UK-based perfurmer John Stephens teaches how to identify the notes with this chart

A scent for you: 3003 BC brings bespoke perfumes

Remember the queens of yore, their tubs filled with roses, their hair fragrant with sandalwood and jasmine? Yes, that’s the promise being offered by 3003BC, the new bespoke perfume stop in the country.  Inspired by the Mesopotamian age, that’s when the oldest perfume can be traced to, the company offers to make life fragrant for those who would like to have their own fragrance. The price for each perfume would be Rs 5 lakh for 100ml.

UK-based perfurmer John Stephens teaches how to identify the notes with this chart
UK-based perfurmer John Stephens teaches how to identify the notes with this chart

For this they have a veteran UK-based perfumer John Stephen with them. An independent who has been making perfumes for the last 40 years, Stephen owns The Cotswold Perfumery. He is a chartered chemist too and is very strict with regulations.

Introducing the nose and world of scents, he said that nothing is as easy as it looks. Handing us a chart with all kinds of notes listed, he made us smell something. And most of us couldn’t make out the real blend.

“India is ready for bespoke markets as the luxury segment is strong here,” says Stephen. But he is a little scared of the grey areas on regulations. “The markets in UK and Brazil are sophisticated and mature and anything works there, but in other markets one needs to study more,” elaborates the perfumer who has crafted fragrances for the royals of England as well as the Middle East. He has worked with the Russian market too.

Going into the technicalities, he specified that the right raw material defines the correct fragrance, which is pretty expensive. He has been working on fine fragrances throughout his career. The growing market for candles, shower gels, diffusers, other fragrant products uses cheaper products.

While blending perfumes might seem like just a heady mix of essential oils or extracts, he finds that he needs to spend time with clients to make them understand the notes as this is where the perfect blend lies. Despite the odds in working with those in distant lands, the perfumer says that the clients would first be sent a sample. They can test it out for a week and then the final product would be shipped.

Everything about a 3003BC product would be bespoke, including the bottle which is made by Kolkata-based artist Srila Mookherjee. You can even decide to name your own perfume. The entire process would take six weeks.

The company would offer specialized perfumes for the wedding and luxury products market too, elaborates co-founder Anil Panda. “We can ship orders anywhere, but they will all be manufactured in John’s unit.”

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