We’ve witnessed an unprecedented surge in niche fragrances recently–and in this very particular world of specialty fragrances, a custom made scent is the ultimate status symbol of luxury. Jacqueline Steele, the creator of Goest Perfumes, agrees. She says, “Niche brands often set the trends and forge into new aesthetics way before the big companies–and Angelenos are extremely responsive to that. Plus, Angelenos often know what they want often even before they know it exists.”
Steele is often commissioned to make custom scents (and once even created a gigantic 20 pound custom-scented candle for someone’s fireplace), and her six-piece scent library of unusually glamourous perfumes smell like nothing you’d ever find in the mall.
The scents have a modern feel–and are deliciously enjoyable. Goeste’s best seller, Dauphine, is an almond-rose musk perfume with milky notes that smells so much like bare skin, people may not even realize that they’re wearing anything at all. Exceptionally rich in natural raw materials, the texture develops differently on each person’s skin. Steele adds, “Dauphine is not a cover-up scent. It’s your own smell, but more exalted, more fresh, and more luminous. It’s created for the person who uses high quality soaps, wears the barest hint of essential rosewater, and keeps almond croissants around.”
As mass-produced perfumes overwhelm the shelves at department stores, the backstory and inspiration behind a scent is becoming increasingly important to finicky connoisseurs. Steele draws inspiration from the everyday. She favors the city’s natural elements, and is disinterested in lab-made notes. She says, “The smell of L.A. in the evening is really inspiring–it’s not just the smells that appear (blossoms, condensing humidity, eucalyptus), but the way in which they all coexist in the changing environment. It’s a naturally occurring perfume composition.”
A wonderful way to think think of LA’s natural blooms and wafts, indeed.