I’m on vacation this week. And in honor of that, I was going to post an “out of office” message gloating about what a wonderful time I’m having on a Caribbean cruise. However, I did a fantastic excursion today and I want anyone who has the chance to try it out as well!
I’m cruising on NCL’s Gem with a group of friends and today’s port of call is Sint Maarten/St. Martin. It’s a lovely little island with lots of obvious European influence from its Dutch and French governments. A group of ten people (just me and other cruisers, none of the group I’m traveling with) signed up for perfume making class. We bussed across the island to Tijon, where the proprietors walked us through the process of creating a perfume.
We learned about accords (scent pairings) and notes (base last longest, top are generally citrus) and had the opportunity to sniff dozens and dozens of essential and fragrance oils from the “organ.” There are lots of shared terms between perfume and music!
I wish I had a little more time to experiment and take notes, but in the end, I still finished the excursion with three different recipes and a perfume to take home that I had created, mixed and bottled myself! I blended frankincense and myrrh as my base, with Asian plum, teakwood and heliotrope. Once on my skin, it turned to a dark, heady scent that made me think of dark nights and open skies. Those ingredients are scattered across the Middle East and Asia, so I named my perfume “Twilight Caravan” to evoke dreams of Silk Road travelers of old.
Unfortunately, I didn’t have good data access on my phone at the lab, so I was unable to look up heliotrope’s native climate (Peru, not the Mediterranean as I assumed by the Greek name) or some fabulous synonyms for “evening” or “travel.” My perfume name is pretty purple prosey, but I’m okay with that. I am a romance writer, after all!
If you ever have the chance to create your own perfume, I definitely recommend it. What a fun little excursion this was! And if you’d like to read more about perfumeries (not sure that’s actually a word, but Word didn’t squiggle it), check out Laura Florand’s La Vie en Rose series. The family grows flowers in Provence, France, for the perfume industry. Florand creates gorgeous, lush, delicious settings in her books that you can just bask in.
And because I’m posting from my phone, no embedded linkies for you all this time. But you can Google, just this once 🙂