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Brief Published: 15 Feb 2019

Ostens: Scentrepreneurs Introduce New Perfumery Concept


The chasm between fragrance makers and end users has proved almost impossible to bridge – until now. Indie UK house Ostens is bringing open-source perfumery direct to consumers in a London pop-up that reveals the potential future of disruptive perfumery.

The smoke and mirrors of the fragrance industry once had us picturing Christian Dior himself plucking rose petals at dawn and mixing perfumes by night. But with beauty consumers now rigorously researching brand backstories – and demanding full disclosure on the sustainability and traceability of the ingredients used – it’s high time something changed.

Run by Christopher Yu and his business partner Laurent Delafon of UK-based United Perfumes – the licensing, distribution and consulting company they formed together – Ostens showcases exceptional quality ingredients sourced from LMR (the naturals division of International Fragrance & Flavours – IFF). Once only smelled by industry insiders, they’re now offered directly to customers in two forms. Préparations (perfume oils) contain “the highest legally and technically permitted concentration of each carefully chosen ingredient”; while in Impressions (eau de parfum), top perfumers create more nuanced interpretations around these ‘hero ingredients’. 

For example, Préparation Rose Oil Isparta (£65/$83) for 9ml) captures the dewy, raspberry freshness of Turkish roses. Ostens actively encourages layering with any other fragrance you own, with this particular oil adding a velvety luminosity to oriental or spicy scents. By contrast, Impression Rose Oil Isparta (£145/$186 for 50ml) offers the entire field of roses, with an alluring depth at its base. Ingredients such as patchouli, jasmine and cedarwood have received the treatment, with new fragrances in the pipeline.

The gallery-esque space is located at 62 Blandford Street, W1U 7JD, and will be in residence until February 28 2019. For more perfume coverage, see Biennial Scent Fair 2018 and Pitti Fragranze 2018. Also keep an eye out for our big download on all things fragrance in 2019, publishing on February 18.