The Founders
The Founders

Husband-and-wife team Thomas and Dagmar Smit have always shared entrepreneurial intuition. After establishing their reputation as leading hoteliers, they took an old monastery – with some monks still in residence – and transformed it into Prague’s award-winning The Augustine hotel. From there they went to Dubai and developed a suites-only five-star travel destination.

Dagmar was always passionate about perfume and had dreamt of making her own. After Thomas’ role in taking The Body Shop public and other M&A transactions in the cosmetics industry gave him the requisite knowledge of the perfume industry, they founded Elegantes London.

Drawing on their experience in the world of luxury, travel and design, the Smits sourced the finest people, products and ingredients with no consideration to expense or time. Excellence is the byword at Elegantes London as evidenced in the impeccable standards of the brand – from the artisanal glassmakers to the bespoke handwritten labels on every flacon to Julien Rasquinet, the collection’s master ‘nose’.

The Nose
The Nose

The ‘Beyond First’ collection was bought to life by world-renowned perfumer Julien Rasquinet. This young creative is the prodigy of legendary perfumer Pierre Bourdon, responsible for pioneering scents including Frederic Malle Iris Poudre and Davidoff Cool Water. Julien took the knowledge from his three-year training with Pierre and went on to develop iconic perfumes for Davidoff and Lancôme.

When tasked with conceiving ‘Beyond First’, Julien was given no constraints. The remit was simply to create an incomparable collection. His expertise and technique allowed him to identify and gather the world’s most exceptional ingredients. It took four years to create the collection of 12 exquisite perfumes.

Intimate ingredients
The ingredients
Each of the 12 perfumes symbolises a distinct personality and is composed of some of the world’s most precious natural treasures, from Turkish Rose Oil to Tobacco Absolute and Vetiver.
Otherwise known as olibanum, incense is characterised by a balsamic-spicy, slightly lemon perfume. Incense considered a sacred gift in perfumery, symbolises prayer, a privileged form of communication in the Holy World.
Twice the price of gold, iris requires patience and care to deliver its powdery notes. Six years of preparation and 40,000 iris plants are needed to yield just one kilogram of absolute. The most exceptional quality iris is found in the Florentine area of Italy.
Tobacco Absolute
One of the scarcest ingredients in perfumery, tobacco grows in Southern Europe. The tobacco leaf expresses notes of honey and leather and symbolises elegance.
Dark, rich and woody, Oud is extremely rare and, due to the cost of extraction and production, is highly prestigious and expensive.
Turkish Rose
Rose is the queen of perfumery. On average one kilogram of rose oil is taken from 3-5 tons of rose petals, making it a very treasured ingredient.
Native to Southern India, Sri Lanka, and Indonesia, Vetiver is known as ‘the oil of tranquility’. It delivers a dense, earthy perfume, characterized by its green colour and slightly spicy scent with a hint of grapefruit. One kilogram of vetiver oil requires 250 kilos of roots (the equivalent of a small field).

The Flacon
The ‘Beyond First’ perfumes are hand filled and weighed in magnificently handcrafted crystal flacons. Made by Waltersperger, these crystal masterpieces are designed to be refillable or can be transformed into timeless keepsakes. Each flacon is crafted from a bespoke four-piece mold and hand-polished for eight to 10 hours. The shape is reminiscent of the swirling skirts of an Haute Couture ballgown and from beneath evokes the delicate petals of a flower. The cap (in the feminine range) is inspired by a brilliant-cut diamond with 85 facets and is hand-finished. The masculine flacon takes the form of a black quartz stone and is created from a unique black crystal, hand-polished for eight to 14 hours. Every flacon is presented in a handcrafted box made in Worcestershire, United Kingdom.

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