I have often been told that I have an impeccable sense of smell. Of course, this can work against me when I smell something ‘undesirable’. My sense of smell transports me back to childhood memories, holidays and special moments with my friends and family. When I am preparing for a holiday, I make a point of finding my ‘holiday scent’ for that particular trip. The chosen fragrance will then take me back to whichever destination I had travelled too. D&G Light Blue was my first ever ‘grown-up’ perfume, before that it had been Impulse body spray or Versace Red Jeans (in a tin) and the occasional secret spray of my mum’s Cerruti 1881 perfume. To this day, D&G Light Blue takes me back to a family trip to Disney World Florida when I was 15 years old. For me, your sense of smell stirs up emotions and is incredibly powerful.
Two years ago, I stumbled across Design In Scent; a couture design house who specialise in creating bespoke fragrances. I instantly became a social media stalker and contacted them about collaborating on a blog piece. It turned out I contacted them at just the right time, Design In Scent were about to launch their very first retail fragrance range, The Wedding Collection.
Founder Gemma Hopkins, started her career as a multi-sensory experience designer. During this time, it was brought to her attention that our sense of smell was becoming increasingly neglected. In 2015 Design In Scent was launched, with the intention of enabling us to awaken, inspire and reconnect our sense of smell. In 2016, after attending an event that Gemma had created a bespoke fragrance for, Meghan Fay joined the Design in Scent team as Partner and Managing Director. With a passion for scent and fragrance as strong as Gemma’s, they became a force to be reckoned with, and the Design In Scent family was completed.
Design In Scent initially worked on a couture only basis, creating bespoke fragrances for you, your home, wedding or special occasions. With a dream design team at the helm, Design In Scent work with some of the most talented artisans and craftsmen, including Venetian glass blowers and Parisian fan makers.
Their wedding service includes exclusive products such as engraved miniature eau de parfum, candles, diffusers and guest favours. However, the The Wedding Collection has been designed to take you on a ‘Fragrance Journey’ and consists of four original scent combinations. Each scent combination incorporates a selection of three unique fragrances, a feminine eu du parfum, a masculine eau du parfum and a Union fragrance that marries the two together into an ambience fragrance. This has been cleverly designed to portray the couple’s individuality yet the distinctness of their unity.
You’re invited to either choose fragrances from a full Fragrance Journey or find a trio that works perfectly for you. I was lucky enough to have an early sneak peak at this exciting new collection with the delivery of the ‘Design in Scent Discovery Box’. This beautifully presented box was filled with samples of each fragrance, I had a fabulous time sniffing and layering all of the beautiful scents and creating my favourite combination. Everyone has a unique sense of smell, what might suit one, may not please another. Personally, my favourite ‘Fragrance Journey’ was ‘Radiate’, the scent notes within this charming trio are much more masculine using leather, tobacco and birch tar. Then again, Design In Scent have cleverly created this collection so that a bride can wear a masculine scent and vice versa. Pairing a feminine perfume with scent notes of peonies and musk also works perfectly with one that includes cognac and cardamom. I paired ‘Valley of Dew’ with ‘Spiced Embers’ which I found divine.
Valley of Dew – Mountain Roots – Timeless
A blend of root and flower including scent notes such as Rose, Peonies, Bergamot and Vetivert.
White Jardin – Eden Noir – Symphony
A Yin and Yang scent, light and dark scent combination. Joining together a to create a balanced blend. Scent notes include Orange Blossom, Jasmine, Cedarwood, Oakmoss and Sage.
Ambers Glow – Spiced Embers – Radiate
A richer combination of amber and precious woods. Scent notes such as Amber, Sandalwood, Silk, Cardamom and Tobacco make up this passionate journey.
Frosted Veil – Deep Dusk – Tomorrow
The last of the four Fragrance Journeys carefully blends scent notes such as Myrtle, Frosted Molecules, Frankincense, Myrrh, Patchouli and Black Pepper.
Design In Scent are offering affordable luxury with their fabulous new collection and I am excited to share with you a Secret VIP Online Launch that will be taking place from the 5th June until the 2nd July 2017. If you enter the secret password ‘‘fragrancelovestory’’ you will be able to exclusively pre-order any of Design In Scent’s gorgeous products from The Wedding Collection. If you want to experience the full collection you can also order the Design In Scent Discovery Box which includes all 12 fragrances for only £25.00. Click here to order now using ‘’fragrancelovestory’’.
What effect does our sense of smell have on us and why is it so important?
It has so many effects but we rarely stop to appreciate it. On a survival level it keeps us safe, as we’re able to discern when food has gone off. It’s also been proven that we can smell fear and danger. But I love it because it can influence our mood – calming, energising or uplifting us – trigger long-forgotten memories, stir emotions or ground us in the present moment and our surroundings. For me it’s so important because it reminds us that we’re human. We live in a fast, digital rational world at the moment and scent for me brings the feeling back into cold fingers and toes, the rich colour into black and white. It’s an invitation to pay attention to life rather than letting it pass you by.
What are your first scent memories?
My mum’s skin. I remember so vividly crawling into bed with her when I was young and the smell of her warm skim. Truly the ultimate comfort blanket. I couldn’t possibly describe it but I can remember it.
What are your favourite scent notes?
I absolutely adore the smell of a log fire. It’s nostalgic, homely. I think it pulls in my stomach at a time gone by when we would sit around fire telling stories and keeping warm. The fragrance note petrichor is also one of my favourites – that incredible earthy scent released into the air when it rains.
You are launching your first fragrance range after previously working on a couture only basis. What was the reason and the inspiration behind your new collection?
Two reasons. Firstly, because keeping Design In Scent couture would mean we only get to share the magic of scent with a small number of people. Starting with the collection (we have some other very exciting ideas in the pipeline), we can start to really tune more people into their sense of smell. When you expand your experience of the world, you expand your mind and your consciousness and start to see that world differently. Secondly, because marriage is sacred. The coming together of two people to love, support and help one another grow into the best versions of themselves they can be is a powerful archetype that I felt needed honouring. The fragrances are designed to work a bit like an anchor in time and space. When you come to associate your fragrances with this time and the joy, excitement and love you’re feeling, the scent of it will always bring you back to that and the meaning of the wedding.
As you originally created signature and bespoke fragrances for clients and events. What did you find the most difficult when it came to creating your own fragrance range?
Deciding which ones to pick! Our perfumers are incredible and present so many options that are all absolutely beautiful, choosing is nigh on impossible sometimes. If I didn’t have Meghan to bounce ideas back and forth with, I still wouldn’t have chosen.
Do you have any plans to launch additional collections in the future and what might we expect?
We have some very exciting future plans but for now we’re keeping these a secret.
Talk us through the creative process and what can clients expect from your bespoke service.
Clients are invited to join us at a secret perfumery in the heart of St James’s, London’s bespoke district. There they will meet with a Master Perfumer, who will get to the heart and them and their story. Whether they choose to design a Signature Scent (unlimited revisions until we arrive at the perfect fragrance) or an Impression Scent (a day at the perfumery), the vast fragrance library will be opened to them and they will have the opportunity to smell exquisite and rare oils from all over the world. Various fragrance directions will be explored and sets of editions presented. Tweaks can be made on favourite editions, and with a Signature Scent fragrance tested on the skin over time, then voila, your couture fragrance is ready. The first design day includes lunch at the Ritz and upon completion, you’re presented with a certificate of exclusivity and your formulation protected so future generations can continue to re-order it.
Thank you so much to Gemma for taking the time to answer my questions, I wish the Design In Scent team all the luck with their new launch.