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Brief Published: 4 Dec 2014

Whisky-Scented Smart Fabric

Textile technologists are creating whisky-scented fabrics

A new smart fabric has been developed for Johnnie Walker Black Label whisky and Harris Tweed Hebrides, the Scottish producer of the heritage cloth.

The fabric is micro-encapsulated with a specially designed scent called Aqua Alba – said to evoke "rich malt, golden vanilla, red fruit and dark chocolate". It is woven in the colours of the whisky's ingredients.

The scent process was achieved with help from textile technologists from Heriot Watt University in Edinburgh. Other scented fabrics have been attempted in the past. However, the makers say the new process means that the fabric will withstand washing and dry-cleaning.

The partnership between the two big Scottish labels is an interesting exercise in sensory branding; see Selling Scent and Immersive Brand Spaces for more. It also highlights the untapped potential of smart fabrics beyond flashy exercises – such as turning them into proxy smartphones that receive tweets.

Branded products featuring the fabric will be rolled out in Germany, Belgium and Greece initially.