A Highgate artist, who has branched out into making her own handcrafted home fragrances, opened a pop up shop in Hampstead today. (March 4)

Valeria Levy has taken over the empty site in Rosslyn Hill until the end of the month with her brand Da Lapa Handcrafted.

Visitors will be able to explore the sensory delight of her signature candles, as well as room sprays, reed diffusers, hand wash, melts and lotions.

Named after her birthplace in Brazil, they are all vegan, organic and batch made in her Highgate studio.Ham & High: Valeria makes her signature candles, room sprays and lotions in small batches in her Highgate studioValeria makes her signature candles, room sprays and lotions in small batches in her Highgate studio (Image: Da Lapa Handcrafted)

"It's difficult to buy fragrance online," she says.

"I have no experience in retail but I think people need to have physical contact with the products, to hold the jar, see my packaging, and smell the fragrances."

The lawyer turned artist has seen her oils and acrylics of landscapes and abstracts exhibited at the Royal Academy's Summer Exhibition.

She compares creating fragrances to the artistic impulse.

"Getting the raw materials and creating something new from start to finish is a labour of love that gives me a lot of pleasure," she says.

"Mixing the oil and ingredients is like mixing paint. I like that transformation process and I have always been fascinated by the way that fragrances can transport us to places, times and emotions - of how you felt when you smelled it."

Eager not to use paraffins or soy in her products, she came up with coconut wax as "less cruel to the environment and to people".

"In Brazil soy is a money making machine that has led to deforestation and displacing indigenous people and I didn't want to feed that. There is no such thing as zero impact, but I try to minimise it."

As for the 10 fragrances, which are made in Scotland according to her instructions, they include Blackcurrant and Tuberose, Cedar and Jasmine and Rum and Bergamot and Lemongrass and Ginger.

She cites the Orange Blossom and Juniper and Pear and Freesia among her favourites.

"The orange is strong but not overwhelming and reminds me of the plants in Brazil, and the Pear and Freesia is a very fresh spring scent."

Valeria usually sells online at dalapahandcrafted.com but for four weeks Hampstead shoppers have the chance to buy in person with prices ranging from £8-£42.

Da Lapa pop up store is open at 42, Rosslyn Hill Hampstead until March 31.