Collection of perfume scents arranged on beech shelves
Lifestyle

The Art of Bespoke Fragrance 

If you can’t find your perfect scent then why not work with someone to make it yourself.

"Fragrance is intrinsically linked with our memories, and there isn’t anything more personal than that,” says Experimental Perfume Club founder Emmanuelle Moeglin. “Scent can immediately transport you to a specific time, place or person. It can make you feel happy, sad or nostalgic. If you think about a person you love, often the memory of their smell comes with that – the cherished smell of a grandmother’s perfume, or the way your childhood home smelt.” It’s this personal ethos that lies behind the growing popularity of the art of creating your own bespoke scent – a craft that has graced the lives of the greats since 1730. Because, really, who wants to smell like everybody else?

From Chanel to Tom Ford, Jo Malone to Dior, it can be hard to pin down a scent that feels precisely like you, and that’s where an exclusive perfume personalisation service comes in. What’s more, be it a gift for yourself or a loved one, you’ll learn a whole new art form in the process. “The art of perfumery has been a long-guarded secret, but there is such joy in the experience of formulation and in the process of discovering a scent that is unique to you,” adds Emmanuelle. “We all enjoy different things in life, so why would we all wear the same off-the-shelf fragrance when you can blend your very own and have the experience at the same time?”

If the thought of smelling your scent on someone else fills you with horror then you’re in luck – you can tinker with top notes to your heart’s content at these bespoke blending bars.

Make something truly unqiue

Six suspended luxury conical distillary bottles containing scents

1. Experimental Perfume Club

Launched in 2017 by perfumer Emmanuelle Moeglin, EPC is a space – not a shop – to “layer, blend and experiment” with scent. You can enjoy a one-to-one session with an expert perfumer at its Covent Garden micro-perfumery, where you’ll not only get to compose your own fragrance but you’ll also blend it yourself too, leaving with your own unique fragrance complete with personalised label and bottle.

From £250 to £600 for a one-to-one, including one 50ml fragrance, 53 Monmouth Street, WC2H 9DG experimentalperfumeclub.com

Experimental Perfume Club with multiple shelves of beech scent bottles, a testing table and two chairs

2. Ormonde Jayne

Ormonde Jayne’s made-to-measure service is one of the most comprehensive, involving meetings with brand founder Linda Pilkington several times over the course of four months. She’ll want to know everything from your eating habits and hobbies to your favourite holiday destinations to create the perfect scent for you, and she nails it every time. The bottle comes lovingly engraved with your initials, too.

From £3,000, 12 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, London W1S 4SL ormondejayne.com

Collection of perfume bottles on the counter at Ormonde Jayne perfumery
Byzance perfume bottle at Ormonde Jayne perfumery
Collection of perfume bottles on the counter at Ormonde Jayne perfumery

3. Floris London

First things first, Floris is the perfumer to the Queen – need we say more? Based in London’s St James, its full bespoke perfume service takes six months with three separate consultations, giving you plenty of time to immerse yourself in its precious essential oils and floral essences. The result will be your own personalised perfume, an exclusive and individual custom fragrance of which you will receive a total of six 100ml bottles.

£5,000, 89 Jermyn St, St. James's, London SW1Y 6JH florislondon.com

Perfume being poured between flasks at Floris
Shopfront of Floris London
Bottle of perfume being boxed at Floris London

4. The Perfumer’s Story

Helena Bonham Carter and Jude Law are just two celebrities who have commissioned a bespoke scent from award-winning nose Azzi Glasser, so you know you’re in good hands. While it’s not exactly a quick process – her private, appointment-only Bespoke Atelier service takes between three-four months – the finished perfume is beautifully presented in hand-crafted luxury perfume vanity case complete with four giant 150 ml flacons plus 10 travel sized bottles (30ml) of the same fragrance. In other words, it’s worth the wait.

From £15,000 theperfumersstory.com

5. Ex Nihilo

A Paris brand, Ex Nihilo's UK boutique is nestled within Harrods’ opulent Salon de Parfum, where a smelling test leads to your perfect luxury base note. Once you’ve decided on this you’re free to play around by adding single ingredients until you create your perfect scent. The best bit is watching the fragrance get blended before your very own eyes, before you’re presented with an exclusive bottle with artisan flair.

From £240 for 100ml ‘personalised’ eau de parfum. Harrods London

Bottle of Exalt by Ex Nihilo
Miniature scent bottles by Ex Nihilo
Scent bottle by Ex Nihilo
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