The Art of Personalized Perfume

If you’re struggling to find the perfect scent, why not try to craft your own?

Photo supplied

Since opening Pura Botanicals’ studio and storefront location on 124th Street last September, Lane Edwards has expanded upon the line’s handcrafted and organic skin care and beauty products with her bespoke perfume sessions.

Edwards, a longtime perfume devotee, discovered the process of making custom scents at the age of 18 while touring the Fragonard Perfumery in the French Mediterranean coast. She fell in love with the methods and ideologies behind high-end fragrances – from the painstaking craftsmanship to the careful selection of ingredients and the exquisite packaging. 

“Our scent is our invisible legacy,” says Edwards. “I think as we age, it’s something that we carry along with us, and it’s something that people always remember about us. It brings back a memory with such intense clarity of something that you thought has slipped away, and it embodies the essence of a woman or a man.”

During the two-and-a-half to three-hour session, a client works with Edwards to create a collection of three fragrance samples. Edwards first asks a series of questions to determine what scents each person is drawn to. From there, each person selects his or her favourite top, heart and base notes – the elements required for developing a perfume or cologne. 

Fragrances include Madagascan vanilla, Italian citrus, and Canadian-produced eucalyptus, chamomile and neroli. After the three scents are finalized, clients take them home and experiment with how they wear and interact with their skin before deciding on whether they want one or all of the samples made into an oil or alcohol-based perfume. Once developed, Pura keeps the scents on file so that clients can return to them at a later date. “Each person has different sides of themselves,” says Edwards. “They way they respond to scent depends on the season, on their mood, on how we are feeling any given day, so we hold onto them so people can pick and choose what speaks to them.”

With a price tag of $475 for an individual session and $625 for pairs, a bespoke fragrance isn’t for everyone. “The type of woman that chooses to do the bespoke session has value in herself and truly loves scent and perfume,” says Edwards. “Fragrance is an heirloom. My mother passed away three years ago, and I still have her perfume bottles. If I am missing her or thinking about her, it’s the one thing that I can go back to when I want to remember her hug and her kiss. Being able to customize your scent is so special. Each one turns out unique and beautiful in its own way.”

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