Perfume tourism, London’s ‘must visit’ fragrance destinations.
We know that the world is full of fragrance fanatics like ourselves, always on the hunt for that elusive fragrance ‘find’, but unless you know a city well, it can be difficult to know where to go to track down those must have scents. Fortunately we have done the research for you so before your next visit to the ‘big smoke’ take a little look at our guide to the top London Perfumery destinations…
Bloom – 4 Langley Court, WC2E 9JY (nearest underground Covent Garden or Leicester Square)
Bloom is a beautiful niche perfumery located in Langley Court, just off Floral Street in London’s Covent Garden. Not far from the Royal Opera House, Langley Court is an intimate, high end shopping area, home to Mulberry, Paul Smith and Kate Spade as well as the exclusive Bloom.
The Bloom staff are fantastically knowledgeable and the amazing selection of uber-niche brands means that it’s unlikely you’ll leave empty handed! If you can’t find what you’re looking for Bloom also offers a bespoke fragrance service – it’s not cheap but if you are in the market for something completely exclusive this could be the way to go…
Penhaligon’s -Covent Garden, 41 Wellington St, London WC2E 7BN (nearest underground Covent Garden)
William Penhaligon, a witty and wildly creative man, opened his first barber shop in Jermyn Street in 1870. Today there are Penhaligon’s stores all over the world but our favourite is in Covent Garden (in fact the area boasts two stores!). The flagship store is located on Wellington Street and if you want to experience something exquisitely British, look no further. There are 38 Penhaligon’s fragrances to choose from, all made in England using the finest ingredients and housed in the signature Penhaligon’s bottle.
Harrods – 101a Fulham Road, SW3 6RH (nearest underground Knightsbridge or South Kensington)
No London perfumery guide would be complete without a reference to Harrods. With three fragrance areas to choose from – The Black Hall, the Apothecary and the Salon de Parfums – its no surprise that Harrods is one of world’s highest selling fragrance destinations.
The newest fragrance space in Harrods is the Salon de Parfums on the sixth floor. Here you will find some of the finest and rarest scents in the world as well as an exclusive perfume personalisation service. The Salon, which opened in 2014, is home to a number of boutiques including Guerlain, Dior, Henry Jacques, Tom Ford and Chanel. You’ll also find a huge selection of worldwide exclusives as well as the Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie.
Harvey Nichols – 109-125 Knightsbridge, SW1X 7RJ (nearest underground Knightsbridge)
Harvey Nichols is only a stone’s throw from Knightsbridge Underground station and a few minutes walk from Harrods. Although both stores appeal to the tourist crowd, Harvey Nichols has a slightly more intimate feel to it and is a real fragrance destination. The knowledgeable staff are happy to talk about all the brands they stock and its a great place to find brands that no-one else has such as Memo LM Parfums and Nejma. And if you are feeling in need of refreshment after all your fragrance shopping, we thoroughly recommend taking the express lift to Fifth Floor Cafe!
Roullier White – 125 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HU
Although not located in central London, Roullier White is well worth a visit if you are in the area. Despite being a little out the way (East Dulwich) the extraordinary collection of rare and unusual fragrance brands means that you will be so glad you made the effort. Many brands have their UK debut in this elegant little store and you’ll find things like Aedes De Venustus, Atelier Cologne, Blood Concept, Eight & Bob, Evody, Gri Gri, Infusion Oranique, Jeroboam, Juliette has a Gun and Laboratorio Olfattivo to name but a few.
Ormonde Jayne – 12 The Royal Arcade, 28 Old Bond Street, W1S 4SL (nearest underground Green Park)
Located in the stunning Royal Arcade, a beautifully restored Victorian passage linking Old Bond Street and Albermarle Street, a visit to the Ormonde Jayne flagship store should be on every perfume lovers checklist.
Brand founder Linda Pilkington, who also creates all the fragrances, can often be found in the store and is always happy to talk scent and help you to find a new fragrance love.
Avery Fine Perfumery – 27 Avery Row, W1K 4AY (nearest underground Bond Street or Oxford Circus)
The Avery Perfume Gallery is located on London’s Avery Row, a fragrant oasis hidden away from the madness of Oxford Street. Created by Dutch designer, Lilian Driessen, every Avery store offers an unique shopping experience. From the exotic window displays to the quirky, contemporary interior, Avery is a store like no other.
Brands include Nez À Nez, Profumi Del Forte, Andrea Maack, Re Profumo, Morgane Le Fay, Andree Putman, Stilly, Hype Noses and SoOud.
Les Senteurs – 2 Seymour Place, W1H 7NA (nearest underground Marble Arch)
Les Senteurs opened in the heart of Belgravia in 1984 and is something of an institution. One of the original independent London perfumeries, the store owners wanted to offer an exclusive shopping experience far from the bustle of the department stores. Les Senteurs stocks a wide range of brands including Frederic Malle, Maison Francis Kurdjian, Papillon, By Kilian, Creed, Amouge, Caron, Etat Libre d’Orange and Apogee. It may be a relatively small space but packs a truly fragrant punch!
Selfridges – 400 Oxford Street, W1A 1AB (nearest underground Selfridges or Bond Street)
As with most of London’s department stores, expect there to be a crowd when you visit Selfridges. Excitingly, as well as the big global fragrance brands, the store now stocks an increasing number of niche brands which is great for those looking for something a little different. Look out for brands like Frederic Malle, Ormonde Jayne, Miller Harris, Penhaligon’s, Aedes de Venustas, The Fragrance Kitchen and Diptyque.
Perfumer H – 106a Crawford Street, W1H 2HZ (nearest underground Baker Street)
Perfumer H is a relative newcomer to the world of niche fragrance. Founder Lyn Harris is the woman behind the phenomenally successful Miller Harris, which she launched in 2000. After selling the company Harris allowed her creativity to once again take flight and the result is Perfumer H. This fascinating concept allows customers to choose from three options: the creation of a bespoke fragrance in collaboration with Lyn (a process that can take up to six months), a pre-made one-of-a-kind fragrance from the Laboratory Edition (an additional fee will ensure that once a bottle has been purchased, the formula is put under lock and key and reserved for that client) or a ready to wear seasonal fragrance which is available to anyone who visits the shop. Wow!
Liberty – Great Marlborough Street, W1B 5AH (nearest underground Oxford Circus)
Even if you weren’t a fragrance lover, the amazing 19th century architecture and the smell of the flowers coming from the florists by the main entrance makes this store a ‘must visit’ destination. Enter from the Regent Street end and wander through the wood lined galleries until you reach the Perfume Hal, an ode to niche with a huge selection of brands including, eccentric molecules, Frederic Malle, Le Labo, Byredo, Orto Parisi, Nasomatto and many more.
Fortnum & Mason – 181 Piccadilly, London, W1A 1ER (nearest underground Green Park)
With a history stretching back over 300 years (the store first opened its doors in 1707) Fortnum & Mason is best known for its fabulous food hall and there can’t be many tourists who haven’t taken home a tin of tea or a jar of marmalade as a souvenir. What many people don’t know is that Fortnum & Mason has the most stunning perfumery. The first thing you see when you enter is the jaw dropping fragrance chandelier – a real Instagram moment! Brands include 1707 (specially made for Fortnums by Micallef), Roja Dove, Clive Christian, Xerjoff Emery, Ormonde Jayne, Alyson Oldoini, J.F. Schwarzlose Berlin, Hugh Parsons, Jacques Fath, Czech & Speak, Ecoudray and Panama.
Jovoy Perfumery – 21 Conduit street ( Nearest tube Bond Street or Oxford Circus)
François Henin, the owner of both the Jovoy fragrance brand and the perfumery, has chosen the perfect location for the latest edition to the London Perfumery scene. The new store is situated on Conduit Street, in the heart of über chic Mayfair. Easily distinguishable by the beautiful clock hanging over the doorway, the cool red and black interior is reminiscent of the Paris store but with some quirky British touches. We particularly loved the Chesterfield sofas on the ground floor where perfume lovers are welcome to meet, relax and generally immerse themselves in the world of scent. There’s even a little garden, a lovely little oasis in the heart of London!
Read our more detailed article when we visited the store; our visit to the new Jovoy Perfumery