Monday 28 March 2022

FIOLE - The Virtual Perfumery

Every time you speak with a member of staff in a department store, or pick up one of the various perfume discovery boxes that are available, your recommendations will often be decided “for” you rather than “with” you. The sales assistant may be on commission for a certain brand, the boxes may be filled with what’s available rather than what’s requested, and so it’s not really a true indication of what suits you. In-depth and unbiased perfume consultations are available in some stores, but what happens if you’re not near one of them? Enter Fiole, which promises to be “the world’s first virtual perfumery”.

Fiole was founded by Samuel Gearing and Josh Carter in 2020 and has very quickly become a firm favourite with fragrance fans. Their background had been in perfume sales which, as part of their jobs, included the need to question their customers on their individual preferences. This would form a customer profile and, hopefully from the answers, they could recommend one of the fragrances from the specific brand that they worked for. However, it soon became apparent that customers wanted to choose from a variety of companies rather than one, and so the pair decided to put their unique style of questioning to good use.

The Fiole experience is an online consultation that seeks to discover your scented preferences through a series of questions. Now, this might not seem particularly original, but the answers you give are quite different to normal. Online questioning has often been based around lifestyle, for example whether you prefer a beach or city break, but what has that actually got to do with scent profiling? Fiole is much more direct and, after completing the 2 minute consultation, you’ve been asked to choose between options such as Fruity, Green, or Dark & Rich. The questions vary depending on your answers, so don’t try tricking the system.

Once you’ve completed the profile you have six fragrances chosen for you, based on your answers, and 2ml samples of each are curated into your very own personalised discovery box. This is sent through the post to your home and you’re encouraged to smell the samples blind, picking your favourite, before opening the all-important envelope that contains the identities of your perfumes. QR codes are enclosed, meaning that you can delve deeper into your favourite, and all of the packaging can be recycled. If you think about the amount of plastic we have to deal with every day, Fiole have earned themselves a big thumbs up.

The box costs £25 but is redeemable against the purchase of anything on the Fiole website. However, the experience has just got bigger. Sam and Josh have partnered with Fortnum & Mason, and their interactive system is now part of their second floor perfumery. Screens are available to guide you to your perfect fragrance, but there’s also an in-person consultation area. I took the quiz and, honestly, loved all of the choices. They perfectly matched what I’d asked for, I already owned two of them, and my favourite was an exciting surprise. I’ll keep that information to myself, but I highly recommend you use Fiole to choose your next fragrance.

The Fiole Discovery Box costs £25, which is redeemable against the purchase of a full size bottle, and is available from the Fiole website at [Box provided by Josh Carter]

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