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This is a Guest Post:

This week’s Independent Reading post comes from guest blogger, Tara Tunstall. She was invited down to Humos, the new aromatherapy fragrance bar in Caversham to try blending her own, signature scent. (You might remember their Joy reed diffuser from our Christmas Shopping Guide!)

Humos 1

On an exceptionally cold Friday afternoon, I had the pleasure of whiling away a couple of hours at Humos in Caversham. The shop is run by the same team as Le Masseur Personnel (located next door) and inside, you’ll find the super helpful Georgia who runs the shop and also hosts the workshops alongside owner Gabriel.

As a frequent visitor to Le Masseur Personnel, I was really excited by the concept of Humos. They offer a host of delicious smelling aromatherapy candles and home fragrances as well as the chance to create your own bespoke scent in one of their workshops. As someone who has long since been addicted to beautiful fragrances – whether for the home, hair, clothes or body – I couldn’t wait to have a go at blending my very own signature scent.

I chose to use my session to create a 30ml perfume which, depending on the number of oils you include, starts at £70. For that price, you get your 2-hour workshop, a glass of Prosecco (or a non-alcoholic option if you prefer) and your 30ml perfume to take away in a beautiful glass bottle. There are plenty of other options to suit all budgets if you’d rather create a reed diffuser, candle or room mist instead.

So, onto the process itself. I started by explaining to Georgia what types of scent I tend to gravitate toward and what type of perfume I wanted to create. Since we’re now well and truly into winter, I decided I wanted to make a heavier, heady fragrance with plenty of body. There are an overwhelming array of oils to use but to make the process easier for novices, they are arranged across three shelves indicating top notes, middle notes and base notes.  I was instructed to select some of each category in order to have a well rounded perfume.

The top notes are the scents that you first smell on application, the base notes are the ones that linger and give longevity to the smell and the middle notes give depth. After much deliberation, and with help from Georgia, I selected my favourite 4 top notes, 3 middle notes and 5 base notes which would be used to create my fragrance.

Taking guidance from both Georgia and Gabriel we added one aroma at a time, in different proportions, smelling at each interval and using dip sticks to keep a record of the scent as it evolved. All the way through, you’re encouraged to comment on the changing smell and determine what is lacking and how you feel it could be improved.

Humos 2
Gabriel and Georgia crafting my scent!

By the end of the process, I had made an incredible, bespoke and dare I say sexy scent that only I own. We added subtle Orange Blossom Water to finish and blended before bottling. I was instructed to leave the scent to mature for 1 week and then it would be ready to wear. Now that week has passed, I haven’t stopped spritzing! I learnt so much along the way, including the useful tip that you should never store your perfume in the bathroom, since the constant changes in temperature affect the molecules and thus, the smell.

Whether it’s a treat for yourself, or an indulgent present for a loved one this Christmas, I couldn’t recommend Humos’ workshop enough.

To book, you can pop in to Humos:

5 Church Road

Or contact them on 0118 948 1209 / email: