Bespoke Scents – The Haute Couture of Perfumery (Plus a Little Giveaway)

Francis Kurkdijan

Francis Kurkdjian with his travelling box of tricks

The upcoming release of Denyse Beaulieu’s book ‘The Perfume Lover’, in which she documents the complete creation of her very own bespoke perfume, created by the super-talented Bertrand Duchaufour no less, got me thinking about the whole idea of bespoke perfumes.

A bespoke perfume is the holy grail for most perfumistas, it is the haute couture of perfumery. To have a perfume designed exclusively for you, with your tastes and scent preferences in mind, must be one of the greatest perfume experiences on this green Earth. I’ve often wondered what my bespoke perfume would be like, what it would be called, and most importantly would I be faithful to it?

The obvious downside of a bespoke perfume is the price, Roja Dove’s bespoke service costs a minimum of £20,000 [1], Floris offers the service for £2,750 [2] and other houses, such as Miller Harris, offer the service but don’t list a price, and we all know what that means. I’d hate to think how much a bespoke Guerlain costs! For most, the bespoke perfume is an unobtainable dream.

Bespoke Guerlain

I would sell my boyfriend and my cats for a bespoke Guerlain

Historically, bespoke perfumes have been reserved for the royal, rich or famous but now smaller companies are bring the concept into the mainstream with cheaper options for those wanting a bespoke or even semi-bespoke perfume. For under £300 you could have your very own perfume, made especially for you and nobody else, that’s not half bad is it?

Where to get your bespoke/semi-bespoke perfume:

Essentially Me

Cotswolds based perfumery Essentially Me offers a bespoke perfume service for a very reasonable £245, which includes a consultation, samples and a 56ml bottle of Eau de Parfum.

“This is a very special experience. You will spend about an hour with Alec, learning about natural perfume and smelling a wonderful array of perfume ingredients.  Alec works with you to understand the scents that particularly appeal to you.  After the consultation, he will create two versions of a perfume for you, which we will send you through the post.  Wear them, live with them for a week or two, tell us which one you like best.  We’ll then send you a 56ml bottle of Eau de Parfum of your special fragrance.” [3]


For the slightly higher price of £295, Brighton based perfumery Pecksniff’s will create you bespoke perfume within your very own hand-engraved bottle in the colour of your choice.

“You. In a bottle. We understand the real structuring of fragrance, and the way to evoke the emotions and memories that can make it so powerfully arresting to you and those around you. Your fragrance will be tailored to you down to the finest detail, including the colour and the name on the hand-engraved bottled, and your fragrance profile is recorded so that it is forever yours, and yours alone.” [4]

The Perfume Studio

The Perfume Studio offers semi-bespoke perfumes for the incredibly reasonable price of £39.95. For less than £40 you get a consultation, during which you get to smell 18 different perfume blends that you can choose to build your own scent and you walk away with 20ml of your very own perfume.

About four or five years ago I was gifted a perfume consultation and semi-bespoke scent with The Perfume Studio for my birthday. It was quite an interesting experience, although I have to admit that I wasn’t entirely happy with the end result. My perfume, which I named ‘Storm in a Tea Cup’, is a loud aldehydic floral with a base of patchouli and musk. It isn’t unpleasant at all, but it does smell quite muddled, perhaps because I chose a few too many blends for it.

Another grumble I have with the experience is that my ‘perfume consultant’ was very haphazard with the final blending. He basically just shoved unmeasured amounts of each blend into the bottle and when he realised that the bottle was full and he couldn’t fit the last two blends in he just tipped some out and carried on. Who said perfumery was a science of precision?

Aside from my small grumbles, I would happily go back to The Perfume Studio, simply out of curiosity. I’d definitely be a little bit more restrained with my choices and I would probably go somewhere with a different consultant. This time I think I would come out with something much better.

My Bespoke Perfume

When creating a bespoke perfume people tend to opt for something that reminds them of a particular time of place, but not me. If I were to have a bespoke perfume I would want that ‘ultimate perfume’ the one that I’ve always longed for, the one that was completely suited to my tastes but was also something new, and something I couldn’t get anywhere else.

My bespoke perfume would be created by Dominique Ropion, because he’s awesome. It would be a beautifully gigantic floral that would definitely include tuberose, orange blossom, aldehydes and sandalwood. I’d leave the other notes up to M. Ropion, he’d know what to do. As for the name? Seeing as I’m a McQueen fanatic, I would call it ‘Savage Beauty’.


I have 2 x 2.5ml sprays of my semi-bespoke perfume from There Perfume Studio ‘Storm in a Teacup’ to giveaway. I can’t guarantee that you will like it, but in the interest of science it is worth trying!

If you would like to be in with a chance of winning a sample please just say that you would like to be entered into the draw in the comments box.

I will draw the winners using on Wednesday 08 Feb @ 17:00 GMT.

I’ll post the samples anywhere but I won’t be responsible for customs charges and things being eaten by Royal Mail. Only one entry per person please 😀

Join the Discussion!

What your bespoke scent be like?

What would it be called?

If you could choose any perfumer or house to make your perfume, who would you choose? What notes would you choose?

Do you have your very own bespoke scent? If so, what is it like?


All links are for your information only, I am not affiliated with any companies mentioned in this post.

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