Have you ever heard that saying, “Spend money not on things but on experiences?” I was extremely pleased to receive for my birthday a SingExperience gift certificate for a perfume creation workshop at Goodman Arts Centre.
The day after my birthday, I booked my perfume making class for the very next day.
I spent my afternoon creating my very own perfume that no one else in the world has – unless of course you visit the same exact Perfume Workshop and steal my secret formula sheet!
Goodman Arts Centre used to be where LaSalle was located at. Admittedly, it is a little far from where I live, but Mountbatten MRT station is conveniently located near to Goodman Arts Centre and you can easily reach the Mountbatten area via the Circle Line.
Now on to the fun stuff! When I arrived, the perfume workshop instructor/perfumer, Prachi, sat me down and gave me a perfume personality quiz! After my perfume-making class, I realised that Prachi had appeared in Channel News Asia. Not just that, Prachi is also working on making an exclusive Singapore perfume made entirely from orchids found in Singapore. She’s very involved in the whole process, and it’s lovely to see her passion for perfume!
She let me smell the Singapore perfume she had created. And I told her that it smells just like a Singapore hotel.
The perfume smells very classy and worldly, and it is also very localised fragrance, being made from orchids found in Singapore. There will be a feminine fragrance and a masculine one as well. I can’t wait to see it go out on the market, and I am very excited for Prachi. She’s really going places with her perfume business!
In the personality quiz, you answer 20 fun questions about yourself. It’s a multiple choice answer type of thing, but I did spend some time thinking about my answers.
Prachi told me that the questions will be used as a starting point for the perfume creation. Prachi is really hands-on and informative, and was ready to answer any questions I had for her. No question was too difficult for her either!
So what did the personality quiz reveal? Each type of scent (floral, citrus, fresh, woody, oriental) corresponds with different personality types. From the quiz, it will decipher what kind of personality type and what kind of fragrance you will most likely be a fan of.
For example, floral people are usually more introverted, citrus and fresh people are said to be extroverts, oriental types are the kind to take charge.
So based on my answers, the personality quiz found that I was a person who leaned more towards floral and woody scents, followed by citrus, fresh, then finally, oriental scents.
And true enough, when the instructor checked the notes of my favourite everyday scent, Balenciaga Paris, she found that it was a floral and woody fragrance. So she said that the personality quiz was quite accurate for me!
The next part involved a lot of smelling. Maybe 450 scents in total!? But luckily I had fun and it wasn’t enough to kill my olfactory senses just yet. It was only later on the perfume creation process when I had to smell several variations of my own perfume concoctions that my nose started to protest a little.
In front of me was a big unfoldable box filled with shelves of various aromas, ranging from the floral to the woody, to oriental to fresh and citrus scents.
Based on my results, I had to pick out several floral scents, a few oriental scents, a few fresh scents, many woody scents, and several citrus scents.
The ratio of fragrances was based on my personality test results – the extent to which I was a “floral” person, a “woody” personality type, etc.
Interestingly enough, this personality test did help create an accurate and gorgeous fragrance that smelled like a real, high-end perfume.
One of the notes I chose was “Aldehydic Notes” (below).
I told Prachi that this scent reminded me of my Grandmother. Prachi smiled and she asked me, “Does your Grandmother wear a lot of Chanel No. 5?” I was a little surprised. “Yes! How did you know?”
Now you might wonder, what’s so special about it, I’ve never heard of “Aldehydic Notes”?
Well, Prachi told me that this was what made Chanel No. 5 perfume smell like the famous and memorable perfume that it is. A lot of Aldehydic Notes goes into making Chanel No. 5.
You really learn something new everyday!
Here are several of the floral scents that I picked out. I still can’t believe my nose went through 450 or so scents.
Here are some of my favourite “Woody” fragrances! I had to narrow this lot to a select few. Woody notes tend to be base notes. Base notes are the long-lasting part of a perfume, remaining when the top and middle notes have faded away. When you think of woody scents, you think of patchouli, sandalwood, cedarwood.
This was my first go at making perfume – I made a mistake!
I added too big and too many drops of each scent.. Oops. (I definitely can’t be a chemist hmm). You really have to be patient when you’re dropping each drop of aroma.
I think I’m a little too impatient and have too short an attention span to consider making perfume for a living.
I decided to leave it up to Prachi and her assistant to help..
These are the top notes of my perfume – top notes generally are citrus scents, but sometimes they can be woody scents like pepper.
Prachi recommended a website to me, but being a perfume lover, I’ve already heard of fragrantica.com – it’s pretty much a perfume dictionary and encyclopaedia of sorts.
It’s a very detailed and organised website and can show you customer reviews of perfumes and colognes, and what kind of scent each perfume is – is it more woody or more floral, or more oriental, what kind of floral notes are inside – all your perfume questions can be answered at fragrantica.com.
Prachi passed me a Formula Sheet for me to fill in as I formulated what was going to go into my first perfume. We went through 3 Test Perfumes before arriving at our finalised bottle of perfume.
On the sheet I wrote down what types of scents went into each perfume test and how many drops of each scent was to be included.
Each bottle indicated “T”, “M”, “B”, or “A”, so when filling up the formula sheet, I could easily see what would be the top notes, base notes, etc for my perfume.
Without giving away the secret of the number of drops of each scent, this is what went into my perfume:
Top Notes (top notes are the lightest of the notes, and what you smell initially in a perfume)
Bright Asian Fruits
Middle Notes (middle notes are the heart of a perfume, and make up most of the perfume)
Base Notes (base notes are the main theme of the perfume and bring depth to a perfume)
Safraleine & Amyris
Accords Notes (Accords are a balanced blend of notes which create an impression of a scent)
Ylang Key Accord
Prachi was very helpful and could easily tell me which notes would “ruin” the perfume and make it not smell like a true perfume anymore. One example was “Spearmint”. I really wanted a drop of Spearmint in my perfume, but she did tell me that it would engulf the perfume.
We tried a drop of Spearmint and true enough, it really overwhelmed the entire perfume. for the first few minutes, my perfume smelled solely of Spearmint! When I smelled the perfume, I could not catch a whiff of any of the other top-middle notes.
Only after maybe 15-20 minutes did the Spearmint smell completely fade away as Spearmint is a top note.
Some scents are just so overwhelming, like Eucalyptus, Chai Tea.
I do love these scents, but they’re just a little difficult to mix into a perfume and wear as one.
Ta da! My first test. I liked my first perfume formula the best and decided to go with the sweet floral and woody scent.
What does my perfume smell like, you ask?
It reminds me of floral sunscreen and clean newborn babies!
Here is a bottle of Eau de Rachel! I believe the perfume bottle is made from crystal. Too cool.
I’m still so excited about having my very own perfume! This is really one of the best birthday gifts ever.
After all the perfume smelling and perfume creating, I was very hungry as I hadn’t eaten much apart from a small slice of banana bread cake. I headed down to Cafe Melba at Goodman Arts Centre and had a thin-crust pizza with pepperoni, rockets, artichokes, spinach and olives.
There is also a 3 Michelin Star Restaurant in Goodman Arts Centre, and it’s called La Barca. They serve Tuscan fare and even have veal and seasonal truffles on the menu. It sounds very delicious and enticing!
To sign up for a perfume workshop, do check out Je’taime Perfumery and Goodman Arts Centre!
Goodman Arts Centre,
90 Goodman Road
Tel: +65 9181 4871