You may be a little surprised when you see the whiskey and perfume duo under the same title. What if I told you that these two are actually very close to each other?

Whiskey & perfume are parts of two very similar cultures, with their history dating back thousands of years, their origin story and, of course, being specialized categories.

In this article, I will suggest a few perfumes that I like very much because of the common points of whiskey and perfume, the products where the two sectors are intertwined, and finally because they evoke whiskey connotations in me.

Perfume: Ancestor of Whiskey?

First, let's talk about the historical similarities of these two. We owe the emergence of both whiskey and perfume to the discovery of distillation techniques.

Bildiğiniz üzere viski yüksek alkollü bir içki türüdür. Bir viskiye viski diyebilmemiz için minimum %40 alkol derecesine sahip olması gerekir. Alkol derecesini bu seviyelere çıkarmak için damıtma tekniği kullanılır. Fermantasyon ile elde edilen düşük alkollü sıvı bakır imbiklerde damıtılır ve ortaya %50-60 seviyelerinde alkollü bir sıvı ortaya çıkar. Sonrasında bu alkollü sıvı belli bir süre meşe fıçılarda olgunlaştırılarak şişelenir.

Distillation is essential not only for whiskey, but also for all spirits such as vodka, tequila, cognac, gin, raki and rum.

It is said that the origin of alcoholic beverages goes back to 7000 BC. The introduction of high alcohol into our lives begins with the emergence of distillation methods in Mesopotamia in 2000 BC (There are also sources that say that distillation was first developed in China).

Distillation was first described in records from the Akkadian empire, where the first evidence of distillation was found. perfume It is said to have been used for construction. So we can consciously say that perfume is distilled before alcohol.

The distillation techniques that emerged for perfume making are developed over time, and they go to different geographies with the increase of trade, the spread of religions and wars. With the arrival of distillation in Europe in the 12th century, Europe, which had been consuming beer and wine until then, became acquainted with high spirits.

Of course, in this period, high alcohol is produced primarily for medical purposes, not for drinking purposes. Fortunately, the pleasurable effect of alcohol outweighs, and the distillation of wine produces brandy and then distillation of different grains, resulting in alcohol types such as vodka, gin, and whiskey.

The first record of whiskey in history belongs to 1494. King of Scots IV. James to John Cor, a monk at Lindores Abbey “aqua vitae” He orders that about 580 kg of barley be given to make (Latin for water of life). These barleys are registered in the royal treasury, making it the first official document in history to have whiskey been mentioned.

Since beer must first be produced to produce whiskey, they call beer the ancestor of whiskey (See: Whiskey Production). When we look at the distillation part of the business, I think it is very reasonable to say a similar relationship for perfume and whiskey...

Fragrance – Fragrance – Fragrance

We have provided the historical integrity of these two cultures by talking a little about the history of distillation and a little bit of whiskey. But we really don't need to go that far back to establish the connection. The most important common point of both cultures: Fragrance.

After talking about the whiskey culture for a long time (testing the patience of the participants…) at my whiskey tastings, when it comes to the tasting part, all the participants immediately move to their glasses to sip their whiskeys. At this point, I immediately step in and talk about the importance of tasting by smell before tasting while tasting.

For perfume and whiskey “formulas composed of different odor molecules” We can define common.

In all tastings, not just whiskey tastings, our palate provides us with limited knowledge. The thing that allows us to recognize the drink in our glass is our nose. While our tongue enables us to perceive 5 basic tastes as sweet, salty, sour, bitter and umami, our nose can distinguish between 10 thousand and 40 thousand different odor molecules (Book of Fragrances, Vedat Ozan).

When we smell it, we not only smell different smells, but also feel different emotions, even associate it with our lives and go on a journey. Because the perception of odor is processed by the same nervous system in our brain together with the mood (Book of Smells, Vedat Ozan).

For example, every time I smell a smoked whiskey, memories of my camp come to mind. Similarly, if I have tasted a special whiskey for the first time in a very pleasant environment, whenever I drink the same whiskey, I am teleported to the place and moment I tasted it for the first time. One of these unforgettable moments and whiskeys is in London. Milroy's I drank at the whiskey bar Talisker 18is .

I think you understand where I'm going from here. Just like whiskey, perfumes make us feel different emotions and evoke associations. Sometimes they remind us of someone we love, sometimes they take us to a moment we can't forget, and sometimes they bring back an unpleasant memory. In short, perfumes make us feel different, which is why we see the themes they want to make us feel more than the scents themselves in perfume advertisements.

I spend more time on the "sniffing" part, both when tasting alone and at the tasting events I organize, and I pay attention not only to the smells I smell, but also to understand the feelings it evokes in me and the associations it creates. I strongly recommend that you do the same.

Whiskey Scented Perfumes

We can say that the studies and products on whiskey and perfume have increased in recent years. I think that the fact that the two cultures target similar segments as a product, along with their historical and descriptive proximity, is also effective in this. Let's give a few examples of whiskey-like perfumes:

Kilian – Single Malt

Kilian's perfume released in 2015. As the name suggests, Single Malt is a strong whiskey-like perfume with alcohol, malt, cedar wood and fruit scents. Let me also mention that the Kilian brand is a brand created by Kilian Hennessy, the heir to luxury cognac manufacturer Hennessy.

Thierry Mugler – A Men Pure Malt

A Men Pure Malt, released in 2009, is a perfume that evokes whiskey with its sooty, woody and spicy scents. In some sources, even peat notes are mentioned. The bottle design is also quite ambitious.

Kingdom Scotland – Metamorphic

Kingdom Scotland is a very boutique Scottish brand that I came across and heard for the first time while researching for this article. I can say that I immediately felt sympathy for the brand after reading an interview with Imogen Russon-Taylor, the founder of the brand. Because the most important goal of this brand is to make Scottish perfumes a brand in the world, just like Scottish whiskey.

Metamorphic, one of Kingdom Scotland's 3 perfumes, promises to make the users feel themselves in Scotland with its scents of black pepper, tobacco, mineral, Islay malt and leather.

CH Men Prive

CH Men Privé is Carolina Herrera's perfume that stands out with its masculinity. In the communications of this perfume, there is a great emphasis on whiskey notes and luxury living. When we look at the prominent notes, leather, wood, cardamom, lavender and sage are shared along with whiskey.

Bentley for Men Intense

Bentley for Men Intense, launched in 2013, is an intense perfume evoking whiskey with bergamot, black pepper, cinnamon, rum, leather, wood and cedar wood scents. It caught my attention with its scents of both rum and whiskey.


Perfumed Whiskeys

We talked about whiskey perfumes, now let's talk about perfumed whiskeys, or rather "Perfumed" whiskeys. “Perfumed” is a term often used in whiskey tasting notes. I also use it from time to time on to describe generally pleasant and elegant scents.

When "perfumed" whiskey is mentioned, Teeling Small Batch, Glenlivet 15, Redbreast Lustau Edition, Cardhu 12 and Yamazaki Distiller's Reserve Expressions like these are the first examples that come to my mind. The list would get longer if we include whiskeys reminiscent of perfume not only with their scent but also with their bottle designs…. (Hibiki, Dalmore, Royal Salute)

Not to mention Macallan's Edition No.3 expression in this section. Macallan Edition No.3, launched in 2017, is the brand's chief distiller Bob Dalgarno and famous perfumer Roja DoveAn expression of .

During the maturation phase, 250,000 bottles were produced from Macallan Edition No.3, where 6 different barrels of 4 different types were used. to the tasting notes from this link .

Perfume, Food & Drink Pairing

This year, I attended an event that broadened my horizons on whiskey & perfume. At the event called “The Nose Meets The Chef”, the drink specialist Ayca Budak , chief Burcak Kazdal and fragrance specialist Vedat OzanI've experienced the wonderful pairings that .

In this event, there were dishes prepared specially for the night, drinks paired with them, and finally perfumes with similar odor profiles to both the food and the drink. I enjoyed each match very much, but there were 2 that stood out for me.

The first is Kayra Heritage Episode 1 (2014) wine and Iskarfand by Ormonde Jayne perfume, accompanied by lamb basma with artichokes. What they all have in common is the "Pink Pepper" scent.

The other is Kayra Versvs Syrah Viognier 2017 and Wild Berries by Keiko Mencheri perfume served with duck with blackberry sauce. The common element of these three was the scent of “Red Berries”.

It was a pleasant and interesting experience to see how fragrance can actually be a common denominator in different categories in this tasting. I'd be lying if I said I didn't look for whiskey at the event, even though I thoroughly enjoyed all the matches. A similar tasting whiskey can also be great as food and perfume…

Examples from Turkey

It is not easy to find the whiskey based perfumes I mentioned above in Turkey. The ones found are not in stock, although they are on different sites. You can still try your luck.

While I was doing my whiskey & perfume research, I saw that certain scents were common in all the perfumes I came across. Fragrances such as cedar wood, leather, vanilla, wood, ginger, salt, tobacco, moss are a few of them. We see that many of these scents appear in whiskey.

Accordingly, I would like to suggest a few perfumes in which these characters are prominent and that you can easily find in Turkey. I also added the links to them.

Among these perfumes Man Wood Essence and Guerlain L'homme Ideal I can say my favourites. It can be a great gift for yourself or a loved one, along with a bottle of whiskey.


Vedat Ozan – The Book of Fragrances

Rod Philips – History of Alcohol

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