Celebrate Burns Night with Aqua Alba
Posted on January 20 2021
Each year, in Scotland and all around the world, people celebrate the memory of the great Scottish poet Robert Burns by holding Burns Suppers on and around his birthday, 25 January.
People celebrate in different ways but a Burns Supper traditionally consists of a hearty meal which includes haggis, neeps and tatties, rounded off with a dram (or two!) of whisky. Some of Burns’ poems and songs are recited and tributes are made to the great Bard.
Our Aqua Alba fragrance is inspired by the flavours of whisky and is the perfect scent to accompany this celebration.
A Cult Fragrance inspired by Whisky
Named for the spirit of Scotland, Aqua Alba was originally created by Angela Flanders and released as a limited edition in 2012. It quickly became an established, cult perfume.
It was a fascinating process to watch Angela create Aqua Alba, inspired by her conversations with Jim Beveridge, Master Blender at Johnnie Walker Whisky.
The following video gives us a glimpse of the creation process of the fragrance:
Creating a whisky-inspired perfume was different from blending whisky as the aim was to evoke a place or a feeling and encapsulate an essence:
“The parallels between the blending process, despite the vast difference in scale was surprising. My starting point was the evocative aromas of malt whisky and the very essence of the peaty Scottish landscape, honeyed heather and woodsmoke that I sought to capture with Aqua Alba”
“It was my decision not to replicate it. I could have produced the smell of whisky, but that is not what this is about, it is about atmosphere, imagination. What I had to do was evoke the spirit of the place. So I based it on the peaty smell of the earth underfoot from the Derbyshire moors of my childhood, those wild and lonely places, the open spaces with the sounds of birds crying” – Angela Flanders
Aqua Alba celebrates the art of blending, distilling the distinctive flavours of whisky and translating them into fragrance. The name Whisky stems from the Gaelic word meaning “water of life”, and the dark earthy notes of Aqua Alba evoke its magically restorative properties.
Distinguished, comforting and rugged, Aqua Alba draws on elements of the Scottish landscape that so imbue whisky with its distinctive flavours - peat smoke, heather, wind blasted wood, soft green mosses... Labdanum and patchouli represent the moss and earth, overlaying a heart of heather and guaiac wood, on a base of sweet amber, oudh and smoky peat.
A New Rendition
A few years after Aqua Alba was launched, one of the base ingredients, Brown Oak Moss, became unavailable meaning that a re-working of the original formula was required. Attempting to replace the lost ingredient while remaining as true to the original as possible was quite an olfactory challenge but we managed to amend the original formula with new accords in the base to replace the lost Oak Moss, while retaining the other original ingredients, and maintaining the fine balance of the original fragrance.
After a hiatus of a few years and with such a loyal following for this particular perfume, we were thrilled to relaunch Aqua Alba in 2019. We hope you'll enjoy this new rendition as much as we do!