Illuminum, the London-based perfumery, gained international acclaim when Kate Middleton wore its White Gardenia Petals Vaporizor Perfume on her wedding day. Until recently, the fragrance was only available in the states through online retailer luckyscent.com. Now, however, White Gardenia Petals—and a multitude of Illuminum’s other eaus—are in-store (and online) at Henri Bendel. Exclusive to Bendel’s are the line’s “haute perfumes,” which last twice as long (16 hours!) as the “vaporizor perfumes.”
Chris Fiore, president of Henri Bendel, fell in love with Illuminum after a visit to the brand’s Dover Street shop in London two months ago. “I didn’t even know that White Gardenia Petals was Kate Middleton’s wedding day choice, but I knew the brand was right for us,” he says. “They have beautiful scents.”
“Chris came back from London very excited,” recalls Jennifer Miles, senior beauty and fragrance buyer at Henri Bendel. “When we look to add to our assortment we look for brands that have something very unique about them—a great history, a great perfumer behind them, wonderful packaging, and limited distribution. We love Illuminum’s founder, Michael Boadi, and his previous line, Boadicea The Victorious, sells well for us. Illuminum seemed like the perfect fit.”
Illuminum was definitely the perfect fit for Middleton—and for Rihanna, who is a fan of the Tahitian Yuzu Vaporizor Perfume. So what makes the eaus so covetable? According to the company’s operations director, Christine Benson, it’s their “simple yet sophisticated” appeal. “The perfumes contain essential oils that are incredibly rare and that have been sourced from all over the world,” she says, noting the Cambodian oud used in Illuminum’s Black Oud Haute Perfume, one of the brand’s most popular scents.
Up next for Illuminum and Henri Bendel: “We have four limited-editions that we’ve shown to Henri Bendel,” says Benson, “So we could potentially launch them there in September, and nowhere else in the world.”