My experience at the perfume studio: Why I may never buy branded perfume again

by Azeezat Fadekemi Sulaiman


A couple of months ago, I was invited by the Perfume Studio to one of their couture perfume making masterclasses. I’m not what you’d call a fragrance ‘freak’, nor do I spend crazy amounts of money buying perfumes, but I do like a good scent. For someone who is supposedly not crazy about perfumes, I am proud to say I have about 6 fragrances to my name, out of which my Chanel No.5 and Stella by Stella McCartney are my favourites.

From the above mentioned fragrances, you can sort of guess what my preferences are when it comes to scents- I’m a bit of an old soul, so I wasn’t quite sure what to expect of this perfumery ‘masterclass’, but I went along because it sounds like fun doesn’t it? Learning how to make your own perfume; I could just picture Madje and Bey mixing potions in some laboratory in Dubai as they created their own fragrances (and they turned out alright didn’t they?). Besides, what could possibly go wrong?

The Perfume Studio is a unique concept that offers clients (i.e ordinary mortals like you and I) the chance to create their own signature luxury fragrance using a range of 18 exquisite blends created by their in house master perfumer Francois Robert.

The masterclasses are held at various locations in London (this one was at the Hilton in Kensington) and they typically last for about 2 hours. On arrival, we were given an introduction into each perfume accord and what they meant. The perfumer also explained each note, their properties and how each relate to different personalities to help you choose the note that most appeals to you individually.

I discovered much to my consternation that I was more drawn to soft, flowery and seductive scents rather my usual choice of strong, musky (almost masculine) scents, which according to the perfumer means that I am quite something when it comes to my prowess with the opposite sex….quite flattering I must say considering I’m yet to unleash this hidden vixen on my poor unsuspecting husband.

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One of the things I liked most about the class was the friendly atmosphere and how long you were allowed to sample each of the 18 blends. Believe me, after putting about 6 fragrances to your nose, they’ll all begin to smell the same eventually, plus the perfumer also gave some handy tips on which notes marry well with each other and which ones may not work so well as well as guidelines as to quantity.

After about an hour and half of sniffing and making notes (I took this very seriously!), I had made my decision and I hoped to God it would come out nice. Then, it was time to choose my perfume bottle from the Perfume Studio’s impressive range of cases which ranged from posh silver and gold casings that could fit easily in a bag, to normal 30ml bottles and even pen size capsules.

Do it yourself Ultimate perfume set at the Perfume Studio.

Do it yourself Ultimate perfume set at the Perfume Studio.

We all waited as our perfumes were mixed and transferred into our chosen cases and voilà…I had myself a fragrance of my own creation. There was an added bonus of being able to name said fragrance, for which I chose my daughter’s name. I took a whiff of the fragrance and I dear say it was very much to my liking. It came out a flowery, sensual scent just the way I wanted and I loved it!

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I’ve NEVER made anything by myself from scratch so I was very proud of myself for having made my own perfume and it’s an experience I would totally recommend you try at least once.

The Perfume Studio offer bespoke perfume making masterclasses and experiences for gifts, hen and bridal parties. To find out more visit

Prices start from £39.95.

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