and lots of other art-inspired gifts, too …
I’ve often mentioned artist/perfumer Erin Quinn’s EQ Factories perfumes, as they are really intriguing and lovely. If they were in a posh box in a beauty hall, you’d pay way more for them. So they’re something of a hidden secret, and one for perfume-lovers willing to seek out something other than the mainstream. After all, even “niche” perfumes are now widely worn, and it’s getting harder to track down something that is just a little more unique.
Frederic William Burton (1816-1900), ‘Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs’, 1864. © National Gallery of Ireland.
Quinn has just launched a new perfume, and it’s exclusive to the National Gallery shop. Páis eau de parfum (€48) takes inspiration from Frederic William Burton’s “Hellelil and Hildebrand, the Meeting on the Turret Stairs”, one of the Gallery’s most popular paintings. Quinn’s perfume, Páis (passion in Irish), aims to bottle the romantic spirit of this artwork. And to suit its medieval inspiration, it features traditional essences such as cloves, myrrh, cinnamon and rose, plus notes of leather and a hint of metal, in a nod to Hildebrand’s dashing battle outfit.
And it’s timely, with a clove and cinnamon spiciness that is intrinsically wintery. But don’t imagine a bog-standard Christmas candle smell. Although it’s the clove notes you notice most to start with, this is a scent to see through. Stay with it – its lasting presence on your wrist is beautifully wintery, and you can feel the coldness of the stairway in the painting as well as the warm spicy notes and dark romantic rose. Simple as the packaging is – no waste here, and the glass bottle is recyclable – the contents are rather special. Present it perhaps with a postcard of the painting and even a matching cosmetic bag (€14.95), available here too.
There are lots of other good gifts in the shop and online, too – I like the Mondrian Paint Tube Pen (€2.95), Jack B Yeats notecards set (€8.95) and the Van Gogh Almond Blossom tray (€8.50) for keeping cosmetics and jewellery on.
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