When in Provence... Make Perfume

 

THE ART OF FRENCH PERFUME MAKING 

Our recent French tour included a floral design workshop and another form of flower arranging – designing our own signature fragrances with the essence of flowers! To say that this was the highlight of the trip is an understatement. It was hands down my favorite part of the week.

 
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ORIGINS OF PERFUME 

Although perfume originated in Egypt, it was refined by Romans during the Renaissance and soon brought to France from Italy. The art of perfume making grew into a major industry in the south of France which has remained the world’s center for perfumeries.  

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Photo courtesy of Rose et Marius

LOCATION LOCATION LOCATION 

What better place to learn the art of perfume making than in Provence, the world’s perfume capital? 

Our perfume class took place in a quaint little shop on a side street, near the center of a charming village in Aix en Provence. Although I’ve seen many picturesque places throughout France, it never gets old! I will surely remember every detail of this day.    

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A ROSE BY ANY OTHER NAME IS AS SWEET 

Before we had our lesson at Rose et Marius, we were introduced to the owner, Magali, and given a tour of her beautiful atelier. The first floor was covered with pretty tiles which we learned had originally decorated her family home as a child and were the inspiration of her perfume line. The design of her soaps, perfumes and packaging is modeled after the tile’s pattern. The story behind this motif makes the products even more special.  

 
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Photo courtesy of Rose et Marius

Furthermore, Rose et Marius collections are made by local craftsmen using natural ingredients from Provence and Grasse (the perfume capital of France). Formulas are made by hand, using natural raw materials and high quality, local ingredients, free from paraben and other harmful ingredients.  

We are so fortunate to soon have the opportunity to carry this beautiful line at Les Fleurs. Our first order is set to arrive the last week of June! 

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INSTRUCTION:  THE 5th SENSE 

When we began the class, the initial focus was how we take our fifth sense for granted and how rarely we smell anything behind a cursory whiff. We learned that the first impression of something only shows one aspect of a scent. She had us hold our perfume wands in our hands and inhale from one side to the other and then back again. This unveiling of a scent was a lesson on the core to the head, heart, and base notes upon which every perfume is built.  

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SIGNATURE FRAGRANCES 

Each of us was then asked to choose our favorite notes for our signature scents. We wore our lab coats and measured the amounts according to a formula for each of our fragrances. Some of our ladies chose sweet, soft notes, while a few others went with a more woodsy, earthy scents. Once complete, we enjoyed sharing our unique creations with one another. 

 
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AU BIENTOT - GOODBYE 

As we said our goodbyes and wished Magali and her staff au bientot, we left happy, with pretty bags in hand. It’s safe to say that Rose et Marius is my favorite place to take a class in French Parfumerie. 

Next time you are in Aix en Provence, look for the pretty light green building with the scent of flowers brewing from the front door and you’ll know you have found the right spot. I hope you get the chance someday to experience this fun activity... it's truly worth the trip. 

xoxoxo, 
Sandra