Love perfumes? I’ve been invited to join a “secret” society and now I’m sharing their secret with you. Ssssh….
I received a most fragrant invitation this week to meet the experts behind The Perfume Society, a new online club that allows members to test the latest fragrances and learn more about their sense of smell. The event, held at The Porter in Bath, promised to unravel the secrets of our olfactory preferences and make us more discerning in our appreciation of fragrances.
Hosted by fragrance expert and journalist Jo Fairley, the workshop brought together perfume aficionados for an afternoon of scent appreciation. We began by discussing why people prefer certain types of fragrances to others, for example, did you know that your physical appearance can impact the kinds of scents that work best on you? As a general rule of thumb:
- Blondes with fair skin are happiest with richer florals, because their skin has a tendency to be dry and subtle fragrances dissolve faster.
- Brunettes with medium/dark skin tend to have more oil in their skin, meaning that spicier, oriental fragrances work best on them.
This, and many other olfactory facts brought us closer to becoming experts in the art of perfume appreciation. We were also asked to bring along our favourite scent for discussion. I had hoped that Jo might tell us a little something about ourselves based on what we’d brought, or perhaps a little bit about which family our scents come from – I hope they can add this into future workshops as I’d love to learn more about why we choose the perfumes that we do.
Another great tip I picked up at the workshop was a fail-safe method for finding a new fragrance, or choosing a gift for someone else. When in doubt, you just ask FR.eD! This online fragrance editor helps you pick a scent you’re likely to love, based on the ones you already adore. I think it’s a brilliant idea, as fragrances are so personal and easy to get wrong when you’re buying for someone else, so I thought this was absolutely ingenious!
As well as the workshop, I’ve also signed up to receive The Perfume Society’s subscription box, which includes a monthly Discovery Box of samples, accompanied by ‘smelling notes’ designed to introduce you to key fragrance families. It also entitles you to discounts with some top fragrance retailers, plus invites to some exclusive events with key figures from the perfume world and eight copies a year of their exclusive digital magazine, The Scented Letter. Subscriptions cost £25 per year and can be purchased online here.
Before attending the workshop, I hadn’t realised quite how much goes into selecting the perfect fragrance. I’ll certainly give it a lot more thought in future and I’m looking forward to sampling the delights of the Discovery Box.
Disclosure: I was offered a complimentary subscription to The Perfume Society and ticket for the workshop but all views are my own.