Making my own perfume sounds like such a novelty, yet this is what I got to do on my visit to Grasse, the capital of perfume.There are three perfumeries, that offer a workshop – Fragonard, Galimard and Molinard. As we were visiting only for a couple of days and I hadn’t planned ahead, so even if there were quite a lot of appointments on offer for creating ones perfume, the timings didn’t suit us. However, I walked in to Molinard, and managed to get an appointment there on the spot.
And how much I loved that experience! The guidance from the ‘nose’ was quite limited, however she did advise me on which scents to be more careful with and helped me choose the quantities of scents to put into the final perfume. I chose the individual scents I very much liked and hadn’t come across in perfumes as much. The idea was for the perfume to smell like a walk through a summer’s garden, with berries, fruit and vegetables becoming ripe, the flowers blooming in the sunshine and the bees buzzing around their hives. My top notes were green tomato, blackcurrant and petit grain. I love the green tomato scent, perhaps because my grandmother has some pretty awesome tomatoes in her greenhouse. The blackcurrants are my new favourite due to all the goodness and antioxidants in them and petit grain just smelled delicious and fresh. There was no doubt about the top notes.
The heart became a bit more tricky, I wanted to put in all the flowers in the world it seems, yet keep the perfume not too floral. The flowers that made the ‘cut’ were my absolute favourite ones of rose and gardenia, with a bit of lavender and lily of the valley. I wanted to keep the base quite dry and woody, with a hint of sweetness, so I decided to go for oak moss, modern chypre and honey, for the bees.
What came out is definitely something very unusual, yet immediately creates the vision of a summer’s morning at home. So why husband called it Jardin d’Alice for our daughter.
I definitely recommend taking part in one of those workshops and if you do, don’t be like me, leave plenty of time and plan ahead.
Going to Grasse was always one of my dream destinations and fact it’s not that far away from London at all, just one and a half hour flight to Nice from London and a 40 minute drive up to Grasse.
The choice for hotels seemed rather limited, so we stayed at an airBNB just little bit outside the old town, which was right next to a perfumery. It’s incredible to wake up to the sunshine, walk into the garden overlooking a swimming pool and breathing in the scent of perfume.Grasse is full of beautiful scents, but the same can be said about the flavours. La Fleur de Lys is a stunning little restaurant, with some brilliant desserts and an absentminded, yet friendly waiter.
Fragonard perfume making workshops at 1400hrs, 65 euros per person.
Galimard perfume making workshops at 1000hrs, 1400hrs and 1600hrs, 49 euros per person. However be careful as there are two locations of Galimard in Grasse. The one for the workshop is slightly outside the town. I know because I went to the wrong one.
Molinard perfume making workshops upon appointment. One hour appointment with 90 scents costs 69 euros per person, however there is also the option to make a very basic perfume in 20 minutes, with the cost of 30 euros.
And here she is, my happy perfume at her new home: