Five boutique perfume houses we love
In the September issue of House and Leisure we explore Etienne de Swardt's new perfume boutique in Paris, Etat Libre d’Orange ('Orange Free State'). Stepping inside is like entering a fragrance-driven fantasy world, described by its owner as 'a land of frivolity and other scented nonsense'. For this online exclusive we've followed our noses to explore five more boutique fragrance houses around the world that are well worth a visit... even if it's just to their online stores.
Inspired by Australian photographer Russell James' art project, Nomad Two Worlds, Raw Spirit has collaboration at its heart, partnering with marginalised communities around the world. Artistic and authentic, the brand uses only natural ingredients and a portion of its sales goes to local organisations to support environmental preservation and cultural education.
Arianna Caruso, Raw Spirit's marketing manager, says the fragrance to fancy is Desert Blush. 'I’m a huge fan of floral scents, but this is a particularly special one,' she says. Made from the Australian boronia flower, the perfume is fruity and exotic and, followed by the warm notes of Australian sandalwood, the finish is both alluring and comforting.
house of gozdawa
'Reflective, conceptual and regal' is how Agata Karolina describes her South African fragrance brand House of Gozdawa. Specialising in vintage batch perfumes made only from pure natural essential oils, her perfumes are unisex and are inspired by personas and experiences. 'Scent is intrinsically connected to who we are as people and thus perfume allows us to express ourselves in the most intimate and personal way,' she explains.
Her favourite perfume? 'From my own collection, my favourite is the 2016 Vintage of Marta: spicy, peppery with light hints of mountain geranium.' From other perfumers, Agata is especially enjoying Baraonda by Nasomatto and Fat Electrician as well as Semi-Modern Vetiver by Etat Libre d'Orange.
Completely organic, and also completely South African, Tsi-La Organics is all about sustainable luxury. After years of modelling and being surrounded by synthetic make-up and chemicals, co-founder Annie Morton decided to find a better way. She studied botanical formulation and aromatherapy and then teamed up with holistic aromatherapist Natalie Szapowalo to create the pure and natural perfumes.
The best part is that you can design your own custom fragrance. We recommend you go one of three ways: try the mysterious Kesu and Kizes scents, opt for something exotic with Ilang Ilang Fleur Savage, or lighten it up with Fiori D'Arancio and L'Absolu Vanille.
juliette has a gun
'Beauty is women’s best revenge,' said Serge Gainsbourg, and this is what Juliette Has A Gun is all about. Creator Romano Ricci (great-grandson of Nina) sees perfume as a weapon of seduction and as a symbol for the liberation of women towards men, sometimes with an aftertaste of revenge. Juliette, herself, represents the women who wears the brand's perfume: strong, untamed and powerful.
Old favourites include Not a Perfume, which is minimalist and allergen-free, and Lady Vengeance, a rich and sophisticated scent. New to their shelves is an addition to their luxury collection called Into the Void: a fragrance with dark energy, this is an ultra-woody cocktail of guaiac wood, papyrus, cedar and patchouli.
Based in Boston, Patch NYC finds inspiration in the ink drawings created for its perfume bottle labels. Although the perfumer's process may be unusual, beginning with aesthetics first and fragrance second, it clearly works. With a vintage-inspired look that incorporates classic calligraphy, these scents have a timeless appeal with a modern edge.
The ink drawings are inspired by folk tales and encapsulate the story of each perfume. Bear, which is currently one of the teams' favourite scents, is reminiscent of a long, sumptuous winter's nap with the promise of a honeyed flourish at the end – comforting and delicious.