Custom Made Perfume: A guide to create your unique scent - Part 4
London a.k.a. The Big Smoke
Welcome to the playground of perfumistas! Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine 5 years ago when I moved to London that the bespoke perfume offerings would be so many!
I’ve had the opportunity to make my own perfume with 4160 Tuesdays and the services / workshops listed below are all on my wish list!
I quite recently visited Floris myself where the knowledgeable perfumer Nicola Pozzani showed us the archives at Floris’ flagship store and gave us an overview of the bespoke perfume services they offer.
The first one is the Bespoke Fragrance Customisation which is perfect for a special occasion or as a memorable gift. During an hour and a half you will work alongside the Floris perfumer to select a fragrance that suits you and personalise it to create your own unique perfume. Using a fragrance from the Floris range, even some old discontinued ones, and adding new ingredients you will end up with a unique scent just for you!
The same service is also offered as a 'Together' Fragrance Customisation where within a 3 hour appointment you and your partner will be able to create your unique scent!
Of course Floris also offers the Bespoke Perfume Design where you will end up with a Bespoke Eau de Parfum with Certificate of Provenance; a truly unique experience, the creation of a signature perfume.
Developed in collaboration with Floris’ perfumery team over an approximate period of 6 months, a minimum of 3 consultations will be required so your perfume profile is determined and following tests and trials with precious essential oils and floral essences, the final blend of your entirely unique, exclusive and individual fragrance will be created.
The British born Professeur de Parfum, introduced his own bespoke service in 2001, which includes body lotions and candles as well as the perfume itself for a total sensory personalisation. The process will be lengthy as it will involve meetings and soul-searching, sniff tests and months of trial and error before you will be presented with your final unique fragrance whose formula will never be revealed.
Having met Roja Dove and seeing live his passion and dedication about perfume (let alone his most enviable collection of vintage perfumes) I guarantee you will not be disappointed.
If you can’t afford the above option, the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie in Harrods offers to potential customers a guided sniff tour through the perfumes already on offer so you can find the one that truly reflects your personality; not quite the same but at least you will enjoy the exploration and might find a perfume you truly love.
Azzi Glasser has an impressive clientele that includes famous actors like Johnny Depp who too had a perfume created based on his own personality, style and desires. Her expertise is available to book at Harvey Nichols via the Bespoke Atelier by Azzi Glasser.
Following a few meetings that might resemble therapy sessions, only they will be way more fun, Azzi will understand how you want the world to perceive you based on your scent and a look at your personal style will help her combine all those elements you want to have in your custom perfume and compose your fragrance.
“A signature scent is the purest sensory indulgence.”
Nancy began her career as an apprentice to a bespoke perfumer and although she has her own line of perfumes now she still does a number of bespoke work. She combines her technical expertise with a sensitively developed profiling process, through which a précis of your very essence emerges. From this, Nancy creates her tailored blueprint for your perfume, shaping it from concept through to composition as a precious ode that suggests and accentuates all that makes you unique.
Three months after you first meet, Nancy will present you with three drafts from which you choose your final formula. Your unique signature scent will then be delivered to you in a beautiful keepsake box.
Lyn Harris, the founder of Miller Harris, opened Perfumer H, a bespoke perfumer atelier in Marylebone a couple of years ago. Lyn Harris is the only classically trained female ‘nose’ in the UK and I had the opportunity to visit her studio last year when she participated at the London Craft Week events. Her perfume atelier focuses on the individual, hoping to bring bespoke perfume values to a wider audience and she launches 5 seasonal scents twice a year as well as gorgeous candles.
The Perfumer H range offers three levels of exclusivity. While Harris’s Seasonal Editions are off-the-shelf, they are still far from mass market. Her Laboratory Editions are collections of past and present formulas that clients can experience in the boutique’s laboratory and order instantly. Find one you love and for a price the formula can become entirely yours, registered exclusively in your name. A fully bespoke service is also available if you prefer to create an entirely new scent for yourself.
The Perfumer H atelier is a shop of course but also is a working lab and all the magic happens in front of your eyes!
Tailor made fragrance.
“There's something extra special about having something handmade, exactly the way you want it.”
It’s no secret that Sarah McCartney is one of my favourite perfumers and I’ve been following her work for many years, even before I moved to London. When she opened her studio in Acton and started hosting workshops I attended one and had the opportunity to play with precious raw materials and create a beautiful chypre fragrance I call Bunny Queen.
Sarah caters to the inquisitive minds and her workshops are filled with fun facts, bits of history and the opportunity to try an enviable selection of vintage and current fragrances a.k.a. The Perfume Wall.
Her Perfume Making workshops are being hosted now at new venues, more spacious and closer to a tube station (possibly outside London too) so more people can have access to them.
The stage two workshops have smaller numbers, and will be held at the studio. These are for people who've already had an introduction to perfume making, and would like to do more.
Sarah also offers the “Scent Song”; a private session that includes two hours at the studio during which you decide on your favourite notes, and they create a bespoke fragrance for you.
A full bespoke experience is of course available at 4160Tuesdays or at your home (with travel costs and time added) or by post, long distance.
Finally Sarah is kind enough to share her knowledge on the legal and technical parts of launching an indie brand so she’s running business sessions for everyone who needs to know more about it.
Experimental perfume club
Emmanuelle Moeglin, a classically trained nose with over 12 years’ experience working in the fragrance industry, has opened the Experimental Perfume Club, a creative perfume studio and micro-lab in the heart of London specialising in bespoke perfume creation for individuals and brands. The lab is open to the public where Emmanuelle offers a variety of expert and creative perfumery courses for individuals and businesses.
The introductory “Apprentice Workshop” is the best introduction to perfume creation. This half-day group session puts you “in the nose” teaching you the basics of perfumery. Led by EPC’s perfumer, you’ll access a starter selection of perfumery ingredients. In a relaxed and intimate environment, at the EPC Lab in East London, you’ll be surrounded by all sorts of wonderful smells.
You will create your own custom-made scent and take home your 12ml Lab bottle.
The formula is kept in the EPC Scent Library so that you can enjoy more 50ml bottles of your new favourite scent!
The “Expert Masterclass” is a full day group masterclass, for those who want the complete experience. With access to more ingredients, you can create two fragrances and learn more advanced perfumery skills with EPC’s perfumer.
The “Open-Lab Session” gives you the opportunity to experiment at your own pace to create a set of fragrances with full access to our ingredients. For curious beginners or more experienced perfume makers, EPC’s perfumer is on hand for light guidance if required.
“Le Petit Parfum Workshop” is a way to create your bespoke scent when you have only limited time available. By working with selected pre-made blends, you can find out your scent profile and make your own fragrance during a 1 hour one-to-one session with EPC’s perfumer.
Finally, the “Bespoke Worskshop” is a private, 3 hour bespoke workshop that offers full access to EPC’s ingredient library and an in-depth one-to-one consultation with the perfumer. Ideal for individuals or private groups that want to create something truly special!
Karen Gilbert is a true force in perfumery; she has helped train a lot of the indie perfumers and her classes both live and online are always fully booked.
She offers many courses and the 1 day Natural Perfumery Masterclass can be booked for groups of up to 6 people. Of course if you would prefer something more bespoke, she can tailor an event to your requirements and it can be either a couple of hours or a full day. You will learn about the ingredients used in perfumery and get to make your own fragrance to take home with you from a vast range of raw materials either naturals only or both natural and synthetic.
If you wish the event can be tailored to a specific theme – get in touch and let her know your requirements!
Bloom perfumery is known to offer a great selection of niche perfumes and also have a sample subscription service with a different theme each month that helps you discover 72 luxury perfumes over the course of a year. They recently introduced the “Nose Club” membership that offers every month 2 x 10 ml atomizers filled with perfumes from Bloom’s collection of rare niche brands. That way you can properly try and wear a new scent every 2 weeks without breaking the bank.
Of course they offer a bespoke service that will help you create a truly unique perfume ultimately tailored to your tastes and pleasant memories that no one else will have. Their method allows even a complete novice to build a professional grade perfume in about an hour. Customers pick the fragrant ingredients, range them from the most to least dominant and then the best quantities are suggested.
This way the formula turns out as tailored to customer’s preferences as possible but works as well as any commercial conventional perfume of the shelf. The magic happens real-time in front of you!
The tour of bespoke perfume is almost complete; one final chapter remains with some extra tips and advice!