Making my own perfume in Grasse, France

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.

 If you want to book your workshop to make your own perfume, visit either of the below:

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:





V for Vegan cake overdose

V is a beautiful little vegan restaurant in Tallinn Old Town.  I’m not sure if it’s surprising or not, but it is #2 for Tallinn restaurants on Tripadvisor.It’s also tiny, but perhaps the best places are. My sister and I went for afternoon tea and managed to get a table straight away, but probably best to book in advance for lunch/dinner. We got some pretty looking water with an orange in it whilst we contemplated on which cake to get.

My sister opted for the one with avocado and lime and I went for the berry one. I chose my coffee with almond milk. Mmm. Of course we got to try each other’s cakes and they were both indeed beautifully tasty.

After a bit of chit chat and cake enjoyment, it was time to go. Stepping outside into the sunshine and walking along the cobbled streets of the Old Town felt glorious. We were waved off by the friendly waitress, and genuinely felt like we were very welcome back.

Vegan restaurant V

Rataskaevu 12

+372 6269087

Beauty post-pregnancy: Oskia & Ilcsi face masks

I’ve noticed I’ve hardly done any posts on beauty after my pregnancy. To be honest it’s not that I haven’t taken care of myself after that. I simply have decreased the amount of make-up I use to non-existant. Instead I have wholeheartedly flourished on various masks, which is a fantastic reason to have a bath and take a break from feeding a ferociously hungry little girl. 

I like the idea of clay masks, but at home, the less messy the better it seems.

My two ultimate favourite masks are.. (Drums please) Oskia Renaissance Mask and the Ilcsi Sour Cherry and Blackthorn Gel Mask, which I like to call the Hungarian grandma mask.

Oskia’s Renaissance mask is super easy to apply, looks OK, just makes the face look slightly white and is also easy to remove. It makes my skin feel refreshed and in general, it’s so easy to apply and remove that there’s no excuse really for not using it. The mask promises to increase cell turnover, it works hard to remove tired skin cells and boost cell regeneration. The mask is supposed to reduce the appearance of fine lines, deep cleanses, illuminates skin, with ingredients including natural fruit acids and lactic acid to exfoliate and activate the renewal of skin.

And then there is the Ilcsi Sour Cherry and Blackthorn Gel Mask. It smells like cherry jam your grandmother has prepared. And it also looks like a jam. Putting it on your face makes it look like there are some huge red spots all over your face. Not most flattering, but as long as you’re applying it in the safe surroundings of ones home, it’s fine! Has lovely gel-like texture and skin truly feels refreshed afterwards.

Similarly to the Oskia mask, it includes fruit sugars and acids, to tone and hydrate the skin. Blackthorn is rich in iron, which helps regenerate the skin and improve circulation. I’d be pretty tempted to try out other products from Ilcsi as well, looking at their website with products like pumpkin and orange or apple and lemon gel mask, feels like you want to eat it from the jar!