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Bespoke fragrance: A creation experience

I had always felt a little overwhelmed by the idea of a bespoke fragrance before I joined The Perfume Studio for one of their fragrance creation events. How could one possibly know which ingredients to blend together, and in what order or portion? I might know I love the scent of Vanilla and Ginger but I certainly didn’t have much faith in my expertise at predicting how the two would layer together! So, feeling a little timid, I headed to the Hilton Kensington for an afternoon of experimentation and discovery.

A warm welcome

Luckily, any anxieties of inexperience were swiftly forgotten when I joined a table of smiling scent-enthusiasts, all eagerly awaiting the day ahead. We laughed together over a glass of sparkling bubbles and fell silent when our host for the day, Warren, stood and greeted us.

Over the next two hours, Warren took us on a voyage of exploration, talking us through the 21 various base, middle and top notes in a fascinating journey of fun facts, recommendations and comparisons.

My fragrance notes

I now know, (and can proudly tell you,) that the base notes in a perfume will likely last around 24hours. They provide the longevity of a fragrance and leave it well rounded with body and depth. Middle notes, or heart notes, will last for around 8hours and the scent of these blends set the overall tone of the perfume. Finally, fragrances are finished with the top notes. These are the show-stoppers; the notes which provide the wow-factor – but like most good things in life, they are sadly short-lived. Their scent will fade after only 3hours on the skin.

With all of this in mind, we wafted and smelt each tantalising blend. From Woody and Balsamic, right through to Tonic Sport, Exotic Floral and Transparent, we received a brief summary of the blend’s scent, the effect it could have on the wearer and which other famous labels we would be likely to find it in. Warren encouraged us to share our immediate thoughts with our tables and explained that we would likely be able to recognise different similarities in different scents; each blend drawing every one of us to a unique place or moment in time when the familiar ingredient had made an impact on our memories.

Aldehydic immediately transported the lady sitting next to me to a girl’s holiday she had enjoyed with friends back in her youth. I, on the other hand, remembered my mother’s goodnight kisses before she went to host dinner parties – which I found unsurprising when Warren later revealed that Aldehydic is a key ingredient in Chanel no.5, a scent my mum used to wear.

Scent-sational mastery

We were all amazed by the team’s wealth of knowledge and the limitlessly entertaining ways in which the facts and recommendations were conveyed. When the time came to choose my preferred blends, I struggled to limit my preferred number to less than five (five being the recommended maximum.) We consulted and compared, smelling one another’s suggested favourites and stealing inspiration where necessary. In the end, I settled on Amber, Woody and Neroli; a crisp, fresh citrus scent underlined with a softer earthiness. I sought suggestions from my group and decided to title it ‘London Spirit’.

I love knowing that my fragrance notes are saved online, stored privately for me to gain access to whenever I should choose to replenish my bottle – a lifelong supply to a scent blended entirely to my own wishes and desires. Having entered the day feeling a little timid, I left grinning from ear to ear, proudly sporting my new delicious fragrance and eagerly sniffing those created by the friends, mothers, daughters and husbands who had joined me.

Thank you Perfume Studio, it’s safe to say that I’m now a convert and can entirely appreciate what the fuss of owning a bespoke fragrance is all about!

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