His and hers luxurious experiences

For Her: Scent-sational Cities - For Him: A Search for Scotch

08 Aug 2016

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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.

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Paris by night
The city of lights is also a city of enticing scents. Photo: Getty Images

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.

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Frankincense for sale in Oman market
Frankincense is readily available in Oman's markets. Photo: Getty Images

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.

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Top view of a glass of scotch whisky
The smooth flavours of scotch whisky. Photo: Getty Images

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

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Ardbeg Distillery
Ardbeg Distillery on the Isle of Islay, Scotland. Photo: Getty Images

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.

Cassandra Laffey

Consumed with unrequited wanderlust, I get my fix in 24/7 cities and hippie retreats. I'm still looking for the ultimate combo of secluded beach and major metropolis, and my happy place is a 5-star hotel room all to myself - sigh.