Bloom Perfumery of London have not paid or endorsed The Sniff in any way for us to produce this review, nor have they provided services or products to us free of charge in exchange for the review. We wanted to be clear about that upfront so you know that what you’re reading is our honest and unbiased opinion.
Bloom Perfumery is tucked away in a small shop on Langley Court just off Covent Garden in London, UK, and it’s possible to walk past and not notice it. Indeed, if you weren’t specifically headed there, you wouldn’t necessarily stop in, but you would be missing a treat if you did!
Bloom harks to the more prevalent niche perfume boutiques found on the continent. Why this trend hasn’t come to the UK more before now escapes us here at The Sniff and, quite frankly, makes us a little sad. They stock a curated and interesting range of niche perfumes which is wide but not exhaustive, however, it seems to get better and better each time I visit. Their ranges include the big hitters like Carner, Parfumerie Generale and Olfactive Studio, but also brands such as Zoologist and Imaginary Authors (can’t wait to try both of these brands at my next visit). They also do a couple of skincare and make up ranges.
We have (anonymously, and prior to the production of this blog) visited Bloom four times over the last year and found their service to be absolutely excellent each and every time. The staff obviously love fragrance, they are knowledgeable about their products and interested in your likes and dislikes. They also seem willing to invest time in building a relationship with the customer so you get top-notch service coupled with the knowledge of their products which we haven’t always received when visiting even the premium department stores.
I was particularly impressed with the customer service on my first visit where the assistant spent ages suggesting different scents and then encouraged me to buy samples rather than a full bottle as she wanted me to try the fragrance a few times before I committed to it. This is exactly how it should be! The number of times I have asked if samples are available in department stores to be met with a raised eyebrow and a quizzical shake of the head (I am looking at you, John Lewis in Sheffield). And it’s so annoying! One could, at least theoretically, go in and dump a whole bottle of expensive Creed over your head (should you want to) from the testers available in store, but ask them to SELL you a 2ml sample and they act like you’ve gone totally insane.
Here’s a pro tip for the department stores: people who are serious about perfume want, need and expect to be able to buy samples.
Back at the start of the Winter, I decided that it was time to try out Bloom’s bespoke perfume mixing workshop. Don’t feel sorry for me, we all have to suffer for our art.
The workshop is priced at £150 for an hour and at the end of it you come away with a 50ml bottle of the fragrance you mix. I was initially nervous about splashing out such a sum, my concerns stemming from the fact that I wasn’t confident that I would be able to mix something that I would like, and continue to like (there’s an unwritten rule at The Sniff that you have to try a perfume three times on your skin before you buy it) and if I didn’t like it, would I feel like I’d wasted a chunk of money?
I need not have worried. Right from the start I was guided through what was a fascinating process by staff who were willing to guide but not impose their opinions on what I should add to the mix. My idea was to mix a fruity fragrance with a fresh note, my inspiration being a raspberry and mint cocktail.
We began by picking out existing niche fragrances that I liked so we were both on the same page as to what I was working towards. Then, we sniffed the range of base notes available and picked the ones I wanted to include. I had a lot of fun trying to guess what note corresponded to what ingredient – it felt a bit like a smelling test for your nose, but in a nice way! We repeated with the heart and top notes, testing it along the way. I even measured out the proportions of my ingredients so I could completely say that the fragrance was mixed by me. I wasn’t rushed at all, and we ended up spending more than an hour working on my combinations.
It was a thoroughly lovely experience. I learnt more about perfume ingredients and it felt like a real treat. I came away with a perfume that I know is totally unique, and which I really enjoy wearing. I used a base of musk and amber, with a heart of floral water, mineral notes and peach skin and a top of sparkling citrus. And yes, I do still really like it and I’ve worn it way more than three times now!
I really think Bloom are on to a winner with this one, it’s hit the perfect price point; any more expensive and it would be too much (indeed, other similar experiences can cost thousands). Pricing it as they have done, they open it up to normal people who just really like perfume and who are willing to invest in it, but not to the point of bankruptcy.
My one small criticism, and it is only small, is that the range of notes available for you to mix with isn’t as wide as it could have been. I understand the reasons for this both in terms of time and also costs of buying them when they may not be used. That said, I hope that as the popularity of this workshop increases, they do consider broadening their range.
I had a lovely time at Bloom, and I hope you find their service as excellent as I always have done. Get in touch and let us know your thoughts and recommendations of other perfume houses that are worth a visit.