On Saturday the 11th of October I was kindly invited to attend a perfume making class at the luxury Hilton Hotel. The Hilton is located right next to Queensway Station so was extremely convenient to first find and get to. Once inside the Hilton, The Perfume Studio was clearly signposted for, with reception also there for guidance.
The room was elegantly decorated with 6-8 participants per table with about 7 tables across the floor. I was pleasantly surprised with the exceptional turn out and noted the popularity of the experience- with one lady returning for the day (having taken the class a month before). Bottles of still and sparkling water were situated on each table along with a selection of perfume books for us to browse whilst everyone arrived. Helen and Warren acted as our perfume gurus for the afternoon and were excellent. Helen gave us all a warm welcome to the day with complimentary glasses of champagne. After a friendly chat with our table, Warren began the workshop.
Warren was a perfect host and was clearly passionate about his job which was apparent from his extensive knowledge of the perfume industry. Warren's personable nature and light humour gave the whole afternoon character and a relaxing atmosphere.
I felt spoilt for choice as a collection of 18 scents across the perfume spectrum were displayed before us, ranging from the top, middle and base notes to capture nuances of the most popular fragrances that are currently on the high street. Each fragrance was numbered and handed out chronologically in accordance to Warren's introduction of each scent. This description included a slight history, origin of terminology and personality type associated to the scent, Warren also referenced high street perfumes that incorporate the given scent into their bottles. This antidote was incredibly interesting as we learnt how to recreate our own designer perfumes at a fraction of the cost!
The different traditional notes of the perfumes varied from Fresh, Floral, and Oriental to Woody ensuring a preference to suit each individual. The sense of smell has direct access to the amygdala, which in other words means that through conditioned responses smell has the power to trigger nostalgia. This can in turn elicit a memory or mood which is an unusual wonder; this was experienced throughout the afternoon as our table recalled fond time capsules from the past. The perfumes stimulated a whole new layer of meaning, when Warren instructed us to mix opposing scents to create a whole new blend in itself also known as an 'accord'.
A bag of coffee beans lay on each table to act as a palette cleanser so that our senses could almost revitalise to experience the new aromas that were now tickling under our noses. The 'Fresh' scents presented constituted juicy notes of; citrus, fruit and fresh green. The 'Floral' range was a mixed bouquet of jasmine, rose, gardenia, lily and a powdery aroma of vanilla or baby powder. The 'Oriental' scents composed of sweet spices, incense, amber and musk creating a more sensual and rich aroma. The 'Woody' scents also simulated a deeper undertone with scents of soft sandalwood, cedar wood which are more potent with a deep earthy smoky note. This peppery fusion is popular in male aftershave and colognes. The Perfume Studio also accommodate for a male market with a bottle designed as an old fashioned hip flask- an ideal unique gift for your partner or self.
After much consideration I decided on an ozonic spicy blend with hints of jasmine naming it my own special fragrance 'Poppy's Opium' to mimic the warm oriental fragrance by Yves Saint Laurent 'Opium'. After our individual fragrances had been lovingly handpicked we were handed cards with all the printed 18 scents (referenced through our numbered tabs) to then create our own personalised perfume formula, perfumes consist of about 3-4 blends on average but you can have as many or as little scents as you wish. The perfumes were then amalgamated before us and filled in beautiful 20ml purse-spray atomisers, a perfect travel size! There is also the option to upgrade to different sized ml bottles. Also if you love your personalised fragrance (as much as I do) then your signature perfume formula is saved on 'The Perfume Studio's database so your scent can later be recreated at any given time to wear and forever cherish.
I would thoroughly recommend this experience, it is ideal for a day out with your girlfriends or relatives- perfect for hen parties, wedding gifts, anniversaries, birthdays or just an enjoyable day out. 'The Perfume Studio' currently offer a delicious decadent Afternoon Tea, which can be enjoyed after your class for a day of true indulgence and sophistication.