How to choose an interior designer and the benefits of finding the right one

Bespoke Interior Design

As with many professions there are thousands of interior designers to choose from however, making the right choice for your project can make all the difference.

Designing a home is an incredibly personal experience and the process can take many months if not years to complete depending on the size of the project.  For this reason, the chemistry and relationship between clients and the interior designer is so important. 

Your interior designer must be able to relate to how you want to live and understand the personal requirements of your particular project.  A designer needs to be able to adapt from project to project whether that is by changing styles or by functionality or how much communication clients want to receive.  Certain clients like to be heavily involved in every aspect of the project however others take a more “hands off” approach.  A good interior designer should be able to understand their clients and know which approach will work best.  Likewise, with the design, the interiors of an apartment for a bachelor in central London is going to have very different requirements than a family home in the country.    

Excellent service is such a crucial part of any interior design business.  Any form of construction or change to your home has the potential to be stressful so having a fantastic, responsive, and understanding interior designer by your side is essential.   Many of our clients end up becoming our friends due to the personal nature of the business and the trust that is built up through the process.

Ideally choose an interior design company who has been recognised within the industry by their own peers and industry judges.  Design studios who have won awards and have received international recognition have done so for a reason.

Turnkey projects are becoming more and more popular with clients wanting us to oversee the project from concept through to completion.  This includes the final furnishings, artwork and finishing touches.  When choosing an interior designer it is important to understand the services they offer, is it mainly architectural or are they more inclined towards just light decoration and furnishing?  At Jenny Allan Design we offer the complete solution for our clients, our services range from full interior design of a large new build or refurbishment, incl. kitchens, bathrooms, bespoke joinery and space planning to a furnishing/ dressing service where a client just requires furniture, curtains and/or minor redecoration for a new property.

An excellent interior designer should be able to add value to a home, so when the client does eventually want to sell, the property with the best interiors will outshine the competition.  With a background in property development, Jenny Allan really understands how to add value to properties, in order to future proof them while also creating beautiful, practical family homes for the client to live in.  We design homes that flow, are comfortable as well as stylish and have a calming, balanced vibe.  When a new buyer walks into a property they often talk about the “feel” of the home, and they can’t always put their finger on why a home “feels” right or not, however that is the skill of a great interior designer, to turn what is just a property into a home. 

Written by Jenny Allan

Founder of Jenny Allan Design

Jenny Allan Design is a high end, award winning London based interior design studio.  Named in the World’s Leading Design Names for the last two consecutive years, Jenny Allan and her team create beautiful interiors for private client homes throughout London, the UK and Europe and can adapt to any style or specific requirements.  As a boutique design studio the personal service that they offer to clients is of the highest level whilst also having the in-house capacity to take on the larger projects.   


The Art of Perfume

History of the Perfume Industry

It is known for sure that perfumes existed since Biblical times — in the Bible, there are several references to the use of aromatic oils.

Although perfumes also existed in India, most of their scents were based on incense. The earliest distillation of essential oil was mentioned in the Harshacharita text, written in the seventh century A.D. in Northern India. It also describes the use of aromatic eagle tree oil.

In order to smell the beautiful fragrance of jasmine, many girls in ancient Greece put small bags of jasmine extract and goat fat in their hair. Fat soon melted in the heat and slid down on their face, neck and shoulders, giving them the smell of jasmine.

The first chemist whose name remains in history seems to have been a woman named Tapputi, a perfume maker: she was mentioned on a cuneiform tablet of the second millennium B.C. in Mesopotamia. She conducted multiple distillations of flowers, oils, and calamus with other aromatic substances.

The Persian physician and chemist Avicenna conducted the process of extracting oils from flowers by distillation, a procedure most commonly used today. He first experimented with roses. Before its discovery, liquid perfumes were mixtures of oils and crushed herbs or petals that gave off a strong smell. Rosewater was more subtle and immediately became popular. Both raw materials and distillation technologies have greatly influenced Western perfumery and science development, especially chemistry.

In Europe, the first perfume was not for people at all. They were intended for leather goods (gloves, shoes, belts, etc.). Thanks to them, they got rid of the unpleasant smell of freshly made leather.

The Hungarians were the first to produce the first modern perfumes eventually. Made from scented oils mixed with alcohol, the first modern perfumes were created in 1370 for Queen Elizabeth of Hungary and were known throughout Europe as Hungarian water.

The art of perfumery flourished during the Renaissance in Italy, and in the 16th century, Italian products and developments were exported to France by Catherine de Medici’s personal perfumer Rene Florentine. His lab was connected to her apartment by a secret passageway so that no formulas could be stolen along the way.

France quickly became a European centre of perfume and cosmetics production. The cultivation of flowers for perfumery, which began in the 14th century, has become a leading industry in the South of France.

During the Renaissance period, perfume was used primarily by wealthy people to hide their body odour since people rarely washed then. By the 18th century, aromatic plants were being grown in Grasse’s vicinity to provide raw materials for the growing perfume industry. Today, France remains the centre of perfume production and trade.

In 1608, the world’s first perfume factory was established in the Convent of Santa Maria Novella, Florence. She became so famous due to the patronage of many princes and dukes and even the Pope himself.

Classical Perfumes 

Genuine perfumes consist of perfume alcohol and aromatic oils. The fragrance and price depend on quantity, combination and concentration. For example, in Chanel No. 5, 80 aromatic components are mixed. By perfume standards, this is quite a lot.

French fragrances, which are considered to be classic, are revealed according to the triad principle: this is when there is a base note, a heart note, and a top note. First, we feel the base note components, which smoothly change to the ingredients of the heart note, and then we hear the plume of the top note.

Rose oil is one of the most expensive components in the perfume business. Its cost is more than $ 5,000 per kilogram, and this value is constantly increasing. To get 1 kg of rose oil, you need to process a whole tonne of petals.

Iris is also not cheap. Its price on the market reaches $ 40,000 per kilogram. 

The most expensive perfume ingredient, perhaps, is musk. For 1 kilogram of this exotic musk, you need to pay $ 60,000. Naturally, musk is used exclusively in the most expensive perfumes. 

Traditionally, the price of perfume is influenced by the number of ingredients used. Accordingly, the more components in the composition, the more expensive is the perfume.

Some flowers are completely odourless, but nevertheless, they are often used in perfumery, as combining them with other components gave them exciting and memorable combinations.

To preserve the smell, retainers are used. The best aroma fixers are: oakmoss, clove, mint, cedar oil. 

There is the only perfume reserve in the world, which is called the Osmoteque ( It was created in 1990 in Versailles when the great idea came to Jean Kerleo, one of the perfumers of the famous perfume factory-JeanPatou. At the disposal of the Osmoteque is a massive number of fragrances from various brands — about 1800 fragrances. Plus, there are still 170 particularly unknown perfume formulas.

Luxurious Perfumes

The most expensive fragrances in the history of perfumery are Clive Christians Imperial Majesty and Joy from Patou.

Clive Christians, the creators of Imperial Majesty, estimated this fragrance’s cost at $215,000 for one bottle. For sale, the perfume was poured into exquisite bottles, which were made of crystal with a diamond on the lid and gold foil on the neck of the bottle. In total, ten people expressed their desire to become the owners of this treasure.

There is also a fashion for fragrances. Patchouli was used to protect precious shawls from insects. This is the reason that Patchouli smell was famous back then and was considered expensive and en vogue. 

The most popular perfume in the world is Chanel No. 5. According to statistics, this fragrance is the best-selling in the world: every half minute someone buys a bottle of Chanel No. 5.

Features of Perfume Marketing

 The price of perfumes consists of spending on creating the fragrance itself, the cost of its composition, production costs, packaging, transport costs, advertising, plus a margin. That is, the scent itself will cost about 25-30% of the total cost. The mark-up on branded fragrances is about 180-200%.

It is believed that American perfumes are ideal for business style, and French ones will perfectly complement the image for a social evening. This is due to the fact that in these countries, there are different technologies for creating perfumes. French perfumes are revealed in stages, within 5-7 hours, and perfumes from America give out the entire palette of the fragrance at once. 

Alcohol-Free Perfumes – The Fancy Wave of Today

This trend is particularly strong in the East, where perfumers often use oils and traditional local aromatic waters without alcohol. Although alcohol use in the Muslim religion is prohibited, it is allowed to beadded to a perfume. This is a global trend that is also noticeable in the West.

Some fun facts about perfume

Did you know that there is a swallowable perfume? It was coined by Sharef Mansy, a Harvard biologist, and Australian perfumer Lucy McRae ( You need to swallow a kind of aromatic capsule for this experience, and later, along with the sweat, aromatic substances will be released. Such perfumes are not available for free sale, as they need to pass some testing.

A person’s sense of smell depends on gender – women usually outperform men in sensitivity to odours and the ability to recognise them.

Few people know, but women’s perfume can be selected by the colour of their hair, there is a logical explanation for this. The skin of girls with different hair colour has different properties. For example, the skin of blonde girls is quite dry, so it holds odours much better than, for instance, redheads.

Newborn babies have almost one hundred per cent sense of smell, but it is lost by 40-50% in the first year of life.

Up to 1000 neurones can participate in recognition of certain odours.

Perfume fragrances are associated with strong emotions, memories, and a person is able to remember all his life.

At exhibitions, scents have become more often used to touch the sensory channel and evoke emotions.

One of the most pleasant smells people consider is the aroma of vanilla, some smells of citrus, cinnamon, cookies and … coloured pencils. The author of this study is Dolores Malaspina, a professor of clinical psychiatry at Columbia University in New York.

Dry skin is much better at retaining odours than wet skin. Therefore, you should not use perfume immediately after a shower.

When we inhale, we hear the smell, but when we exhale, it immediately disappears!

If you’re tempted to create a unique fragrance for yourself, your home, yacht or jet, we are here to make it happen.