By THÉRÈSE MARGOLIS
There is nothing more intimate nor more personal than your fragrance.
Your perfume expresses your deepest sentiments and individuality, reflecting your personal preferences and singular history, while creating an aura of seductive magnetism that encompasses your entire being and serves as a calling card of your unique beauty.
But with thousands of different scents on the Mexican market today, it can be daunting – if not nearly impossible – to find a fragrance that can captivate and project the real you.
Fortunately, the French luxury perfume and design house Guerlain has just opened its first fragrance consultation boutique in all of Latin America – and its 20th worldwide – where a specialized perfume analyst can, through personal, digital and olfactory inquiries, determine exactly what scent best suits your personality and individual tastes.
Located inside the Palacio de Hierro department store in Mexico City’s Perisur shopping center, the Guerlain Parfumeur is manned by a team of fragrance masters who painstakingly select and identify each woman’s (and man’s, because the service is offered for both sexes) personal olfactory profile through individual inquiries and a process of deduction.
Sleek and impeccably appointed, the new boutique embodies Guerlain’s distinctive heritage and savoir faire in crafting premium perfumes for nearly 190 years, offering a unique experience for each customer, revolving around completely tailor-made products and services.
The process, which can last between 30 minutes and an hour, begins with the Guerlain perfume atelier curator asking a few questions about favorite colors, rooms, memories and so on.
Next comes a digital interview, also conducted by the perfume curator, which includes more specific questions about aromas and what you associate them with.
Based on these questions, your Guerlain consultant will determine whether your tastes fall into the citric, floral, oriental, woody or gourmand group of fragrances.
After the Guerlain perfume analyst has made your general olfactory profile, she or he will bring out a selection of tiny row of scented ceramic pods for you to smell.
This phase of the process is the most meticulous, and can go on for nearly half an hour.
In my case, it involved sniffing more than 20 pods and eliminating all those that did not meet my personal criteria (apparently, there are about 66 pods to choose from).
Then, comes the final test, when the scent meets your skin and your individual chemistry goes to work with that of the fragrance.
Because of differences in pH and other factors, every perfume smells differently on every person, so this was the most important stage of the selection process.
Finally, my consultant found what turned out to be my perfect scent – a provocative blend of violets and irises with a sweet, powdery and woody backdrop called Insolence (even the name of the fragrance seemed to reflect my tendency to be abrupt and impatient at times).
I now had my perfect scent, but the Guerlain olfactory experience was not yet over.
After we had narrowed down my ideal perfume, my consultant asked me to choose from eight differently colored, recyclable glass flasks, each modeled after a crystal bottle designed by Guerlain for the wife of Napoleon Bonaparte, with 66 tiny bees embossed on the side, some of which were gold plated.
Then, I was offered the choice of having my name or some other short emblemic phrase engraved on the face of the bottle.
And as a special bonus, Guerlain throws in an individual miniature travel-size bottle that you can refill from your personalized bee bottle.
I chose a turquoise bottle with my name on it, and left with my personally tailored perfume, a fragrance that truly captures my individuality and uniqueness.
And best of all, when my new bottle of Insolence does run out, the Guerlain Parfumeur has my fragrance profile on hand so that I can get it refilled whenever I want.