The first people to create perfumes were the Egyptians thousands of years ago, but the modern, more mass-produced fragrances we know today actually hail from Hungary in the 14th century. The trend soon spread across Europe, in particular to France where the growing of flowers and aromatic plants as the basic ingredients of the scents meant the country became the epicentre of perfumery.
Even today we talk about 'eau de toilette' and the great perfume and fashion houses of Paris such as Guerlain, Dior, Chanel, Estee Lauder and Mugler to name but a few. But with these experiences there's no need to hope over the Channel to be able to come up with a delightful fragrance, it's all available here with workshops being run regularly around the country.
At first you might think you've signed up for a chemistry lesson as the main principles are very much scientific with phials and pipettes everywhere and talk of blending and mixing. There are four basic types of aroma on the perfume industry's fragrance wheel to describe and categorise the smells, namely floral, woody, musky and spicy and combining these in different quantities with other goodies added makes for your perfume.
Now that made it all sound rather simple, but as you'll find out it's a very fine art and during the course of your session, you'll see that even the tiniest dash of ingredient can change the 'flavour' and potency of your cologne. And of course, not everyone likes a deep, dark and mysterious musky scent, some prefer the lighter, sweeter floral tones or a revitalising citrusy aroma and that's why the aim of these experiences is that you are creating exactly the perfume you want.
Indeed you won't find your fragrance anywhere in the shops and what's more, you get to give it a name too. This is a lovely idea if you create a perfume for your wedding day, or perhaps for a special anniversary. Whatever name you choose it will be recorded and registered, along with the exact quantities of the aromas that you picked for your blend so you can re-order a bottle of your personalised scent at any time in the future.