A scent of your own
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Gulabsingh Johrimal can make customised perfumes and attar
Thousands of perfumes are available worldwide, but some like to have a tailor-made fragrance. Though the trend is not very popular in Delhi yet, you can have your bespoke perfume at Gulabsingh Johrimal at Dariba Kalan, one of the oldest perfumers in town who began customisation three years ago, inspired by a Vir Sanghvi show on the subject. Set up in 1816, the shop is now run by the seventh generation — brothers Praful and Ram Singh with their father Mukul Singh — while the eighth is stepping in.
"Customisation is very popular in the West, but in India, people are not so familiar with the concept. We get a customer only once in 15 days," owner Praful Singh says. A vast range of ingredients is used to make a perfume. This is a delicate and expensive process. "Perfumery can not be described. At times, good perfumes are made accidentally," Ram Singh says.
They stock around 250 blends of different notes such as floral, woody and aqua. "We try to satisfy the customer with the available blends. Only if the customer insists, we customise a perfume. But, sometimes, the customer does not like it, the process has to start afresh. It is a waste of time, money and products," Mukul Singh says. They make the perfume in front of the customer.
"Perfume-making is a hit-and-trial process. Many times people want a unique fragrance. This is one of the challenges of customisation," Mukul says. Sometimes, the customer is not so knowledgeable and is not ready to pay the full price. Even though there is no precise formula to calculate the cost, it is mostly determined by the prices of the products used. "Quality matters, not quantity. For customisation, you also need a proper studio, bottles, people and a lot of time," he says.