A scent can say a lot. It can transport you back to poignant moments, remind you of a lost love or an old friend, evoke a mood, and most importantly, express your personality. The problem is many of us have only discovered scents from department stores.
New Farm Boutique perfumery, Libertine have been running perfume classes in Brisbane for five years, and have recently revamped their New Farm boutique to make more room for the popular events.
Owner, Nick Smart says he started the classes to give people an introduction into the world of niche perfume, like perfumery houses that are centuries old - fragrances that have been made for royalty, Grace Kelly or John F Kennedy.
“There is a difference in quality and a difference in the historical aspect of the scent,” he says. “It doesn’t necessarily mean you pay more in Libertine, you’re just getting quality.”
“We’ve been running our classes for five years. You come with a group of eight people, you drink Champagne for about an hour, and you really learn about scent. People come into the store and they’ve only ever worn what they buy in duty free or on a department store floor.”
“The thing is we don’t believe you need to get rid of scents. A spray of a perfume is like a sixth sense. So keep those scents that give you great memories. It’s about having a fragrance wardrobe and changing that wardrobe up, like fashion, over the years. Discover something new or something that works on your skin, while still maintaining those old classics in your library.”
Nick says the revamp not only gave them more room but also linked the New Farm store into the original feeling of what Libertine is about, by teaming up again with the designers from their original boutique.
“It was a total refit really; we pulled it all out,” he says “We were just about to open up our Sydney store and were working with Chrissy and Jon Dowling again from Saul n Illusions. They worked on our original store in West End, but then when we did New Farm they were away on a film shoot for a while, so they never did.”
“The store was tired. So, we teamed up with the tenant behind us who was moving out and got another twelve square metres. The store looks amazing!”
Nick says finding the right perfume isn’t just about finding a scent you love. He says perfume is the ultimate accessory but, like a pair of shoes or a bottle of wine, there is a time and place for every fragrance.
“I think all scents in the market work, it’s just a matter of choosing the occasion for them,” Nick says. “There’s something in all our brands that I love to wear depending on the time of year.”
“I’ve noticed living here in Sydney, because it’s a lot colder, I’ve been wearing woody orientals. Those heavy, sexy, masculine scents. Whereas when I was living in Brisbane, I would gravitate towards the lighter scents. You know, the more citrus and fresh-style scents to suit the weather.”
“One of the things we talk about in the classes is the fact that a lot of women don’t distinguish. They’ll pick a scent like Flower Bomb for example, which is beautiful for the snow but try wearing it on a hot Brisbane day when it’s scolding. It just smells terrible.”
To give you a whiff of what to expect from Libertine’s classes, Nick wanted to start Style readers off with a run down of some of his favourite boutique scents…
Creed - Aventus 75ml - $299
Scent Type: Aromatic Fougere
When to Wear: All rounder, great for any time of year
Notes: Bergamot, Apple, Blackcurrant berries, Pineapple, Smine, Rose, Birch, Patchouli, Oakmoss, Ambergris, Musk and Vanilla.
Lubin - Gin Fizz 100ml - $239
Scent Type: Soft Floral
When to wear: Summer scent, great for day or night
Notes: Bergamot, Lemon, Mandarin, Juniper berry, Iris, Jasmine, Orange blossom, Rose, Galbanum, Blackcurrant buds, Lily, Vetiver, Oakmoss, Musk and Benzoin.
Juliette Has A Gun - Lady Vengeance 100ml - $186
When to wear: Winter scent, great for night time wear
Scent Type: Mossy Woods
Notes: Bulgarian rose, Patchouli and Vanilla