Monday 29 August 2016

Perfume Master Class with The Powder Room

One of my favourite things about my business is the perfume master classes that I run around Australia, and soon New Zealand.

Many years ago when I worked for Miller Harris in London, I used to host an educational night for the new stores that took the brand. I would chat about the brand, the founder Lyn Harris, and go through all of the fragrances. Customers had the opportunity to try all of the perfumes and then have a one on one consultation with me to find their perfect fragrance.

When I came home to Australia in 2008 and started The Powder Room, the core of my business was distributing niche perfume brands including Miller Harris and Penhaligon's. In order to educate people about my brands, I did these nights for my stores here, but started adding in a bit of history of perfume. Guests told me that they really enjoyed learning about perfume and would be interested to know more so I developed a Perfume Master Class that was more in depth. My shiny new class covered the history of perfume, perfumer's training, how they create perfume and the raw materials used, among many other interesting perfume facts. I had a selection of gorgeous raw materials from around the world, some natural, some synthetic and guests learnt how to select the perfect fragrance for themselves and how to wear perfume.

After a few years doing this, I came across an organisation in Paris called Cinquieme Sens. They offer perfume workshops and have a wonderful tool called The Olfactorium. I was fortunate enough to be invited to be their exclusive licensee for Australia and New Zealand. Being affiliated with Cinquieme Sens enables me to offer a Perfume Creation class, among other classes they run in Paris and New York for enthusiasts and professionals. It also gives me access to a global network of perfume professionals and to a very prestigious firm that worked with all of the major perfume houses in Europe for over 40 years.

Thanks to Cinquieme Sens, guests who attend my perfume master classes have the opportunity to create their own perfume using the Olfactorium, a mini perfumers organ filled with 19 fragrance families. This gives my guests the tools to create a beautiful, complex fragrance  using a limited amount of materials. 

Image Credits Castle Towers, Maurice Meade, Zest Fashion Blog and the Fashion Heist.

Below is what we cover in the Master Class

  • ·       Origin of the word perfume
  • ·       History of perfume
  • ·       Who wore perfume throughout history and how they influenced the perfume industry
  • ·       Perfumers training and how they create perfume
  • ·       Fragrance families – demonstrate with example of each
  • ·       Famous fragrances and their stories
  • ·       Synthetic versus Natural materials
  • ·       Discuss origins of raw materials and guests have an opportunity to smell some examples
  • ·       Mass  versus Niche perfume
  • ·       Fragrance wardrobe – Different fragrance for different seasons and occasions.
  • ·       How to chose a fragrance that suits
  • ·       How to wear and store perfume
  • ·       Latest perfume launches
  • ·       Fragrance creation

My next class is on the Gold Coast on Saturday June 17th from 10.30-12.30. You can buy tickets below.

Eventbrite - The Powder Room

If you are an organisation and would like to arrange a perfume master class for a conference or team building exercise, please contact me at


Friday 4 March 2016

RepreScent Fragrance Lab at Castle Towers

Castle Towers is a shopping centre in the gorgeous hills area of North West Sydney. It is a lovely centre comprising of over 300 specialty shops and they invited me to create bespoke fragrance for their VIP guests for two weeks as a part of their Age of Style celebrations last year. Their idea was to take their shoppers on a sensory journey and help them discover their fragrance style.

Collen and Luke Cuneo of Cuneo Productions built me a fragrance lab in the middle of the centre near customer service.

My favourite part of the lab was the stunning flowers by Melinda from Lucien Shine Designs. She created a a veritable wall of flowers representing the different fragrance families.

Customers began their session with a cup of tea from Tea 2, they were then ushered over to my little lab, and we discussed all things perfume while I created a bespoke perfume for them based on what fragrance would suit their skin. I met so many women who told me they only wear Chanel No 5. While it is the best selling fragrance of all time, and I love the story and admire Coco Chanel, the fact that it is the best selling fragrance also means that it is the most worn perfume of all time. I like to encourage my clients to explore their individuality and step outside of their comfort zone. At first they can be little resistant to change, but once they smell my creation or recommendation, they often come around! I also recommend other fragrances for them to try when they are in the centre, customers are spoilt for choice at Castle Towers as they have great stores to visit for perfume, such as Mecca (my favourite), L'Occitane, The Body Shop as well as Myer and David Jones.

Me at the tools!

I look at things like the customers skin colour, hair colour and the way they dress as well as their personality to recommend a fragrance style that will sit well on their skin. This is a method that I have refined over 20 years of selling, marketing and creating fragrances. Lyn Harris, perfumer of Perfumer H and ex perfumer of Miller Harris, taught me a lot about this as well. She was the first to show me how different skin types react to different raw materials.

We had a press event where I met some lovely bloggers such as Sharon the Makeup Artist, Yan Yan Chan and Madeleine from The Daily Mark. I guided them through the process of creating their own scent using the Cinquieme Sens Olfactorium. The Olfactorium is a mini perfumers organ with little vials of the 19 fragrance families, I show you how to create a formula, and then you start creating! The juice comes from the leading perfume house in France and is possible to create a very good fragrance using these raw materials and my guidance and evaluation.

Image credits - Sharon The Makeup Artist, The Daily Mark, Taleisha Bonora and Yan Yan Chan

We also had some great press for the event as I was interviewed by a few different publications and even appeared on the cover of the local newspaper! Links below.

If you work with a shopping centre and would like The Powder Room to create a Perfume Master Class for you, please contact  Samantha Taylor at