The Niche Fragrance Brand We Love

The Niche Fragrance Brand We Love

If niche fragrance is your thing, Laboratory Perfumes is a brand to know. Launched in 2011, they’ve gone on to become a firm favourite among industry insiders, thanks to their simple approach. The brand proves high-end scents (there are only five in the range) and sustainable, chemical-free aromas aren’t mutually exclusive. Here, founder, Aaron Firth, tells us more…
Image: ALL IMAGES: Addie Chinn & Yeshen Venema

Accessibility has always been a key part of the brand. A simple definition of what Laboratory Perfumes does, is that fragrance should be for everybody to enjoy. Put simply, we’re a modern, attainable fragrance company that follows its own rules. It’s a lifestyle brand people can really fall in love with. 

The concept is simple. So far there are five different fragrances in the range, and all of our ingredients are hand-selected – either because we like them or because they remind us of somewhere special. For example, Gorse is a scent that captures my parents’ house in Provence perfectly. Thankfully, we have excellent UK suppliers who follow our brief and bring these ideas to life.
 

 

Amber 100ml, £75
Amber 100ml, £75

Amber

"Slowly shifting from initial notes of spice and greenery to layers of wood and balmy ambergris beneath, Amber was created to reflect and affect your mood as the day progresses."

Gorse

“A crisp and zesty citrus with a coconut note and a hint of cardamom, this elegant scent takes you to gorse-dotted holidays in the south of France.”

Gorse 100ml, £70
Gorse 100ml, £70
Samphire 100ml, £70
Samphire 100ml, £70

Samphire

“A pinch of spicy juniper berries, citrus oil and an intoxicating trio of lavender, rosemary and basil, join verbena to layer over white amber and oak moss to culminate in a fragrance that evokes the fresh coastal air.” 

Tonka

“An exotic fragrance capturing the zing of mandarin and pink peppercorn alongside warm woodland aromatics, finishing with the earthy vanilla of the tonka bean.”

Tonka 100ml, £70
Tonka 100ml, £70
Atlas 100ml, £70
Atlas 100ml, £70

Atlas

“Inspired by the scents and scenery of Morocco’s Atlas Mountains, this fragrance is built around the aroma of pipe tobacco. Layers of rum, vanilla and hay are topped with cinnamon, ginger and black pepper, wrapped in the woody warmth.”

The range is largely based on the idea of escapism. Having launched the brand in 2011, it was a time where we were all reeling from the recent economic downturn. Personally, I wanted to try something completely different after working as a menswear retailer for many years, and fragrance was at the forefront of my mind. It’s invisible yet deeply personal – an idea which appealed to me on so many levels – and I wanted the brand and the fragrances to transport the wearer away from the harsher aspects of life, even just for a moment. 

For me, there is no such thing as a ‘favourite’ scent. Just like my children, each Laboratory scent is different, and for good reason. They all have different meaning and have evolved over time – Gorse and Amber came first, but the latter took 27 iterations to get right. Samphire then took a year to develop after that. 

All the fragrances are unisex. Both men and women like cake, Caravaggio and cricket – so there’s simply no reason why they shouldn’t like the same fragrance. We’ve made sure the bottles are gender-fluid and simplistic in their design, too. 

Sustainability is another important part of what we do. We’re as sustainable as we can be right now, but it’s still frustrating that 2% of what we make is currently not recyclable – it often comes down to the atomiser alone. What we do today should be as close to invisible for the next generation as possible – and we’re working towards that. Like many people, I’m concerned about the environment, so on any project, we’re always looking to minimise the impact. 

Our supply chain is small and totally transparent. We manufacture everything in the UK, simply because global sourcing requires so much money – something we didn’t have much of at the beginning! Broadly speaking, we use the same factories today as we did when we started, most of which are within a 130-mile radius. 

We’re expanding, but not dramatically. Our next launch is a lifestyle set full of 5ml vials in a beautifully-presented gift box. Many of our customers like to use just one or two of the fragrances regularly, so this allows the wearer to mix and match all five over a longer period of time – be it on holiday or just having fun at home. 

The perfumes are for people craving individuality. Rather than ask which fragrance is designed for which type of person, a better way to look at it is this: anyone who's interested in fragrance and unencumbered by the big brand authority is open to the unexpected, and wants their fragrance to reflect their mood. That’s the person who might enjoy Laboratory Perfumes.

Visit LaboratoryPerfumes.com

INSPIRATION CREDITS: Addie Chinn & Yeshen Venema
DISCLAIMER: We endeavour to always credit the correct original source of every image we use. If you think a credit may be incorrect, please contact us at info@sheerluxe.com.

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