Making Some Scents of It All
As you may have seen on Instagram or Snapchat (or maybe not), last week Tyler & I celebrated NINE years of marriage. What? How? Not sure. We got married young- I was 22 and he was 24. We're familiar with the yearly arrival of our anniversary, but we both agreed- nine years felt really official and old. It was one of those milestones you watch cousins or teachers hit and it confirms that they are, indeed, old.
Oh well. I'm constantly reminded that age isn't a bad thing, and this was reinforced when Tyler & I went to Floris on Friday for a really special anniversary celebration.
Before I dive in on our day there, let me just give you a quick background on Floris, in case you are unfamiliar with them. Floris is a London perfumer who has been in the same shop on Jermyn Street since before America was a country. In the private rooms set back behind the bustling store front, it has been mix up the custom scents of the British Kings & Queens for centuries. The product line is very edited and many of the fragrances have been around for hundreds of years. Floris holds a Royal Warrant as the private perfumer to Queen and the Prince of Wales- though if you ask them about her perfume, they'll kindly tell you they are not allowed to discuss her private blend.
Floris invited Tyler & I to come have custom scents made for our 9th anniversary. While the bespoke service has been around for ages, having couples come in together is new. In fact, I think we might be one of the very firsts. We felt so special making history in a place that has seen so much history itself.
A few days before our appointment, we both received a gorgeous box from Floris with an empty, engraved perfume bottle inside along with an invitation to make a bespoke fragrance with Nicola, their master perfumer.
I could spend way too long recounting the process that we went through with Nicola, Floris' world-class bespoke perfumer, but I'll try to keep it reasonable. He walked us through Floris private library of base scents of the four main categories: floral, citrus, woody & oriental. As he talked and dipped testers from each bottle, I sipped tea from gorgeous china and popped Charbonnel et Walker truffles.
After we went through probably 50 different scents, we narrowed down to our two favorites. The biggest surprise was that Tyler and I each had chosen, of all the scents, one of the same scents for our final two.
After that, we tried our two finalists on our skin to see how the fragrance worked on us. I ended up choosing an orange blossom scent infused with blackcurrant. Tyler choose one from sandalwood.
Then Nicola guided us through the "organ" where various "notes" sat ready to be added to make the scents our own. Little vials with small droppers held various elements such as bergamot, vanilla and amber that could accent the base scents to our preference. Mine got a bit sweeter with almond and brighter with grapefruit. Tyler's got a bit fresher with bergamot and smokey with birch.
The final step in the process was to name our fragrances. I named my "Praha" after our honeymoon in Prague; Tyler named his "Neuf" for our 9th anniversary.
I'll be honest: When we arrived at Floris, I knew we would have a great time. It's a gorgeous shop and the opportunity to have our own scents hand-poured with a master perfumer was a once in a lifetime gift. BUT... when all the work was done and Nicola handed me that bottle, I was surprised at how emotional I was.
The only feeling that I can compare it to was when I saw our wedding invitations printed with our own names on it. Sure, you've seen wedding invitations before- but when they're made for you and have the names of those you love on it, it means something different. And somehow, even though I've smelled a gazillion perfumes, smelling one that had so many of the smells and memories associated with them in a bottle felt a bit the same way.
We hugged everyone goodbye, walked out through the store and stood in the spitting rain on Jermyn Street. We kind of stared at each other in amazement at what we had just done. It was the perfect London way to celebrate our anniversary: creating a perfume to wear that reminds of past memories to take with us in the years to come.
What a special memory that we can take forward and share everyday. Getting custom scents made is maybe one of the sweetest things we have done together, and I highly recommend it for any couple that is wanting to celebrate the past by creating something to enjoy for the years to come.
If you're headed to London, stop by Floris to pick up a bottle of their perfume to take home as a souvenir. It's a quintessential London moment browsing their Jermyn Street shop, but if you can- definitely book in for an afternoon to have your own scent made. I promise, you won't regret it. This truly is one of London's finest gems and one of those rare shops that has survived through the years because it does something so special.
Floris Perfumers | 89 Jermyn Street | St. James, SW1Y 6JH
Find more of my favorite places to visit in my London travel guide.
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*images by Ben Clube, original to Aspiring Kennedy