Last Saturday, something really rather special happened. I was invited to the Floris boutique in Belgravia for an appointment with a master perfumer, to create a bespoke fragrance. I have to say that I was a little nervous, my fragrance knowledge leaves much to be desired, my preferences change almost every other week, so how could I decide on a specially created personal scent?
Upon stepping into the shop on Ebury Street, my nerves subsided as it became clear that this wasn’t just about making a fragrance, it was about making and reliving memories, an experience that’s all about you. In the back room beneath the store, surrounded by huge glass bottles which are expertly labelled by the perfumer, the ‘nose training’ session began. I was presented with four types of fine fragrance bases – all from within four fragrance families; citrus, floral, woody and oriental scents. Each one I tried before narrowing it down to just two, which were applied to my hand to see which had the nicest fragrance on the skin. During the consultation I was told about the history of each fragrance, who had worn it throughout history – and with a list of celebrity and royal fans as great as Floris’, it made for very interesting conversation! I chose Amaryllis as my base note, but as for the rest? Well, that’s top secret!
I was then presented with a range of complimentary fragrances including citrus, spice, wood and flower scents, again reducing twenty or so different scents down to my favourite four or five before testing these on my skin. I picked up so many snippets of information that I’d previously not known about some of the most common fragrances – such as did you know that musk is a product of the Musk Deer from the Himalayas?! I certainly didn’t!