PERFUME - THE ULTIMATE RETAIL THERAPY

By Viola Levy

This time of the year, a perfume is as important as a woolly scarf or a furry hat. Why? Simply because scent can lift the spirits in a way nothing else can. If you want to treat yourself to a signature scent, or a gorgeously fragrant gift, below are some of the best places to find them. Forget chaotic department stores and check out these olfactory treasure troves instead …

Roullier White, East Dulwich (125 Lordship Lane, SE22 8HU)

Ideal if you want something truly out of the ordinary, historical fragrance houses such as Caron and Floris London sit comfortably alongside cult brands such as Smell Bent from LA and Jimmy Boyd - Barcelona’s foremost ‘nose’. “It’s all about backstory and quality of ingredients,” explains Lawrence their founder. “Similar to what’s happening with food at the moment; people are more interested in who’s making their perfumes and what’s in them.” With many UK exclusives, it’s a little fragrant Aladdin’s cave and has a cult following as far as Japan (many tourists make a point of visiting when they’re over here). Don’t miss their special event with Lizzie Ostrom on the 15th – check the website for more details. roullierwhite.com

LUSH Gorilla Perfumes, Islington (3 Camden Passage, N1 8EA)


We’re all familiar with those bath bombs and other rainbow-hued delights but this is the only LUSH store dedicated to their scent range, Gorilla Perfumes. The brainchild of father and son duo Simon and Mark Constantine the perfumes are inspired by their travels from all over the world and pack a serious smoky punch (no airy, fairy florals here). With intriguing names such as ‘Dear John’, ‘Lord of Goathorn’ each one is accompanied by a quirky illustration – basically English eccentricity in a bottle. The boutique holds ‘Scented Songs’ evenings where local bands come and perform while customers are given scent samples to complement the music. The store even has a 1970s-style ‘listening booth’ where you can pop on a record while taking a whiff of whatever tickles your fancy. Sounds bizarre, but it’s terrific. lush.co.uk/products/gorilla-perfume

Cire Trudon, Marylebone (36 Chiltern Street, W1U 7QJ)


If these candles were good enough for Marie Antoinette (yes the company has been going for that long) you know you’re not going to be disappointed. This elegant shop on trendy Chiltern Street is like a miniature museum with antique style furniture and wax busts of Napolean and the aforementioned French queen. Each fragrant candle is nestled under a bell jar for customers to lift and sniff, with gorgeous scents including Trianon (roses galore) and Manon (fresh laundry). And if you want your home to smell extra festive, the Nazareth candle with clove and orange will make your home smell as delightful as a Christmas morning. trudon.com

For more great places to shop in the city, head to the new blog here! And follow me @violalevy!

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