‘The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness’
John Muir, Scottish-American naturalist & author
The Great Caledonian Forest – the ancient woods that once cloaked much of northern Scotland – still figures prominently in both the Scottish landscape and imagination. The remaining areas of old-growth Caledonian pinewood are now precious and protected, and to walk through them is to reconnect with an era of true wilderness – a bygone time of lynx, brown bears and wolves.
Queen of this wild wood, past and present, is the Scots Pine, a tree of distinction. The only true native pine of the British Isles, it was crowned the national tree of Scotland in 2014. Classically conical in its early years, the long-living Scots Pine becomes more eccentric as it ages, often developing a lofty, branchless trunk and a crown in its later years. Its green-blue needles grow only in pairs, with a distinctive twist. Scottish pinewoods now provide a treasured habitat for unique species such as the capercaillie, a striking woodland grouse; the rare Scottish crossbill, the only bird species found exclusively in the British Isles; and the scarce and elusive Scottish wildcat.
As colour drains from the winter landscape, the Scots Pine – long held as a symbol of hope, strength and vitality – remains saturated in green, emanating the scent of its resinous sap.
Scots Pine has been traditionally employed in soaps, salves and bath salts, thanks to the cleansing, antimicrobial properties of the resin – used by the tree to protect against threat – and its invigorating, sappy scent.
We have paired extract of Scots Pine with natural extract of Heather, an iconic Scottish heathland evergreen and a time-honoured skin-soother.
Noble Isle’s extracts of Scots Pine and Heather are both sourced in the responsibly managed pinewood forest of Pluscarden, in the northern Scottish province of Moray. Overlooking the 13th-century abbey of the same name, the forest is owned by Gordon Woodlands, whose founder Col. Euan Gordon was born and raised in this secluded corner of the highlands. His vision of sustainable forestry and conservation in Scotland’s north-east still guides the family forestry business today, protecting local flora and fauna, while supporting an important rural industry.
We spent some time chatting to Neil Gordon, who manages the pinewood forest of Pluscarden, in the northern Scottish Province of Moray. The extracts of scots pine and heather which build the luxury fragrance in our new Scots Pine collection are sourced from this very forest.
Products available: Bath & Shower Gel, Hand Wash, Hair Shampoo, Hair Conditioner and Candle
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