Friday, September 23, 2022

Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review

Disclaimer: A complimentary custom fragrance was provided review.
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Earlier this month I took a trip to New York City. While searching for a unique beauty experience like the one I had at the Lush Spa years ago, I found Olfactory NYC. With two physical locations in Manhattan and an online store as well, Olfactory NYC offers a custom fragrance experience that allows you to create your very own scent. As a big fan of fragrances, this was such a fun and memorable experience. To learn more about the Olfactory NYC process, click......
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | West Village Location
For my experience, I visited Olfactory NYC's newest studio in West Village. Once I walked in, I was greeted with a sleek wall of "core scents" created by Olfactory NYC in collaboration with some of the best noses in the industry. So instead of creating a custom scent from scratch, the first step is smelling one of the nine "core scents" and choosing one as my base. This was a rather tricky process because quite a few of them struck a chord with me. Additionally, it's really hard to distinguish between so many scents after a while as my nose became scent-fatigued. Instead of using coffee beans to reset my sense of smell, however, the Olfactory NYC staff suggested that I smell my own skin to avoid introducing a new scent, which actually works, believe it or not!
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | The Customization Process
After a long decision period, I settled on two base options: "Riley" (a sweet cozy scent with notes of hazelnut, sandalwood, musk, and vanilla) and "Ryan" (a bright floral with notes of rose and ivy greens). "Riley" is created by perfumer Honorine Blanc, who's known for YSL's Black Opium (and all its variations) while "Ryan" is created by Annie Buzantian, known for Marc Jacob's Decadence, Daisy Blush, and Honey. It's worth noting that all of the core scents are complete fragrances on their own and they are available individually for purchase without customization (for US$55 each at 50 ml).
However, the customization is where the fun starts. So after choosing my base scents, the Olfactory NYC staff created an array of tester strips by adding different fragrance accords on top of the base scents. This is followed by another round of sniff tests. Despite loving fragrances, I honestly don't have a sensitive nose and it really showed in this process. However, the staff was extremely patient when I went back and forth between all the different combinations and tested out a few of my favorites on my skin.
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Being Poured
Thankfully, one combination really spoke to me and it was "Riley" combined with notes of lavender and black pepper. This created a beautiful, clean scent in which the lavender's freshness and the black pepper's sharpness nicely balanced Riley's sweetness and warmth. After I made my decision, the scent was freshly poured and sealed and I loved the additional customization elements such as the coordinating packaging color and the custom-stamped label.
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | Bottle Customization
I think the ability to create my own scent is amazing but then being able to name it and have it stamped on a custom label as well is just the cherry on top. Unfortunately, I'm pretty boring so I just named my scent after myself. However, I can imagine some people getting really creative and naming their scents something more abstract or personal like an anniversary date.
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | Label Customization
Overall, my experience at Olfactory NYC was amazing! I think for any fragrance lover, creating a custom scent is a dream come true. Best of all, the whole experience only costs US$85 (for a 50 ml bottle), which is very reasonable considering that a typical high-end perfume starts at about the same price. Whether you live in NYC or are just visiting, I definitely recommend making an appointment to create your own fragrance. The experience also makes for a really cool gift idea or a date activity. It's also worth noting that you can replicate the custom fragrance process online at home and it costs the same amount. Unfortunately, though, Olfactory NYC currently does not ship outside of the US. So there you have it, my experience creating my first custom fragrance at Olfactory NYC. I'll leave you to it now, but not before another look at my very own "Jasmine" scent.
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Fragrance Experience: Review
Olfactory NYC | My Custom Scent "Jasmine"
Olfactory NYC is located in Nolita at 281 Mott Street and West Village at 355 Bleecker Street. You can also replicate the custom fragrance experience at home with the Olfactory NYC Explorer Box and Tinkerer Box, available at
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