For Her: Scent-sational Cities
In 2011 the term ‘Fragrance Tourism’ was listed by World Travel Market as a niche travel style on the rise. Two years later and the appeal of following your nose to a city of fragrant delights has blossomed into a burgeoning industry.
Naturally, the first city to have benefited in the rise of fragrance tourism is Paris. The French capital is after all home to some of the world’s most innovative noses, such as Serge Lutens of Shiseido fame and Jean-Claude Ellena, the official nose of Hermes. But of all the expert noses, few can compare to Francis Kurkdjian, the legendary perfume master responsible for famed scents such as La Male for Jean-Paul Gaultier and Narciso Rodriguez’s For Her. For the ultimate in fragrant souvenirs, consider making a made-to-measure appointment with Kurkdjian at his Maison Kurkdjian near the Tuileries.
But Paris isn’t the only fragrant French city. Grasse on the French Riviera has long touted itself as the world perfume capital, with the city’s 30 odd factories creating some of the world’s most famed luxury fragrances.
But for something a little more exotic, Oman is where you’re bound to find it. More specifically in Dhofar, the largest of the 11 governorates in the Sultanate of Oman, where a six thousand year old frankincense trade still operates today.
With a strong fragrance culture, Omanians grow up mixing and layering scents based on season and social occasions. As such, fragrance souks and merchants (typically women selling out of their home) are incredibly popular, touting everything from perfumed oils to incense and powdered flowers, to locals and international perfumers there to source the very best in pure ingredients.
DID YOU KNOW: The House of Amouage is Oman’s only international fragrance line creating some of the world’s most prestigious scents out of as many as 120 ingredients.
More Oman adventures: 9 Of The Best Experiences in Oman
While in Scotland...: How To Spend A Perfect Day in Edinburgh
For Him: A Search for Scotch
Men with hair on their chest will know all too well about the importance of a clear glass of golden whisky - the smoky aromas, the rich flavours. While distilleries all around the world continue to improve their brews, few whiskey sessions can beat those enjoyed at the actual distilleries themselves complete with lessons in its creation and informed tasting sessions.
Naturally, some of the best whiskey tasting can be found in its birth country of Scotland. While history tells us that the Ancient Greeks were the first to distil alcohol, it was the Scottish that distilled malted barley to created Scotch whisky. Today, malt whiskey drinkers will happily tell you the best kind comes from Scotland, such as the Ardbeg Galileo Whisky, which took out this year’s World’s Best Single Malt Whisky. Isle of Islay is where you will find the acclaimed Ardbeg Distillery, as well as seven others, the oldest of which, Bowmore, dates back to 1779.
Speyside is another area renowned for its Scotch whisky as well as its malt whisky trail, the only trail in the country. On the malt whiskey trail you can visit nine distilleries in total, from the evergreen Speyside Cooperage to the ancient Strathisla distillery which has been in operation since 1786
If you like your whiskey with an American tang though, then down a glass in Kentucky, USA. The predominant home of bourbon (also known as Kentucky Tea), start your bourbon trail in Louisville before heading on to taste the boutique offerings in Knob Creek and learning about the process at the Maker’s Mark Distillery in Loretto.
DID YOU KNOW: Whisky without an ‘e’ refers to only Scotch whisky, while whiskey with an ‘e’ refers to whiskey made everywhere else in the world.
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Eat, Cook and Love Your Way Through the World
There is no better way to discover a foreign culture than to take a bite out of it. Any tongue can interpret the language of food, an alluring song of flavours, ingredients and cooking methods that offers clues that lead you to a culture’s deepest roots.