Our best pieces of advice on picking your very own perfume designer

Créateur de parfum à Paris

Serge Lutens, a master perfumer who needs no introduction, likes to say that “perfume is an invitation to introspection”. Because what could be more personal than creating a fragrance for yourself? Imagine a fragrance that captures the essence of who you are and tells your story with every waft. A good perfume designer, also known as a “nose”, is skilled in this subtle art of chemistry and olfactory creativity using a wide variety of ingredients. Go for an exceptional artisan who will combine craft and passion in their tailor-made perfumes, by following these few recommendations. Make the most of this unique experience to organise your stay in Paris, shopping the French way, exploring historic monuments, unconventional museum visits – let our experts guide you through the City of Light.



1. Knowing what your perfume style is

Before you start the production of your very own tailor-made fragrance, you’ll need to do some work on yourself beforehand. To pinpoint your scent style, explore a variety of fragrances and note which ones appeal to you most, and which last longest on your skin. What emotions and memories do these scents bring forth for you? Take note of the smells that are your version of “Proust’s madeleine”.


Also think about when and where you will wear the fragrance, whether for everyday or for special occasions. A professional perfumer, or “nose”, will use this information to create a custom-made fragrance that truly reflects your character and olfactory preferences.


2. Preparing for the initial consultation with the perfume designer

An initial meeting with your perfume designer is a pivotal moment in the process of creating your custom-made “elixir”. This is an opportunity to establish a relationship of trust and mutual understanding with the perfumer. To get the most from their expertise as a fragrance designer, prepare properly:


  • Pinpoint your scent preferences: think about the types of perfume you usually like. Do you prefer floral, woody or spicy notes? Knowing what your tastes are will help you communicate clearly with the designer
  • Share your past experiences: talk about your favourite fragrances, and also those you didn’t like. This will give the perfumer invaluable clues about your scent palette and expectations.
  • Settle on the purpose of your perfume: what are your expectations around a tailor-made perfume in Paris? Is it to celebrate a special occasion, accompany you on a daily basis or affirm the expression of who you are?
  • Check what expertise and training they have as a perfume designer: a good professional perfumer has solid training in chemistry and perfume production. Ask them questions about their background, their experience as a “nose” in the trade, and the products they have designed, either for a major company or independently.
  • Find out about the manufacturing process: each perfumer has their own way of working. Ask them how they plan to incorporate your preferences and style in the development of your custom-made fragrance.
  • Talk about the logistics in detail: talk to your perfumer about practical matters such as turnaround times, perfume trials and possible customisation aspects.


This initial chat is essential to ensure that the perfumer fully understands your expectations, and can create a fragrance that is a reflection of your personality. Good preparation for this consultation will lay the foundations for fruitful collaboration.

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3. Supporting the creative process


The process of designing a custom-made perfume is an enriching experience that gets you engaging closely with the artisan perfumer. This artistic, technical process takes place in several stages:

Selection of fragrance notes

Selecting the head, heart and base notes is the first, essential step for a “nose”. Each category of notes plays a specific role, contributing to the unique signature of your fragrance.


Combination of ingredients and changes to fragrances

Perfume changes over time. The combination of ingredients and the way they change on the skin over time are key aspects that you will explore with the perfumer.


Practice makes perfect

The creative process is a repetitive one, inevitably requiring adjustments and refinements. Your feedback is essential to arrive at a fragrance that is perfectly you.


Every step of the process is important to ensure that the final fragrance accurately reflects your personality and preferences. Your partnership with the fragrance designer lies at the heart of this experience, and ensures that the result will be a truly custom-made work of olfactory art.


4. Plan out the budget and degree of customisation


When working with a perfume designer on a tailor-made fragrance, it’s essential to understand that customisation can affect the budget significantly. Several factors dictate the cost of developing a fragrance:


  • The scarcity of the ingredients: scarce or exotic products tend to increase the cost. Discuss the options available and the impact of raw material choices on the end price with the perfumer.
  • The complexity of the production process: a perfume involving complex crafting techniques, or a lengthy development process, can also affect the cost. Find out about the process and any more affordable alternatives.
  • The degree of customisation: some perfume designers offer varying degrees of customisation, from minor tweaks to existing bases to entirely original designs. Choose a degree of customisation that matches your expectations and budget.


Frank communication with your perfumer will allow you to strike a balance between the scent that you want and your financial limitations. As a professional in the trade, a perfume designer will advise you on the best way to get your very own fragrance while staying within your budget. Whether a minor customisation or a completely original design, your perfume creation experience will be as unique as the fragrance itself.

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Finding the right “nose”, a professional perfume designer, is an important step in getting a fragrance that is truly you. It requires research, understanding and clear communication with the perfumer, and Paris is the perfect city in which to pull it off. By following our advice, you’ll have the chance to have an authentic scent signature. And probably, thanks to your perfume creator, a perfect expression of yourself too!