Last week, a friend and I went to one of Essentique’s Mix and Mingle events, a new event that is part social gathering, and part essential oil blending class. I absolutely loved it, so I want to share my experience and encourage you to consider attending one yourself!
I walked into the boutique at 6:30 PM after a long, busy day, feeling tired and a bit frazzled. But as soon as I stepped through the doors, I was greeted with the very welcoming presence of Essentique. It was warm and luminous, there was a beautiful display of treats that were both nutritious and delicious, and the diffuser was misting a gorgeous essential oil blend that added to the inspiring and relaxing atmosphere.
The first half hour or so was the “mingle” part of Mix and Mingle. We sampled some of the wonderful food (some of it baked by a 13-year old caterer!), sipped on wine and sparkling water, and introduced ourselves to and chit-chatted with each other (because this is an event that you can book for an exclusive group, or you can go with just one or two friends and meet new people). This mingling helped me shrug off the unpleasant feelings from the day, and really put me in the frame of mind to be creative for the second part of the event.
This brings me to the “mixing” part. We all sat down around the table in the middle of the boutique, which Mandana had very elegantly dressed up for this event. Each of us had a tray in front of us, with little vials, glass bowls, and pipettes to make us feel like scientists as we did our mixing. In the center of the table were three displays that held the essential oils we would be using for our blending, along with some examples of the plants that they came from. Mandana explained to us a lot of different things about essential oils: what they are, how and where they are produced in the plant, why plants make them, how people extract them, and the chemistry behind their therapeutic properties. The information was interesting, and presented in a very engaging way. Then, she began talking more specifically about scent and how to understand and combine them in ways that make sense for the purpose of the blend you are designing. She told us about the differences between base notes, top notes, and mid notes, and what to keep in mind when selecting one of each.
And then she set us free. She encouraged us to smell all the oils individually, and, once we had identified one that we liked, smell it in conjunction with other oils to see what would pair well with it. We were provided little perfume strips on which to apply the oils so we could play with different combinations and observe how the scent might change over time. This was a very fun and creative process, with all of us walking around trying to find and smell the different oils, and wondering which ones would go well together. She encouraged us to find the blend that worked for us, but was there if we needed advice for, say, a third oil that would tie together two that we already liked, as I did. I picked ylang ylang as my base note and cardamom as my top note, because I loved the way the sweet floral scent mixed with the woody spicy scent to create a perfume that was incredibly warm, but I had no idea what to use as my top note, until Mandana suggested bay laurel.
Once we had chosen our three oils, we regrouped and Mandana explained to us how to determine the proportions of the different oils that would make for the best blend — one where every oil was clearly present and none dominated. Following her guidelines, we pipetted the oils into a small glass mixing jar, swirled it around, and smelt it. Then it was time for final adjustments — mixing up the proportions a little bit, or adding another oil (I added a dash of bergamot at the last minute) — and testing — applying the blends to our skin to see how they fared as fragrance.
I had to rush home at the end, but everyone else stayed for raspberry tart, more rosé, and more mingling (I can attest to this social time because of my experience with other Essentique events).
At the end of the day, I came home with about 2 mL of a wonderful essential oil blend (that I created myself, something I never thought I could do) and a clear, relaxed, and creatively thinking mind. I have been wearing my blend as a perfume almost every day since, have gotten a lot of compliments on it, and fall more in love with it since. In addition to our essential oil blend, everyone took home a bottle of Square 1 (Essentique’s hand and body wash) scented with their own creation: everytime I wash my hands I am treated to this wonderful scent and a reminder of the great time I had creating it. I highly, highly recommend this event, because both the experience and the final product are absolutely enjoyable and incredible.