There’s something beautifully personal about choosing a fragrance and when you find the one that resonates perfectly with your natural scent and works for the everyday, it becomes your signature. More often than not, this can be found among the shelves of mainstream brands, from the affordable to the luxurious, but if you’re looking for something a little more bespoke – be it as a special gift for someone else or to define a specific point in your own life – there are a host of specialist London perfumers that can help. Here we look at who they are and what they do to make finding the perfect perfume an effortless process.
The Experimental Perfume Club
The Experimental Perfume Club
When you consider its position just around the corner from Broadway Market, it’s no surprise that The Experimental Perfume Club is such a hub of creativity. Offering quite a raw presentation of what goes into perfecting a perfume, it’s an open-access lab that aims to educate people on the process and reconnect them with their own sense of smell. Whether you’re keen to learn how to create your own scent, enjoy a bespoke consultation or you’re simply interested in what goes on behind the scenes, this well-designed space provides a clever insight and a personalised experience that will let you in on its secrets.
The Experimental Perfume Club, 4 Netil Lane, London, +44 7587 003654
Nestled among similarly luxurious boutiques in bustling Covent Garden, Bloom Perfumery is signposted with the slogan; no ordinary perfume, which sits above the door to the store. Unlike many of the other hotspots in our line-up, it boasts a range of brands behind its doors, each of which complements the next but allows consumers to try a wider range of scents before committing to purchase. There’s the option to create your own perfume formula as well, which takes around an hour and happens on the premises in their specially-designed perfume lab.
Bloom Perfumery, 4 Langley Court, London, +44 20 7240 0338
Lyn Harris initially founded luxury perfumer, Miller Harris back in 2000 but the business closed down and she’s been investing her time and efforts into her current project, Perfume H, since 2015. Not straying too far from the initial business plan, Perfumer H offers clients the chance to work with Harris and her team to perfect a completely bespoke fragrance. If you’re looking for a one-of-a-kind experience then this is it but it sits at the more expensive end of the spectrum, with prices for bespoke creation starting at £15,000. If you’re precious about your scent (and so you should be), you’ll be offered the chance to secure it exclusively for an additional fee. There’s also a range of ready-to-wear fragrances on offer for a more affordable £58 for 100ml.
Perfumer H, 106a Crawford Street, London, +44 207 258 7859
The concept behind Les Senteurs allows customers to choose a fragrance at their own pace – a notion that was initially designed as a departure from the department store mentality. Scents are grouped in ‘families’ and the idea is that if you find one that you like initially, the others in the same family should also appeal to your taste. Stocking over 350 fragrances from some of the world’s most well-respected labels including Diptique, Annick Goutal and Tauer Perfumes, a trip to the perfumery will ensure you get a well-informed insight into the market.
Les Senteurs, 2 Seymour Place, Marble Arch, London, +44 20 7183 5842
Founded back in 1720 and still calling the original Jermyn Street location its number one home today, boutique British fragrance label, Floris, has maintained its niche sensibility for almost 300 years. It uses only the finest quality oils and ingredients to create both its ready-to-wear and bespoke fragrances and it launched a men’s fragrance and grooming line in 2015 which soon became the official scent of London Collections Men’s just a year later. Offering a Bespoke Perfumery service, clients have the chance to work alongside the company’s highly trained noses to create something one-of-a-kind that’s created from start to finish in London.
Floris, 89 Jermyn St, St. James’s, London, +44 330 134 0180
Now one of the globe’s most well-recognised premium fragrance brands, London label House of Creed has produced over 200 hand-crafted perfumes since its launch in 1760. A family-run business with a celebrity following to surpass any other (Queen Victoria appointed Creed as an official supplier to the Royal household), the business has been passed down through seven generations to become what it is today. Now, in a more saturated market than ever before, it responds to the consumer’s need for exclusivity with the monogramming service that’s offered at its Mount Street boutique. The service is done while you wait and is complemented with not just a glass of champagne but the assurance that the brand that you’ve bought into not only boasts an impressive heritage, but that it’s also moving with the times.
The House of Creed, 99 Mount St, London, +44 207 495 1795
There’s a whole host of inspirations behind Penhaligon’s scents and whilst the initial concoction, Hammam Boutquet (which is still available to buy), was inspired by the aromas of Turkish baths, the trained noses behind the label today look further afield to find elements for their creations. You might recognise the iconic packaging design – a clear, ribbon-wrapped vial that references the 1872 original. You can, however, have your own personalised bottle design and scent made especially – just the finishing touches to a thorough, bespoke service that takes months to perfect and costs around £35,000. If you’re shopping the mainstay collection, however, Christmas is probably the most enjoyable time to visit – there’s something overtly festive about it around this time of year.
Penhaligon’s, 41 Wellington Street, Covent Garden, London, +44 20 7240 6256