Discovering how to create your perfect perfume
“A woman’s perfume tells more about her than her handwriting,” said designer Christian Dior. And Corinne Tuddenham-Finn,
Let’s Talk’s fashion and beauty editor, agrees as she goes in search of her own personalised fragrance.
If there’s one thing that I find fascinating in the big wide world of beauty, it’s how a fragrance can match your personality.
We’ve all walked into a room and caught a very light, flowery scent emanating from either a young lady or an unassuming woman. We’ve also been knocked back by the headiest, most powerful fragrance worn by the sexy, more confident female who appears to be the centre of attention.
So, fragrance matches personality. The problem comes when you try to match your personality to the High Street brands. We all get drawn in by the clever marketing; eye-catching adverts featuring the current celebrities or offers we just can’t resist at the beauty counter.
My dressing table is full of fragrances that are perfect after the initial ‘pppfff’ but then change into something completely different and sometimes, that ‘completely different’ is not what I want at all.
The reason for this is that fragrance consists of three elements; top notes, middle notes and base notes. Now I’m not going to blind you with science, but the top notes are the initial scent (the one that draws you in to make the
purchase), the middle notes appear once the top ones have worn off, and then the base note is the main one that lingers once the other two have dissipated. So, it’s that base note that can turn you off the perfume and push it to the back of the drawer.
If you get all three right in one High Street fragrance, count yourself lucky! This is the one that becomes your firm favourite and appears top of your birthday or Christmas list when someone asks: “Would you like some perfume?”
In years gone by, upper-class women used to visit perfumers who would sit with them and create a bespoke perfume that they would re-create exactly, time and time again.
Wouldn’t it be great if we could do that today . . .
Well, you can and it’s not going to break the bank either! One recent Saturday morning, I joined The Perfume Studio in the beautiful setting of The Assembly House in Norwich and spent a couple of hours, with the help of their professionals, Helen and Clara, and in the company of eight lovely ladies, to enjoy a glass of fizz and design my own perfume.
We started from the ‘base’, working through to the ‘top’, with my finished fragrance matching my personality ... sexy, sophisticated, glamorous, seductive and elegant! As you can probably
In years gone by, upper-class women used to visit perfumers who would sit with them and create a bespoke perfume. Understanding how the different components of the perfume are layered to create the fragrance.
gather, mine was the most potent in the room, but hey, it’s my fragrance!
After lots of laughter, chat and advice, our bespoke perfumes (and yes, perfume, not eau de toilette!) were carefully measured and placed into gorgeous handbag-sized atomisers. Mine, obviously, had encrusted crystals - to match the essence of my fragrance, of course! The packaging was stunning and presented in the most delightful way, rather than: “That’ll be £ 35, how are you paying?” And the name my personalised perfume? Well, it could only be ‘Let’s Talk to the Stars!’
So, another quick sip of fizz and we were on our way, leaving behind a room of mesmerising scents.
My next stop was literally downstairs for afternoon tea in the Music Room at The Assembly House (www. assemblyhousenorwich.co.uk). This has to be one of the most historically perfect places to host such a quintessentially English pastime. I was looked after by one of the venue’s staff, with impeccable serving skills, endless pots of tea and the most delicious cakes and scones East Anglia has to offer.
So, at a very reasonable price of £ 39 for the Gold perfume-making experience, which includes your own exclusive 5ml perfume in a glass flacon, to £79 for the Diamond experience, where guests leave with a 30ml glass atomiser perfume bottle plus enjoying afternoon tea, this has got to be top of your birthday or Christmas list now.
And what happens when you’ve finished the bottle of your perfect perfume? Simply log on to your account at The Perfume Studio website, where all of your details and secret recipe is stored, and you can order a refill to be delivered to your door.
My advice? Perhaps once a year, book this wonderful experience and slightly tweak or make a completely new perfume, whenever the mood takes you!
Your perfume can be as individual as you.
Discovering what it takes to create different fragrances.
What would go into your personalised fragrance? Enjoying The Perfume Studio event in Norwich. Afternoon tea awaits.