“Perfume is a story in odour, sometimes poetry in memory,” said celebrated French perfumer and author Jean- Claude Ellena. Truer words have never been spoken, and as we grapple with the curveballs the pandemic has thrown at us all, personal fragrances have stepped up beautifully to boost mood, soothe anxiety and even empower with their olfactory tale.
It should come as no surprise. Scents have long been intertwined with emotion and memory, and in times when meet-ups, dining out and international travel are restricted in the interest of public health, they provide a mental gateway to freer, happier days. For some, perfumes can even be a way to “dress up” (or psych up, if we’re being honest) for those Zoom meetings, never mind that no one else will get a whiff of what you’re wearing.
Perhaps the ultimate in fragrances are Parfums Henry Jacques’ tailor-made creations, which run upwards of $25,000. The months-long bespoke journey at the French haute parfumerie—which only opened its doors to the public in 2015 after nearly 50 years of crafting custom scents exclusively for royalty and the elite few—isn’t just a means to an end but rather, an experience in itself.
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