Travelogue: How to Make Your Own Personal Perfume (or Cologne) – with Expert Guidance

Balinese Adventure Part 33

While Michael Taylor is touring the Ayana Resort and Spa Bali, he notices a sign saying, ‘Make Your Own Perfume Here’. A personal class is arranged. He goes home with a bottle of his own personal fragrance.

My class in perfume making (which I would prefer to refer to as cologne making) starts with a brief introduction by Nora Gasparini, owner of L’Atelier Parfums & Creatons, a perfumery located within the spacious grounds of the Ayana Resort and Spa Bali in Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia.

Nora explains things simply, providing enough information to pique my interest, while not overwhelming me with scientific explanations that would only confuse me. The class is downright fun! 

I already have an idea what I want – something with lots of spice. Nora helps me create something that far excedes my expecations. I’ve never smelled a cologne that matches my personal sense of style quite like this one!

Musical Work Stations

Explaining that there are similarities between fragrance and music, Nora says that scents can be divided into three basic types: top notes, middle notes, and bass notes. For this reason, the perfume makers work station resembles an organ.

Top notes are high in intensity. They are what you smell first, but they only last 15 minutes to an hour. Middle notes last 2 or more hours. Bass notes will last all day. You won’t notice them after a while because of what Nora calls ‘nose fatigue’ – but others will.

I’m asked to take a brief personality test, which reveals two basic characteristics: zen-like and mysterious. This results in suggested scents for me to test in each of the 3 categories: top, middle, and bass. I’m supposed to select at least 2 scents in each category.

The scents, in case you’re wondering, are mostly familiar – things like lemon, cinnamon, and green tea. But a few scents peculiar to Bali are also included.

Creating a Personal Fragrance

A few more steps later and I’m presented with three choices. After I choose the one I like best (it is a difficult decision), Nora proceeds to create a 30 ml spray bottle of my own personal fragrance.

I decide to call my fragrance ‘Balinese Spice’. Nora creates a label, packages it, and voila!

All done right there in front of me!

And here’s the really cool part. A record is kept! If you’re happy with your creation, you can order more bottles later on, making it your own personal fragrance.

Click here for more pictures of perfume making at L’Atelier Parfums & Creations


L’Atelier Parfumes & Creations, Ayana Resort and Spa Bali, Jalan Karang Mas Sejahtera, Jimbaran, Bali, Indonesia. Telephone: +62 821 45 21 40 45.

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