Is love in the air or is that a personalized wedding perfume?
For some brides and grooms the answer is yes to both. In a quest to make their weddings even more memorable and distinctive, they are ordering up custom fragrances to wear on their big day, hoping to leave an aromatic impression with their guests and new spouse.
“Once a memory association is created from a scent — and is then connected with a person, place and event — it’s hard to associate it with something else,” said Dr. Pamela Dalton, an olfactory scientist at the Monell Chemical Senses Center in Philadelphia.
“People are recognizing how useful it can be in recreating and triggering these emotionally potent events, and they want to do it with something that bonds them in a meaningful way to that experience.”
Just as no two weddings are exactly alike, neither are bespoke perfumes and colognes, with prices varying widely. Brides and grooms can each have their own fragrances created or opt for one designated scent. The cost can range from $90 to $35,000, depending on the ingredients used and services provided. One can have a therapy-like experience to discover your scent, or merely answer a handful of questions. Some sessions are one-time consultations, others are multiple meetings.
Several businesses offer individualized formulations that will be kept on file and the couple is given the honor of naming their fragrance.
Sue Phillips, the chief executive and founder of the Scentarium, in New York. (CreditPeter Koluff)
Sue Phillips, the chief executive and founder of the Scentarium, a perfumery in TriBeCa, says business has tripled from last year, with same-sex couples making up about half her clientele.
“The 90-minutes experience is about personalization and authentically reflecting who they are,” she said. “It’s how do you want that fragrance to reflect what someone feels on that special day?”
Clients are first asked to fill out a short questionnaire. Among the questions: Describe your dream house. What kinds of foods do you like? What is your favorite season? Ms. Phillips then places clients in one of four fragrance families: fresh, floral, woodsy or Oriental.
She has already created 18 fully blended perfumes, which showcase a full fragrance palette. Each is smelled, and placed in order of preference. Then the top choices are combined together. “I’m looking to create a complete character, something smooth and consistent with no jagged edges,” she added. “I don’t want one particular note jumping out over another.”
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