Rare Fragrances From Around The World Find A Home In Fort

Rare Fragrances From Around The World Find A Home In Fort
Rashi Arora/Homegrown

An engineer by qualification, Shishir Mehta used to run a metallurgical testing lab for 30 years before he decided to pursue his passion full-time. A passion for discovering exquisite and exotic fragrances made by the world’s best perfumers, bringing these to the Indian market, and changing the way customers interact with perfumes. This passion has culminated in the creation of Scentido–a first-of-its-kind, niche perfumery that is unlike anything I’ve ever seen before. Brands that are not only difficult but nearly impossible to find in the country, sit proudly on the display cases as Mr. Mehta turns the attention of India’s luxury consumers to the power of perfume.

Mr. Mehta realised that there was a gap in the market. “While a lot of international fashion brands are slowly making their way to India, the same is not true for fragrances,” he tells me on a sunny Friday afternoon at Scentido in Fort. Accustomed to buying branded fragrances, perfume-enthusiasts in India have typically made the same kind of upgrades. From deodorants to body sprays and finally high-end eau de parfum, the subtle craft of perfume-making remains largely unexplored in the country. Scentido fills this void by transforming into a space that both entices and educates prospective customers. A showroom in the truest sense of the word, its art deco aesthetic lends itself to Mr. Mehta’s idea of what a perfumery should be. A space for intimate interaction with fragrances, Scentido looks like it belongs to a different era. Chandeliers, glass cases, mosaic windows, a statement blue wall and plenty of room for discovery–I’d recommend chalking out at least an hour to really get a feel for the store and its wonderful wares.

I began my tour of Scentido with the scent of pure opulence and old-world charm. Light bounces off the Swarovski caps of Roja Parfums, created by “the best nose in the world” Roja Doves, and creates lovely patterns on the ceiling. While Elysium has me dreaming of tropical climates and Mimosa brunches, Lily is all grace and beauty. However, Roja Haute Lux steals the show. Occupying a place of pride, this perfume retails for two-and-a-half lakh rupees. An amber liquid with gold leaf, this signature scent has been crafted to be coveted. However, Mr. Mehta and his colleague, Surabhi, tell me that at Scentido, “It’s not about the sale, it’s about what that fragrance does for you.”

Walking through Scentido is like “exploring different facets of your personality.” Berdoues’ line of complex yet sublime fragrances, is inspired by travel stories. Ormonde Jayne was the first house to infuse Oudh in fragrances, for a more intense and dramatic olfactory experience. Vanina Muracciole’s musky creations for Jeroboam Parfums will speak to your soul and tug on the chords of your heart, while each LM Parfums France Laurent Mazzone Parfums fragrance will manifest differently on different skin–precise chemistry that creates unique, magical experiences. Mr. Mehta invites customers to spend some time with each fragrance, take samples of the ones that linger on in your memory and live with them. Picking up a bottle of perfume from duty-free stores is a rushed experience, but at Scentido, you’re encouraged to find your scent.

Debunking many myths, Mr. Mehta tells me that smelling coffee between testers is counter-productive. He also encourages spraying the fragrance all over your body, not just your pulse points, to truly understand how it affects you. Most importantly, he tells me to pay no heed to gender-labels and find a bottle that speaks to you. “We have to elevate people’s mindsets and their noses,” he says. In fact, Roja’s Elysium is for men, but was definitely one of my favourites that afternoon. Scentido is perfect for occasion-specific gifting, the making of a wedding trousseau, or just the search for your signature scent.

Even as the beautiful doors shut behind me, I know the fragrance of elusive perfumes will guide me back to Scentido very, very soon.

Scroll on for a glimpse at this special store in Fort.

Scentido Store photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown
The Berdoues Display - photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown
The Ormonde Jayne Display - photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown
A Glimpse Of The Store - photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown
The Roja Display - photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown
A Berdoues Collection - photographed by Rashi Arora for Homegrown

Photographs by Rashi Arora for Homegrown.

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