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Some times it’s easy to think that only the ‘good stuff’ costs the same as a ticket to the moon. There are of course many ways of accessing life’s luxuries. This particular post is about one of those ways: Signature Fragrances London.

 

A few months ago I met up with signature fragrances London director, Solomon Jones. If some of you haven’t heard of SFL, then let me fill you in.

Founded  by Yinka Adeshina and Solomon Jones, two friends from London, SFL’s motto is ‘your perfume has the right to be smelt by others’. With such a motto, it is only fitting that they exclusively deal with perfume oils. Theirs is a sixteen strong line-up of oriental, fresh, woody and sweet perfumes.

Currently the brand is sold extensively across the Netherlands and Belgium. Personal orders can also be made through their website: http://signaturefragrances.co.uk/.

The first time I heard about signature fragrances London was from an interview with them on The Olfactive (http://www.theolfactive.com). My second step was meeting one of the founders, Solomon Jones, at Selfridges’s perfume hall.

As we sat to discuss SFL, it became apparent that SFL was not going to be your standard perfume house.

Having collaborated with a company in Spain, they were eager to release a line of perfume oils to the public. They’re price point is relatively cheap when compared to other companies. Their prices go as such: 6ml/£49, 10ml / £70, 12ml/ £90.  The special oud collection can cost around £200 for 12ml.

When you compare these prices to fashion house brand perfume oil, which can cost the excesses of £250 for 15ml of standard pure perfume, there is quite a distinction.

This distinction seems forms a tentative divider when it comes to outlining who the SFL target market is . Speaking to Solomon about this, he was clear about one thing: that they wanted to open the concept of perfume oils to everyone, not just those who could afford the upper end of the market. Having spent time in the Middle East, he saw that perfume was integral to society at all levels, and at all occasions. From what I could gauge, there was an overwhelming vision that SFL seeks to have a voice in the industry that is not conventional or commercialised. One that is accessible to those who enjoy perfume. It is a vision to be admired, and I believe there is a large market out there for them.

I have to commend SFL for taking that step. For starting businesses that deal in luxury items (there are no two ways about it- perfume is luxury), it is easy to charge high prices. Adding to that the fact that SFL deals in only pure perfume, no alcohol, no “extra additives”.

Furthermore, the bottles are stunning hand cut crystal. As I write this I am have a clear view of purple, orange, green and turquoise blue reflections dancing all over my table, thanks to my bottle of Lola (cedar, jasmine, honey) and the resting evening sunlight.

Technically, they have the ability to ship worldwide, and can therefore place themselves where many niche boutiques cannot. This is not the Primark of perfumes, this is well produced work; and yet… they choose to market at a lower price.

There are many arguments that luxury should be unobtainable to the masses, as its allure and unobtainable status is what makes it sought after. However, after listening to Solomon discuss the brand, I have to tell myself that this is not a normal “niche” brand.

For starters, the founders are not perfumers; they are perfume lovers, so their approach is completely different.

The perfumes in question are not as developed or complex as those produced by perfumers perfecting their craft. These perfumers are simpler, more straightforward. What you are not paying for is the intricacies, the trail of detail  that perfumers weave into the story of each perfume. Do not compare these perfumes to the Mitsukos, the Minyas, the Duchaufours. What you are paying for is something simpler, and at stronger concentration. Enjoy them, even layer them with other perfumes if you want something more complex.  If you want to start wearing pure perfume, SFL is there for you.

I suppose the clearest question is: why should they act like every other company out there? Why should they limit their clientele by charging soaring prices? After all, perfume is as much about self-expression as it is about luxury. With that, I shall summarise my introduction by using their slogan: their clients should “be unique”.

SFL bottles

Meet Yinka Adeshina

Director of Signature Fragrances London

 

What is your earliest memory of fragrance?

Oh it would have to be cool water by Davidoff; which became my signature scent growing up.

 

What is your favourite perfume note/genre?

I’m absolutely in love with amber; it really does it for me. I’d actually say it puts me in a kind of trance when I smell it.

 

From your own experience, how should perfume make you feel?

Perfume undoubtedly is crafted to put you in the best of moods and to make you feel instant happiness. I also believe perfume has the ability to reinforce confidence and empowerment.

 

About signature fragrances London, can you describe your company in 5 words?

Unique, opulent, diverse, fascinating, modern

 

How did you come about starting your company? Was perfume always an obvious choice?

Solomon and I have always been avid perfume lovers, but the penny only dropped while in Solomon’s front room after a trip to the market in the middle east. We were discussing our passions and the prospects of starting a brand that would reflect our diverse planet.  We had many ideas, but the one that resonated most was the notion of a perfume brand – and thus signature fragrances London was born.

 

Is there a particular perfumer you would like to collaborate with in the future?

Francis Kurkdjian! Absolutely in love with his work

 

From the collection which is your favourite?

Déjà vu without a doubt! Strong amber notes which is my favourite, it’s an instant mode changer brings sheer happiness throughout my day.

 

Not all the bottles are the same- who designed the bottles for you and how did you come up with the concept?

The initial concept of the bottles were designed by myself (Yinka); however, final we have a designer that we channeled our thoughts to and after a challenging process with came up with our 4 bottles.                Perfume bottles have always been the emblem of any perfume brand, so we wanted to come up with something striking and unique, an ornamental treasure that immediately captures one’s heart and attention. The different shapes of the bottle represent the masculine and feminine nature of the scents.

 

With a line-up of 16 perfumes, it’s quite a lot for any perfume company, niche or otherwise. Do you feel that you are able to establish your ‘signature’ smell with so many perfumes?

The initial surge of 16 perfumes came about by our passion to create a platform where one could experience a variety of scents from different fragrances families. Perfume preferences vary from country to country. For example, in the far east they tend to wear more lighter fragrances, therefore a heavy oriental would be quite inappropriate.  The brand’s core concept is about diversity and uniqueness of scent, so providing a healthy variety allows us to cater to a wider audience.

 

In the western market, let alone the niche perfume market, the price point that SFL perfumes go for is relatively low when we compare them to similar pure perfume products on the market. Do you think that you might be undervaluing your product?

Reasonable prices allow our customers to experience a taste of luxury that unfortunately only a few can. We purposely set our prices low because we want to engage every facet of society and make our scents accessible to all.

 

Where do you see the perfume industry going in the next thirty years?

I definitely see niche perfumery growing hugely over the coming years as people are becoming bored of celebrity and fashion house fragrances.

 

Where would you like to see signature fragrances London going in the next thirty years?

I would like to see a flagship store in central London, a scent utopia replete with uniqueness and effervescent experience, where you can enjoy the most extraordinary fragrances in the world.

 

 

 


I would like to say a special thank you to Solomon & Yinka for taking the time to meet me in person and contribute to this interview.

I hope them every success in the future.

-Huda