When it comes to perfume... I am certainly no expert. After school I graduated from Impulse body spray to the very sweet smelling Vera Wang Princess.... mainly because I liked the name! These days I wear Hugo Boss Femme... but only because I liked how it smelt in the airport on my way home from a holiday in France. Perfume has never been that important to me, so when I was invited to take part in a Fragrance making hen party experience last month, I wasn't too sure what to expect.
The hen party took place at The Farmhouse at Redcoats near Hitchin, in one of their gorgeous private dining rooms. It's a beautiful setting with so much character - the perfect place to start your hen party experience
The session was hosted by business owners, and sisters Lisa and Gail. The fun loving duo are the team behind 'Magnifisense', a Bedfordshire based workshop and events company. Although they run a variety of different workshops, the Fragrance making is one of their signature events.
As I arrived I met 6 eager, and very lovely hens and got to know them over a cup of tea. The Farmhouse had a huge variety of teas to choose from, we even gave 'Popcorn tea' a try... although that may not be an experience I repeat... I think English breakfast is more my thing!
Lisa welcomed us all and introduced us to the session, explaining that by the end we would have created a 10ml perfume (or aftershave) to take home with us. She asked us about the fragrances we currently wear... I kept very quiet as I couldn't even remember the name of mine.. but she urged us to keep an open mind and be receptive to new smells.
We were presented with 18 small bottles of 'Fragrance blends', sourced from Grasse in France. We were also each given 18 white sticks of cardboard (the sort of thing you find in the duty free airport to test your scents.)
Lisa explained to us about different fragrance notes... the top, the middle and the base notes and began talking us through each of the numbered scents. We wrote down the name of each scent and then dipped our stick and tried it out. It was amazing how everyone reacted differently to each scent, the scents that some loved, others hated! The scents also evoked memories in peoples minds, memories about their Grandmas house or an ex boyfriend! We had to categorise each smell into a yes, no or maybe pile in front of us.
Lisa had so much knowledge about each scent, and it was incredibly interesting! A few scents in though and your mind starts to get a bit confused about what it can smell. At this point we were presented with small bags of coffee beans, apparently sniffing the coffee beans neutralises your nose to allow you to carry on identifying the scents... who knew!
It was great fun going through each of the scents, and the session was led with a great balance of being informative, as well as being able to have a giggle with the girls.
After 18 different scents it was time to head outside for a couple of minutes of fresh air, a couple more sniffs of the coffee beans and a fresh cup of tea (back to English Breakfast for me).
The second half of the session allowed us to start getting creative, and take control over our own fragrance. We were instructed to pick up all of the sticks in our YES piles, fan them out... and take a big sniff. We had to start removing scents that didn't quite fit in (it was amazing how things stood out as 'wrong'). We could also add things in from the other piles... until our overall fan smelt amazing! I really enjoyed this part of the session, it was amazing how from just 18 scents everyone had created such a variety of fragrances.
Gail and Lisa announced that their would be a prize for their favourite fragrance of the afternoon, at which point the competition started to heat up! Gail and Lisa helped us out with ideas to make our fragrances better... and tested them to ensure we didn't go away with a new fragrance that might make everyone keep away from us!!
Once we had decided on our final scent combination... cards were handed out so we could write our recipe down. This was useful to help us create our finished bottle, but Magnifisense also keep your scent on file, so if you run out and you love your personalised fragrance, they can make you a new bottle - a really lovely touch!
The final stage of the fragrance making session was the creation! We were each given a pipet so that we could start mixing our scents into our 10ml bottles. The finished bottles were put into cute gift boxes, and we were all excited to take our new creations home with us.
The winner of the afternoon was announced... and it's safe to say it wasn't me! I like my new personalised fragrance and have been wearing it ever since... but I don't think it will win any awards!
I REALLY enjoyed my afternoon of Fragrance Making with Magnifisense, and I would definitely like to do the session again. All of the hens had a great time too, it was great to hear the buzz in the room as they shared their new fragrances with each other.
If you are looking for a really fun and different hen party experience then I would recommend this to you. It would be a great way to start your hen do, bringing all your friends together to get to know each other better over a fun experience! I felt like I had 6 new friends by the end of the workshop, despite having never met the girls before.
If you want to buy my Engage Weddings fragrance I'm sure Gail and Lisa could create it for you.... however I think you may do better to create your own!