Although in a thoroughly modern setting, The Illuminum Fragrance Lounge is a return to the traditions of perfume selling. Back in the day, it was never the case that you’d buy a boxed product on the basis of a spritz on a bit of paper. Buying perfume was a real occasion; you’d be sat down, attended to and brought all manner of phials to smell. If you were super-important, a perfumier would make you your own individual scent.
The Illuminum Fragrance Lounge (I barely need to remind you of the Kate Middleton wedding link) is opening its doors on Monday at 41/42 Dover Street, Mayfair. Based in an elegant Georgian townhouse, the space is roomy, elegant and relaxed. Designed to be an oasis of both peace and luxury (with a glass of bubbly or an espresso..oh okay, you can have a cappuchino too) for those who want take their perfume a little more seriously than the fast pace of a department store, it’s going to be one of the largest independent perfumeries.
I’d say the Illuminum Fragrance Lounge isn’t for the easily intimidated; I’m not sure how easy, once you are in and sipping that coffee/bubbly, it is to leave with no purchase. But then, why would you go if you weren’t a) interested in perfume, b) a perfume pushover?!
There are three brand new Illuminum collections. The Haute Perfumer with sixteen fragrances priced between £195 and £375, The Classic Collection (with yes, *that* fragrance) and Interior Fragrance available in all 32 fragrances.
Oh, and the thing I love best? A little gadgety thing that you plug into your car (in that place that used to be for lighting cigarettes that I don’t know the name of!) that then scents your car in your favourite perfume. Nice.