FLARE finds out where to get your custom fragrance fix

Lust for an eau de all-about-me? FLARE finds out where to get your custom fragrance fix

Ritz, glitz & spritz
Lust for an eau de all-about-me? FLARE finds out where to get your custom fragrance fix

If you haven’t blown all your bucks on some right-hand bling, haute perfume houses are offering tailor-made fragrance services to spend your extra pennies on. Once the sole privilege of royals and aristocrats such as Cleopatra and Marie Antoinette, today’s nouveau chic can sign up for a signature scent, too – the requirements? A padded Swiss bank account and enough spare time to make your mix (expect meetings, meetings, meetings).

The first stop: La Maison de Guerlain, which has been in the bespoke fragrance biz since 1828, catering to historical headliners such as Napoléon III’s missus, Empress Eugénie. Under the guiding hand of Sylvaine Delacourte (photo: right), Guerlain’s in-house perfumer, this one-of-a-kind service is still available at Guerlain’s renovated boutique on the avenue des Champs-Elysées in Paris. There, you’ll also find a private collection of four exclusive, ready-to-wear blends priced at €20,000 each (that’s a cool $28,000 Cdn) that are perfect for Hiltons in a hurry. Or set aside the time—and another €10,000—to develop your own scent. “It takes six months to a year to create a fragrance using anywhere from 30–100 raw materials,” says Delacourte.

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Over three consultations, Delacourte will really get to know you (imagine going on three first dates but way more intense). Using a psychological profile called Balametrics, a tool used by psychotherapists, she’ll determine which aromas make you feel chic. Cue cards with pictures of coloured ribbons, exotic flowers and getaways will help her determine your lifestyle (are you Jen or Angelina?). Next, you will touch luxe materials such as silk and satin to reveal what turns you on. Delacourte will also drill you about which scents spur your best memories. All for a final price tag of €30,000—Guerlain wants to make sure your crystal Baccarat bottle is filled with joy.

At Jean Patou, master perfumer Jean-Michel Duriez (photo: right) is also in the business of “parfum couture.” His lab holds up to 2,000 very expensive fragrance oils. Busy mixing a heady juice for a can’t-be-named client he tells us, “It needs to be perfect or it doesn’t exist.” High-priced signature scents, after all, are a serious business. Starting at €52,000 (about $73,000 to you and me), the house of Jean Patou lulls you into all things French—a limo tour of Paris, bubbly (rose between teeth extra)—while Duriez asks your tastes in everything from flowers and spices to pastries and memories. One consultation and three samples later, you’re toting your very own parfum and loving it.

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On a budget? Check out our Cheap and Cheerful article!

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