Give Mom the Gift of Custom Fragrance
A bespoke signature scent can be quite involved to create. Here are six perfumers for the job.
Women who think of a signature fragrance as an absolute beauty essential are certainly spoiled for choice—the options in perfumes today are staggering. But while high-end ready-made scents are easy to come by, custom-made ones take the art of perfume wearing to another level.
The process of creating a bespoke fragrance varies depending on the designer, but it can be quite involved. Perfumers sometimes begin by getting a sense of their client’s lifestyle and needs—is she looking for a special occasion scent, for example, or something lighter that she can wear every day? Olfactory overload is also part of the experience: A woman smells different blends and single scents—sometimes several dozen—to see what appeals to her the most. The final result can run into the thousands of dollars, but it’s hard to put a value on such a personalised product.
Here are six crafters who help make the scent you wear every day truly yours. •
• Floris London has been creating bespoke scents since 1730. Work with the perfumer to custom blend a one-of-a-kind scent or add new ingredients to personalise one of Floris’ existing parfums.
• At the Cartier flagship on the rue de la Paix in Paris, Mathilde Laurent crafts custom perfumes for discerning clients.
• Jean Patou’s Jean-Michel Duriez takes clients on a scent tour to identify their tastes.
• At Maison Francis Kurkdjian, the process starts with a phone call before an in-person consultation. Kurkdjian often travels to clients with his mobile “laboratory,” a custom-made trunk filled with the ingredients and tools of his trade.
• The sensory journey at Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle begins with a questionnaire filled out in person or online. Questions include “Why do you wear perfume—to seduce, to refresh, to add a final touch . . . ?”
• For those with a do-it-yourself attitude, Jo Malone colognes, such as Grapefruit or Nutmeg & Ginger, are meant to be worn in layers, allowing the wearer to create her own custom scent.
Kelly Smith Killian contributed to this article.