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Essence + Alchemy :: Lab Notes

Scent or essence of a building has always been important to us - it’s something that can trigger a memory or a feeling and instantly have an impact. It can also soothe, calm and create a positive mindset.

We’ve long been a fan of Essence + Alchemy’s gorgeously pure handcrafted botanical candles and incense and knew Lesley would immediately conjure The Mowbray to perfection, which she did - even harvesting roses from her own LAB garden to create our own heavenly Rose oil. The result?

Essence + Alchemy :: Lab Notes

“Built in 1889 in the heart of Sheffield’s Kelham Island in Neepsend, The Mowbray iconic red brick building at 118 Mowbray Street stands tall behind it’s original reclaimed wooden doors. With a history steeped in steel and iron industry it instantly conjures up images of dark engineering workshops with welders bent over sparks of fire and smoky fumes but when you walk through the doors you will find something very different, a building that has been dramatically transformed from an old industrial space into a stunning unique events venue, kitchen, roof garden and workspace with the subtle aromas of their unique Mowbray Essence floating in the air.

Working with The Mowbray team over the summer, chatting about the history and future of the building, the local area, their vision, ideas and their beautiful mood boards, I designed a bespoke incense blend exclusive to them and their guests. Inspiration was drawn from the industrial heritage of Neepsend, the buildings original and current use and the local flora and fauna. Woody essential oils were used to harness the scent of local woodland combined with earthy vetiver, smoky rosewood and cade to evoke the hazy aromas of wood clearing and charcoal production in the 17th Century to the metalworking use of the building in the 20th.

Lightly scented with floral notes of rose geranium and palmarosa captures the scent of wild geraniums covering the local woodland floor and the florals and herbs growing in the rooftop garden.

Incense smoke gives a nod to the smoky industrial past of the building as well as providing a sense of ritual, a moment of calm before an event or meeting.”

Photography by Department Two

Perfect as a beautiful gift for any occasion - The Mowbray incense comes in little paper packets ready to be slipped into a card or wrapped up as a special gift. Essence + Alchemy only use pure plant bases matched with essential oils for scent and nothing else. No synthetic fragrances, no additives, just pure and natural botanical beauty. For beautiful gift ideas handmade in Sheffield, head over to our Luxury Items page.



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The Mowbray is a beautifully historic and marvellously modern Sheffield events venue. We are one of the North's leading lifestyle events spaces, independently owned and operated. Let us know if you'd like to enquire about an event or would like to arrange a time to come and visit for a chat and a look around!

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