Realizing my True Calling as a Perfumer in Grasse

Bye film school! Hello 7 year perfumer apprentinceship! Haha jk.

On Saturday, March 18 my friends and I went to Grasse, France– which is the WORLD CAPITAL of perfume. That day I ate two dinners, did a lot of walking, and took part in a once in a life time experience I will never ever EVER forget: I created my own perfume!!! 🙂

And I know, ur probs wondering– I waited until now to post about this because..???…

  1. I wanted to see if what the master perfumers had to say was true. After making our perfumes, we had to let them set for 10 days before opening and using them so the scents could settle. I wanted to wait the 10 days and see if my perfume turned out ok or not.
  2. I’m rly bad at math.

So 12 days later, I finally popped the cap, sprayed some on my wrist and took a whiff. And guess what? My perfume smells AH-MAZING.

Now, onto the day. My friends and I got to Grasse around 1 p.m. via bus and hiked down a long, winding hill to where the world famous Galimard is located. For those who don’t know, its a famous perfumerie that was founded in 1747. Yeh. It’s old. We bought tickets in advance to make our own perfumes because spaces fill quickly and arrived on time. ***Points for punctuality? I think YES 😉

Galimard takes about four groups of ten at a time and offers the make-your-own-perfume-experience in many different languages. We chose English (T-god b/c I needed a break from the French Intensive course I have to take every day for three hours lol) and were lead into a labratory with rows and rows of scents sealed up in little glass bottles on each desk and the wall behind us.

Once we sat down, the perfumers gave us a quick lesson. We were told that to create a scent, there had to be three layers:

  • The base notes (the base for the scent. duh.)
  • The heart notes (a lighter layer that goes over the base notes)
  • and the peak notes (the lightest layer that goes over both the heart and the base notes. usually light florals and fruit scents are used here.)

ALSO: when you first spray the perfume, the focus is more on the peak notes. As the perfume wears down throughout the day, you’ll find you notice more and more of the heart notes and then later, the base notes. It’s pretty damn neat!

After this briefing, the perfumers handed us each a little tray with 9 brown bottles that we had to sniff and select our two favorites from. Of course, my faves were the floral and the sweet scents (letrlly anything that reminds me of dessert, am I right?) which helped the perfumers narrow down which little glass bottles we should sniff n pick from the rows and rows of them surrounding us. Each layer I created ended up following that same floral and sweet pattern. I used vanilla, rose, amber, and some very light wood scents. And when all was said and done, I named my creation Sweet Rose. 🙂

Once our fragrances were finished and ready to be bottle up, we were encouraged to check out Galimard’s fancy perfume bottle collection we could purchase for 12 euros extra. And as you can tell from the above photo, I was the only one who got one. Hehehe. But who can blame me?! It was my first time creating a perfume and I was hella excited. pssst I think its totally worth it.

Once our perfume making experience was done, my stomach growled, and I realized that two hours had gone by! I suppressed that hunger with an orange and excitement because our next stop was a tour at the perfume factory at Fragonard.

Fragonard is cool because they were founded in 1926 and are literally a global empire. The building is a short walk away (maybe 10 mins) from Galimard and the staff there was very friendly– also IMPORTANT TO NOTE: STUDENTS GET IN FREE!

The factory tour was fascinating and explained what scents are indigenous to certain areas of the globe as well as the hard life of a perfumer’s apprentice. We were shown where the laboratory to create the fragrances is located, old contraptions the company used to use to smoke flower petals and cinnamon, the packing room, and the machines that compact the fragrances into soaps. It was very very VERY cool.

Post tour, we were pressured to buy tiny bottles of perfume for 27 euros, but settled for free samples and post cards instead. By this time, I was famished– I’d only really eaten brunch (which is still the equivalent of a reg meal for me), a banana, and that orange. I walked a lot and it was dinner time. So I’d basically skipped lunch.  And it felt like I’d burned off all other food I’d eaten that day. So for dinner, we scoped out a cute little restaurant called La Brasserie des Artistes where I got a main dish of vegetarian pasta and a second main dish of trout with rice, tomatoes, and an interesting, yet tasty carrot-mash.

That night, I came back home and indulged in a Twix while watching my fave series atm, The Bates Motel. 😉 Saturday = complete!

Ngl, Grasse was not originally my idea for how to spend Saturday March 18 (probs cuz I didn’t rly know anything about it before this trip), but I’m so glad I went because it was such a fun experience! My fave part was def the make-your-own-perfume portion at Galimard…in case you couldn’t already tell. So if you’re looking for a fun day trip with lots to do, learn, and see, def make hitting up Grasse one of them! SIDE NOTE: There is also a perfume museum you can tour. We were gonna do this, but ran out of time since they close at 6, but just as I’ve said with all my other travel posts so far, it’s just another #reasontogoback 😉

SIDE NOTE THAT’LL RLY MAKE U WANNA GO IF UR STILL THINKING “NAH” OR ON THE FENCE: At Gallimard, they make you fill out your name, permanent address, etc. so that when your perfume runs out, you can get either another bottle sent to you, or your same scent compacted into soaps, lotions, etc. IT’S SO FREAKIN COOL!!!

Okay, done freaking out. Thanks for readying and see ya in the next post! 🙂


Rebijord ❤

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