Harrods is an icon of London, even if you never think you will buy anything there in your life it’s worth a trip for the experience alone. From the sensory overload that is the Harrods Food Hall, to the beautifully bizarre Egyptian Escalators. It really is a treasure trove and total maze of things to explore. So when I was invited to go along to an out of hours tour of the Salon de Parfum I jumped at the chance.
First things first, a little about the Salon de Parfum as it’s not a space in the store you might just stumble across. It’s a special space at the very top of the store (we also had a secret little peek out on to the roof of Harrods and the amazing views across London)! It’s a space that’s dedicated to true lovers of perfume, or those that really do want the best of the best. You’re not going to find the latest from the Britney Spears fragrance family here… Although there are familiar brands, they are the premium offerings and some brands that will be like the fragrance equivalent to the lesser spotted rare feathered eagle finch to a bird spotter (that probably doesn’t exist). Truly rare fragrances that take premium perfumes to a whole new level.
The space is as beautiful as you would expect from Harrods. With gorgeous boutique spaces for each brand that capture that brand in a way that they would if it were a stand alone store. Then smaller niche brands can be found displayed along some of the wall spaces between the boutique booths. Including newer brands such as Dead of Night – a perfume oil. We explored each of the booths on the after-hours tour and a few of the stand out ones to me were:
Chanel – Of course, who can resist a bit of Chanel? The booth here is every inch Chanel – from the signature-Chanel fabric wall coverings to the oh-so-familiar White labels with black text. It’s a beautiful space and if perhaps the bag is out of your budget, but you want something special then head here. The current stand out fragrance is Misia – which smells exactly like Parma Violets.
Roja Parfums – This booth was the definition of “there’s no such thing as ‘too much'”. It was full on sparkle, glam and opulent luxury. Not for the minimalist for sure! From crystal tigers as lids for perfume bottles to bejewelled crowns. This was very much the traditional luxury approach of ‘everything must sparkle and be fabulous’. I actually didn’t get chance to smell any of the fragrances but the space itself was like a museum of treasures in itself.
Clive Christian – The Worlds Most Expensive Perfume
Technically the perfume wasn’t there, because it was far far away in some distant wealthy land because there’s only one in the world. It’s probably the most well travelled perfume too since it jets all over the world to be showcased! Still, the Clive Christian Booth was another example of opulent luxury. With seating fit for Royalty and the stand for the perfume being a (rather angry) golden eagle… it just sets the tone. Oh, and if you’re wondering on the price for the world’s most expensive perfume… we’re talking similar to buying a decent sized family home… (!)
Then there are the special collections of familiar names – Tom Ford, Dior and D&G. All with their own premium offerings within the Harrods Salon de Parfum. Tom Ford for starters is a brand that totally has my heart already – the beauty range is just as gorgeous as it gets and then on a trip through Duty Free last year I had a bit of a Tom Ford fragrance browse and totally fell for the Grey Vetiver fragrance (despite fact it’s technically more aimed at males…). But this Harrods Salon de Parfum visit gave me the chance to experience some of the top-end fragrances from the brand. Including the absolutely gorgeous Neroli Portofino – more on this in a separate post. But WOW. This stuff smells good.
A little heads up if you visit the Tom Ford booth in the Salon de Parfum – those little cube things contain the fragrance…so don’t pick them up and tip them upside down… just a word of warning!
Next up was a fascinating brand that I actually hadn’t tried before this trip – Kilian. I just love the name. But the brand is fascinating too – as it treats perfume as more than just a fragrance and views it as an art. Everything in the Kilian space was absolutely stunning – from the packaging to the ‘scented jewelery’ for a new way to wear fragrance. The one that caught my eye and is apparently one of the most popular Kilian fragrances is’Good girl gone Bad’. Which is much sweeter than you might imagine but absolutely gorgeous. There’s just something quite appealing about the idea of wearing a fragrance of that name, like you’re being a bit mischievous but in a subtle way…?! Just me!? I loved discovering this brand.
The final booth along the corridor is Henry Jacques – a fascinating space filled with bottles and little cubby holes filled with fragrance. Tiny bottles line the shelves and there’s also cases stashed away that contain miniature bottles of pure fragrance oils to be used to combine into custom fragrances. This is the place to go if you want to create something truly unique to you. There are of course fragrances you can buy, but they really do specialise in the one of a kind scents. Of course this sort of fragrance or service does come at a premium price point, but you would expect nothing less than this from such a space in Harrods.
There’s almost too much to talk about from the Harrods Salon de Parfum – but if you love fragrance then it’s a must visit. Or even if you’re just curious about the scents on offer then it’s worth taking a look. Perhaps to experience the more limited offerings from your favourite brands or just discover new ones as I did with Kilian or Henry Jacques. It was a fascinating experience for me – almost overwhelming with the number of things to smell and see all at once!
The fragrances housed within the Harrods Salon de Parfum are very special – and obviously with special comes high prices. For some of these brand’s offerings you’re easily talking the prices of a small car… it really did open my eyes to a whole new world of fragrance and luxury. As I said above, even if you perhaps don’t plan to buy – this is a space that is well worth a visit if you’re even just a little interested in scent and fragrance. A very special space… goodness knows what the insurance on a building and contents like Harrods is!?
For more on the Harrods Salon de Parfum: harrods.com
I was a guest of Harrods for the visit to Salon fe Parfum.