I got to try my hand at being Liz Claiborne last week at The Langham, Huntington Hotel and Spa in Pasadena (where I had high tea once), which now offers a custom fragrance and demi blending service in their spa for brides and guests through Ajne. Celebs like Kate Walsh and others apparently use Ajne perfume and organic essential oils.
The blending process starts out by taking a quick survey and answering questions like what's your favorite color, what things do you want your fragrance to represent or inspire (confidence, serenity, wisdom, creativity, etc) and what's your idea of a perfect holiday destination. I enjoyed the self examining survey and was anxious to what it would reveal about me. The mélanger looked at my results and told me that I'm pretty well balanced since my scores were fairely even an consistent, thus I wasn't strong in one area of my life and not in the other. Good to hear, but I was also told that I needed some umph in my self-expression area, which is interesting since I think I'm pretty expressive, but she said this could also mean I put others before me. The survey also revealed the need for a relaxing scent to combat stress in the form of aromatherapy.
I then smelled some of their pre-blended scents, tried them on my skin and then they combined a few that represented what I needed to create my own demi-blend. A full custom scent can take anywhere from 2 weeks to a few months for them to create and can start at $700, thus demi blending is still personal but a less expensive alternative. The process is still not cheap though, but hopefully I'll wow my groom, family and friend's noses on my wedding day. In the end, I came away with a decadent floral and fresh scent (my favorites). Love it!
The experience itself was enligtening and much like a wine tasting experience, smelling and revealing hints of citrus, wood and earthy scents within each sample. In fact, we were offered some coffee beans to smell in between each new scent, in order to cleanse the nose pallet or use as a "chaser" as Valli Herman from the LA Times commented. Oh, and while I was there I got to sniff Agarwood, which costs $80,000 a kilo and is used by Ajne, sparingly of course.