3 things to know before buying a personalized perfume

Apr 19, 2021Maëlys Préau1 comment

If you are reading this, it is because the desire for a tailor-made perfume has already crossed your mind. And we understand you: smelling La Vie Est Belle on half of the women you meet in the street can only make you dream of having a perfume just for you . A unique fragrance, that you created with raw materials that you chose and that you really love. It is because there are more and more requests like yours that many brands have started to offer “ personalized perfumes ”. An offer that may seem great at first, but which in some cases smacks of a scam.

Follow the guide, we'll explain the behind the scenes 👇

What is a custom perfume?


A tailor-made perfume is a perfume created just for you by a perfume professional. In other words, you tell the perfumer what you like in terms of olfactory notes , you tell him about your personality, what inspires you, etc. - so that he can compose the perfume of your dreams. It is desirable, no ?

Besides, this is how it happened at the time : in the 18th century, kings and queens offered themselves the services of appointed perfumers to create perfumes according to their tastes and desires. This is how Jean Fargeon remained famous for Louis to sign Her Majesty's fragrances).

As you will have understood, this type of service was only reserved for the elite of the time. And that hasn't really changed. Even today, to obtain a real tailor-made perfume , you have to pay a certain amount which risks making your banker frown.

Why a real personalized perfume costs thousands of euros

You read correctly: we are talking about thousands of euros . Nowadays, to create a personalized perfume, you must spend a minimum of €2,000 to create a formula (for example at Flair)! And even then, this is only a minimum. At Francis Kurkdjian, your tailor-made perfume will be made for €15,000. You will have to pay €10,000 more at Sylvaine Delacourte, a “reasonable” price compared to the €50,000 requested at Guerlain or the €60,000 at Cartier. Rest assured: at this price, you don't just leave with a 50mL bottle, but rather with 2L of perfume and sublime crystal bottles.

But then, why this astronomical cost ? One might think that these amounts, frightening at first glance, are only linked to marketing and the prestige of the brands... but that is not entirely the case. There are several reasons why a custom perfume is so expensive :

1) Time

The first is due to the time the perfumer devotes to creating the perfume . You can guess: creating a perfume is not done in a day. Several tests are first carried out and presented to the client then reworked at length before choosing the lucky one. Here is how Anne Flipo, famous perfumer and co-author of our Pleine Lune perfume , describes the immense work necessary to create a perfume:

Woman and lavender

"Recently, I spent hours at home, in Pas-de-Calais, wondering how I was going to interpret a seventies fruity green chypre subject. Hours meditating without moving, in the darkness of the end of days in October... and finally I found the angle of attack, the agreement, and then I juggled with that and I launched the festival of dosage tests".

Anne Flipo - Artists of Perfumery, IFF, 2021

2) Raw materials

The second is due to the cost of the raw materials used . The final perfume concentrate is not necessarily very expensive, but think about the number of tests carried out and ousted from the competition. It's like making a cake several times before finding the right amount of sugar: you're going to need a dozen eggs even if, in the end, there will only be 3 in your recipe. It is therefore the total cost of the raw materials used which is taken into account.

3) Regulations

The third reason is due to regulations, because yes: now that the creative part is finished, there remains the administrative part that we love so much! It is in fact impossible to place a perfume on the market without having first registered it with the EU , and having carried out a basic toxicological analysis. We call this the "Cosmetic File", and all the products in your bathroom - without exception! - have been there. Here is what Dominique Belaïd, expert in cosmetic regulations, says:

" The European regulation is clear: each perfume must have its file, this is what guarantees the safety of the consumer . No product must be placed on the market without verification. Unfortunately, some customers are fooled : at €80, we does not have a tailor-made perfume, in the best case we have a base with one or two variable ingredients, and if things are done correctly all the combinations have been tested and approved by regulations.

Dominique Belaïd, general director of Cosmetic Office

4) Artisanal production

Finally, the fact that a tailor-made perfume is produced in very small quantities (two liters of perfume is nothing compared to the 500,000 liters of N°5 that Chanel produces each year) makes it even more expensive. Quite simply because large series production allows brands to achieve significant economies of scale : for example, operating a bottling machine for 10,000 bottles is much less expensive than filling very small series by hand . And that, unfortunately, is not about to change.

Perfume bottle production

The myth of the “personalized perfume” for less than €1000

If you're interested in the topic of personalized perfumes, you've probably already Googled how to get them. Among the results, you have surely been offered brands that promise to create a personalized or tailor-made perfume for around a hundred euros , or even less. But then, by what feat have these brands divided the cost of the object of your desire by 20?

Quite simply, by selling a personalization that is not personalization . Of course, we make you "choose" all the ingredients of your perfume through a personalized online questionnaire... except that the perfume that we offer you at the end is part of an already existing collection, in which we will come and pick the one that best matches your answers. In fact, your future perfume has therefore been created in advance, and sold to thousands of other customers . In the best case, as Dominique Belaïd explains, it is only one or two ingredients that we will allow you to add, to a formula which includes on average more than fifty.

In short: under a ton of marketing and pretty visuals, all we see is fire . At reception, the customer has absolutely no idea that their perfume is not unique, even if some are frankly disappointed when they discover a mainly floral perfume, even though they had explicitly requested vanilla as the majority note. .

In summary, the only way to know if your perfume is truly unique is the price - because yes, exclusivity has a cost . If you want to wear a rare perfume at a reasonable price, turn to confidential niche brands : their perfumes are produced in small series, and you will have little chance of coming across a stranger who wears the same perfume as you. - without having to leave your PEL there. And if you are curious to know more about Bastille perfumes, it’s here:


Comments (1)

  • Bravo pour cette véritable analyse espérons que de plus en plus de personnes se tourneront vers les parfums de Niche … vrai Niche et non de la masse revisité !!!!


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