Dis­cov­er­ing how to cre­ate your per­fect per­fume

Let's Talk - - Contents - Im­ages: Shane Finn at VOUZ! Pho­tog­ra­phy

“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.

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