Hello everyone and welcome to another of my reviews. In this article, I’ll be documenting my experience at the newly opened Scentopia.
Scentopia is a newly opened attraction in Sentosa. It’s the brainchild of Mrs. Prachi, who’s also behind the fragrance label Singapore Memories and the Perfume Workshop. Scentopia has been five years in the making, and was slated to open a few years ago but was put on hold due to the onset of the pandemic. With COVID measures easing, Mrs. Prachi felt it was the right time to finally take the covers off Scentopia, and invited me to experience the concept.
Scentopia – Youtube Video
For those interested in seeing some hands-on footage of my perfume workshop experience at Scentopia, do watch the video review below:
Scentopia – the Brand
I previously reviewed some of Singapore Memories’ perfumes, where I sat down with Mrs. Prachi for a short interview. I also covered some of the brand’s room fragrances, and documented my experience at Jetaime’s Perfume Workshop here.
As such, I’m fairly familiar with Mrs. Prachi and her fragrance endeavours. Let’s see how my experience at Scentopia went.
Scentopia – Perfume Workshop
Scentopia – a portmanteau of the words scent and utopia – is located in Sentosa’s Siloso Beach. If you’re coming by the monorail, the closest station would be Beach Station.
Scentopia differentiates itself from other perfume workshops with its use of augmented reality, which provides entertainment value. Mrs. Prachi shared with me that the AR exhibits are meant to be both educational and entertaining for a younger audience – Scentopia also regularly facilities school trips. For a detailed look at how the AR exhibits work, do check out the Youtube video above.
There’s also a scent wall where participants can learn more about the ingredients used in Scentopia’s perfume creations. Interestingly, they all feature “punny” names and descriptions to make them more memorable, especially amongst the younger demographic.
The actual perfume workshop starts with a simple perfume personality quiz of 10 questions. Personality quizzes in perfume workshops aren’t uncommon but Mrs. Prachi shared with me that the questions are rooted in MBTI (Myers Briggs Type Indicator) theory, making them more substantial than most.
Based on your answers, you’re supposed to pick the corresponding amount of ingredient families. I guess this makes sense – an extrovert might prefer a fresher scent, while an introvert might prefer a more woody scent. However, these are simply guidelines, not strict rules, so you will be able to alter your scents to your preferences if required.
I’m usually sceptical about such personality quizzes, but when Mrs. Prachi explained to me what my answers reflected about my personality, it was actually pretty accurate.
It wasn’t just me as well – I brought a friend who said her description of his personality was “eerily close”.
With the personality quiz done, it was time to pick the ingredients. As seen on the personality quiz, ingredients at Scentopia are generally classified into Citrus, Fresh, Floral, Woody and Oriental, all of which are colour coded for easy differentiation.
Interestingly, Scentopia further separates the ingredients into male and female scents. Mrs. Prachi explained to me that scents on the male side are generally stronger and heavier, although men are free to include female scents as well (or vice versa).
Instead of the usual perfume strips, scents are instead stored in lipstick-esque containers. By doing away with the usual paper strips associated with perfume scenting, Scentopia’s approach is more sustainable and eco-friendly. I personally think it’s quite a novel way of presenting scents, and commend Mrs. Prachi for her innovation.
I’ve been to multiple perfume workshops, but I have to say that Scentopia had one of the most engaging ways for participants to interact with the scents. I was able to grab as many scent sticks to smell as I wanted, and eventually narrowed it down to 10 – a few each from the different scent families, based roughly on the results of the personality test. I put the scent sticks in the little grey bag that Scentopia provided.
After I had chosen all my scents, I passed the bag over to Mrs. Prachi, who then proceeded to locate the respective scent dispensers. She filled a cup up with the relevant scented ingredients, before mixing everything together. The idea is simple – the cup (with a small portion of all the scents I chose) is meant to be a sample of what the actual perfume smells like with all the 10 scents mixed together.
Mrs. Prachi dipped a few paper strips into the cup (paper strips can’t be completely avoided I guess) and gave me one to smell. Unfortunately, we both didn’t like the first attempt – the overall composition just smelt wrong. Mrs. Prachi then recommended that I remove a few specific scents that she felt were “overpowering”, and replace them with fresher, more citrusy ones.
I thus went back to re-evaluate the scents that Mrs. Prachi found overpowering. I agreed with her opinions and ditched some of the woody scents for fresher ones instead. This goes to show that you don’t have to stick rigidly to what the personality test suggests – that’s merely a guideline, not a rule.
After I had chosen my new scents, Mrs. Prachi proceeded to once again fill up a sample cup. This time, she suggested we head outdoors to smell the second scent – a change of environment to cleanse the nostrils. I was pleased to discover that the second try was much more balanced and delicate, and a better-rounded scent overall. Mrs. Prachi agreed, saying that it was “leaps and bounds” better than the first.
As such, you don’t have to worry about being stuck with a “bad” perfume even if you’re a complete beginner. You can always try again (Scentopia charges $5 a cup from the third sample onwards though), and call upon the expertise of Scentopia’s staff for assistance. I certainly relied on Mrs. Prachi’s experience when consolidating my 10 scents.
All that was left was the actual making of the perfume, which the staff performs in front of the participants. The eventual bottle is a big one too – 100ml of EDP concentration, so you’re getting bang for your buck (in comparison, most other local perfume workshops only provide 25ml bottles).
Conclusion – so Scentopia “shiok” or not?
Definitely so. Firstly, Scentopia is a unique proposition in itself – I can’t think of any other scent attractions in Singapore, much less one in a tourist destination such as Sentosa. Secondly, the perfume workshop process was fun and engaging, with a very different concept as compared to the other local perfume workshops in Singapore. Thirdly, Scentopia also has features such as AR exhibits that make it a great family activity to do with kids as well. That being said, hardcore enthusiasts may feel a tad disappointed as Scentopia doesn’t state the specific scent ingredients that go into each stick, and simply classify them into broad families (fresh, woody, etc). If you’re someone who’s very specific and particular about what goes into your perfumes, then opt for some of the other local perfume workshops. But if you’re simply looking for an entertaining date idea or an interesting family outing, or are simply a casual perfume user looking to get into the world of perfumery, then I’ll recommend giving Scentopia a try.
For those interested in booking a perfume workshop at Scentopia, you can use the promo code “WAHSOSHIOK” to enjoy 10% off on Scentopia’s website. After the discount, a perfume workshop would cost just $112.50, making it value for money given that you receive a 100ml perfume bottle to take home afterwards. It’s also relatively affordable considering its location in Sentosa. You even get a nice sunset view – what’s not to like?
Book Scentopia’s perfume workshop here.
P.S Do check out the new “Discounts!” page for exclusive discounts for Wah so Shiok readers! More brands will be added very soon – stay tuned!
P.P.P.S Shiok is a common word Singaporeans use to express admiration or approval. As of 2016, you can find the definition of the word in the Oxford English Dictionary.