Fragrance Profile: Dubrovnik (Fig Honeysuckle Neroli)
In 2015, I flew from London to Croatia. Over the course of 2 weeks I drove up the entire coast falling in love with that stunning country. Dubrovnik, known as the Gem of the Adriatic, inspired one of my favourite fragrance.
The top note of the Dubrovnik candle is fig, a popular fruit in Dalmatia. The Adriatic fig is a sweet, luscious, and fragile fruit with a short shelf life. Because of its fragility, it’s not often encountered fresh, and figs are mostly dried or made into preserves, cakes, and liqueur in Dubrovnik. The fragrance of a fig is the perfect mix of bitter green, sweet, and fruity facets, and given the prominence of the fruit in Dubrovnik, I knew that would be my starting point.
Building on the fig, I added honeysuckle middle notes. The perfect blend of fresh, floral sweetness, it’s not hard to come by in Croatia (most enjoyably in the honeysuckle notes of Graševina, a local wine). I particularly loved the honeysuckle scent, as it grew in the garden of my childhood home.
For the base of the fragrance, I chose Neroli. Bitter orange originated in Northeast India, came to Europe in the 10th century, arrived in Southern Italy 200 years later, and then made its way to Dubrovnik. The tree was used as garden decorations for the wealthy in cities and eventually in villages. Beauty of the tree aside, bitter orange is valued and widely use in baking, liqueurs, wines, and more. (There is even a Croatian Festival of Jams and Marmalades- a well spent weekend for all). Given the significance of the botanical and how beautifully the green and spicy citrus blends fig and honeysuckle, it was the perfect fusion.
After returning home from my trip, I would spend the next 2 years creating and perfecting the Dubrovnik fragrance, inspired by the Adriatic coast. Of all our fragrances, Dubrovnik took the longest to create and it was well worth the patience.