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  • wearer’s skin. “As natural [ingredients] are more complex, so is the way they interact with a person’s chemistry,” explains Alia Raza. Le Labo has 14 aromatic Liquid Balms to choose from, while Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen’s label Elizabeth and James offers two oil blends, Nirvana Black and Nirvana White. “Oils are part of a movement towards more personal style. They whisper rather than

    scream,” says Frederick Bouchardy of fragrance creative collective Joya, which has four oils in roll-on form that are steady bestsellers.

    Perfumer Geza Schoen’s Escentric Molecules, meanwhile, takes the chemistry of scent to the next level. At the core of each fragrance is a potent dose of pure aroma chemicals, a revolutionary molecule that mimics your body’s natural pheromones. In the bottle it is scentless, but once it warms on your skin, the fragrance that develops is exclusively your own.

    customize IT

    A simple way to create something unique is to layer several scents. “I’m working on layering musks that you can wear alone, with one another, or with a pre-existing fragrance,” says Julia Zangrilli of Brooklyn fragrance house Nova.

    Philosophy’s new Layering Collection has six fragrances corresponding to emotions, which can be mixed and matched depending on your mood. Ex Nihilo offers the option of cocktailing its current creations with extra

    notes, such as fragrant Rose de Mai from Grasse or rich Bourbon Vanilla from Madagascar.

    FOLLOW YOUR nose

    For the utmost in personalization, you can commission a fragrance expert, known as a ‘nose’. They spend time getting to know you, tapping into your memories, likes and dislikes, then bottle their interpretation of ‘you’. One of the top names in the industry, Azzi Glasser, who has worked with Johnny Depp and Benedict Cumberbatch, is behind Bella Freud, the womenswear designer’s new signature fragrance.

    For something even more experimental, Christopher Brosius of I Hate Perfume is the discerning fragrance wearer’s go-to in New York. Known for his experimental creations, such as Wet Pavement London, Brosius describes a unique scent as an “invisible portrait of who you are”. Whichever approach you favor, there has never been a better time to get personal.

    let’s get personal

    Find your signature scent with these lesser-known cult buys


    Photograph: Bruce Anderson

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