Discover dishes inspired by your favourite scents

Becki Murray
·5-min read
Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy

From Town & Country

If you have become a little stuck in a culinary rut of late, it might be time to stop flicking through your old recipe books and to turn to your favourite fragrances instead.

According to the perfumer Linda Pilkington, the founder of the fragrance brand Ormonde Jayne, the notes you love to spritz on your skin can provide a host of ideas for new delicious dishes, which is why she often turns to her signature scents for inspiration in the kitchen.

Indeed, both fragrance and food have the power to evoke memories, sparking joy by taking you on an olfactory journey through time and place. As such, it’s perhaps no surprise that many perfumers and chefs alike are inspired to form their creations by building stories around a feeling or location.

By bringing the two disciplines together, Pilkington suggests you can use your signature scent to help guide you towards even more creative culinary creations. It could be as simple as asking yourself what dishes are immediately brought to your mind when you smell your perfume:

  • Does the sparkling juice remind you of sipping cocktails during summer holidays in Europe and the food you loved there?

  • Does its sweetness remind you of indulgent desserts you had as a child that you could recreate?

  • Is its richness evoking something else entirely, which might inspire you to experiment with something new?

Or, you could go deeper into the notes themselves, focusing on the dishes you love that could be inspired by citrus accords, sweet gourmands including vanilla or the spiciness of cinnamon, oud and pepper.

“Cooking has always been one of my passions, and the combination of flavours is an essential part for me; I love creating gourmand recipes and find myself consciously thinking about how which flavours will complement each other in the same way as constructing a perfume,” explains Pilkington.

Exclusively for Town & Country, the perfumer has shared her current favourite fragrant recipes, using blood oranges to create an indulgent marmalade and a show-stopping salad that is packed with antioxidants and vitamin C.

“These recipes were inspired by one of my first Ormonde Jayne fragrances, Osmanthus, a citrusy scent. The dishes are perfect for uplifting a cloudy grey day and I guarantee your kitchen will smell amazing after the marmalade has been simmering for two hours.”

Watch the video and then discover the recipes below:

Blood orange essential oil

Ingredients and equipment

1kg blood orange peel (about 10 blood oranges)

Garlic press

Muslin cloth


Pan of water


Peel the oranges using a sharp knife, trying to avoid as much of the white pith as possible.

Using scissors, cut the peel into squares the size of the garlic press (usually around one square inch).

Set a pan of water to reach around 50 to 65°C. Put in the peel and leave for about five minutes to soften.

Keeping the water, remove all the peel with a slotted spoon and lay on kitchen towel to drain. Pat dry with kitchen roll.

Line the inside of the garlic press with a muslin cloth and then tightly pack the press with as much peel as possible.

Squeeze the oil out of the orange peel into a small bowl, keeping the extracted peel to one side.

Aromatic salad dressing with blood orange essential oil

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy


4 teaspoons of champagne vinegar

4 teaspoons Dijon mustard

2 teaspoons honey

1 teaspoon essential blood orange oil

8 tablespoons of olive oil


Whisk ingredients together, taste to adjust.

Essential blood orange marmalade

This is a lovely sweet marmalade with a beautiful colour, delicious on yoghurt or on hot buttered toast.

Photo credit: Courtesy
Photo credit: Courtesy


8 to 10 blood oranges

Orange peel cut into 1 inch squares

2 litres water

1 lemon

1 kilo of unrefined raw sugar

1 teaspoon of pure orange essential oil


Use the pieces of blood orange peel used in the first step from the essential oil recipe.

Place six to eight jam jars in oven at about 150 degrees for around 10 mins then turn oven off.

Pour the filtered water into a large pan together with the water used to steep the orange peel in the previous step.

Roughly chop the flesh of the oranges into small pieces and place into the pan together with all the 1 inch pieces of orange peel used in the essential oil recipe.

Squeeze the lemon, keeping the juice and pips separated. Pour the lemon juice into the pan. Put all the pips onto a small piece of muslin cloth and tie the top with string. The pips create natural pectin to thicken the marmalade.

Bring to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Add the sugar and then let it then simmer for about two hours, stirring every half an hour with a wooden spoon.

After two hours, a delicious aroma of citrus marmalade will fill your home. Test to see if the marmalade is ready by dropping some on a cold saucer: if it creases it’s ready, but if it’s too runny, keep it simmering for another 10 minutes.

Allow the marmalade to cool slightly and then take jars out of oven. Fill the jars up (you can use a funnel) making sure you fill the marmalade right up to the brim.

Fennel, radicchio and blood orange show-stopper salad


A mix of seasonal leaves

Head of radicchio and chicory

Fennel bulb sliced thinly into crescents

2 or 3 blush oranges peeled and sliced horizontally

Handful of torn mint leaves

Handful of fresh coriander

Rainbow heirloom radishes, sliced

Coloured cherry tomatoes

Toasted almond slivers to garnish


Mix the leaves, radicchio, chicory, fennel, radishes and tomatoes together, and toss with the aromatic salad dressing.

Add the mint, coriander on top and the display the sliced blood oranges on top.

Sprinkle with toasted almonds and add a final drizzle of the dressing.