The bespoke perfume process begins with a one-hour profiling session conducted by a stylist who asks a series of questions designed to map a customer's sensual and psychological makeup—what kind of scenery, music and textures she prefers; what sort of running water sounds she finds appealing—waterfall, gurgling brook or ocean surf. The company uses the information to match the customer with a perfumer, who begins to compose a fragrance, sending samples of the scent until it is refined to satisfaction. The whole process can take three months or more; prices start around $4,500 and go up depending on the rarity of the ingredients (rose extracts from the Saudi Arabian city of Taif cost $24,000 per batch). Once the perfume has been completed it is registered, and the customer receives a certificate of exclusivity.
If you can't wait three months, then Florentine perfumer Lorenzo Villoresi will conjure up a fragrance in a mere two hours. You choose ingredient by ingredient—the master tests their effect on your skin. The final product—a 100-ml bottle of eau de toilette or a 30-ml bottle of eau de parfum—costs $730, and you can also order shampoos, body lotion and bath oils with the same fragrance.
The grand master of bespoke scents is the House of Creed in Paris, which has been creating custom-made perfume for over 240 years. It takes perfumer Olivier Creed between three and six months to develop a personal scent, although consultations can be conducted by phone and test fragrances may be flown out to the client. Prices start from $3,300 per liter for eau de cologne and $7,300 per liter for eau de parfum. Sound reasonable? Well, there's a small catch—the minimum order is 10 L. But look at it this way: it'll last you a lifetime, and you'll never have to smell like anyone else again.