I’m still reeling from how much Ella and I were able to pack into our Paris Family Vacation. One of the things she was most excited about was our Paris Perfume Making Workshop, which also ended up being a great souvenir from the trip and a fun way to transport ourselves back to Paris whenever we want!
Paris Perfume Making Class for Kids
Now that Ella is a bit older, I’m starting to involve her more in our trip planning.
While I provide her with kid-appropriate tour books and plenty of my own ideas, her travel inspiration mostly comes from two sources:
And, Travel Man.
For those unfamiliar with Travel Man, you seriously need to check him out. He’s a British actor (Richard Ayoade from the IT Crowd) who brings comedic friends with him on short 2-3 day vacations all around the world and nearly every episode has us in stitches. We have to rewatch the episodes so we actually catch everything!
During his Paris episode, Richard made macarons under the tutelage of a French pastry chef and made his own (interesting) customized perfume of 60’s, New Wave, Lemon Fresh – With a Hint of Library…
Of course, Ella was enamoured with the idea of making her own perfume in Paris and that went right to the top of her list of things to do.
While there are several places in Paris to make your own customized perfume, I wanted something that catered to children so that I wouldn’t have to worry about them being frustrated with Ella’s excitement (especially around all of that glass). I also didn’t want something with a hefty price tag because let’s be honest: there was a good chance that Ella’s perfume was going to end up being just as interesting as Travel Man’s library-scented cologne.
After comparing a couple of options (and reading reviews) I booked us in for a Family Perfume Workshop at Candora Perfume Shop.
Candora Perfume Workshop for Families
Candora Perfume Shop is located close to Notre Dame and Paris Island (where you can find the best ice cream in all of Paris). Named after an eccentric family friend who performed opera under the stage name “Candora” and also managed an exclusive beauty atelier, Candora is an eco-friendly company dedicated to the art of blending customized high-quality fragrances.
The workshop was described as a “new breed of workshop, at the crossroad of fairy tales and escape rooms” and perfect for ages 6-12.
The price was also extremely reasonable – 49€ for kids (15mL bottle) and 79€ for adults (50mL bottle) and the experience lasts 90 minutes. You can also pay a bit more to have your bottle engraved with a custom name, and if you’d prefer to have a private family workshop (with no other families present) the price is 495€ at the time of this writing.
Mom & Daughter Paris Perfume Making
The perfume making experience starts with an interactive story. Children get to help solve the mystery of “Inspector Nosy and the Stolen Perfume,” and throughout the process they test their nose by smelling and labeling scent sticks.
After the mystery is solved, those scent sticks come in handy in designing your perfume. First, you go through the scents and decide which scents you like and which you’d like to avoid.
Next, children are encouraged to smell two or three scent sticks together to see how they would smell combined as a perfume.
After smelling a couple different options and getting feedback from Béatrice, one of the co-founders of Candora, we were ready to mix our perfume!
We were provided with small glass measures and beakers to slowly mix together our perfume, and encouraged to mix small amounts together at a time and continue smelling our creations so that we could make necessary adjustments as we went.
You get an assortment of 13 high-quality fragrances to choose from, including woody, floral, fruity and fresh scents.
Ella was incredibly excited throughout the composition and measuring out of her perfume, and I have to give kudos to Béatrice for being patient with her. She knew when to offer help and step in, supporting Ella in creating her perfume completely independently.
I settled on a rose, red berries and ginger scent (inspired by my favorite French pastry – Isaphan) while Ella combined rose, red berries, marine, and iris.
We were also offered the option to increase the size of Ella’s bottle or make a second perfume (at additional costs). That would make an excellent gift for a special aunt or grandmother.
It was such a wonderful experience and Ella loved the insight into how perfume is made. I always love buying new perfumes while on vacation so that I can associate the scent of the perfume with all of those special memories, but being able to make my own customized perfume was incredibly special. This has to be one of the best souvenirs you can bring home from Paris, and I love being able to spritz on a bit of our customized perfumes and feel transported back to Paris!
Oh, and if you run out? While composing your fragrance at Candora you write down the “formula” so that you can re-order it from them whenever you want! They can re-make your customized perfume and send it anywhere in the world.
I highly recommend this workshop as a special mom and daughter experience in Paris, and I’m so glad we made the time for it while we were there. Afterwards, grab a scoop of Berthillon ice cream and stroll over to Notre Dame, taking in the sights of the city as your custom scent lingers and creates all those special scent memories.