When Aromachology invited me to their table at Henri Bendel’s to literally concoct my own perfume, as cool as it sounded, my first reaction was trepidation. I know nothing about how to mix scents, and when presented with too many options, I just get flustered and indecisive (any volunteers to be my shopping buddy? No? No one?). But I was told I’d be in good hands with their mixing expert, Jamie Faye. I brought my friend Nabila along for good measure — but I have to say, the experience was unlike anything I had initially feared it to be.
We received a warm welcome from Jamie and she first began telling us a little about the line. Aromachology studies the interrelationship between pyschology and scent and its affect on behavior. So, instead of raw scents (like vials of just “vanilla” or “jasmine” for example), their scents are labeled by characteristics and moods based on a mix of scents, like “Creative” (a mix of juniper berry and carnation), “Peaceful” (chamomile and lavender), “Sensual” (jasmine, ylang ylang, tuberose and musk) etc.
So where to begin? First, you would get a 10 question “Scent Profile” that would place you in one of five distinct personalities which will be your base scent (Sophisticated & Sensual Floral, a Totally Edible Gourmand, an Exotic Spicy Oriental, a Clean & Fresh or a Bold & Brisk Woodsy). I smelled each of the base scents myself and picked the Clean & Fresh, which true to name had a luxurious fresh-out-the-shower scent.
Jamie took this base scent and the next step was to build on that scent based on the 15 different notes. We went through every scent and she patiently let me decide which ones I liked. Some of them smelled nothing to me, and I told her that. She said that’s totally normal — some people are just unstimulated by certain scents which means it’s not the best pick for your customized fragrance. For this reason alone, I learned how personal a process this is. You can bring a friend along, but unlike shopping for clothes, it doesn’t matter how the smell appeals to other people. Since you’re you have your own unique body chemistry and preferences, it really is all about what YOU’RE attracted to.
This was also great for me, because it helped us narrow it down to only a few fragrances. I was actually having a lot of fun with the process! Of course, it helped to have a patient pro there to help. Unlike my initial fear, I realized you don’t have to be a fragrance expert yourself to mix your own perfume– just take your time in figuring out which smells appeal to you and try the different blends to come up with the final product.
As we went along, Jamie mixed and matched until we came up with our perfect “Shyema” perfume. The great thing is, she said if I felt later that we needed to add on or if I wanted a certain note to be stronger, I could come in and she would help me mix it further. But, I was so incredibly happy with the final product (which ended up being a power blend of the “seductive”/”sexy”/”confident”/”empowering” scents), there was no need to come back again to adjust it.
The travel sizes cost $60 and the larger vanity-sized bottles retail for $160 — which not only come in a beautiful vanity bottle, but they are also highly concentrated eau de parfum that is totally customized to your taste. You can quite easily say no one else in the world has the same perfume. You can even name it, and they’ll keep your scent mix on file so if you decide you need another bottle, they’ll have no problem concocting another one just like it. With the holiday season just around the corner, it also makes for a fabulous gift idea, since it’s not only a unique gift but also a unique experience. Visit their site, myaromachology.com for more information or their table at Henri Bendel’s in New York on Fifth Avenue. Be sure to also follow them on Twitter (@Aromachology).
Does the idea of creating your own perfume blend appeal to you? What do you think about Aromachology’s unique blending techniques?