As the nights grow darker and the air colder, nothing quite beats an open fire and lighting candles in the night. In honour of the upcoming Bonfire night, we have each selected our favourite smokey scents for the season.
Heading into the colder, darker, winter months, my fragrance of choice shifts towards those woody, smokey, leathery scents that are reminiscent of cosy festive evenings around a burning crackling log fire, or the smell of roasting chestnuts on Bonfire Night. With warming notes of musk and suede, Tom Daxon’s infallible ‘Under Milk Wood’ candle brings these magical nostalgic childhood memories back into my home whilst Birch and Brook’s ‘Fireside’ candle is another favourite around this time of year – a timeless masculine and smoky scent with a comforting woody base, just as if wooden logs have been freshly placed on a burning fire.
Bonfire night is one of my favourite British traditions, a little bit ritualistic, a little bit pagan with a dash of deviousness thanks to that old scallywag Guy Fawkes. For me it conjures up memories of heaped bonfires while the cold air burns my nose and of course the delicious smell of gunpowder from haphazardly lit fireworks. To me it is the true scent of autumn in the countryside just before we turn into winter, the mulchy dampness of the leaves and the faint smell of wood smoke that lingers in the cold air and clings to your scarf and hair.
To match this mood I am wearing a heavier leather fragrance created from a back alley apothecary in Seville; whilst leather can sometimes drift towards fougere (such as Perfumer H‘s concoction) this one sits very deep on my skin, like the wood as it smoulders just before it burns on the fire. Just last weekend I was truly romanced by Cuirs by Carner Barcelona. Dry leather smoked with woods, and don’t even get me started on the box, it was a scent full of intrigue- gunpowder, treason and plot.
As a fragrance creator, rich and earthy smokey scents are an exciting part of our daily work. A few of my favourite pebble&co charred creations:
Bamford One Evening – a knockout fireside splash that is sophisticated and quite unusual in its unapologetically charcoaled and mossy persona.
Gieves & Hawkes – a refined and elegant blend of tobacco and amber ashes. Quite simply, the perfect gentleman.
Luxe by Sheerluxe – for the woman seeking a balance of rich and juicy hedgerow blackberry, tart pomegranate and strong and striking spice and smoke.
As the nights get colder and darker I secretly get a little bit excited, autumn child as I am. The smell of smoke in the crisp air, colourful leaves covering the pavements and bundling up in blanket-sized scarves – what’s not to love?
And as the season changes so does my fragrance, and I reach for deeper, more complex and enveloping scents that much like my scarf just wrap me up. I tend to gravitate toward fragrances with leather, guaiac wood, amber, oud or sandalwood in them to get that rich smokiness I crave. Le Vestiaire des Parfums Collection de Nuit – Cuir by YSL combines guaiac wood and spicy saffron and a note of leather, enveloping you in a sexy,smokey and leathery veil making you feel extra luxurious in the night. Another must-have for the home is Diptyque’s Feu de Bois, which creates the scent and feeling of a warming fireplace crackling in the background and makes you want to make a cup of hot chocolate and curl up with a good book.
This weekend I look forward to bundling up in layers as I watch the fireworks and bonfires cast a magical glow over London.
© pebble&co 2017