Five minutes with... Lorraine McKenna of Gold Hart

We caught up with Lorraine McKenna, the founder of luxury candle brand Gold Hart, to find out more about how she finds inspiration from the natural landscape of Scotland.

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Why did you decide to set up your own business, and can you tell us a bit about the journey towards creating Gold Hart?

During the summer of 2014, Scotland looked amazing in the limelight of the Commonwealth Games and the coverage of the independence referendum. This brought home to me how beautiful Scotland is, and how much her global presence is recognised for its quality across all sectors.

This exposure resonated with me and I decided to try and create something that was contemporary, with a wink to its Scottishness without reference to tartan or whisky. I always imagined the brand as black and gold. A hart is a mature stag and the logo was a play on words to shape the antlers into a heart. The decision to enter the home fragrance market was down to old fashioned research - I wanted to create something that appealed across gender, age and season.

Where do you find your inspiration from when it comes to creating scents and products?

The inspiration for each fragrance comes from the land, the sea and the diverse terrain that covers this beautiful country, which many of us take for granted.

My background is in fashion buying, working with visual concepts and pulling looks together for each store. I used this experience to create a mood board for each scent. Each board represented the colours, mood and feel I wanted to portray in each candle. I am not a fragrance expert and for this reason I sent off the mood boards to a fragrance company who then translated my vision into scent. 

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Candles are often traditionally thought of as a winter indulgence – what are your top tips for embracing candles in the warmer months?

As Gold Hart has grown, I have learned how intimate the sense of scent is and the strong link with our emotions - this is why scent evokes a memory. Fill your room with the scent of Shore, close your eyes and you could be walking along the silver sands of Morar. 

Creating an ambience is key to socialising at home, and scent and candle light is the best way to create this no matter what month of the year.

What’s your favourite thing about living and working in Scotland?

It has become a cliché, but I have to say the people are the best thing about living and working in Scotland.

I’ve found that other independent company owners are open to collaboration and co-operation, sharing information and giving advice. The support and guidance I’ve received from fellow Scottish business owners has been completely beyond all my expectations.

Which interiors trends will you be trying out this summer?

I will be trying out the spa-inspired bathroom trend this summer. To achieve this, I am going to declutter my bathroom, invest in some neatly folded luxurious towels and of course plenty of scented candles.

To find out more about Lorraine and Gold Hart, please visit or follow on Instagram @gold_hart_scotland