“A perfume is like a piece of clothing, a message, a way of presenting oneself a costume that differs accordingly,” said Tiffany & Co’s Paloma Picasso. Every cologne holds a narrative on its own, functioning as a personal extension of your individuality from the moment someone takes a whiff. Yet despite the numerous designer options on the market, the most discerning of noses might still not be satisfied.
Perhaps the lavender notes of Bleu De Chanel conjure up the image of a posh bathroom, perhaps the musk in Christian Dior’s Eau Sauvage might be too heady. That's why there are bespoke fragrance ateliers offering a complete custom experience. After all, everyone's body chemistry is different, so why not create a fragrance that reacts best with your body’s natural scent?
Here, we round up the best bespoke fragrance makers in Singapore.
Oo La Lab
There’s something fascinating about concocting your own blend, similar to a chemistry lab experiment. The air of anticipation is palpable as you observe various reactions whilst decanting and distilling the aqueous solutions together. Meet “Chemistry of Oo”, Oo La Lab’s hour-long olfactory workshop at Delta House that allows participants to partake in the sensorial process as they traverse through 27 different scents sourced from sustainable, cruelty-free ingredients. At the end of the workshop, you get to take home either a 20ml or 50ml flacon of Eau de Parfum that can be labeled so you can switch up your notes in the next class. The mixology lab also stocks ready-to-buy fragrances and soy-beeswax candles, which make pleasant gifts.
2 Alexandra Road #02-04 Delta House Singapore 159919.
While the Freda’D might not conduct face-to-face workshops, they offer a bespoke fragrance service through a detailed online questionnaire about your favourite perfumes, your preferred aromatic styles, the type of occasions you would wear a fragrance, and the sensorial effect you desire. It comes shipped to you two weeks later, right to your doorstep. For a truly custom option, you could look to Freda’D’s Private Label, where their in-house fragrance experts develop five scents exclusively for you, according to your specifications. If none of the choices appeal to you, the perfumers will continue to develop another five, till you are completely satisfied. You can also switch out small details; flacon, atomizer, cap, design and even the packaging so that your unguent will never look the same as the rest.
6A Shenton Way, OUE Downtown, Singapore 068809.
Je T’aime Singapore
Conceived by the desire to bring the atelier experience to the masses, the bespoke parfum company conducts their fragrance workshops at the Goodman Art Centre and has been a popular activity for couples looking for a fruitful time together. A personality test is taken beforehand, in which the results will be analysed and interpreted by a perfume specialist. You get a comprehensive explanation along with a recommended selection from a bastion of 50 local orchid oils and over 500 botanical oils that might suit your persona during the 2-hour course. Je T’aime also offers non-alcoholic concoctions for people that are allergic to alcohol or for religious reasons.
90 Goodman Road, Block O, 01-57, Goodman Art Center, Singapore 439053.
Helmed by third generation Head Perfumer Johari Kazura, who comes from a family of perfumers in Singapore, the niche perfumery offers custom perfume consultations; allowing you to sample quality olfactory components that are ethically sourced from around the globe before deciding with your specialist on your favourite blend. You get to leave the workshop with either a 50 ml Eau de Parfum or a 15 ml perfume oil concentrate packaged in their very own vessels. You could even come back two weeks later after the fragrance has settled to make changes or tweak the formula to your liking.
42 Arab St, Singapore 199741.
Probably the most opulent bespoke option of them all, fragrance atelier Parfum Henry Jacques has a bourgeoisie air right from the get-go. After all, you’re paying a minimum of $25,000 to get your very own scented liquid gold, enshrined in an intricately crafted crystal flacon. There's an explanation to why a teensy bottle of Henry Jacques is expensive; blending high purity ingredients with a low concentration of alcohol turns the mixture into a potent and long-lasting potion which can be kept for a long time if stored in a dark, cool place. You begin with a private consultation at its Marina Bay boutique with their professionals, after which the laboratory in France will work on three formulations based on the information collected. If none of the first three choices feel quite right, the lab will continue to reformulate until you are completely satisfied with your choice. Meanwhile, you can select from the atelier's collection of crystal vessels to bottle your fragrance. You could even have the container designed with your own specifications. The caveat is that the process of designing a bottle, fashioning a mould, and finally crafting the flacon would take roughly six to eight months before it reaches your hands.
Not feeling the price tag? Fret not, you could check out Les Classiques—Henry Jacques' lineup of 50 avant-garde ready-to-buy fragrances that are not as pricey but still as grand.
1 Bayfront Avenue #01-08A, Marina Bay Sands Hotel Tower, Singapore 018971.