Aerin Lauder’s Morocco
Morocco has inspired your latest olfactory offering; how so?
Tangier Vanille is a unique combination of notes that remind me of Morocco, especially vanilla and bergamot. The scents of spices from everywhere - like vanilla, cinnamon and saffron - fill the air [there]. The heart of the Tangier Vanille fragrance showcases Madagascar vanilla, one of the finest and most expensive vanillas in the world. Its unique and distinct impression offers a twist on the traditional sweet aroma with added floral undertones. It creates a natural, delicate yet full aroma reminiscent of Morocco.
Scent is always tied to a memory and all of the ingredients remind me of my travels to Morocco. Also, North African tribal prints inspired the packaging. The hand-painted design with shades of chocolate brown and creamy ecru represent the fragrance notes - dark, exotic elements paired with the hero, vanilla.
What were your first impressions of Tangier?
Tangier - like Morocco itself - is a crossroads where many cultures meet. From the palaces and gardens to the legendary bazaars, there's always something new to explore. The centre of the medina in Marrakech is very inspiring; full of charm and rich colours.
What's on the Aerin Lauder must-do in Morocco list?
We stayed at the incredibly beautiful Four Seasons in Marrakech. It is the perfect balance of familiar and exotic. If you are looking for a little taste of home, you can order comfort food like fried eggs and bacon, but if you want a traditional Moroccan meal, they offer delicious local dishes. I loved the artfully arranged plates of dates, figs, and nuts.
One of the most stunning hotels in the world is La Mamounia, designed by the very talented Jacques Garcia. The hotel is a dazzling example of Moroccan style. To get to their wonderful restaurant Le Marocain, you have to walk through their gardens. The setting is magical, lots of rich colours, low lights, and red velvet. They have the most amazing lamb couscous. The night we were there, local musicians came in and played. My father requested an Arabic lullaby that my grandfather used to love called "Moustafa".
Visit the market, go for a hike in the dessert, go on a camel ride and have an authentic dinner in a tented room drinking mint tea after a day of shopping. The souks in Marrakech are famous for the incredible array of Moroccan treasures like embroidered tunics, coloured glass, jewellery, spices and ceramics. I found a striking terracotta tagine serving platter that I still wish I had taken home with me. It is on my wishlist for when I return (hopefully soon!).
The Royal Mansour hotel that King Mohammed VI built is also an exquisite example of Moroccan style. The spaces are very decadent-gold leaf ceilings, intricate carved floral motifs, beautiful tiles-the level of detail is extraordinary. Lunch in their garden restaurant La Table was lovely-the air smelled like jasmine and orange blossom.
What do you pack for a Moroccan escape?
White pants, great tunics, a great pair of flat sandals for all of the walking and a big tote bag.
This article is presented by AERIN