We put our noses to the test at Floraïku’s boutique in London's Harrods

By Michelle Johnson | 14 Sep 2017 | Style

The Japan-inspired perfume brand has opened its first boutique at Harrods Salon de Parfums

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* The Floraïku boutique in London's Harrods department store is the brand's first

Walking into the exclusive Floraïku boutique in Harrods Salon de Parfums, it’s easy to see the rich Japanese influence that imbues the scent collection. Designed to resemble a Japanese ryokan the boutique’s silk, straw and marble surroundings immediately draw the eye to the central bar housing the perfumer’s 11 complex scents, sat ready for a customer’s nose.

The London boutique is Floraïku’s first – they hope to take the brand to Dubai, Moscow and New York next – but what’s unique about this perfume bar is the relaxing and immersive experience. The perfumes themselves are inspired by a trilogy of Japanese ceremonies – tea, flowers and incense – and so customers ready to explore the brand’s offerings are asked to partake in a tea ceremony of their own. Presented with a warm towel and a cup of bergamot tea, customers are ready for their olfactory encounter to start.

Created by John and Clara Malloy, Floraïku’s distinct scents were blended by famed award winning perfumers Alienor Massenet and Sophie Labbé. Fusing French perfume styles with specific tea and floral notes, each scent is complex and nuanced, blended from more than 50 per cent natural ingredients and oils, ranging from classic lily-of-the-valley and bergamot perfumes to more experimental orange blossom and incense fusions. And each is named for a haiku written especially by Clara.

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* Cricket Song, in Floraïku's Flower Ceremony or Ichiban collection, is one of the 11 Japanese-inspired scents

“’One Umbrella for two’ is one that I wear often,” Massenet told Tempus. “It came to me very quickly, whereas ‘My Shadow on the Wall’ was more experimental and took a long time to perfect. Our Light Shadow perfume, ‘Sleeping on the Roof’, is very innocent, using Lily of the Valley. It’s a love-it or hate-it scent, but very classic and light.”

The two shadow perfumes are created to enhance the other nine fragrances, making a scent deeper or lighter depending on whether you choose the Light Shadow or Dark Shadow – ‘Between Two Trees’ – and Floraïku perfumers will encourage customers to compare scents with the Shadow for a fuller experience of the range of each scent. “Blending perfumes is complex because you have to think about how they will be on the skin. For a big launch we will test perfumes on many different people, as everyone reacts differently to a scent.”

And then, there’s the packaging. Bottles in white, blue or black denote the ‘ceremony’ collection, while each ornate lid is designed in the style of traditional Edo era artwork to reflect the haiku of each poem and doubles as an in-bag case for the complimentary travel-sized perfume included in a purchase. . Haiku’s are then presented upon the back of each bottle so that, at £250 per bottle, Floraïku presents a truly poetic form of perfumery.

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* One Umbrella For Two, in Floraïku's Tea Ceremony collection, is perfumer Alienor Massenet's personal choice in the collection