within the British Isles. This story was just so beautiful, I knew it had to become part of our collection and I hope you all agree!
Can you tell us more about the fragrance behind Heather Honey?
Heather Honey is wild and distinct and a prized Scottish delicacy. Our fragrance contains a bright composition of white blooms – jasmine, magnolia and neroli – with a squeeze of grapefruit and extract of protein-rich heather honey harvested in the Perthshire Highlands. Heather Honey is rich with antioxidants and proteins, enveloping the skin with restorative properties combined with a rich scent.
So if you needed any more reason to climb into one of our luxurious copper tubs, you have it now…