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Where to create your own signature fragrance

Alison Volkomer mixes a custom made fragrance at

Alison Volkomer mixes a custom made fragrance at Scentsational in Huntington. (Jan. 30, 2011) Credit: Photo by Barbara Alper

You don't need to be a celebrity to have a signature fragrance. That's the idea at Scentsational, a mix-your-own potion boutique in Huntington village.

Pick a scent, any scent - something sweet, spicy or woodsy. Then add your own twist - say, a hint of citrus or a drop of sandalwood oil - and, voilà, you've just created a custom fragrance. And you can call it whatever you want.

"That's what's so fun about it," says Danielle Noyes, 28, a jewelry designer from Massapequa who dubbed her floral-meets-vanilla concoction Namaste while shopping on a recent weekend.


Open for about 30 years, the boutique's shelves are neatly lined with glass vials bearing the names of more than 300 scented oils - from pomegranate and pineapple to clove and lavender - that can be blended for use as perfumes or mixed into body lotions, shampoos, bath gels and other toiletries.

Owner Sarah Latham and her staff work with patrons to choose a base scent (think floral, citrus or musk) before amping up its complexity with notes of spice, tropical or nature-infused essences. Other fragrance blends are designed to mimic the scent of brand-name perfumes.

But even in a store with thousands of possible combinations, there are crowd favorites, Latham says. Among the bestselling oil blends: China Musk, a warm and woodsy base that can be worn on its own or tailored with headier shots of vanilla, sandalwood or rose.

"I have several friends who say they recognize my scent in a room," says Laurel Tompkins, a China Musk devotee from Hicksvillem who described her age as "able to collect Social Security." She got hooked on the fragrance about five years ago - after it found favor with her husband. Now, she makes the trip to Huntington every few months to pick up scented bath gel, salts and body lotion.

"Sure, you could go to some department store and get something over the counter," Tompkins says. "Then, it would be special - for you and 4 [million] or 5 million other women."


Shoppers purchase a base product, and their custom-blended fragrance is added at no additional charge. Perfume oils cost $15-$69 for 1 1 / 8- to 2-ounce bottles. Body products sold in 4- to 16-ounce bottles include several varieties of lotion ($11-$21), bath gel ($9.50-$20), and shampoo or conditioner ($9-$15).

Gift givers can opt to buy the base products, and the recipient can return to the shop to create their own fragrance.

Latham says, "What could be more special than having someone create a fragrance just for you, then put it in a bottle and put your name on it?"

Scentsational: 259 Main St., Huntington, 631-549-2090,

Hours: 10 a.m.-5:30 p.m. Monday-Saturday, noon-5 p.m. Sunday

Another local spot for custom-blended scents:

Spa Adriana: 266 Main St., Huntington, 631-351-1555,

Hours: 9:30 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Wednesday and Saturday, 9:30 a.m.-8 p.m. Thursday-Friday, 10:30 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday

Patrons can get custom fragrance-infused perfumes, lotions and other body products here, too - but the experience is different. Owners Adriana and John Vater take a holistic approach, asking patrons a series of questions that will determine which oils are blended into the product. "We want to look at your mood, your energy level, what's going on with you," says aesthetician Eva Gruosso.

The staff refers to ancient Mayan practices as well as the concept of the body's need to balance the elements - infinity, air, fire, water and earth - to interpret the information you provide.

Cost: $20 for a half-ounce of blended perfume; lotions priced from $18. A Fillables gift bag ($16-$25) comes with empty travel-size bottles that the recipient can bring to the spa to be filled.

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