Are you looking for a fun experience to try out in Seoul, but running out of options? Hanbok rental, checked. Visiting Korean touristic places and palaces, checked. What else is there? Now, let me recommend a popular hands-on experience among Kpop celebrities, which is to make your own signature scent!
Perfume-making workshop in Korea got even more popular in the Playlist web drama, “XX”. If you have watched it, I’m sure you’ll fall in love with the fun process that takes place behind perfume making. Besides, who wouldn’t want to be remembered by your one-and-only special scent?
Let’s get started!
In order to have the best workshop experience, the store staff would have to prepare the tools and various scents for you to try (or sniff out) beforehand. Therefore, you would have to make a reservation by calling a few days in advance. To share my experience, I made a reservation with a friend a week before, so that we could go comfortably during the weekend. To secure our reservation, we had to transfer a small fee to the store, the remaining fee can be paid once the workshop session is over.
However, on the reservation date, we realized that we would be quite late due to an unexpected event. I called the staff and she kindly changed our reservation time to one hour later on the same day. Here’s the information of the place:
We were guided to second floor, where the workshop took place. There were two other people besides us. I liked that there were not too many people, because it seemed more personal and we could talk more with the perfumer about the various scents that we wanted to try.
First, the perfumer gave us scent preference forms, and we had to fill up with our name, date, and any scents that we prefer or dislike (if any). We could also add more information such as the reason why we want to make the perfume (for a gift, personal use, etc). It was interesting to notice because the perfumer seemed to pay great attention to the reason; for instance, if we want to gift a friend, partner, or family member, the perfumer could take this into consideration and make some adjustments. It was all in Korean. However, if you let the staff know beforehand, I’m sure they could provide an English interpreter for you!
I was surprised at how delicate the whole process was! Perfume making can actually be fun and you can get creative with it. Much like when you play an instrument or paint a painting.
We had to try 3 main scent types: top note, middle note, and last note.
If you are curious about the perfumery process in detail, make sure to check this article from perfume.org.
Each note has about 7 scents, and we were sniffing each and every one of them! So about 21 different scents in total! We were instructed to pick one scent that we liked most from each note. I could not even remember all the scent’s names, because they were just too many. There was also a pile of coffee beans available for you to sniff, in case you feel overwhelmed with the perfume scents. Coffee beans are said to help, reset your sense of smell.
Next, it was time to pour the main scents with the ratio that the perfumer told us. She reminded us not to put too much or too little of each main scent, as it could ruin the whole balance of the final perfume. We were each given a scale, a few little containers, and perfume bottles.
After pouring the scents into the bottle, we gave them to the perfumer. She checked if it had the right consistency and balance. She gave some final touches and gave back the bottles to us. I loved how my customized perfume turned out! Mine smelled flowery, which is just the way I like it. My friend, who preferred fruity citrus flavor, was also very satisfied with the result. Here’s a photo of my friend, enthusiastically taking picture of her customized perfume.
I hope this gives you a better insight into what to expect when visiting a perfume-making workshop! For more information, you can contact me through social media or check out my other articles! Do not forget to check other cultural experience or travel stories for more inspiration too 🙂