If you love fragrances, there's plenty to sniff at in London. From England's oldest perfume retailer to a store that supplies the royal family, we've rounded up the best-smelling shops in town.
Les Senteurs, meaning 'the scents', is a connoisseur's perfumery. Established in 1984, it's a family-run business and is a great place for fragrance specialists and those wanting to check out the best scents from across the world. The staff is willing to offer impartial expert advice and the products are mainly from smaller companies, who tend to use higher concentrations of natural essences and high-quality ingredients.
If you only have time to visit one London perfume shop then this is the one to see.
How to get there: Les Senteurs is located between Victoria train station and Sloane Square tube station.
Floris was established in 1730 and is England's oldest perfume retailer. It's still a family-managed business and the original flagship store is located on Jermyn Street in Mayfair (there's a smaller boutique in Belgravia). Floris sells traditional English colognes and soaps of the finest quality and holds two royal warrants (which means they supply products to members of the British royal family).
How to get there: Floris is located between Piccadilly Circus and Green Park tube stations.
Penhaligon's London was founded in 1870 by William Penhaligon, an enthusiastic alchemist, who started selling exclusive scents to discerning ladies and gentlemen from a barber shop on Jermyn Street. By the end of Queen Victoria's reign (1901), William Penhaligon was 'Barber and Perfumer to the Royal Court' and Penhaligon's London still holds two Royal Warrants (which means they supply products to British royalty).
Penhaligon's stores often seem like a traditional English gentleman's barber shop so are always worth a visit. They stock fine English toiletries, grooming products, and colognes. The signature Penhaligon's bottle is a design classic.
How to get there: There are several Penhaligon's shops dotted around London including Covent Garden, Mayfair, and Chelsea.
Ormonde Jayne sells elegant perfumes, scented candles and body products designed by Linda Pilkington. Impressively, Ormonde Jayne manufactures all its products in its own London laboratory. Ormonde Jayne is all about quality and luxury and uses specialty oils not widely used in the perfume industry today.
How to get there: Ormonde Jayne is located in the Royal Arcade on Old Bond Street. The closest tube station is Green Park.
Geo F. Trumper is a traditional English barber, offering shaving products and quality colognes. Established in 1875, Geo F. Trumper's range of gentlemen's fragrances and grooming products is available around the world.
How to get there: There's a shop on Curzon Street in Mayfair (close to Green Park tube station) and on Duke of York Street near Piccadilly (close to Piccadilly Circus).
Miller Harris was founded by perfumer Lyn Harris in 2000. Miller Harris products and stores are luxurious and a custom perfume creation service is available.
How to get there: There are two shops in Covent Garden (in the Piazza and on Monmouth Street) and one in Canary Wharf.
Bloom opened in 2012 and features a range of niche perfumes from around the world. The store offers a personalized service and has a 'bespoke perfume lab' that allows shoppers to create a unique perfume in around an hour. The shop also stocks candles, reed diffusers, make-up, and skincare from independent brands. It has a fitting address just off Floral Street in Covent Garden.
How to get there: Bloom is located on Langley Court in Covent Garden. The nearest tube station is Covent Garden.
The first Jo Malone store opened on London's Walton Street in 1994, selling a capsule skincare collection, nine personal fragrances and a selection of deliciously scented candles. Later, the classic woody fragrance 154 was created in celebration of this Walton Street location. In 1999, Jo Malone moved to a larger store on Sloane Street which is now their flagship store. As well as fragrances, skincare products, and candles you can also have facial treatments in store.
How to get there: There are several stores in London including Spitalfields, Sloane Square, and Canary Wharf.
The Diptyque brand may be proudly Parisian but the candles, body lotions, reed diffusers, and skincare smells just as good in London.
The Marylebone High Street location of this store is excellent for the time-poor visitor, as on the same stretch of road, you can pop into L'Artisan, Fresh, Aveda, Ortigia, and Cologne and Cotton plus a range of bakeries and restaurants; you can easily spend a whole day here.
How to get there: Diptyque is located on Marylebone High Street. The closest tube station is Baker Street.
London department stores are the obvious choice for perfumistas as they have large ground floor fragrance and cosmetics departments. Liberty stocks Le Labo, Serge Lutens, Frederic Malle, and a few other perfume gems.
In Harrods, the ground floor beauty department offers an abundant selection of fine fragrances and upstairs on the 5th floor, Roja Dove Haute Parfumerie has selected Roja Dove's favorites for you to sniff. It's worth a visit even if you can't afford anything. Custom perfumery services are also available.