June perfume workshop report, part 1 of 2

Last Friday I took a lovely weekend trip to Warsaw. Another perfume workshop organized by Quality Missala perfumeries took its place in the capital city. Warsaw is not as close to me as Wrocław but since all my exams are finished I decided to go on a weekend voyage there. My decision was also influenced by the fact that the theme of June workshop was really right up my alley as it was about citrus & exotic fruit. As you know citrus is one of my favourite groups so I just had to be there.

I arrived in Warsaw on Friday afternoon and the workshop was starting at 11 a.m on Saturday. After I checked in at the hotel I was staying I took a stroll around Warsaw city centre. The next day, after a small breakfast, I took a tram to Bemowo, one of the districts of Warsaw, where Quality Missala perfumery house is located. There, at the conference hall above the actual perfumery the workshop was held. The day was hot, luckily we had some mild air conditioning and cold drinks there.

Everyone was treated with a fruit punch made of juicy citrus and pieces of strawberries were floating in it too, cold mint water with lemon and a strawberry cheesecake. We were ready to start sniffing.

The scheme of this workshop was done in a similar manner like the previous meetings. First Ania gave us some chemical, technological and botanical background, she told us about different processes of obtaining essential oils from different citrus, exotic fruits and that they can be obtained from different parts of the fruit. This time I took some notes to make this report easier to write. In this part I will share my thoughts on all the essences tested. In part 2 I will feature all the perfumes tried.

First was bergamot essence. It was really acidic, with a sweet and sour feeling. Very juicy and mouth-watering. It had a very happy smell, it would perfectly fit to some sweet, creamy desserts. Essence we tried was made from Italian bergamot.

Grapefruit was up next. It had a juicy, tart smell, uplifting and invigorating. I really liked this essence of American grapefruit. It didn’t smell like an actual fruit but like a glass of juice.

Lemon from California had a very happy smell and it was literally bursting with joy. The intensity of the smell was quite in your face but I enjoyed it. This essence was obtained by the cold pressing of the citrus which means the that the oil came from squeezing and pressing the whole fruit in cold or room temperature. Then it was filtered to separate any particles of the pulp from the oil and juice.

For an interesting comparison we got another lemon essential oil to smell. It was lemon from Calabria. It was sweeter on my skin and reminded me of Nimm2 lemon candies. I love their taste and smell. After a few hours both lemons lost their citrus edge and they smelled really green, of leaves and twigs. Interesting.

Another aroma we tried was one of Mexican lime. It was delicious and it smelled almost like Mojito drink but without mint and alcohol. It had a relaxing scent to me.

Next was neroli which I think was my favourite essence of that day. Neroli is an essential oil obtained from bitter orange flowers in a process of water distillation. It had a floral, clean and soapy smell which was couple of times intensive that the simplest neroli fragrances available. Simply gorgeous. Neroli’s relative – petit grain, the essence of bitter orange flowers, leaves and twigs was next in the lime to smell. Oh my God, it was awful. It was sweaty, almost beefy in style. Very bad thing to wear alone! Essence tried was of petit grain from Paraguay.

Then we tried the perfume oil made from the orange pulp. What a happy and vigorous scent that was. Like a freshly squeezed juice and the smell was actually pretty close to Atelier Cologne Orange Sanguine. Simple and charming smell, pretty edible. Tangerine had a very subtle, slightly sweet vibe but on the whole it was really hard to smell anything from the strip. Sicilian tangerine had a little bit more intensive aroma but still it was very light.

Essence of yuzu was just ok, I didn’t fell for it but it didn’t repel me either. Then we samples the smell of melon. It was a synthetic combination of different aroma chemicals to recreate the real melon aroma. It is impossible to obtain the natural lemon extract. It possessed kind of sweet, honeyed, watery aroma. Mango we tried was also artificial. It’s possible to obtain natural essence of it but it’s totally against the economy, it’s so expensive. I could barely smell it, only some subtle, fruity-oily nuances. We also has a synthetic peach, aldehyde C-14 that smelled creamy and lactonic. It had that mild fruity vibe combined with the smell of fuzzy peel.

Last two perfume oils we tried were banana and coco. They shared some similarities. Both were milky and tender, but coco had an additional fluffiness and a lot of creamy, desserty vibe I liked.

After a finished workshop we talked a lot, spend some more time downstairs in a perfumery, we tried what we wanted without sticking to the citrus-exotic theme. We just had a lot of fun. Then a few newly met friends I knew earlier online and I went to have a dinner together. We exchanged our experiences, sniffed some samples as everyone had something to show to the others. I didn’t even notice when the time passed and from 10 in the morning in was 7 in the evening. I had a great time!

Stay tuned, in a few days I will post part 2 to tell you about perfumes for each of these fruits.

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24 thoughts on “June perfume workshop report, part 1 of 2

  1. Jordan River says:

    What a day / night Lucas. Wish I could have joined you. Sounds like you uncovered a secret or two here as well.

  2. jilliecat says:

    How brilliant, and just my sort of thing too. Love your happy face! Looking forward to the next episode.

  3. poodle says:

    Sounds like a great day! It must be very interesting to smell each note on its own like that.

  4. hajusuuri says:

    I can picture you by a perfume organ concocting something citrusy and refreshing! Thanks for sharing your experience, dear Lucas. The photo of you smiling face sniffing the bottle is priceless! I can’t wait for the next episode.

  5. Lucas, what a special treat. Thanks for taking us along on the ride.

  6. Looks like a terrific day, Lucas! I see lots of favorites in the photos so am looking forward to the next installment for a list. It’s also nice to see a photo of you! Love the glasses 🙂

  7. Leathermountain says:

    Sounds like so much fun!

    Based on what you learned, are there any materials that would be fun to attempt making as a do-it-yourself type project?

    (I love to experiment at home, and also I’m a science teacher working on a still-amorphous curriculum that will hopefully have something to do with fragrance).

  8. Undina says:

    My mouth was watering as I kept reading about different citrus ingredients you smelled 🙂 I’d love to be able to smell those together.

  9. Very cool! That looks like a lot of fun.

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