If you’re tired of wearing a typical floral fragrance that you picked up on a whim at duty free, make your way to Scentido. Set in a heritage building around the Flora Fountain in Mumbai, the new niche fragrance store houses rare, luxurious creations by master perfumers from across the world. “Scentido is for those who enjoy a taste of the finer things in life,” says founder Shishir Mehta. “I developed a vast collection of elusive scents from many years of travelling and wanted to share them with the world. Scentido is the result of that passion- it’s an extravagant destination where one can indulge in an experience that captures all your senses.”
Mehta has picked hidden gems from boutiques and luxury labels from France, UK and New York. You’ll find complex fragrances from Escentric Molecules, Ormond Jayne, Berdoues, Aedes De Venustas, Jovoy, Jeroboam and Gabriella Chieffo. If you’re willing to spend a lofty sum on gold flake-infused scents and embellished bottles, you’ll love the Roja Parfums line created by UK-based perfumier Roja Dove, the hand behind many of Guerlain’s signature fragrances.
At the beautiful Art Deco-inspired store, we also chatted with Chandler Burr, a curator of olfactory art and ex-fragrance critic at The New York Times. Here, he dives into his olfactory expertise and tells us everything you need to know about picking the right fragrance and how to make it last longer…
ELLE: When you walk into a store, there are so many different brands and fragrances. How do you know what’s right for you?
Chandler Burr: Never pay attention to gender labels- they’re ridiculous! The best thing to do is take a sample of any fragrance you like home and try it for two days. Wear it in the morning, afternoon and night and if possible, try it out during the monsoon as well to see if it becomes mossy.
Also, never smell coffee in between testers as it changes the fragrance of the next one you try. For example, if you try a rose-based fragrance, smell coffee and smell another one with the same note, you might psychologically avoid smelling rose because your mind focuses on other unfamiliar scents.
ELLE: Where should you test a fragrance before you buy it?
CB: I think the pulse points are a marketing gimmick. It’s technically an excuse for the sales person to spray it on you and studies have shown that the more they touch you, the more likely you are to buy it. Spray it on your arms, forearm, wrist, knees, all over your torso and even in your hair, if you like.
ELLE: What’s the coolest insider trick you can share to make fragrances last longer?
CB: Well, this one depends on the occasion you’re going to:
If you’re at a big dance party, you want everyone around you to get a whiff of your fragrance so you can spray it on your neck, hair and on your clothes.
If it’s an intimate date night and your partner’s going to lean in for a kiss, simply lift your outfit at the nape and spray the perfume on your back instead. This way he’ll still get a whiff, without it being overpowering.
If you’re going to a meeting in a skirt or a dress at a restaurant, spray it at the back of your knees as well to leave a trail behind to those at a seated level.
Our favourites from Scentido: