Making Custom Perfume at Aroma Workshop

A unique experience in Chicago

While I was in Chicago for the holidays, my cousins, aunt, my mom, and I went to Aroma Workshop to make our own perfumes. Amex sent me a gift card for If Only, a new site to help you experience fun activities in your city, and I thought it’d be a fun girls’ night.

The shop is cute and quaint. The five of us fit perfectly around the counter where tons of essential oils are lined up. The color of the label designates different groups of fragrance – floral scents are pink, flavors (like fruit) are blue, citrus is yellow, and natural/woody scents are green.

We were each given a card to note which fragrances we liked or disliked. This part was really fun and it was interesting to see how we all felt about the same scent. There were also coffee beans to refresh your nose in between testing. I ended up liking fruity and citrus scents the most. I really disliked florals and woody scents.

This was intriguing because I have purchased several perfumes with gardenia in them. However, I didn’t like it as an individual note. I also like a perfume with some depth or warmth, but the only similar scent I liked was China Musk. I figured I would end up with something vanilla-y or lemon-y based on my card.

Next, a few of the individual scents I liked were blended together and balanced. I tested three and had everyone weigh in as well. I liked a citrusy one the most, but then we were told we should smell our blends outside. It was freezing, but it made such a difference. In the fresh air, mine smelled too much like cleaning supplies.

The owner, Tedd, was really nice and blended a few more options for me. I’m super indecisive, so I really appreciate that I didn’t feel rushed to make a decision. My top two choices were Verbena, China Musk, and Açaí or White Tea, Açaí, Magenta, and Lake Shore Drive. The first one smelled a little too much like Pez – which my cousin called out perfectly. The second was more complex, but it didn’t have vanilla or verbena, which I thought I wanted.

I ended up really loving the second one, which was subtly sweet and deep at the same time. I loved how Tedd added a scent that wasn’t on my likes list, but he could tell I would enjoy the blend based on my feedback. It’s truly a customized experience.

Lastly, we each chose a pretty bottle and our custom perfumes were done! My cousins liked two of their blends so much that they purchased an extra one. It was only $30, which is amazing for a perfume that was literally made for you.

I would highly recommend Aroma Workshop if you’re in Chicago! It would make a great date, gift, or girls’ night out.

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