Aware of this reality, the most relevant fragrance labels are adopting strategies that cater to the new circumstances. For example, the Spanish Group Puig—owner of fashion brands Jean Paul Gaultier, Paco Rabanne and Nina Ricci, and of the rights to Prada and Valentino fragrances, among others—bought, earlier this year, two exclusive custom perfume brands: Penhaligon‘s from London and L’Artisan Parfumeur from Paris. And the American group Estée Lauder Co.—which already owned the brand Jo Malone—has just acquired the French firms Le Labo and Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle.
Exclusive perfumers use their own formulas but with higher fragrance concentrations with long lasting, natural ingredients. Their production is small and focused on the olfactory notes, money spent in advertising is limited, and they don’t depend on celebrities to release and launch their exclusive products. Their containers are also stunning, including flasks made of beautiful Lalique or Baccarat crystal.
London’s iconic Harrods department store has also taken note of this trend. Last year, they opened—on their sixth floor—the Salon de Parfums, consisting of 11 shops where fragrances are presented and sold like fine jewelry. The customer can try the aromas of famous brands and exclusive labels such as Chanel, Dior, Tom Ford, Clive Christian, Kilian and XerJoff, and have access to a service for creating customized scents.
Perfumes by smaller firms like Byredo, Diptyque, and M. Micallef, can be found in concept stores, famous for offering the latest fashion trends. Some of them are: Floris and Space NK in London; 10 Corso Como and Esxence in Milan; Colette, Jovoy, Liquides, Nose and Divine in Paris; and Min, Aedes de Venustas and Osswald in New York City. ■