The scent secrets of London’s swishest hotels
Ever wished you could bottle the scent of a posh hotel and take it home to spritz? We asked five of the city’s fanciest establishments what they rely on, so you can make your living space smell just as sweet
Once upon a time, The Ned was home to a bustling bank. These days, it’s Soho House’s glamorous flagship hotel and members’ club. In Ned’s Club Spa, Cowshed’s Relax Candles (£38) are used to “set the tone and cast a more flattering, softer light,” explains general manager Svetlana Strbac-Lewis. “The candles blend hibiscus to help you slow down, lavender to restore harmony and eucalyptus helps to clarify the mind.”
The Trafalgar St. James
With views of London’s skyline, The Trafalgar St. James is a chic urban sanctuary just feet from the chaos of Trafalgar Square. It smells delicious too, thanks to the Molton Brown Orange and Bergamot Scented Candles (£39) burning across the hotel. The candles’ fragrance “not only smells great, but has relaxing properties which ensure guests have a rested stay in the bustle of the city,” says marketing manager Steven Guarino.
The Henrietta Hotel is a delightfully quirky hideaway in Covent Garden, filled with hand-painted wallpaper, art deco features and plenty of retro charm. “We spray Zenology Camellia Sinesis Ambiance Trigger (from £12.97) in the rooms before check-in,” explains general manager Lucas Beguinot. “We believe it helps guests remember their experience at Henrietta, as we all know that perfume triggers the best memories.”
Co-created by designer Philippe Starck, Bethnal Green’s new Mama Shelter is a colourful funhouse with karaoke rooms and a living room-style restaurant. The hotel even has its own perfumer, Rami Mekdachi, who describes fragrances as “powerful potions linked to our memories”. To that end, he’s created a range of home scents and candles (£30.23), with notes of atlas cedar, amber, and musk creating a cosy, luxurious vibe.
The Soho Hotel
British interior designer Kit Kemp is the co-owner and creative genius behind Firmdale Hotels, which owns boutique boltholes like The Soho Hotel and Ham Yard Hotel. The group’s London and New York establishments are all filled with Kemp’s vibrant interiors and playful, patterned textiles – and the fragrant delights of her signature Lavender Eucalyptus and Gardenia Sandalwood room sprays (£20), which instil a feeling of calm.
’s food editor Jenny
rounds up recipes that are perfect for Bonfire Night (or any chilly autumn evening, in fact)
Bonfire Night, for me, will always be about French onion soup. My mum used to cook up steaming bowls of deliciously caramelised onions in a thick broth, topped with what was essentially cheese on toast, before we headed out to the local fireworks display (Delia’s recipe is a classic).
Not got hours to sweat down a kilo of onions (or can’t cope with the crying it induces *raises hand*)? Then Dishoom’s gunpowder potatoes from their new cookbook are an easy way to mark the occasion: new potatoes grilled until crisp then spiced with a fiery blend of cumin, coriander and fresh green chilli. For another firework-themed dinner, try this homely Catherine Wheel toad-in-the-hole. One to remember (remember).
What a time to be a bookworm! These are the three new reads we’re excited about right now
If you liked what MinaLima did with the Harry Potter films, you’ll love their take on Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland & Through the Looking Glass (£25, Harper Design). Packed with beautiful pop-out illustrations, it may just be the loveliest book we’ve seen all year.
In the market for a new literary work? This Thursday sees the release of two. In Lydia Davis’s Essays (£20, Hamish Hamilton), the beloved American author reflects on reading and writing in typically funny, incisive and tender style. And The Topeka School by Ben Lerner (£16.99, Granta) will be one of this year’s most talked-about novels: tackling toxic masculinity in 90s Kansas in a timely, devastating way.
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