Turkish Delight? Yes, Please!

Even though there were at least a couple of guest writers on Undina’s Looking Glass, over the last couple of years I was a sole contributor, so for a while I will be reminding my readers to look at the By line (Undina).

* * *

When I was a child, I loved to read The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis, and I read it multiple times a year. In it a rather unpleasant child is offered a box of Turkish delight by a beautiful woman. He likes it so much he trades everything for more and more Turkish delight, everything being his siblings, Jesus, summer time, kittens… everything! I had no idea what Turkish delight was, but it was obviously very delicious since it was worth betraying everyone you ever met. For my whole childhood I imagined it was rum truffles, something I had tasted only a few times. They were rich and decadent, and you were never allowed to have as many as you wanted, so that to me was Turkish delight.

Many years later, I discovered what Turkish delight really was, and I love it far more than rum truffles! I’m also aghast that Edmund managed to eat boxes and boxes of it. I’ve always loved any foods with a perfumed note and rose flavour is the queen. Rose pastilles, rose truffles, rose gelato… I remember them all because they are not easy to find. Turkish delight, however, is readily available, and I buy it a few times a year and cover myself in powdered sugar eating far too many delightful cubes of rosy joy. So when a perfume smells like Turkish delight I am absolutely in LOVE.

My beloved favourite Turkish delight perfume is the original Boucheron Jaipur for women. It’s a beautiful bracelet (and confusingly one of the flankers is named “Bracelet” but that is a different perfume), and it I adore it. Sticky, candied rose and fruits created in 1994 by Sophia Grojsman. There are plenty of sweet rose perfumes that are delicious, such as Lush‘s Rose Jam, but to evoke Turkish delight you need that perfumey note. It’s more a caricature of rose than rose itself. Boucheron Jaipur just plainly makes me happy.

Top Notes: Pineapple, Apricot, Freesia, Peach, Plum
Middle Notes: Carnation, Iris, Jasmine, Lily of the Valley, Orchid, Peony, Black locust, Rose
Base Notes: Amber, Vanilla, Benzoin, Heliotrope, Musk, Sandalwood, Styrax

Turkish delight, or lokum can be flavoured with a variety of things, but the rose flavour made with rose water, which is a distillate of rose petals, is the most popular. There are synthetic versions as well and who knows which ones I’ve eaten. I’ve bought it in markets from huge slabs, as well as chucking it in the trolley from the supermarket. I have loved them all!




Though I have no idea if Sophia Grojsman ever thought about Turkish delight when creating Boucheron Jaipur, it was the inspiration for my other sticky perfume treasure, L’Artisan’s Traversee du Bosphore (2010) by Betrand Duchaufour.

Top Notes: Apple, Pomegranate, Tulip
Middle Notes: Iris, Leather, Saffron, Rose, Pistachio
Base Notes: Vanilla, Musk

The heart of Traversee Bosphore is a plasticky, perfumey rose, without a doubt more cheap rosewater than the actual flower. This is what makes it a true Turkish delight scent, that the rose is all about confection. There’s a powdery iris that speaks of the powdered sugar very well without altering the perfumey rose heart. Violet would have created something quite different here. However fear not, this is still a grown-up scent. Saffron and leather are very sexy skin scents in this creation, and the brightness of the top notes keeps it surprisingly fresh.

Rose is a constant perfume love for me, but I have a special place in my heart for the ones that evoke Turkish delight. I’ve tried some that claim to do so but add an almond marzipan note, which moves the creation firmly away from the simple joy of lokom and into a fancy cake shop. I want an indulgent sticky mess!


Images: my own (Narth)


25 thoughts on “Turkish Delight? Yes, Please!

  1. Although I love all rose-flavoured goodies to eat and drink (I adore rose tea), I actually prefer rum truffles to Turkish delight! But the smell is “delightful”, and I share your liking for Traversee and Boucheron Jaipur. We’ve discussed before the appeal of Yves Rocher’s Rose Absolue (thank you for my bottle!) and Lancome’s Mille et une Roses, both Turkish delight to my nose, and no sign of a certain sour note that some rose fragrances have. Lancome seems to be launching quite a few rose inspired perfumes lately, but I have no idea what they smell like or if they are as good as Mille.

    Back to The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe – I was more fascinated by the Witch than her gift of confectionery …. have you ever seen the old BBC TV series? That was exactly how I imagined her when I read the book at the age of 8!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Ah Jillie, you may have mixed me up with Undina :) though I am glad you like your Yves, whoever gave it to you!

      Honestly I’ve never seen any cinema/tv of the Narnia series though I know there was much to be seen. It was such an intense reading experience as a child I’ve just not gone back. Someday it will probably happen!


      • Narth – I ignored the instructions and just dived straight in as I was so excited. My brain is not functioning – please forgive me! Yes Undina gave me the YR, but my other comments remain the same. I am happy that you are a fellow rose-lover, and hope one day you may peek at that old TV series …..

        In these troubled times it’s rather nice to live in a fluffy pink rose scented cloud!

        Liked by 1 person

        • Ah Jillie I just ADORE rose. I mean obviously not all of them but I do feel like rose is my tried and true note and soooo interesting next to a huge variety of other notes. I will definitely look up the series, you have me quite curious now.


  2. Lovely post and to read about C.S. Lewis, Narth. I did not know Jaipur was about rose and Turkish Delight. One of my favorites is Loukhoum from Keiko Mecheri which is very sweet but delicious. 🌹🌹🌹Esperanza

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I know I’ve smelled that Keiko Mecheri but I have no memory of it. I really should seek it out again. Thank you for the reminder!


  4. Little did I know we were soul sisters. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe is my favorite book. The Chronicles of Narnia, in general, are my faves that I have read 14 or more times and still love. They are new each time and just as magical. I, too, yearned for turkish delight for years. I finally had some in my 20s and thought, “He sold out his sisters and brothers for THIS?” I was indignant. I want to love turkish delight, but I don’t. I do adore rose. I have Boucheron Jaipur and just find it a fruity floral. It doesn’t remind me of candy. But, Tauerville Rose Flash has that jammy quality that I love. So does Lutens La Fille. I love Rose Jam body wash but don’t have the fragrance. Tough to come by. Rose is my favorite note that I go back to over and over. I’ve wanted to try that Keiko for a long while, but how silly the prices have become for perfume as collecting goes mainstream and becomes popular. I got vintage bottles of Keiko a couple years ago for under $20 because no one knew what it was or cared. Sigh. For the good old days.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ah Gina they have just re-released Lush’s Rose Jam fragrance! That’s how I ended up with it. I find the body spray more vanilla and sweeter, I admire its potency though! And yes I have a lot of older items I got years ago for simple swaps or very cheaply, so happy to have done so. Current postal restrictions, bad dollar etc.. and trendiness. I have KM in my local department store so I will try and remember to see if they have Loukhoum (the range is massive now). Anyway as to turkish delight.. I LOVE IT heh. But I’m the only person in my family who does so I end up eating the whole purchase. Perfumey food is not that popular.


  5. Turkish Delight…only place I ever got the candy was at the Spice Market in Istanbul – pistachio flavored. I may have had one and completely forgot about them and found the remains rock hard so they got chucked. Anyway, I have a travel spray set of SL Rahat Loukhum and will have to find it to reacquaint myself. I need to read more C.S. Lewis!

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’ve always stuck with the rose flavour. Here it’s common to find both rose and lemon in supermarkets. Some of them do have pistachios in them, though I’ve always avoided those because everywhere a pistachio is there could be more turkish delight ..


  6. Love the picture!

    I’m positive that I tried Jaipur when it was released since at that time I was trying all mass-market perfumes I could get to. But for the life of me I can’t remember how it smelled.

    Traversee du Bosphore is one of my tropical vacation favorites. Unfortunately, I missed it back when it was still available in 50 ml bottles, so now I’m reluctant to buy a 100 ml of something that I wear a couple of times per year and only when I go to Hawaii. But I can change my mind once I finish my decant of it.

    I’m not sure if I’ve ever tried Turkish Delight (I also knew about it from books only), but now I wouldn’t want to even try it unless it’s guaranteed high quality product: from eating a lot of candies of different types I can imagine too vivid how bad can be these if they are produced with cheap ingredients.


    • Well Turkish Delight is supposed to be cheap I think.. all the ones I’ve had have been the same flavour whether they were presented as artisanal hipster sweets, or in a market, or obviously mass produced. I think rose water is a strong flavour/scent overall. Where quality has varied is in the gelatin, firmer, gooier etc.. and I guess that comes down to preference (yes I’ve eaten so much of the stuff that I all kinds of micro preferences LOL!) I hope you get to try it some day, it is a middle eastern classic.


  7. I, too, love all things rose flavoured. My favorite TD scent is Loukhom by Keiko Mecheri. La Traversee du Bosphore doesn’t work for me because of the leather note. My nose is very sensitive to leather notes and it’s too strong for me in the L’Artisan scent. I have not tried the Serge Lutens. I need to test it.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Wow rickyrebarco you must be quite leather sensitive! Sometimes I love the gentle leather in Traversee and other times I can’t smell it at all. One thing that does stand out to me is that it really smells like Betrand Duchafour creation.


  8. Hey North,
    LOVE Turkish Delight.
    Also, I was a rereader of The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S. Lewis. There is a pub in Oxford, UK where C S Lewis and JRR Tolkien used to meet up every week and talk about their book series. I’ve even sat in the same spot, below the photo of them.
    The new Viktoria Minya Rose Absolute opens with a beautiful Turkish Delight and ends up a dark woodsy oud. Amazing story from go to whoa. I think you might like it .
    Portia xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ooo Portia I think I would like that! I have not been to that pub sadly but I would do as you, sit in the spot and have a pint. I really want some Turkish Delight now! Oh and in case anyone wonders I ate every cube in that picture LOL! It did take me a while but I enjoyed them. I am not a sweets person, really don’t have a sweet tooth at all but there are a handful of things I deeply love in the sweet category and that’s one of them.


  9. I love Turkish Delight, which was a stocking staple when I was a child – Meltis’s hexagonal box of rose and lemon. For Christmas this year I was given some pistachio flavour TD from a Turkish shop in London, so that is an interesting variant. I haven’t smelt Jaipur in forever, and sadly have no sample anymore, though I bet I have the Duchaufour knocking about somewhere to retry.


What's on your mind? (I encourage posting relating links to your posts)

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.