Get excited, people, because I am about to literally rave about something, and that something is the Bespoke Perfumery service at Floris. Amazing. Utterly, utterly incredible. If you are looking to buy someone something that is unique, luxurious and unbeatably romantic, then this is it. The experience of having your own perfume made for you is just…words actually fail me. The whole experience is focused on you – your likes and dislikes, your emotional responses, your memories and your flights of fancy. It’s like having your portrait painted, but in scent, if that makes any sense at all? It’s just so incredibly indulgent!
Self-indulgence aside, the Bespoke Perfumery service is a steep-learning curve in the matters of scent and ‘smelling’ – you’re given a bit of ‘nose training’ to get you thinking about the different ‘groups’ of scents and then you start to identify what you do and don’t like about various smells. Sitting in the back room at Floris, Jermyn Street, you’re surrounded by huge glass cases of bottles which are opened now and then so that the perfumer, Shelagh, can extract various scents to present to you. After narrowing down the scents to your absolute favourites, you wear them on your skin for a few minutes so that you can get a ‘feel for them’ (they smell so different on the skin!) and then once you have chosen your preferred elements, the mixing begins! I started with ‘White Rose’ – but I’m not telling you what I had added, because it’s my special recipe!
I don’t want to give too much away here, because I did video it and I’d love you to see the experience first hand, but I’ll just say that I came away with a Bespoke perfume that I can only describe as Me, In a Bottle. Actually, I wish I had named it that – did I mention that you have to name your perfume before it’s handed over with its certificate of provenance? I wanted to call mine Wizard’s Pantry, after the back room, which felt like one, but I thought that it would be a bit silly, so I chose something soppy and ‘meaningful’. (No, not telling.)
This service costs £120 including the 100ml bottle of eau de parfum – if you have a little look around any beauty hall and note the price of eau de parfum, you’ll come back and see that this is incredibly good value. Obscenely. Take one of my favourite fragrances (seems common now!) Chanel Coco Mademoiselle – £60 for 50ml. Same price as a bespoke perfume from Floris! You can, if you’re rich, go for the total experience (£2500) that sees your perfume created from scratch. Do you know what though? I’d rather start with an existing fragrance – there are only so many fragrances and ‘notes’ one can wade through before getting thoroughly sick to the back teeth of sniffing them! The fragrance customisation service is just perfect in my opinion!
Anyway, enough chit-chat, take a look at the video. I do a lot of smelling, and Shelagh does a lot of waiting. She has the patience of a Saint, and also knows everything about fragrance that you could possibly want to know. Which is what you’d expect from a royal perfumer!
The Fragrance Customisation at Floris Bespoke Pefumery Service, £120 for 90 minutes including 100ml Eau de Parfum. Website HERE.