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Custom Scents for Christmas

Pull out all the stops this Christmas.

A good host leaves an impression and looking and smelling good is an important part of that equation. This holiday season, create a scent that lingers on your guests’ minds long after the party is over.

At Sifr Aromatics, third-generation Singaporean perfumer Johari Kazura can craft a fragrance to your specifications.

The 39-year-old economics graduate learnt about perfume from his father and grandfather, and trained in Grasse, a town in southern France that is widely regarded as the perfume capital of the world. The customisation process begins with a discussion about the customer’s preferences.

Appropriate ingredients are then introduced – bergamot, musk, neroli, vetiver and so on. The scent can be concocted as quickly as by the end of the first session or take as long as a few weeks, depending on its complexity.

“It’s like a whisky or a wine, you just have to let it sit to mature,” says Johari.

He likens the switch from commercial scents to custom-made ones to a maturing palate. “When you’re a kid, anything sweet is good,” he says. “As you get older, you still like sweet things but your taste is more refined.” 42 Arab Street.

Sniff This Out
Perfume customisation services aren’t as common as they should be. We suggest options below.

Oud to Joy
Four-month-old Fragrance du Bois hails from France and crafts fragrances that are centred on oud – a rare resinous substance created by a fungus that grows only on aquilaria and gyrinops trees. Perfume specialists introduce customers to various ingredients and blends them on the spot, based on what buyers respond to. #01-07, The Fullerton Hotel.

Nose for Hire
A bespoke perfume-making service may not be offered at 140-year-old British fragrance label Penhaligon’s, but it does offer a fragrance profiling service. Instead of trying everything like one would at a department store, the staff asks questions and makes suggestions, along with giving an explanation on the make of different scents, before you make your purchase. #01-33, The Shoppes at Marina Bay Sands.