In this narcissistic day and age, personalized products go far beyond monogrammed bath towels and vanity license plates. Now, you can even have a perfume customized to suit your personality, thanks to The Fragrance Lab, a new collaboration between design studio Campaign, trend forecaster The Future Lab, and Selfridges, in London. We’ve said here before that the next trend in corporate branding is scent, but we didn’t necessarily think it would be the next trend in personal branding.
So how do you translate personality traits into scents?
The fragrance design process at Selfridge’s begins with a brief multiple-choice personality test focusing on your shopping habits, behaviors, and fashion tastes.
What follows sounds a bit Willy Wonka-esque: the customer takes an audio-guided 15-minute journey through four different rooms designed to heighten and engage the senses, many filled with objects the customer is directed to smell. There’s one with a mirror and a chest of drawers, one filled with a mysterious hodgepodge of objects like books, gems, and watches, one with a wind machine, and one with a dry ice window display. At the end of this little saga, a lab assistant questions the customer about her choices in these rooms, and from this, develops an assessment of her character. Over at Fashionista, Carly Woods, one of the first customers to get her personality scent-profiled and bottled, describes her own evaluation as “eerily accurate.”
The customer is then presented with her “prescription”–an olfactory representation of who she is, in a 50 ml perfume bottle. It requires a special type of imaginative, synesthetic thinking to then concoct “a signature scent that represents the essence of who you are,” as the Fragrance Lab puts it on their website. The custom scents are designed by Givaudan perfumers–those behind famous fragrances like Opium by YSL, Lola by Marc Jacobs, and J’Adore by Dior.
You could argue that we already make our own personalized scents for free, what with our natural concoctions of pheromones and body odors. But these don’t reflect our true, beautiful inner selves, right? Tickets for the Fragrance Lab journey and the scent that results cost a total of $110.