Perfume She'll Never Forget
Editor's Note: As a special feature for February, TheStreet.com offers a five-part series on Valentine's Day designed to help you find the perfect gift.

This Valentine's Day, don't blame your significant other for being possessive. We all know and hate that smothering feeling, but when you think about it, can you blame them for wanting a monopoly on your fantastic self?

Selfishness is a virtue, said philosopher Ayn Rand, so there's no shame in narcissism, especially if you share it with your special someone to make them feel unique this Valentine's Day.

Creating a product that's yours alone is hard to come by, but these three companies take customization very seriously, offering people their own lines of perfume, vodka and truffles.

Eau de Me

Francis Kurkdjian compares his custom-made Sur Mesure fragrances to the haute couture seen on Paris's runways, the city where he lives.

In fact, many of his clients wear haute couture on a daily basis, so a one-of-a-kind fragrance is a must. "It's a state of mind and a state of living to have everything customized," says Kurkdjian.

In 2001, Kurkdjian began making tailor-made perfumes for a very select, private clientele who want to avoid telling others what label they are wearing.

Even niche products just don't cut it anymore for those seeking an item absolutely nobody else has access to, says Kurkdjian.

Time and money are no object when Kurkdjian conjures his fragrances. "My only limit is my own imagination."

It takes him two to eight months to create a fragrance specific to a client's parameters and tastes. After Kurkdjian finds the perfect scent, the perfume is delivered in a one-ounce flacon made of special glass, which is engraved and hand-sealed with wax.

And Kurkdjian is offering a new service for clients who don't have two months to wait -- perfect for those looking for a last-minute Valentine's Day gift.

If you'll be in Paris for a few days, call ahead and discuss your olfactory theme with Kurkdjian. Then when you arrive in the city, choose your scent from eight samples. "It becomes your personal fragrance; the only one in the world," says Kurkdjian.

Prices vary depending on what ingredients go into the mix -- irises are among the priciest.

The first batch costs about $10,000 with refills coming at about $200 a pop.

"Because I Have a Big Ego"

That was production designer Scott Chambliss' answer when asked why he created his own line of couture vodka.

"And because I thought my friends would be amused by the thought of Mr. Party Thrower having his own personalized hooch to splash around at gatherings."

Chambliss was the first customer of Haute, Modern Spirits' bespoke vodka service.

Modern Spirits, a maker of naturally flavored, handmade vodkas introduced this service for the ultra-wealthy late last year.

Melkon Khosrovian and his wife, Litty, co-owners and founders of Modern Spirits, soon found a huge demand for their decadent service.

"I had tasted several of their infusions at gatherings with friends and was completely knocked out by their originality and sophistication," says Chambliss.

Starting at $15,000 for a 10-case minimum, companies and individual clients can create a custom, commercially viable spirits line available only to them. Ten cases is 120 bottles, and Modern Spirits delivers everywhere from Kenya to a yacht in Greece.

Modern Spirits is the first of its kind in their industry to take personalization to this level. "It's like getting a tailor to make you an entire wardrobe -- rather than shortening your pant leg," says Melkon.

"It's a service for the ultra-wealthy that will set them apart from other wealthy people."

Some vineyards private-label a barrel of wine for you, but the wine itself is still their product. The Modern Spirits process is unique in that it creates an entirely new product and the client is involved in every level of production.

First, Melkon and Litty profile the client. "We look at almost every aspect of how they relate to food and drink and how they entertain," says Melkon.

Many clients want flavors and aromas to evoke a certain memory, such as lavender honey evoking one client's memories of the south of France.

The client chooses one of three samples and then the Khosrovians begin the legally laden registration process, which includes approval by the Tax and Trade Bureau.

"We go through all the hoops so you get a bona fide product," says Litty. "It's not something to enter into lightly."

After that, they bottle the custom creation with the client's name on the label. Clients can even create a unique bottle mold. The process takes about three to five months and only the client can order additional bottles.

The Khosrovians have kept the secretive service low-key and only select a certain number of clients.

Litty stresses a great gift-giving opportunity through Haute. "This is one way clients can share one of the most intimate aspects of what makes them unique. It's a way to share your personal tastes with someone else."

"Just the adventure of coming up with the final flavor itself with Litty and Melkon was a blast," said Chambliss. "Now I wish ... that we could start the whole delicious process over again. Infused champagne, anyone?"

Piece of Tranquility

When Dick Pyle's daughter gave him a Father's Day bottle of wine made from grapes she owned at a vineyard, he loved the gift, but "it's a bit of an old hat," he says.

Truffles for the Happy Couple

So in early 2003 he started planting trees for growing truffles in the Le Gers region of France, and then began putting them up for adoption through his company Truffle Tree .

Since then, people from all over the globe, including 70 from the U.S., have adopted a truffle tree all their own in Pyle's truffiere.

For an initial fee of about $280, you can buy yourself or your significant other a tree. The price covers watering, weeding and general upkeep. It's $65 per year starting the second year of ownership.

When harvest time comes around, you can have the truffles or a check mailed to you depending on whether you want to eat or sell them. However, "I can't imagine anyone selling their truffles," says Pyle. "It would be like selling your child."

And like a child, this is a lifelong gift -- one tree supports truffles for about 50 years.

Pyle meets many of his adopters who come to stay in the area and spend quality time with their trees and the French countryside. "It must be the people that like truffles that are the nicest people around," says Pyle.

Notable owners include film writers Paul Haggis and Bill Goldman, who each have two Oscars and truffle trees. One of the Forbes' top 50 richest men also owns a tree, Pyle disclosed.

So instead of hearts and flowers, tap into your narcissism and knock your one and only off their feet this Valentine's Day, with a gift that's uniquely you.



Enjoy the Good Life? Email us with what you'd like to see in future articles.

If you liked this article you might like

Luxury Wheels Within Reach

Luxury Wheels Within Reach

What's Hot Now: A Wine Cellar in Your Home

What's Hot Now: A Wine Cellar in Your Home

Rick's Cabaret Makes Naughty Look Nice to Investors

Rick's Cabaret Makes Naughty Look Nice to Investors

Undercover Worker Spills Corporate Secrets

Undercover Worker Spills Corporate Secrets

Small-Biz Tax Tips for Procrastinators

Small-Biz Tax Tips for Procrastinators