We left from Anvers, found the right train, and made our way to the Hotel de Ville station, where we came out into some significant rain. A nice man at a kiosk sold Grace and me some small umbrellas, and we headed for 23 Rue du Bourg Tibourg. Of course we got a little lost, but ultimately we found the right place . . . and it was all closed and dark.
We couldn't see a sign that said they wouldn't be open, so I tried giving them a call and learned that because travel is a little more difficult these days, Sophie was delayed in getting there, but she would be arriving very soon. Right after I hung up, Sophie's assistant, Will, appeared, and we were soon in the Studio and ready to make our own perfume.
My ultimate "secret formula"
You start out with a worksheet that's divided into three sections -- one for base notes, one for middle notes, and one for high notes. Then the fun begins -- Will gave us a selection of bottles of base notes, and we sniffed them one by one, kept the ones we liked, and passed the others on to the next person. In between sniffs, we cleansed our nose palates by sniffing some coffee beans.
A few of the many bottles we sniffed.
When we had our choices assembled, we wrote them down in the base notes section, and Will helped us make some adjustments -- in some cases, he picked out two of the bottles we'd chosen and asked us to pick one, or he suggested one more scent to be added to the list. Then we went through the same process with the middle notes and the high notes, until we each had our formula written down.
Deb, sniffing a base note.
When we had all our choices on the list, Will went through it and put down the number of milliliters of each we should put into the blend.
Grace appears to have sniffed one too many bottles.
Then we blended our own particular scents. We each had a graduated cylinder to measure the oils into, carefully pouring 5 ml of Lilas, 1 ml of Ambre Vert, and so on. At each step (base notes, middle notes, high notes) we dipped into the perfume and tested it, and sometimes Will made an adjustment here or there.
Kind of took me back to high school chemistry class!
When all the mixing and testing was done, Sophie bottled each of our scents, and we finally got to try them out. I think we each loved how ours came out, and they were quite different from each other. They keep the formula on file and you can order your custom-made scent any time you need a new bottle!
Will helping Grace adjust her blend
Tonight we will be having another fascinating experience -- stay tuned for what will undoubtedly be a very interesting report!