Making Perfume in Seoul

Perfume and scents are one of my favourite things. I have worn perfume since I was 12 and can spend hours in the duty-free section of airports smelling everything on offer. I am slightly obsessed with scented candles and always make sure my home is sweet smelling, varying my candles according to the seasons. I could go on…


I have worn a number of different perfumes since I was young. I feel that it is far too easy to outgrow a scent or begin to associate it with something negative in your life. My past favourites have been Coco Mademoiselle, Elizabeth Arden’s Sunflower, and Prada Infusion D’Iris.


I have recently begun a very all-consuming love affair with Tom Ford’s perfumes. They are unique and rarer than some of the other more popular perfumes, perhaps because they are more expensive. I am a particular fan of musky, oriental smells, avoiding anything too floral, sweet, or resembling food. My current favourites are Black Orchid and Portofino Neroli.

However, these are extortionately priced in Seoul. I’m talking 2-3 times the price of back home. As much as I love perfume, this is money I can’t justify while on a budget.

So, when I saw perfume-making classes for £30, I was excited! I already knew that Korea LOVE making their own things: jewellery, ceramics, glassware. You name it, there will be somewhere you can try your hand at making it. So, perfume-making really appealed to me.

With a week off, I decided to go with a friend. We booked it through, choosing the Itaewon branch as it offered some great dinner options for afterwards! Always something that needs to be taken into consideration!

The Class

We had a bit of trouble finding it, but finally found it tucked away in Noksapyeong, a hipster area of Seoul. The shop was small but adorable. We were sat at a table and asked to fill out some information. Most of this was standard, but obviously as we are in Korea, we were asked about our blood types and to draw some shapes. What my blood type signifies, I’m still not sure.

Perfume making questionaire

We were then asked to smell seven bases for our perfumes. It then dawned on me how hard this would be! I finally managed to narrow it down and apparently chose a woody scent, which is generally what I go for.

Perfume making class

Then the fun began! The lady chose us each 5 oils/scents and asked us to smell them and write a short description. It was far more confusing than I thought it would be! I liked lots of them but wouldn’t want to smell of it. Fig, for example, was lovely but not a smell I would like to wear.


I finally narrowed it down to 4 oils: tonka nut, sandalwood, magnolia, and amber. We then had to choose how much of each to put into our base, making up 20 drops in total. I had absolutely no idea, so asked the lady for advice. Based on the strength and potency, some, like amber, needed only one drop to be present, while others, like tonka nut, needed 10.

Oils for bespoke perfume making

The final product was just what I had intended. Something leathery and woody, something you would perhaps smell in an archaeology library.

Bespoke Perfume

I had a fantastic time and really enjoyed smelling all the options. It is an experience I would highly recommend, and it completely worth the money.


If you are interest, you can book here!




Bespoke Perfume