Last week marked another aromatic adventure as Qatar America Institute for Culture (QAIC) and DIYScent Studio collaborated to host a captivating Introductory Perfumery Workshop. Scent, a powerful trigger of memories, has the ability to transport us to distinct moments in time. From the essence of mint in Jordanian summers to the familiar hairspray aroma of high school cheerleading competitions—fragrance encapsulates our experiences and emotions. In a cozy gathering of 30 participants, the two-hour-long workshop unfolded, revealing the intricate art of perfume-making. Contrary to the simplicity of a single “yes” or “no” to a fragrance, crafting a perfume emerged as a complex and nuanced process, a revelation that surprised many of us.
Sherry Meredith, the Founder of DIYScent Studio, took center stage, enlightening us about the historical significance of fragrance, from 18th-century perfumed gloves in France to the unexpected genesis of various scents. Participants were then invited to embark on the creative journey of crafting two unique fragrances—one with a fresh amber base and the other with a warm amber base. An array of over 30 scents awaited exploration on individual shelves, prompting us to experiment with ingredients for our middle and top notes. The room buzzed with excitement as we navigated through scents like Civet Cat and Africa Stone, eliciting both surprise and amusement.
Whittling down potential ingredients became a challenging yet enjoyable exercise in trusting our gut reactions. As the evening concluded, each participant departed not only with a newfound understanding of the art of olfaction but also with two signature scents—keepsakes to remember the workshop experience and wearable expressions of individuality.