Scents of freedom
Lottie Maria follows the scented trail which leads her to a Brighton boutique that mixes environmental values with perfect perfumes.
It was through pure chance that I discovered the wonderfully scented world of Eden Perfumes.
Located in two shops, one in Western Road, Brighton, and the other in George Street, Hove, I couldn’t help but feel I had discovered something a little bit special – comparable, perhaps, to Anita Roddick’s first pilot Body Shop in Brighton decades ago.
Eden Perfumes is not like any other perfume shop.
If someone were to ask me what the one type of green, eco beauty product missing from the beauty market I would tell them perfume. This company brings some simply beautiful products to the green beauty market, and creates scents on par with luxury perfumeries and top perfume houses.
Quite simply, as someone on a quest for a plethora of perfumes without chemical laden formulations, Eden Perfumes answers all of my sensory prayers.
The shop owner, Jackie, comes from a family run business in Spain that makes olive oil and wine.
Using traditional masterful methods such as pressing and distillation, Eden Perfumes extract a diversity of essential oils from flowers and fruits and mixes them with organic grain alcohol to create the scents.
The essential oils are also derived from the family’s organic flower farm in Castilla La Mancha, Spain.
This, of course, appeals to the romantic in me – an organic flower farm in Spain, what could be better?
Clearly an alchemic process, with varying precisions and concentrations, the business has created a rich tapestry of scents, with more than 100 perfumes available in the shops.
“Our ethos is to be ethically glamorous,” explains Jackie. “You don’t have to compromise on glamour or quality to have green and ethical products.”
Remarkably, the ingredients are 100 per cent naturally derived, with no parabens, phthalates or animal derived fixative agents.
Instead, Jackie reveals how Eden Perfumes uses natural fixatives such as vanilla extract, while the sole preservative is the organic
In fact, the formulations are so gentle and non-toxic, that Eden Perfumes has extended some of its perfumes to pets and babies.
“The most surprising thing is customers have been loving our range of baby scents for themselves,” smiles Jackie. “They love the fresh, clean scent.”
Another reason I am enthralled by this company is its unique approach to customer service.
The team are extremely well versed in the complexity of perfumes.
When asked my preference, I named a few perfumes I liked and confessed a rather vague love of ‘vanillary scents’.
This was enough for Jackie to expertly match me with a beautiful range of samples to take away with me to try.
Ranging from a very sweet floral Palma violet scent – think Lancome Magnifique – to a luxurious floral citrus vanilla scent – think Chanel Coco Mademoiselle.
Plus it offers another service too.
“If your perfume has been discontinued many years ago, we can mix it up to recreate it,” reveals Jackie.
“We know what it is like to want that reminiscent smell.
“I’m very intuitive with mixing it, sometimes I may only have a few drops of the perfume to recreate the perfume,” she explains.
“It is quite unorthodox, but customers have been very happy with their recreations.”
At Eden Perfumes, there is an extensive collection, so if you are not ‘vanillary’ like I am, you will definitely find something you are looking for, and have fun doing it.
It has even managed to make perfumes with the elusive worth-its-weight-in-gold Oud, as well as some scents and combinations I have only ever smelt in more Eastern influenced fragrances, including ingredients such as sandalwood, frankincense, cardamom and clove.
The prices are extremely reasonable, starting from £12 for 30ml of perfume, which is fantastic considering the packaging is recycled, keeping in line with Eden Perfume’s ethical and eco-friendly ethos.
The layout of the shop is enterprisingly modern, with flowers, a vertical garden and glass bottles of the perfumes displayed and ready to be tested to your heart’s content.
Martini glasses full of coffee beans is a genius touch.
“Coffee refreshes the sensory palate between perfumes,” explains Jackie, which is of course very useful in hot pursuit of the perfect perfume.
The tailor-made expert service at Eden Perfumes adds a fantastic bespoke and boutique feel to the store, unique to the hustle and bustle of the high street.
I walked away feeling uplifted, looked after, and most importantly smelling like I had just come away from an organic flower farm. Perfect.
Visit www.edenperfumes.co.uk for more information
March 26, 2015 Fashion and Beauty