Travel-inspired fragrance | A graphic collage of three glass perfume bottles

Scents of place: fragrance to take you around the world

Words by Mhairi Mann
Last updated: December 18, 2023

These escapist scents take you on an olfactive journey to Paris, Mumbai, Madrid and beyond

Personal and potent, fragrance can transport you to a nostalgic, faraway land with one single whiff. From the cacophonous streets of Mumbai and the smouldering souks of Marrakech to the urbane promenades of Paris, these evocative fragrances will whisk you across the globe.

Travel-inspired fragrance | Mumbai noise by Byredo, against a blue graphic background

Mumbai Noise by Byredo

Mumbai Noise by Byredo pays tribute to the Indian city’s beautiful chaos, contradiction and rich aromas through a heady blend of amber and warm wood, stirred with leather and sweet tonka bean. Founder Ben Gorham’s mother was from Mumbai and the personal scent draws on childhood memories of visiting family in the suburb of Chembur, incorporating streetside coffee carts, a cacophony of sound, and sensual hazy clouds of incense. “Mumbai hits you the minute you get off the plane, it’s a sensory overload,” comments Gorham. “The smells and the noise and the motion of the city as it moves at this intense pace – it has an overwhelming sense of place that you just can’t escape.”

100ml, 200 GBP,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Radio Bombay by DS & Durga, against a blue graphic background

Radio Bombay by DS & Durga

DS & Durga has always referred to fragrance as ‘armchair travel’. Based in Brooklyn, the perfumery makes small-batch, punchy scents with playful names, which are instantly transporting. Radio Bombay is another olfactive ode to Mumbai, honing in on the hipster neighbourhood of Bandra. Notes of creamy sandalwood and musk mingle with peach, cedar and coconut for a warm, woody and robust scent that’s not for the faint of heart.

50ml, 210 USD

Travel-inspired fragrance | LA High by Kismet, against a blue graphic background

LA High by Kismet

Independent perfumer Kismet takes its name from the Persian word qismat, meaning ‘what is meant to be’. Its serendipitous scents are consciously handcrafted in New York by founder Shabnam Tavakol, who launched the brand after growing tired of the perfume industry’s marketing machine. Its Common Ground collection takes you from London’s Southbank to the sun-dazed streets of Los Angeles. “The collection is based on iconic places that draw all walks of life,” explains Tavakol. “Old men smoking cigarettes, businesswomen dashing to catch their trains, grungy skateboarders, and carefree children alike. For whatever reason, they are drawn to these common grounds, and at that moment everyone is equal.”

120 USD,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Marrakech by Aesop, against a blue graphic background

Marrakech Intense by Aesop

Aesop paints an olfactive portrait of Marrakech, bottling on the city’s fragrant, bustling souks, spice markets and wind-whipped deserts. Like the city itself, Aesop’s Marrakech is intense and enveloping. Woody sandalwood is spiced with clove and cardamon for a sultry unisex scent with staying power.

50ml, 115 GBP,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Passport Amour by CRA-YON, against a blue graphic background

Passport Amour by CRA-YON

Hailing from Sweden, CRA-YON’s collection of colourfully wrapped, minimalist fragrance is consciously made using raw ingredients. Passport Amour is your ticket to ‘another dimension’, stirring damask rose with amber and agarwood for an uplifting scent that won’t break the bank.

50ml, 75 GBP,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Capri by 19-69, against a blue graphic background

Capri by 19-69

Founded by Swedish artist Johan Bergelin, each of 19-69’s Eau de Parfums draws on a moment from the 1960s or ’70s. Capri is a citrusy burst of orange, ylang ylang and cool white musk, which takes its cue from the sultry French new wave film, Le Mépris. Close your eyes and you’re halfway there, zipping through the azure waters in a Riva speedboat.

100ml, 155 GBP,

Metamorphic by Kingdom Scotland

Billed as Scotland’s first fragrance house, Kingdom Scotland produces niche, unisex scents, inspired by the country’s dramatic landscape and storied past. Metamorphic takes its name from Scotland’s complex rock formations and ancient cliffs, which tower above its rugged shorelines. The scent itself is an ode to whisky, balancing smoke and leather with dark rose, amber and incense for a warm, cacooning scent, to wrap yourself in on chilly evening, best worn beside a flickering fire with a single malt.


Travel-inspired fragrance | a bottle Lys Sølaberg by Maison Crivelli against a blue backdrop

Lys Sølaberg by Maison Crivelli

Thibaud Crivelli’s fragrance house is inspired by travel, from his childhood in La Roche Posay in France to journeys through Indonesia and Morocco. Lys Sølaberg takes its cue from a night hike on a Scandinavian fjord, capturing cascading waterfalls, damp marshes and emerging lily flowers, nuanced by oakmoss,  patchouli and candied quince to give this floral scent a uniquely smoky, spiced edge.


Cairo by Penhaligon’s

With a Royal Warrant to its name, Penhaligon’s is one of the world’s most revered perfume houses, noted for its characterful scents and ornamental bottles. Conjuring a rising sun over curvature of the Nile at dusk, Cairo blends Damascena rose and vanilla with wood and saffron spice for a heady, lingering fragrance that blends modernity with ancient tradition, much like the city itself.

100ml, £195,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Smoke noise by Perfumer H, against a blue graphic background

Smoke by Perfumer H

“Smoke takes me to the market in Morocco, during autumn at dusk in search of ingredients,” comments Lyn Harris, the master nose behind much-revered Perfumer H. Turkish rose, chamomile, agar wood and frankincense come together for this smoky, come-hither scent, housed in an ornamental hand-blown Michael Ruh glass bottle. “Fragrance should transport you to a special place,” she continues. “It should make you feel good and make others want to be near you.” ​​

170 GBP,

Travel-inspired fragrance | Ylang 49 by Le Labo against a blue collage background

Ylang 49 by Le Labo

Le Labo’s Ylang 49 fragrance draws on the lush gardens of Tahiti, balancing delicate Ylang Ylang and floral Pua Noa Noa (imported from Tahiti), with earthy, sensual notes of oakmoss, cedar and patchouli for a thoroughly distinct scent. The New York fragrance house works with raw ingredients and natural oils to produce its consciously curated collection of long-lingering cult scents.

157 GBP,

Travel-inspired fragrance | a bottle of Ex Nihilo perfume against a blue backdrop

Honoré Delights by Ex Nihilo

“A good perfume should correspond to you perfectly; don’t get fooled by the name, the colour of the juice, or the packaging,” comments Benoît Verdier of Parisian perfumer Ex Nihilo. The brand bottles the spirit of the city through its signature fragrance, Honoré Delights, so-called after the location of Ex Nihilo’s design-led flagship boutique on Rue Saint-Honoré. The zesty scent bursts with bright orange blossom, bergamot and neroli, tempered by musk and sandalwood.

165 GBP,

Scherzo by Miller Harris

Miller Harris makes a case for the French Riviera with its bestselling Scherzo Eau de Parfum. Pure sunshine in a bottle, it blends floral peony, narcissus and rose with zesty tangerine, tempered by aromatic wild davana and a pinch of woody oudh. The fragrance is inspired by a passage from F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Tender is the Night, set in the French coastal town of Tarmes.



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