How we engage with perfume is changing, thanks to the Experimental Perfume Club, which is redefining what it means to have a signature scent with their bespoke perfume making workshops.
‘Everybody uses fragrances, but there’s a complete disconnection between consumers and the product,’ she said. ‘As a perfumist, I thought it was so sad to spend three years developing a fragrance that, essentially, no one was going to understand.’
Emmanuelle Moeglin walked us through the petit parfum experience. Armed with the world's most adorable, individually-issued workbooks the participants begin their workshop with a scent test invigilated by Moeglin. Don't be intimidated; the process is quite intuitive.
The idea is to get familiar with the different olfactory notes used as the building blocks of fragrances, so you can name the ones you like, and then use them to your advantage. By rating your favourite fragrances in order of preference, Moeglin can discern your 'scent profile' – what family the smells you're partial to belong in – and start breaking down how you're going to combine them into one unique blend.
For the petit parfum, we use a series of blends or 'perfumery accords' rather than individual ingredients. Through diagrams, Moeglin explains the different dynamics working together to constitute scent: top notes, heart notes, and bottom notes.
After you learn to identify the fragrances that have just wafted under your nose, you're ready to start the science portion. With some help from simple maths, an equation worksheet, and Moeglin herself, participants start development. Equipped with tiny scales that measure small increments, you begin experimenting with different ratios of olfactory notes to make a scent that makes sense.
Finding the ratio can be tricky: perfume making is both an art and a science, but under Moeglin's expert tutelage, the process becomes a fun afternoon.
There are a variety of workshops available, divided into group and exclusive experiences. The main difference between workshops is focus: the group workshops focus on the educational aspect, whereas the exclusive options really delve into creating your signature scent. More educational and creative than wine tasting workshops, bespoke perfume classes are the new one-stop chic 'shop.
You'll leave with your workbook full of fragrant facts, with a newly awakened sense of smell, and carrying a 12ml bottle of your own bespoke perfume – the beginning of your first fragrance line: designed by you, hand made by you, based on your (educated) preferences – 'signature scent' doesn't get much more signature than that.
The Experimental Perfume Club is currently crowdfunding to help garner support. Click here to donate!
|What||Experimental Perfume Club: your bespoke scent awaits|
|Where||Experimental Perfume Club, 4 Netil Lane, London, E8 3RL | MAP|
|Nearest tube||Bethnal Green (underground)|
01 Jul 17 – 01 Jul 18, Times vary between events. Check online
|Website||Click here for more information|