With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, many will be struggling to come up with unique and personalized gift ideas for that special someone. Fragrances such as perfumes and colognes are always among the top gift purchases for the day, but with so many varieties and brands to choose from, finding the perfect fit for a loved one may seem a difficult task. Thanks to customized aroma blending, however, this may no longer be the case.
Nowadays fragrance shopping is becoming more and more customized, gearing scents toward the individual rather than the masses. Department stores offer fragrance consulting where various scents are matched with one’s personality or image.
Le Labo fragrance shop, which originated in New York, is most famous for selling perfumes that are freshly blended to order. However, one is still restricted to choosing from a selected list of already-formulated products. Instead of forcing customers to choose from a selection of blends, there are now a growing number of opportunities for perfume lovers to create their own personally tailored scents. There are even online stores that allow people to select their favorite scents and have them blended together to create a completely custom-made fragrance that is catered to their own personal tastes.
The Gilmard Perfume & Flavor School in Seoul not only allows people to invent their very own aroma, but also gives people the tools to create their one-of-a-kind fragrance themselves. Do it yourself
The Gilmard Perfume & Flavor School first opened its doors in 2002 and offers people the unique opportunity to be educated in the science of perfume and fragrance making. The school offers customers a chance to personally select and create their own fragrances. Customers can choose to blend the oils themselves or leave it to the experts to customize a scent.
“The most popular scents for women these days are fruits, florals, musks and powders,” said Jeong Mi-soon, director of the school. “For men, it is fresh herbs and citrus scents.”
|A student at the Galimard Perfume & Flavor School makes note of various bottled scents through a smell|
test. (Galimard Perfume & Flavor School)
The Gilmard School has every scent under the sun ― from the popular and clich fragrances such as vanilla, musk, jasmine and rose petals to more unusual scents such as leather, tomato, licorice and even tobacco-scented oil. With more than 130 different bottled aroma oils, one can mix and match all of his or her favorite smells into a special, one-of-a-kind perfume or cologne blend.
Although customizing one’s own perfume or cologne may seem like a complicated and time-consuming task, it actually involves a simple procedure of smelling, blending and bottling that would take first-time blenders around one to two hours to complete.
“This gives people the opportunity to experience first hand what it is like to make your own fragrance,” said Jeong. “One that is purely yours.”
For those do-it-yourselfers who want to take a stab at blending oils themselves, the school offers an easy-to-learn DIY program. At the start of the program, blenders will first be questioned on their typical fragrance selections and then, based on those preferences, blenders will receive recommendations for around ten different bottled scents to choose from before proceeding to the next phase: the smelling test.
Every scent has a designated potency based on how strong of an aroma each scent gives off, with three levels: top, middle and lower. The fragrances belonging to the top level of potency are the smells that first hit the senses, while the middle and lower levels are more subtle scents that linger.
Blenders are asked to dab a drop of each aromatic oil onto separate scent cards and smell each fragrance individually. They are then asked to note a description of the smell and comment on whether they like or dislike the particular scent. In order to maintain its accuracy, the scent cards shouldn’t be placed too close to the nose, nor should the next scent be moved on to too quickly.
“During the smelling test it is important to keep your olfactory senses refreshed,” said Jeong. “This is why we keep a cup of ground coffee here, so that you can use it to smell and clear your senses.”
After the smelling test is completed, blenders can then eliminate the oils that they did not enjoy and prefer not to use. Next is the formula for the fragrance. Starting with the lower-level scents and working up to the top scents, a percentage of each desired scent is weighed and placed into a fragrance bottle where it is then blended with alcohol and labeled, completing the customized fragrance process. Customers now have a made-from-scratch fragrance that exists no where else in the world.
For those who prefer to have their personal blends done by a professional, the Gilmard Perfume & Flavor School also offers customized fragrance services where staff members create a specified blend designed uniquely for the customer. This process, depending on how many sample processes are required, usually takes from 15 days to one month to complete.
The costs of the DIY program are 35,000 won for a 30 millileter custom fragrance bottle and 50,000 won for a 50 ml bottle. The cost of the professional customizing program is 150,000 won. For more information, visit www.galimard.co.kr/ or call (02) 554-6290.
By Julie Jackson(email@example.com