The following article was published in the February 2012 issue of Vogue Japan – see below for the English text.
Illuminum Fragrance Lounge
Set in the heart of Mayfair in a Georgian townhouse, the new Illuminum Fragrance Lounge was founded by British Perfumer, Michael Boadie. It feels more like a boutique hotel than a traditional, French style perfumery. There are no counters, only wide, contemporary sofas and luxurious rugs. ‘I wanted to create an oasis of fragrance in the heart of the city,’ says Boadi.
Boadi’s journey into scent is unexpected. A former session hairstylist working with A List celebrities, from Jennifer Lopez to Madonna and on catwalk shows including Chanel and Prada, he is self-taught. His interest in perfumery began as a child and became concrete when he launched his first scent in 2008. His fan base is formidable, and is reported to include, Michelle Obama, Angelina Jolie and Rihanna.
The perfumery is divided into four rooms, one for each of his four fragrance collections. The newest is Haute Perfume, 16 scents characterised by rare, expensive ingredients. They cost between £195 and £375 and include White Lotus, a soft rich floral with jasmine, tuberose and musk. White Gardenia Petals, which is part of his Classic Collection (£70), achieved fame after the Duchess of Cambridge wore it to her wedding. The third room is home to his collection of interior fragrances. These include black wax scented candles (£55) and a Car Aromatizor (£49.95), a sleek, black bullet, which can be fitted into the cigarette lighter to emit a fragrance.
The highlight of the fragrance lounge is a bespoke service, where Boadi will develop a signature scent for a customer. The process starts with a consultation and an introduction to an array of ingredients. Ten days later, a sample bottle is sent out, after which tweaks can be made. Four weeks after the first meeting the final recipe is complete. It includes two 30ml bottles of pure perfume and three 100ml bottles of a lighter, less concentrated version. The service costs from £7500. A once in a lifetime treat.
Illuminum Fragrance Lounge, 41-42 Dover Street, London, W1S 4NS, tel: 020 7 TBC ; illuminumperfume.com