Last May I wrote this piece for the Daily Record about Imogen Russon-Taylor, and her fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland.
Imogen was a delight to meet and interview – her passion for her new venture was tangible, and I was so pleased to hear that her brand is now available in Harvey Nichols.
Imogen’s background is in geology, PR, and whisky, and she has drawn on all of that to create the first three distinctive scents that make up the premier collection for her fragrance house.
She’s drawn on Scotland’s cultural heritage, as well as images and textures of the natural landscape, and shows the traditions of Scotland in a contemporary context.
As in the art of distilling whisky, each fragrance is carefully crafted using only the finest natural and aromatic ingredients, which are expertly selected and blended. Every fragrant release is then slowly matured until it’s ready to bottle. From start to finish, each unique batch is individually numbered, bottled and packaged in Edinburgh, and Imogen uses a Scottish perfumer.
The glass bottles are both classic and timeless. All three fragrances are designed to appeal to both men and women.
Scotland deserves a fragrance house of quality and creative expression. Scent has that unique ability to transport you to a memory, a place, a moment in time. I want to create that ‘sense of place’ in my fragrances. There is so much pleasure to be had through our sense of smell. We live in such a digital age where sight and sound take centre stage. I want to celebrate scent and encourage people to explore and enjoy it more – Imogen Russon-Taylor
The three perfumes in the debut collection are Albaura, Portal and Metamorphic. The latter is my absolute favourite – it’s a gorgeous, heady, rich, scent.
This is a tribute to the Scottish botanist and Arctic explorer, Isobel Wylie Hutchison. Albaura captures the freshness of snow and glacial ice, blended with berries and botanicals, with a sophisticated base. It’s a lovely daytime scent.
Top notes: Iced Botanicals
Heart notes: Arctic Poppy
Base notes: Atlas Cedar Absolute, Rock Moss and Ambergris
This herbaceous and woody scent is super fresh. It’s a gateway to the ancient Caledonian forests of Scotland.
Top notes: Herbaceous Botanicals and Bergamot
Heart notes: Verdant Flora
Base notes: Vetiver and Scots Pine
Inspired by metamorphic rock and the geology of Scotland, this fragrance also references Imogen’s love of Islay Malt whisky – with a smouldering, spicy aspect that is softened with the heart of incense and dark rose. Complex and rich, with an intense transformation on the skin, this is a great evening scent, but I enjoy wearing it during the day as well.
Top notes: Black Pepper and Tobacco
Heart notes: Incense, Minerals, Islay Malt and Rose Absolute
Base notes: Amber Resin and Leather
The Kingdom Scotland EDP come in 50ml bottles, £120 each, available in Harvey Nichols, Edinburgh, and kingdomscotland.com