Local perfumery Roux Saint James crafts all-natural perfumes and helps customers find their signature scent.

Story and photos by Niki Jones

Fragrance-ophiles, rejoice! Austin now has an all-natural perfumery where you can create your very own bespoke signature perfume. Roux Saint James’ proprietor and perfumer, Krista Lacey, has a passion for the art of creating complex, beautiful scents, along with a vast knowledge of the subject, which she enthusiastically shares with students in her workshops. But this is no sit-and-listen class; participants immediately get to work creating their own custom perfumes in Roux Saint James’ sunlit, modern studio that is part laboratory, part retail space.

Students begin the process by identifying the base, middle and top notes they like (and dislike) about a scent, and then start combining, layering, eliminating and adding until they come up with their version of an ideal scent combination. Then raw botanical ingredients are added slowly, drop by drop, and tested with each iteration. While
time-consuming, the process is terrifically fun, and having Lacey right there guiding the way makes it feel less like a lesson and more like working on a cool science project with a friend.

Roux Saint James offers a variety of workshops focused on botanical compounds and perfumes, as well as a full line of fragrance products, including a discovery set, so you can mix and explore combinations on your own. You never know; you may have a nose for it!

Perfume is not just about making someone sexually attractive or wearing a scent just to smell good, like an afterthought before walking out the door. It’s about elevating it to the level of fine art and recognizing the artistry of a good perfume. It’s also about using your nose and exploring the incredible world of scent.


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