Last month, Alex and I celebrated our second anniversary with a little day trip to Chicago. I’m absolutely OBSESSED with Chicago–great food, amazing shopping, and stuff to do 24/7? Yeah, sold. In addition to sharing a few fabulous meals, I knew I wanted to actually DO something cool to celebrate while we were in the city. Enter: Aroma Workshop!
A week or so before our trip, I started perusing “deal” sites (Groupon, Gilt City, Amazon Local, etc) to see if I could score any discounts on cool activities, and I found the BEST deal ever on LivingSocial for a scent creation workshop for two at Lincoln Park’s Aroma Workshop. DIY-ing my own fragrance has been something I’ve been interested in doing since, well, forever, so it’s probably pretty obvious that this was the ideal anniversary activity to partake in.
Alex and I entered the cozy shop 15 minutes early for our 4:00pm appointment and took our seats at the essential oil bar with hundreds (okay, maybe 200) of glass vials stacked before us. Scent categories ranged from floral to sweet to earthy–definitely something for everyone. We were instructed to take a whiff of any oil we found interesting, and to set aside the 5-10 scents we found most appealing. From there, our own personal scent shaman, Sierra, would expertly blend a combination of our chosen fragrances into potential perfumes and colognes that would be unique to us. Just us. Love.
Before ever arriving at Aroma Workshop, I got it in my head that I wanted my scent to be “cookie”–blame it on a Blake Lively interview I’d read a week before wherein she describes “cookie” as her natural scent–so I knew I was looking for something sweet, creamy, and maybe a little bit spicy to balance things out. I was instantly drawn to a few warm, sugary essential oils: French vanilla, magenta, and Pink Sugar. From the woodsy group, I picked bergamot, oud, and sandalwood. Florals? Not so much my jam. The aforementioned scent shaman then went to work blending combinations of each of these oils for my perfume. I sniffed multiple perfume strips, cleansed with coffee beans, and smelled each combination both inside and outside of the shop! #laboroflove
Though I liked 90% of these blends, I just wasn’t getting enough “yumminess” from any of them. I was set to settle on the next-best-thing–a somewhat-spicy-sweet combination of magenta, french vanilla, and oud–when Sierra went totally above-and-beyond and offered to let me smell, and use, one of Aroma Workshop’s secret “legacy scents” (essential oils that they no longer carry in bulk or order anew, but keep on file for customers who have used it in their fragrances) in creation. It was CHOCOLATE BROWNIE. She just knew. And guys, it was perfect. We’re talking yumminess personified. But not “OMG I WANT TO LICK YOU” yummy. So yeah, perfect, as stated previously.
After a little more mixing and blending with this new addition, we whipped up the perfect scent. Then, after choosing an adorable glass bottle to house my fragrance, Sierra combined my essential oil blend with a standard perfume base and filled away. “Liza” was born. Together, we had created the best thing I’d ever smelled, and for less than the cost of a bottle of my go-to Burberry Brit. But it gets better. Not only do you create-your-own fragrance masterpiece, but Aroma Workshop keeps your personal “recipe” on file for refills! If you re-use your bottle, refills cost $30. Uh huh, honey. And if you’re not so into perfume? No worries–you can also DIY your own custom room spray, lotion, massage oil, or body wash! The possibilities are literally endless. Best anniversary activity ever.
If you’re a fragrance lover and find yourself in Chicago, this place is a must. Skinny Breezy approved.