by Danielle Cooper, 22 February 2007
Update May 2009: We're holding a Roja Dove Masterclass in June - tickets costs £125 - read more here...
To celebrate our first official Basenotes event, over the coming weeks we will be running store profiles, interviews and reviews from the day. Look out for an interview with Ormonde Jayne's Linda Pilkington, a shopping guide and reviews of some of the fragrances and places we have visited along the way.
The Basenotes Lunch is this Saturday, February 24th and Basenotes would like to thank all of the boutiques taking part and of course those of you who have purchased tickets. We hope that the day is entertaining, informative and fragrant and look forward to meeting everyone on Saturday.
We start our series of articles with store profiles for Les Senteurs, Ormonde Jayne, Penhaligon's and Roja Dove's Haute Parfumerie...
Style: Drawing on three hundred years of the art of perfumery Les Senteurs has been offering fine fragrances since 1984. The stylish and understated blue frontage gives way to a calm, ambient interior of white walls lined with many treasures, difficult or impossible to acquire from department stores and other outlets. This vision of a fragrance emporium that stocks unusual fine fragrance was that of Betty and Michael Hawksley. Frustrated by the lack of choice that they found, Les Senteurs was their solution. Still delivering professional and impartial but personal and friendly advice Les Senteurs not only serves London but other areas of Britain, Europe and the World through its website and sampling service.
Products: Offering a wide array of products for men and women from a host of luxury houses has resulted in a current range that exceeds 400 fragrances. There is a sampling service available free of charge in store or for a cost of £2.50 for postage and packaging through the website. Les Senteurs was the first shop in the UK to sell Annick Goutal, Creed and Diptyque. It is still the only boutique in the UK to sell Frederic Malle fragrances and offers many high-end options such as Mona Di Orio, Serge Lutens, Parfums Caron and the newly relaunched Carven. Alongside the fragrances are body products, soaps and home fragrance products of the same incredible pedigree. Gift vouchers are also available.
Style: Ormonde Jayne's exclusive luxury range of men and women's fragrances, body products and scented candles are all developed and overseen by perfumer Linda Pilkington. The Ormonde Jayne store and Ormonde Jayne website are the only retail sources for Ormonde Jayne products. A recent refurbishment of the Grade Two listed building that is home to Ormonde Jayne has added a real sense of opulence and brand identity. The striking combination of silky black and vibrant mandarin has been echoed throughout the entire fabric of the brand – in the décor, the packaging, and even the bags and ribbons that are used to elegantly wrap your purchase. This attention to detail runs through all of the products making each an investment in luxury and beauty.
Products: The speciality of this niche perfumery is exquisite fragrances, candles and body products made to the incredibly high standards of Linda Pilkington. Linda takes her inspiration from her extensive travels, using beautiful and unusual flowers that she has discovered along the way. Turning these into sophisticated and luxurious fragrances is a process that Linda oversees at every stage and the results are as you would expect from such meticulous attention to detail. It is this hands on approach that has enabled Ormonde Jayne to retain its exclusivity and integretity. After the tireless sourcing of ingredients from far-flung and exotic locations, combining them in a way that keeps them true to their origins is the next step. The fragrances, candles and body products are then manufactured at Ormonde Jayne's own London laboratory before being sent to the only location in the world from which you can buy them.
16 Burlington Arcade
T: +44 (0) 20 7629 1416
Nearest Tube Station: Green Park
Style: When William Henry Penhaligon came to London from the South West Coast of England to set up business as a barber, even he could not have foreseen that over 140 years later his company would have grown to include boutiques and concessions throughout London, Britain and even Paris and New York. This very English of companies captured the noses of the aristocracy of the late 19 th century with William's first fragrance, Hammam Bouquet – named for the Turkish baths that were its inspiration. Appointed barber and perfumer to the royal court by the end of the reign of Queen Victoria, the perfumes, toilet waters and pomades that Penhaligon created had secured their place in history. Even today the company holds a royal warrant (that of HRH The Prince of Wales, awarded in 1988). Stepping into Penhaligon's, Burlington Arcade, is like recapturing an era of refinement and elegance that is in our past but longed for in our present. Attentive staff and beautiful displays lead to inevitable purchases that are beautifully wrapped in penhaligon's signature paper and luxurious bags.
Products: The classic collections are available in store, in Penhaligon's signature stopper topped bottles as well as in smaller sample sizes. A scent library containing ten sample phials, five each of a selection of male and female fragrances in a stylish tin is also available. Amongst the traditional and modern fragrances for men and women the Penhaligon's customer will find home fragrance products, leather gifts, shaving accoutrements, crystal fragrance bottles to decant your favourite scents and other fragrance associated gifts as well as new baby trinkets and gift vouchers.
Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie
Urban Retreat, 5th Floor
T: +44 (0) 20 7897 8797
Nearest Tube Station: Knightsbridge
Style: In October 2004 London's most famous department store became home to Roja Dove's Haute Parfumerie. The luxurious perfumery lies in the inner confines of Harrods' fifth floor Urban Retreat. The sleek black lacquer, silk and crystal interior speak of the opulence that lives in the bottles of fine fragrance. If you find yourself overwhelmed by the incredible array of sumptuous brands on offer, Roja himself will guide you through a journey of discovery to determine your signature fragrance at a cost of £250 for a one-hour consultation. Using his methods and training a member of Roja's highly trained team will guide you to your signature scent for £50 for a one-hour consultation. As one of the most quoted fragrance experts in the world it is no surprise that Roja Dove has chosen some of the most sought after fragrances in the world, including discontinued lines which are being brought back into production exclusively for Roja Dove's Haute Parfumerie.
Products: The list of brands available from the perfumery reads like a who's who of fragrance. Amouage, Clive Christian, Dior, Guerlain, Gres and many more nestle among the chic surroundings waiting to be discovered. This is not a casual shopping experience and the highly trained staff will guide you through the fragrances – every one hand-selected by Roja.