Reviewed by Rebecca Wong
Myself and a friend attended the Manchester venue for our perfume making experience at the Mercure Hotel in Piccadilly Gardens. It is a nice central location where we were to experience the Platinum Package from The Perfume Studio.
Having never done anything like this and discovering that we were a bit hazy on the type of scents we actually liked, meant that we weren’t sure what to expect and were a bit apprehensive about how we would identify the scents that best suit us.
We needn’t have worried. The welcome was lovely with a glass of bubbly upon arrival or a Bucks Fizz or non-alcoholic cold drink to settle us in. We were given an outline of what we could expect during our time there by our lovely host Freda and her assistant Iona. Both were very friendly and happy to help us with any questions we might have.
Freda talked us through a bit of the history of perfume and particularly The Perfume Studio and its founder Francois Robert. We were to smell 21 different scents categorised into base, middle and top notes depending on how long they tended to stay on the skin. This would be done using perfume paper sticks. Freda showed us the best way to get the most out of the scent, combine scents and then clear our nostrils should they need ‘resetting’.
I was amazed at how quickly I reacted to many of the scents, it was interesting how they evoked old memories of places and people and I was quick to identify the scents I didn’t like. Each scent was a blend of many others and Freda took us through the ingredients and the well-known perfumes in which they are most noticeable. Francois had also described the likely character traits of people who might like each smell, so it was fun to find out if the smells matched your personalities. There was a simple system for identifying those that we liked, disliked and those that we just weren’t sure about.
We were then tasked with finding the right combination of scents for us. This was fun but the most challenging. Switching sticks to find what worked, revisiting each scent as they changed over time on the stick and finding the right blend in the right amounts. I was happy that I had found my key base note that I always look for in a perfume but hadn’t known it before. So with a few twists added to it I found my perfect scent. I chose a total of 4 scents to blend but you could have a total of around 7/8.
We each recorded our chosen combination and then gave it a name. Which meant that we could always order more of our perfume in the future should we wish.
With the platinum package you got a 20ml atomiser in a choice of colours which came in its own box with your chosen name written on it. However, you got the option for many upgrades in the form of different bottle shape and sizes. This meant that you could also create a scent for someone else as a gift which would be the ultimate personal gift.
I’d highly recommend this experience for anyone who likes to smell good and wants to learn a little more about their own likes and dislikes. This would be an ideal Christmas gift as an experience and on the flip-side, as an experience would be an ideal opportunity to create a personalised gift for someone else.
At a price of £49 this is a real value for money gift considering that an average bottle of perfume easily retails for this price. The experience lasts around 2 hours and is available at a number of locations. The perfumers will mix your chosen scent while you wait and you are guaranteed to walk away smelling delicious! I am so happy with the perfume that I created, I learnt so much about my own preferences and I can’t wait to wear my special perfume over Christmas.
Packages start from £39
For more information visit www.theperfumestudio.com.