ron bull/torstar news service


“Wearing a fragrance that’s right for you is like wearing a tailored suit,” perfume guru Susanne Langmuir says.

Toronto-based Susanne Lang Parfumerie is introducing a box of scents this month containing 1,023 individual fragrances — all for $95.

No, the pretty chocolate-brown box, about the size of a hardcover book, doesn’t contain a thousand minuscule vials.

Instead, 10 small glass bottles nestled inside make up the custom blend kit, each with 6 ml of eau de parfum that is mixable with every other one.

When you consider all the possible permutations, chances are good you could create your own fragrance like no one else’s.

The package comes equipped with its own tiny funnel and an atomizer to facilitate experimentation.

Company founder Susanne Langmuir, a native of Mississauga, says she provides a wardrobe of scents so consumers can layer their fragrances in the same way they mix and match the elements of their clothing — something just right for the occasion, the time of day or even the wearer’s mood.

“Wearing a fragrance that’s right for you is like wearing a tailored suit. When it fits, it makes you feel good,” she says.

“The mass market product can’t work for everyone.”

Lang’s latest offering includes aromas from grapefruit, musk and patchouli to spice and vanilla.

The variety of scents, Langmuir suggests, makes this a unisex collection, with the end results as masculine or as feminine as the wearer wants them to be.

Other Lang perfumes include six single-bottle 1 oz. (29 ml) ready-to-wear eau de parfum ($50 each), which can be sprayed on top of each other for a “layered” effect, as well as a Layers collection featuring all six scents in 7 ml bottles ($70); a vanilla collection featuring nine 4 ml bottles of eau de parfum ($95), and a line of youth fragrances called Sula ($32 for a 1 oz. bottle).

Langmuir, 39, launched her company eight years ago. She learned the trade by travelling the world. Starting at 18, she criss-crossed Europe and Asia and began collecting aromatics. By 24, she had a business importing essential oils. Within three years, she had developed her own line of products, called Nature’s Essence.

In 1999, convinced consumers wanted lighter, more “modern” fragrances, Langmuir began researching how to build them using a higher proportion of essential oils and less of the more powerful synthetics found in most perfumes.

“Every classic perfume contains high-quality synthetics,” she says. “My fragrances are more than a single note, but they’re not as complex and powerful as mass-marketed perfumes, which have turned people off.”

Lang perfumes sell in some of the top stores in Europe, the U.S. and the Middle East. The brand will soon be available at Le Bon Marché, a Parisian department store.

In the GTA, Lang perfumes sell at Blossom Bath & Body at the TD Centre and in Unionville, Noor at the Four Seasons Hotel on Avenue Road and Pure Home Couture in Hamilton.