Les Senteurs is a family-run perfumery that has been nurturing niche fragrance houses since its beginning in 1984 – and now it is re-opening its doors (after a short hiatus), refreshed and with a new lease of life. (Our co-founder Jo Fairley once described Les Senteurs as ‘a slow perfumery’)
If you haven’t already visited this treasure trove of scent on Elizabeth Street – you may have been to their old store in Seymour Place, where we hosted our How To Improve Your Sense of Smell workshops – we suggest you hop on over to Pimlico for a perfumed pilgrimage. With some of the fragrance world’s most experienced staff on hand to help guide you through scents in a serene environment, the newly-revamped Les Senteurs is a home to more fabulous fine fragrances than we can count.
They combine their wonderfully curated shelves of niche perfumes with specialist knowledge, expert advice and exceptional service. They have debuted in the UK many lesser-known brands, who’ve gone on to fabulous success; Byredo, Diptyque, Annick Goutal, Creed. And more recently Éditions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, Mona di Orio and Tauer Perfumes. Suffice to say, they know their scents.
You only need to listen the words of their fabulous Perfume Archivist, James Craven, to feel just a small part of the love they have for their industry: ‘I have laboured joyfully in the vineyards of Les Senteurs for 20 years. The thrill and anticipation of opening a new bottle of perfume is not a whit diminished. For who can tell what genie, what spell it will release… Working at Les Senteurs is like waking up to a perpetual Christmas morning. One never comes to the end of scent: perfume has no limits; no boundaries. As symbolised by our new Discovery Table and its great Wheel of Fragrance, the ripples of perfume spread outwards to infinity – blending, metamorphosing, reacting and interacting.’
‘After 35 years in the business, we continue with the aim and ambition of helping all our visitors – and truly the world is our customer – to find their dream scent: whether that is the Holy Grail of a lifetime; the end of a rainbow; or the mood, the reverie of a moment. All our staff are experts; and we help our clients to find that expertise within themselves, too. We educate – but in the true sense of drawing out what is already within our dear customers.’
So whether you’re looking for your signature, or just something to delight your senses in a new way, Les Senteurs will lead you down a rather fragrant garden path, you may never want to return from. As their late co-founder Michael Hawksley used to say: ‘Come to Les Senteurs and discover the perfume you never knew you loved.’
You might well bump into us there.
Les Senteurs, 71 Elizabeth St, Belgravia, London, SW1W 9PJ/020-773- 2322
Opening hours Monday – Saturday 10am – 6 pm
Written by Carson Parkin-Fairley