I had the pleasure of first meeting Peter Murray, owner of independent scent shop, Pulse of Perfumery, in Knutsford, almost two years ago when he gave me some invaluable advice on how to set up a business association in Hale, a neighbouring village.
I’d never met Peter before this and I didn’t know who he was, but his was the name on everyone’s lips when I asked who I should speak to about how to create a sense of community spirit, and I’m delighted to say that now I understand the reason why….writes Johanna Bolhoven.
Pulse of Perfumery, also known as POP, was set up five years ago (this November) by Peter Murray and his partner Melanie Seddon. Located at 25 Princess Street, Knutsford (directly opposite Waitrose), POP is no ordinary perfumery and Peter is no ordinary proprietor.
Buying a new perfume is one of those rare treats that don’t come around too often so (dare I say it) my assignment to interview Peter was heaven scent!
Your fragrance is an extension of your style and your choice of perfume can say a lot about you, so I was curious to find out about mine…
An Aladdin’s cave of fragrance set in a beautiful environment, Pulse of Perfumery (or POP) offers a unique sensory experience through a mix of the classic brands (such as Chanel, Acqua di Parma, Hermès), the contemporary designers (Tom Ford, Elie Saab, and Narciso Rodriguez) and niche unknowns (Bois 1920, Serge Lutens, Lubin, Atkinsons and Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle, effectively catering for all tastes and aspirations.
During my time with Peter I witnessed a steady stream of customers POPping in, whether it was to ask his opinion, select a quick gift, or just simply to say ‘hello’!
Nothing is too much trouble for Peter and Melanie; people know that they can just pop in for a cup of tea or coffee, or even a glass of something bubbly, and try things out, even if it doesn’t result in a sale. Everyone is greeted as a close personal friend and I have absolutely no doubt that most of them probably are by now.
It’s clear that Peter cares about each and every customer coming back and with more than 4,000 people on their database it’s not difficult to see why they do. POP is more than just a shop, it’s a place to discover fragrance and embark on a journey that takes place over a lifetime…
Peter gets under the skin of his customer’s desires, tastes, and uses of fragrance to help identify their perfect scent.
After a mere handful of questions that ranged from my favourite colour, likes and dislikes, and a treasured childhood memory, Peter surprised me with a sample I absolutely loved (this from someone who can spend hours in a departure lounge duty free and still come away with nothing). When I exclaimed my delight with his selection, Peter simply replied, “I know” with a twinkle in his eye and a knowing smile. I was sold.
Which brings me to what I believe is another reason this shop thrives – Peter.
Personality and passion is crucial in scent retail and Peter has both in spades. With over 30-years experience he is a true scent lover who believes in the value of delivering the exclusive art of fragrance.
He reconnects people with what they love most, from treasured memories to their wildest dreams. He sits at the beating heart of the scent industry and also his local community.
Peter credits the support of the local community as being key to their success, but I’m inclined to credit Peter with the success of the local community, an achievement that has won him a number of local awards including Most Outstanding Contribution as an Individual to the Business Community in 2014; Knutsford’s popular Pumpkin Path at Halloween, and The Bunny Hop at Easter (each attracting in excess of 1,000 visitors to Knutsford) are just two annual events that Peter has been the driving force behind.
Peter is a regular speaker at local networking events, inspiring people with his journey (ask him about his black leather case) and sharing his knowledge and passion with other businesses and retailers.
Before I left, Peter shared a poem with me that was written by one of his regular customers and local poet, Lisanne Harker, and which for me summed up Peter and POP perfectly…
Ode to Pulse of Perfumery
I dare you to enter this unique place
That will, scent-wise, blow your mind
On display are oodles of perfumes
Of many a make and kind
Step into an exotic world
And intoxicate your nose
From musky, to woody and earthy notes
Right through to sweet, classic rose
It’s like reaching a new dimension
Where you want to linger a while
And whatever gender or age
Meet the man with plenty of style….
That’s Peter showman/proprietor
Whose enthusiasms jaw dropping
And his knowledge of perfumes impressive:
So why not call in while you’re shopping
Learn more about that invisible cloak
That can prove so hypnotic, its true
Perfume – a real indulgence –
Can ‘say’ so much about you
After you’ve sampled a few scents
You’ll be under a heady spell
So he’ll offer a whiff a coffee beans
That will cleanse your sense of smell
Enjoyment is the name of his game
It’s his passion; it’s no bluff
His guilt trip is perfume
And he just cannot get enough
When you meet him you’ll realize
He’s an entertainer, too
And what’s more he’ll pass his joy in life
Directly through to you.
Peter was kind enough to send me away with a collection of miniature fragrances to explore and enjoy, but he also challenged me to rank them in order of preference, promising me that he can predict which one I will select as my favourite, and I have a sneaking suspicion that he is never wrong.
Now, if only we could bottle Peter…..