Sweet scent of success for Arran Aromatics

YOU can almost smell the gorse-covered hills and feel an invigorating blast of salty sea winds when you step into the Arran Aromatics flagship store in Princes Square.

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 Arran Aromatics Manager Lynne Johnston highlights the range of products in the Princes Square store   Pictures: Mark Mainz
Arran Aromatics Manager Lynne Johnston highlights the range of products in the Princes Square store Pictures: Mark Mainz

The home-grown brand is getting ready to celebrate 25 years in business and while it has grown and expanded like a blooming wild orchid, it has never forgotten its ethics.

Founded by Janet Russell at the kitchen sink in Arran, the company is still family-run.

There's a real taste of its Argyll roots in the fragrances and ingredients, from geranium and ginger to lavender, fig and white lily.

"Our products are still made at Home Farm and we try to do everything as naturally as possible," explains store manager Lynne Johnston.

"We source everything as close to home as we can and all the water in the products is Arran spring water."

One of the most recent additions to the range of fragrance, bath and body products is the Driftwood collection for men.

The heart tones are lavender, giving it an almost herbal feel, with base notes of tonka beans, which are used to fragrance tobacco.

"It is actually quite a unisex fragrance and a lot of women wear it, too," offers Lynne.

Regular customers will already be familiar with After the Rain, the bestselling signature scent for women.

A wonderfully fresh fragrance to brighten up the dullest of winter days, it has top notes of mandarin, lemon and bergamot, heart notes of rose and jasmine and base notes of musk and moss.

"When you first spray it you get a really nice fresh citrusy top note," says Lynne.

"The fusion of fruits and florals really suits a lot of people. It has all the signature accents you would define as a classic fragrance but it also has that contemporary feel with the florals and mandarin."

She suggests layering it with the shea butter moisturiser for a perfume that lasts all day.

The Parfumeur home range is a real treat and makes perfect gifts with room sprays, candles and diffusers.

"The candles are infused with perfume. Everyone thinks that's a really obvious thing to say, it's a fragranced candle so of course it has perfume in it, but that's not always the case," reveals Lynne.

"Some companies infuse their candles with a synthetic fragrance or an essential oil. Our range is made with real perfume and that means the fragrance is stronger and the candle has a better quality burn.

"Sometimes when you burn a candle you can't smell it unless you're standing right next to it. Our candles envelop the room with their fragrance."

The candles first launched with seven scents but two have been so popular - Ultimate Fig and Just Grapefruit - that they have spawned their very own ranges, Velvet Isle and Citrus Shores.

Janet launched the baby range after the birth of her first grandchild but it has become popular with all ages.

By far and away the bestseller is the Baby Feel Soothed Barrier Cream. "We sell it by the truckload," laughs Lynne.

ZINC oxide with honey and chamomile, it is incredibly soothing on young skin, protecting against nappy rash. It is also popular with sufferers of sensitive skin conditions from eczema and dermatitis to psoriasis.

"Many people who come in to buy this use it themselves," says Lynne.

"And we have one customer who comes up from London to buy it in bulk.

"I don't think we realised at first how popular it was going to be because at the time in the market there wasn't a baby product like this."

Lynne gives her own testimonial for the Baby Fresh Hair & Body Wash.

"My little girl had a dry patch at the back of her head since she was born. I tried things recommended by the doctor, then I thought I'd try this. It's the only thing that has cleared it up.

"From my own personal experience I really like talking to people coming in to buy it because it's all true."

The brand is stocked in hotels across the country and it is the Feelgood Formula range that appears in shampoos and shower gels.

No need to smuggle those tiny bottles away in your suitcase, you can buy bigger sizes to take home at the Princes Square store.Choose from the Conditioning and Balancing Lavender and Lemongrass Shampoo and Bergamot and Ginger Shower Gel.

Particularly popular just now to perk up winter skin is the Bergamot Mud Mask and Cucumber and Avocado Body Scrub.

"We have a lot of customers coming in just now who want to give their skin a detox and this range is really good, it works from head to toe.

"Some also use the Lavender and Black Pepper Mineral Soak when they have a cold, not just to put in the bath but as a steam inhaler to clear their sinuses."

Well, you wouldn't want to miss out on all those lovely fragrances on offer...



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