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The Alternative Blog


Katy Simpson is the Founder and Director of Noble Isle

Katy was born in Northern Ireland, educated in England, New Zealand and America. She studied fashion at university in London and her first jobs were in the buying offices of British high street brands, before venturing into cosmetics, where after 10 years in product development, she set up Noble Isle – the new tradition in luxury bathing inspired by the British Isles.

We caught up with Katy to chat about the engaging and authentic story of Noble Isle. Like us, this is an award–winning British brand with a shared love of sustainably sourced and natural ingredients full of local flavour.  We both also value the people and places that provide the wonderful narratives behind our products.

My life in ten…

How did it start, the idea, the name?

When I created Noble Isle, I had a passion to produce something truly British – a British company, making products in the British Isles, sourcing ingredients from celebrated local producers in the UK. I wanted to promote and highlight what is happening in the country – amazing places, people, ingredients. The British ingredients are unique to Noble Isle.

During the creation of the brand, we travelled the length and breadth of England, Ireland, Scotland and Wales to source authentic, quintessentially British ingredients that celebrate our rich cultural history. Our sumptuous lotions and washes feature extracts sourced from celebrated local producers, including Rhubarb from Yorkshire, Sea Oak from Ireland, Barley from Scotland and Beetroot from Wales.

The British ingredients are unique to Noble Isle and the name and logo celebrate this idea. Noble Isle was the first term used for Great Britain in the 15th century by Kings and Queens and our Coat of Balms show the four flowers that represent the great countries within the British Isles.

Noble Isle, Katy Simpson – Founder and Director

What was the vision for this brand?

Noble Isle is a strong, proud British brand. The designs are contemporary and modern, however we have not forgotten our past or our heritage. We are grounded, rooted and inspired by our land, culture and history.

Why British and why local stories?

I was passionate about creating a timeless British brand that celebrated local stories we came up with the tagline – Britain in a Bottle. It captures the heart of our brand and it is truly what separates us from other brands in the market.

We promote farmers, charities, conservationists – people doing exceptional things in our country. Each producer is incredibly passionate about their ingredient. So, the most important factor when making our products is that we use British extracts from celebrated producers from the British Isles. Perry Pearfrom Gloucestershire Orchards, Barley from the Balvenie distillery, Beetroot from Monmouthshire, Elderflower from Cornwall and Samphire from the Irish coastline – to name just a few!

Noble Isle, Perry Pear fine fragrance Bath & Body collection

Importance of natural ingredients

For me, it’s important to be as natural as possible. Echoing Alternative’s brand ethos

I am a strong believer in sustainability and protecting the planet for future generations, so using natural ingredients where possible, is the least we can do.

We are also vegan and cruelty-free.


Why is scent so powerful?

Scent is able to transport you to a memory, place or person in time. The memories that scent creates are individual to you.

Like an artist using oil and canvas, a master nose, paints you a picture with aromas. It is well known that smell is our most powerful sense and a fragrance is more emotive than a picture. Close your eyes and let the aromas create a story in your mind.

The best-selling Rhubarb Rhubarb! collection by Noble Isle

Who names the collections?

I do. My biggest inspiration comes from natural ingredients and nature. That is where I find all my ideas. I like to think of names that conjure-up the fragrance notes in the customer’s mind and resonate with the Britain in a Bottle theme.

Why is Rhubarb, Rhubarb! the best seller?

Noble Isle was the first company within Bath & Body to create a Rhubarb fragrance in 2011 and due to its unique, clean fragrance it jumped to our number one best seller and has remained there year after year. We use top, heart and base notes to create the bittersweet fragrance, remindful of a Yorkshire spring morning and natural extracts of rhubarb from a sixth-generation forced-rhubarb farm.

I believe it’s the clean, fresh, natural elements of the fragrance which make it so popular with our customers.

Your favourite fragrance and why?

Willow Song is my favourite fragrance – Rose Petal, Ivy, Lily of the Valley and Cedarwood. It is green, fresh and tranquil and reminds me of summer, new beginnings and all the good things that come with a change to a warmer season.

Willow Song collection by Noble Isle

Describe your home style in three words

Can I do six? Contemporary Classics with an Asian Twist.

Latest news for Noble Isle/wellness

We are launching our new range of Hand Sanitisers, starting with a Rhubarb Rhubarb! and Wild Samphire fragrance – as no 2020 Hand Care collection is complete without one! In October we are launching a new fragrance, Scots Pine, inspired by Scotland’s Ancient forests and native Firs.

Discover more about a Noble Isle HERE

Alternative Flooring celebrates 25 years of British design, craft and making.

We are a great British ambassador for natural flooring and wellbeing in the home.  The beauty of nature inspires us all to create original products that are kind to us and the environment.

Full of natural goodness, Alternative’s Sisal Bubbleweave Desert carpet made of natural plant fibres

Our natural flooring revels in all sorts of different textures from fine to chunky sisal, jute, coir and seagrass that add depth, interest and richness to your home.

Explore Alternative’s Natural flooring collections

Our beautiful rainbow borders are designed and made in Britain. We have chosen the summery blue one for the prize rug in our competition with a Noble Isle.

Rainbow Bleu and Rainbow Rouge borders

Enter our collaborative Instagram competition HERE for a chance to WIN an Alternative Flooring natural runner and a Rhubarb Rhubarb! gift set by Noble Isle, worth up to £600!

See more of our designs and explore our collections here

Follow us on Instagram for inspiration.

Find more flooring and interior design inspiration on our Alternative blog.

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The Edit - home style by Alternative