This week I’m in Cannes working at the Cannes Lions festival. I really love that I get to travel for work, and getting some sunshine is a mega bonus. I remembered seeing a fragrance house based in Grasse that hosts a perfume-making course so I booked in to visit during my trip. I’m a huge fan of fragrance and really adore what a good scent can do for your mood – I find it can literally change mine in one spritz.
About half an hour from Cannes, the Galimard perfume house in Grasse, the home of perfume, has been in business since 1747. When we arrived at the Studio Des Fragrances, we were first asked to smell unnamed bottles, which gives the perfumers an idea of what you like – floral, citrus, oud etc. Of course I chose all florals while Glenn preferred a more manly scent choice. After this the “nose”, Kirstie, got us to pick our base notes, which form the longer-lasting scent. Next you choose the heart notes: these last quite a while and give your fragrance its mood. I was fascinated by Kirstie’s explanation that the heart notes last longer on your hair and clothes than they do on skin. Literally every one of my heart notes were florals. Finally you choose the top notes, which are what you smell when you spray the perfume first, these are also the scents that fade earliest. For this I chose all fresh citrus scents, like citron zest and bergamot. Then you bottle up your eau de parfum – and ragingly have to wait for two weeks for the fragrance to percolate before you wear it.
A two-hour course at Galimard costs €53 and includes your 100ml of eau de parfum, which comes in a brown bottle to protect the fragrance, or you can buy a spritz bottle for €12, which I did. I’ve spent far more on fragrance and they are not specific to me! And they keep your formula on file in case you ever want to re-order your fragrance – or you can order shower gel/body lotion or a pure perfume which will have a much punchier scent. As someone who is passionate about scent, this really was one of my most favourite things I’ve done in a long, long time. If you find yourself in the South of France and have a couple of hours free, I highly recommend a visit.
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