Castle Forbes: A Noble Brand
Castle Forbes is a Scottish castle, built 600 years ago. It was, and still is, the seat of one of the greatest of Scottish nobles, the Chief of Clan Forbes. It gained an interesting additional claim to fame in 1996 when Jinny Forbes, with the assistance of a friend who knew perfumes, turned a small part of the castle into a perfumery. Now Castle Forbes creates high-quality fragrances for both men and women, in addition to soaps and other items based around the themes of the castle.
The Lords of Forbes
Castle Forbes has been the home of the highest lord of Scotland, the Chief of Clan Forbes, for hundreds of years. The lord who holds this title is the senior lord in the Peerage of Scotland in the United Kingdom’s House of Lords. At some point between 1435 and 1442 or so, the title was created for Alexander de Forbes, who was then the baron of Forbes. From that point thereafter, he was Lord Forbes.
The twelfth lord of Forbes became Lord Lieutenant of Aberdeenshire and of Kincardinshire. His great-grandson, who was the seventhteenth lord of Forbes rose to the rank of General, and was a Peer in the House of Lords from 1806 to 1843. His son, as the eighteenth Lord of Forbes was also a military man, who fought in the Battle of Waterloo in 1815, when the British at last defeated Napoleon Bonaparte.
The nineteenth Lord of Forbes also served in Parliament from 1874 to 1906, as did his nephew, the twenty-first Lord, from 1917 to 1924. After this, all Scottish peers were given seats in the House of Lords, instead of having to appoint a representative for all Scottish nobility. Today, the title is held by the twenty-third Lord of Forbes, who is also the Chief of Clan Forbes.
The Seat of the Clan
The seat of Clan Forbes, the Vale of Alford, has been in their possession for more than 600 years. At first, they lived in a great house called Putachie, until the seventeenth Lord of Forbes ordered the construction of the castle in 1815. Now it is the home of his descendant, Malcolm, and his wife Jinny, who is styled Lady Forbes.
Lord Malcolm and Lady Jinny keep their own open for guests to stay. The beautiful surroundings and spacious castle give them ample space for people to not only enjoy their stay in the Vale of Alford, but serves as a good base from which to explore a good portion of the rest of Scotland. There’s great fishing in the area on the River Don, and some amazing golf courses right on the premises.
The real draw for many to the castle, however, is the perfumery. Lady Forbes has a great love of perfumes, so she had the dairy converted into a perfumery with the help of a perfumer friend into a perfumery in 1996. This tiny perfumery creates some of the best original fragrances in the world, all of them wrapped neatly in Forbes tartan with the family crest and Forbes motto printed on the box.
The original fragrance was named Chatelaine, in honor of the lady of the house. It contains the pure essence of the flower of the broom plant – the badge pinned to the official cap of Clan Forbes. Along with broom, it contains rose absolute, jasmine, lily, narcissus, and neroli, along with woods and resins to give it a certain weight.
The perfumer for Castle Forbes, Andrew French, went on to create more fragrances for the Castle, like the floral Eau Deux, touched with fruity scents. It blends bergamot with ylang-ylang and herbal notes, such as basil. Orris and vetiver give it an exotic touch, while precious woods in the base give it a feeling of mystery.
Applause is a fragrance for younger women, or women who are young at heart. It is fresh and exciting, made from the essence of white florals with a base of fine woody notes.
The men are not neglected when it comes to fragrances from Castle Forbes. One of their quality offerings is Forbes of Forbes, a cologne for men. This has natural herbal notes and accords of pine, with a gentle amber base for an air of nobility.
A Proud Lineage
The scents that have characterized this region of Scotland for thousands of years can take one back to a time even before Clan Forbes. A natural woodland burial ground, complete with a stone circle, testifies to settlement thousands of years in the past. The plants there provide some of the essences used in Castle Forbes fragrances.
Many of the perfumes, like Chatelaine or Forbes of Forbes, go back to the noble lineage that has occupied the vale since the dawn of Scottish history. Others still, reflect the personality or spirit of the people who live within the castle today.