By Allison O'Rourke
For the women who have everything, the most popular trend today are designer fragrances. On the heels of a long line of made to order cosmetics like foundation, concealer, lipstick, and even nail polish, custom scents are beyond chic. Here’s a sneak peek into how four of the industry’s top perfumers concoct aromatic potions that their clients go crazy for.
With a background in aromatherapy, founder of Aroma M, Maria McElroy stresses the importance of really understanding the needs of her clients during the custom blending process. “The process happens so naturally. I always ask what they’re looking for, whether it’s for day time or something sensual for evenings. To help me create the right scent, I ask what foods and colors they like and dislike. I think that speaks volumes about someone’s personality. Using essentials oils and natural ingredients she is able to create something entirely personal.
Perfumer Susanne Lang creates a bevy of luxe custom scents for her clients and even has a solid celeb following from coast to coast. They go crazy for her rich blends and her layering wardrobe is a must have for any fragrance fanatic. Her key to a successful consultation with clients? “With a couture fragrance we can take just about everything into consideration. Not surprisingly, the more effort that’s made in this regard yields the best results. The interactive element is important, as we need to gain an idea of preferences before we make a blend. This can be done over the phone, through email questionnaire or in person through a private consultation.” Visit www.susannelang.com.
Rami Mekdachi, designer and olfactive director in charge of NellyRodi’s Scent Factory line development spent 7 years creating perfumes for cult parisian brands like Costes, Colette, and Jacques Garcia. Scent Factory brings couture fragrance to the masses with 8 eau de parfums created by 8 perfumers. Each scent is reminiscent of an oriental base and focuses on one distinguishable note. “Scent factory is a project that is constantly evolving in order to give a new source of inspiration to people that love perfume. It also allows people to mix scents as they wish. The mission of NellyRodi is to inspire people so the concept of the perfume has to be a form of free expression.”
Alexandra Balahoutis, perfumer for Strange Invisible Perfumes shares with us the challenges of creating custom fragrances: “People are like snowflakes. They can seem similar enough but they aren’t when you transcend chit chat and basic identity. These perfumes are the same way. Usually when people buy a new perfume, they are looking to commence a new era, a new feeling in the air of their lives. They are seeking a new flavor to associate with what is to come and with what they love.”