Sometimes I pick a theme before I head out to go shopping in Paris, like shoe day, goat-cheese day or bookcase day. Last week was carpet day, so naturally I found myself in a fragrance shop—and not just any fragrance shop but Stéphanie de Bruijn’s discreet little boutique oozing luxurious charms on the rue de l’Université: Parfum sur Mesure. The name of her shop translates to “Bespoke Perfumes,” and that is what the shop offers, couture fragrances made to fit you.
Madame de Bruijn is a beautiful woman, and after meeting her, it is not at all surprising to learn that she is a true artist, having studied piano at a semiprofessional level for 10 years before falling in love with the world of fragrance. She started composing for the nose with the same seriousness and dedication she’d given her instruments, and soon headed to the very sinuses of the perfume industry in Grasse, France, before moving to Paris just over a decade ago. Since then, she has had three children, won the Concours International de Parfumerie (a French contest for the best nose of the moment) and opened her luxurious little shop.
Ordering a personalized, haute couture fragrance is a very intimate experience. Stéphanie meets with you and studies you, your style, tastes, dreams and desires. The two of you review a series of essences, and you reveal your reaction to floral notes, woody tones and spicy rhythms. Then you’re off and Stéphanie sets to work creating three different scents over the next few months—scents that reflect your earlier conversations and her sense of you as a woman. At the next meeting you will discuss your preferences and make final alterations before receiving your very own, one-of-a-kind signature perfume, which can never belong to another.
Stéphanie is not the only game in town making haute couture fragrances just for you, but with Guerlain, Patou and Cartier asking well over 50,000 euros for a blend you can call your own, her services—which include a custom-selected vintage crystal bottle—are an absolute bargain for only 3,000 euros. Not everyone can afford such a luxury, so Parfum sur Mesure also offers a couture experience that includes a meeting with Stéphanie and a custom, but not exclusive, blend at a more affordable 600 euros. Finally, for us working girls, there is a small selection of prêt-à-porter scents in the 100 euro range. And while I won’t be the only one wearing her fleur d’oranger–inspired scent, it’s a small boutique with an exclusive clientele, so I figure I’ll be in good company after this day spent shopping in Paris.
Editor’s note: Our partner Eva Eriksson can help you book a make your own perfume experience in Paris.