Our WWP roving reporter Emma Reinhold has been out and about festive shopping for us this week, and has rounded up the best of the personalisation ideas available for perfume gifting.
Don’t get me wrong, I love a bit of theatre when it comes to buying in-store, but for me, customisation at counter will always conjure up Rowan Atkinson giving it his creative all in Love Actually. “Would you like it…gift wrapped?”
Whatever you are buying, there’s always been a bit of cliché when it comes to making a gift that extra bit special. What we really want is something that speaks to us on a very personal level; something thoughtful and given with love rather than just another dose of (planet-harming) excess packaging.
It’s good to see then that in recent years there’s been a growth in the number of brands offering something unique to their customers. From high street to haute perfumery, there are now so many ways to add an extra special something to create the perfect gift.
Here’s our pick of the best perfumes offering creative customisation:
Step inside Guerlain’s new space in Harrods’ Salon de Parfums and grab yourself a slice of Parisian perfumery flair.
The space features an uncannily accurate digital fragrance consultation tool – I was paired with Mitsouko, my all-time favourite Guerlain fragrance – which helps users navigate through the perfume house’s iconic fragrance selection to hone in on a signature scent.
There’s personalisation options galore with engraving, beautiful hand tied ribbons and Guerlain’s iconic bee bottle, available in a nine exclusive cheery hues, from sunny yellow to vibrant magenta. Each bottle can be refilled, helping you to earn additional sustainability creds.
If you like the idea of personalising more portable perfume options, head on over to Atelier Cologne’s boutique also in Harrods.
This veritable perfume pick n’ mix offers customisation on all its 27 30ml fragrances. Each fragrance is presented in a leather case, which can be matched or clashed according to your colour preference. Choose from 12 rainbow shades including indigo, black, lemon and blue and then add your own unique message or name.
The fragrances can be gifted in trio or duo sets and if you can’t make it down to Harrods, the service is also available online.
Tucked away above the busy throng of shoppers in London’s Burlington Arcade, Penhaligon’s Made to Measure service celebrates traditional perfumery in all its fragrant glory.
Working with perfumer, Fabrice Pellegrin, this semi-bespoke service offers guests a glimpse into the brand’s illustrious heritage, set in the Regency splendor of its original boutique.
First, select a base blend from the chypre, wood, amber or oriental olfactory families, then layer over a signature essence – rose, oud, iris or sandalwood – and watch as your perfume is blended in the in-house laboratory. Oriental iris got top marks from the We Wear Perfume team.
Each bottle is then hand finished with a velvet bow and can be engraved with a message of your choice. The service takes about an hour and is the perfect way to immerse yourself in the Penhaligon’s world.
Bearing the standard for the high street,
The Perfume Shop’s customisation options are blazing a trail for affordable perfume personalisation.
Its engraving service starts from £5.99 and is available on the vast majority of its fragrance portfolio. A plus is that it’s also available online.
Bottles can also be given extra bling with a selection of accessories including charms and diamante gems but our favourite option is the wrapping service, which can be personalised with your favourite photos. Now say cheese!
For a speedy solution to personalising your perfume bottles, L’Occitane’s engraving service creates a customised bottle in just three minutes.
There are also several complimentary gift wrapping options including French wrapping, wax seals, lavender sprigs and ribbon printing where you can leave a message for your loved one.
Images by the talented Joshua Payne, with set design by Megan Mandeville