While floating around the internet last weekend, I found this article in the UK Observer in which the paper has Lyn Harris, the nose behind the Miller Harris line, create a bespoke fragrance called Observer Review. In addition to describing the process of creating a custom fragrance, the article has interesting asides on Roja Dove, the London perfume boutique Les Senteurs, and the marketing of perfume in general. And if you're feeling daring, you can even buy the perfume for a £100 donation to the Observer Charity Christmas Appeal.
And thanks to Karen for pointing out this article in the Toronto Star (link no longer working) about two contenders for the title of the "original" Eau de Cologne — Mulhens 4711 and Farina Eau de Cologne. Farina, created in 1709, claims to be the "world's first documented brand-name perfume"; Edwin Morris, in Scents of Time, agrees that Farina created the first Eau de Cologne. The earliest well-known general perfume brand he mentions is Floris, which was established in 1730.
Last week I mentioned that you could smell Sillage de la Reine, one of Marie Antoinette's perfumes, in the Roja Dove shop at Harrods. Now it looks like you will be able to buy it as well, for a mere €1,500 (although not, as yet, at Harrods). You can also smell the fragrance on pre-booked tours of the Marie Antoinette exhibit at Versailles. It is said to be made of completely natural products:
The perfume contains essence of citron tree, lavender, rose petal, jasmin, galbanum, iris, musk, tonka bean, ambergris, vanilla, benjamin, cedar and sandalwood. Elisabeth de Feydeau, a French historian, discovered the recipe during research for a biography on Fargeon.
You can read the rest of the article in the Times Online.