Hello everyone, and welcome to another Singaporean article! On this shiok Sunday, I’m chronicling my experience of attending a perfume workshop at Maison 21G’s new ION Orchard boutique.
Maison 21G recently opened up their latest boutique at the iconic ION Orchard, and invited me down to have a quick tour of their sophomore showroom as well as experience their new and improved perfume workshop. I’ve previously attended a perfume workshop over at their Duxton boutique – which I covered here – and had a great time. Let’s see how the new experience is like!
Maison 21G – the Brand
I’ve covered Maison 21G as a brand in my previous review of their perfume workshop. For those who are interested in the brand story, you can read the article here.
Maison 21G – Chatting with Johanna Monange
I also chatted with founder Johanna Monange, who shared with me about the Maison 21G brand and showed me around the new ION store. If you’re interested to see how Maison 21G’s new outlet looks like, and learn a bit more about the brand, do check out the video below!
Maison 21G – ION Boutique
The ION boutique is a cosier version of the Maison 21G’s Duxton showroom that I’ve visited previously, with a wide of range of products and services – including the perfume workshop – available.
Like most retail brands, Maison 21G was forced to shut during the Circuit Breaker period. However, the brand didn’t idle. Instead, they used the time to think of innovative new offerings, such as the Scent Wardrobe – a trio of scents for your everyday needs – and the Club 21G, a monthly subscription service whereby users receive two mystery miniature roll-on perfumes hand-crafted by Maison 21G’s perfume experts.
There’s also what Maison 21G calls the Scent Discovery Box, which I find highly interesting. The box contains 34 droppers of 3ml EDP scents, which you can mix yourself to discover your favourite scent. Essentially, it’s a DIY kit that allows you to concoct your favourite scent combination from the comfort of your home. After you know what sort of scents you like – say, you find that Ginger with Vetiver really suits your tastes – you can then head over to Maison 21G’s web-store to purchase this particular combination. I personally think it’s a lot of fun that should appeal to fragrance enthusiasts.
In addition, a wide variety of solid roll-on perfumes are also available. The solid perfumes are crafted from all-natural substances, alcohol-free (so suitable for Muslim customers as well), and come in a travel-ready compact case which fits into a shirt or pants pocket. Maison 21G describes the solid perfumes as the perfect perfume for men with an active lifestyle, who perhaps find it inconvenient to carry around a fragile bottle of perfume. CEO and Founder Johanna Monange – whom you will see below – said: “These new solid fragrances for men, housed in a stunning and convenient flip case, are sure to appeal to today’s active man-about-town who demands that his scents are completely natural and ethically manufactured.”
Maison 21G – Perfume Workshop
Nonetheless, the main highlight of the ION boutique is still what Maison 21G calls the “Private Creation Atelier”, whereby participants are offered the opportunity to create their own bespoke perfume.
To kick-off the workshop, participants are asked to scan a QR code with their mobile phone, which would lead them to a scent personality questionnaire. “Everyone is very used to scanning QR codes nowadays, so we decided to adopt this,” Johanna shared with me.
Like before, the questionnaire included questions on personality – such as whether I’m searching for freedom or stability – but also more practical aspects, such as asking me what my favourite perfume is, if there were any ingredients I particularly liked or disliked, etc.
I must say that I was very impressed by the new personality quiz – it’s certainly much sleeker than the previous one! As you can see, there are now fancier graphics, and you can see the individual characteristics of each scent. You also get assigned a personality type at the end of the quiz! Mine was “The Free Spirit”, to which Johanna proclaimed: “Me too!” Apparently, free-spirited people are hard to come by. While the quiz results also included more practical aspects (such as recommending me which scents it thinks I would like), the whole personality aspect of the quiz makes the experience fun and enjoyable.
As seen in the video above, the questionnaire eventually recommended the combination of Lavender Legend and Terrific Tonka for my scent. In case you’re wondering, I opted for a “night perfume” as the previous creation I crafted from Maison 21G was floral and refreshing, and thus very much a “day perfume”. Based on the quiz results, Johanna proceeded to spray the Lavender Legend and Terrific Tonka scents for me to smell. While I liked how the two scents smelled together, I felt that something was missing – it needed an extra touch, an X-factor. Johanna agreed, and recommended that I add a touch of Ocean Odyssey to the mix. The Ocean Odyssey scent is supposed to be reminiscent of the beachside, of holiday and travel, and thus (in theory at least) is a perfect fit for my free-spirited personality. I took a whiff of all 3 scents together, and immediately knew that we had the perfect combination.
With the ingredients chosen, all that was left was for me to add them in! Just like my previous workshop with Andrew, Johanna was instrumental in guiding me with regards to the proportions of each ingredient. Creating a bottle of perfume is very much like chemistry – the same ingredients, in different respective amounts, would lead to vastly different outcomes. Here, Johanna advised me to add equal amounts of Terrific Tonka and Lavender Legend in first, as they were the main scents that would constitute the perfume.
After adding in both the main ingredients, Johanna then instructed me to add 1g worth of Ocean Odyssey in. She explained that as I wanted a “seductive and sexy” night perfume, the Terrific Tonka and Lavander Legend scents should take centre stage. The role of Ocean Odyssey here was to elevate the overall scent by adding a touch of freshness, conjuring to mind the refreshing scent of an ocean breeze. As such, I duly added 1g of Ocean Odyssey into the mix.
After all the ingredients have been added in, Johanna proceeded to seal the bottle and handed it over to me. With that, the perfume workshop is completed! Like the previous time, I had a blast making my own bespoke perfume with Maison 21G. As can be seen from my attire, I’m a fan of custom tailoring, and I found it very interesting that the same “tailor-made” concept is applied to perfumery here as well. I must highlight how Johanna was flexible with the scent selections here. She didn’t just follow the results of the questionnaire and left it at that. Instead, she sought my honest feedback along every step of the way, and gave her own recommendations – in this case, adding a touch of Ocean Odyssey to elevate the scent.
I also want to point out that education is a big part of Maison 21G – they want their customers to walk away educated and interested in the world of perfumery. After I was done with creating my perfume, Johanna proceeded to pass me cards with the attributes of each scent depicted on them, and encouraged me to keep them and read up more about the scents. It felt like she wanted me to develop my own nose in perfume, and figure out what sort of scents are most to my personal tastes. If you want to learn more about perfumery, you should definitely pop by Maison 21G!
Lastly, Maison 21G offers customers the option of having their perfume creation packaged in either a travel case or a fabric pouch. Unfortunately, customisation of the perfume bottle is not available at this ION outlet. Johanna explains that due to space constraints, they are unable to fit the machine required in the store. However, customers that wish to have text or pictures inscribed on the bottle can still bring it down to their Duxton outlet to have it engraved, free-of-charge.
Overall, I had a blast at Maison 21G’s ION boutique. In particular, I really enjoyed chatting with Johanna. As mentioned above, she’s the CEO and founder of Maison 21G. In other words, this entire brand is her idea, and it was really illuminating to learn about her personal story, her vision for the brand, and the plans that she has in store. You could tell that she loves what she’s doing – her passion is evident. She’s also very knowledgeable about the world of perfumery, having spent two decades in the industry, the last of which as IFF’s (International Flavours and Fragrances) fragrance creative director for Asia. I definitely learnt a lot from her, and it made my time with Johanna highly enlightening.
Conclusion – so Maison 21G Perfume Workshop “shiok” or not?
Definitely! I found Maison 21G’s revamped perfume workshop experience highly innovative. In particular, I was impressed by how the brand incorporated Artificial Intelligence in their questionnaire, harnessing technology as a tool to recommend better scent combinations to their clients. Johanna was lovely to talk to as well, and she shared with me several aspects of Maison 21G that she was proud of, such as the brand’s commitment to sustainability (bottles are refillable and biodegradable), quality of ingredients (Maison 21G’s perfumes have a 21% concentration, one of the highest in the industry), all while being shockingly affordable. A customized bottle of 25ml EDP perfume costs just $68 after the promo code below – that’s half the price of a “big name” EDP perfume one finds on the shelves of a departmental store!
For those interested, the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK15” will grant readers 15% off perfume workshop bookings from Maison 21G online, as well as all other products on the webstore. Simply enter the promo code while checking out online, or mention it/flash this article in-store. After the discount, the perfume workshop would cost just $118.50, while those under 21 can enjoy a student price of $94.80. I think that is a great price considering that most off-the-rack departmental store perfumes already cost that much, if not more. It’s also a memorable experience for those who are curious about perfumery, or simply looking for a nice date idea.
Book the perfume workshop or customise your own scent from Maison 21G here.
Read my previous review of Maison 21G’s perfume workshop (Duxton) here.
Maison 21G ION Address:
2 Orchard Turn, #B2-48, Singapore 238801
Maison 21G Duxton Address:
77 Duxton Rd, Singapore 089536
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wahsoshiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!