Thursday 6 October 2016


I've written before about various Perfume Workshops and even I thought that the novelty would surely be wearing off by now. However, on a recent trip to Grasse I was invited to take part in the new Galimard Organ of Flavours, which offers an alternative approach to the traditional "leave with a bottle of Eau de Parfum". This time you're creating a Scent Diffuser along with a matching Room Spray, and the selection of ingredients takes a very different direction to the usual perfume palette. Combining foods and feelings, let me take you back to Grasse and introduce you to Galimard's Organ of Flavours.

The boom of the home fragrance market has never successfully been attributed to any single company because the concept of scenting our homes is nothing new, although Jo Malone is seen as a big player. From burning incense to putting a few drops of oil on a L'artisan Lamp Ring (remember those?!) we have always scented our surroundings. The reasons for adding fragrance to a room cover religion to sleeplessness, relaxation to invigoration, and everything in between, but you always had to buy someone else's interpretation. So, would Galimard's Organ of Flavours provide the sweet smell of success?

The selection of ingredients that you have with the Organ of Flavours is much smaller than their Perfume Workshop. You have fifty-two instead of one hundred and twenty-seven, and they explain that this is to help structure the outcome. A perfume is very personal, but a diffuser will fragrance a whole environment. First of all you are asked to smell four "blends" and pick your two favourites. You choose from childhood, oriental, aromatic and summer... I chose oriental and aromatic. This helps to guide your basic choice of ingredients, although you can also go outside of your favourites. The structure is actually based around a meal and you create in reverse, so desert to starter.

The desert ingredients, or base notes, contain regulars such as patchouli and tonka bean but also accords like Turkish Delight and Maple Syrup. My only advice at this point is to be wary of choosing too many surgery aromas, otherwise your finished scent might be pretty sweet. The ingredients are already diluted so you blend straight from the bottles, and slowly your 100ml starts to take shape. From here you move to the main course which has a more floral bent, but still with a gourmand aspect. There's also a lovely violet at this point which is a great ingredient to just bring everything together. The penultimate step is the "palette cleanser" which contains a choice of six ingredients. Once again you have some standard choices but also Eau de Vie, which is a little like a dry fruit brandy and very addictive.

After a quick breath of fresh air you come back to complete your choices with the starter. It's interesting that amongst the expected citrus ingredients you also have some beautiful accords such as pear sorbet, which is mouth watering. A glass of champagne finishes the whole experience and you leave with a 100ml room fragrance, a 100ml scent diffuser and a very smart Galimard boutique bag, which is new for 2016. My "creation" ended up as an aromatic floriental, and it's happily taken up residence back in England.

The workshop is €99 and lasts for two hours at their studio just outside the centre of Grasse. For more information you can visit their website at and who knows, maybe you'll end up being the next Jo Malone.

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