The latest collaboration from Darlinghurst’s Creative Department, the forward-thinking degustation diner by Gelato Messina, has arrived. The team has been working for a year with luxe Sydney homewares brand Maison Balzac to create two scented candles and a custom gelato flavour inspired by the eatery’s signature wild honey gelato dessert, as well as the cross-sensory phenomenon of synaesthesia.

“Every scent we make triggers another sense,” says Maison Balzac founder Elise Pioch. “With our candle 1642 we recreated a painting, and with La Plage the sense of being on the beach, but this is the first time we have elevated one of our fragrances to a sense of taste. To translate one of our candles to a gelato was a ‘pinch me’ moment.”

The first candle, Miel d’Hiver (“winter honey” in French), combines top notes of smoke, thyme and lemon with frankincense, nutmeg and a base of tonka bean and balsam of Peru. The other, Miel d’Ete (“summer honey”), layers bergamot and galbanum over hyacinth, jasmine, orris and musk patchouli. Both are available for purchase from July 7.

The limited edition gelato, Miel, will also be available on July 7 at all Messina stores. It features a citrus-infused honey gelato base with honeycomb and burnt honey caramel.

The partnership came about when the Creative Department started using Maison Balzac’s delicate coloured glassware and perfumed candles to add another level of ambience to its eight-course degustation experience.

“We sat down for an hour bouncing ideas around together and everything was seamless,” says Pioch. “It was like the beginning of a romance, when you say the same thing at the same time and are just so in line with each other. They have the same mastery of gastronomy that we have with candles and it was a very spontaneous, heartfelt and generous process.”

The duo decided to build the collaboration on one of the Creative Department’s favourite ingredients, supplied by its local apiary Rosebery Honey.

“But we didn’t want to fall into the easy route of taking the concept of honey literally, so the candles don’t actually smell like honey. We asked the beekeeper in Rosebery to tell us what plants and flowers their bees are pollinating in summer and winter, then we captured that in two candles,” she says.

If you’ve had the pleasure of trying the Messina Creative Department degustation menu, you’ll know Rosebery honey is the core ingredient of the final dish, which combines wild honey gelato with a honey crisp and peach and yoghurt foam. Now you can experience it in a scoop.

The Miel d’Hiver and Miel d’Ete candles are available to purchase from Maison Balzac and select Messina stores from July 7. The Miel gelato is available from all Messina stores while stocks last.

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