Smell the roses at Scentopia in Singapore

The idea of creating my own fragrance has always really appealed to me, but imagine my surprise when my husband and kids were also just as excited. We couldn’t wait to visit Singapore’s newest attraction: Scentopia. 

Finding the place is pretty easy, once you get to Sentosa Island. We took a ride on the free shuttle bus along Siloso Beach Walk and hopped off a few steps from the entrance. As we walked through the colourful doors, a waft of floral fragrance filled our nostrils and we knew we were in the right place. 

Augmented reality


First up was a look at the interactive gallery, which told us lots of fun facts about all things related to smell. Did you know for example that an elephant has a better sense of smell than a dog? The kids used our mobile phones to scan the different QR codes on the gallery wall, creating an augmented reality full of cute characters.

Meanwhile, the adults got to hear a little more about the different scents on offer. There is a real focus here on using native plants and flowers from Singapore and Asia, including using the fragrance from many different varieties of orchid.

Personalise your fragrance

Next, it was time to do our personality quiz which would help us create a fragrance to specifically suit us. We had to adapt the questions a little for the kids, for example, a question about work we changed to school, so bear in mind that kids need to be old enough to be able to fill in the quiz. Our 7-year-old boy was able to do it with some help from the staff and actually said this was one of the most enjoyable parts. However, younger kids may struggle.

Once complete, we totted up our scores for each of the different sections: citrus, fresh, floral, woody and oriental. The kids ended up with their highest scores in citrus and fresh, while my husband and I had high scores in woody and oriental. 

Then the fun part started! We were let loose on the whole range of scents. The staff recommended picking 10 different scents using the quiz as a guide. Of course, there’s no need to stick to this formula if, like my husband, you didn’t score any in the citrus section but still want to include these scents in your final perfume. There are also separate sections for men and women but again, no need to stick to this if you want to mix it up. 

Sniffing it out

We spent quite a bit of time lifting the coloured perfume wands and sniffing the different scents. Each one also has a funny or cute name such as ‘Full Thyme Job’ or ’Cloud Lime’ and some of these you can even buy as a single fragrance in the shop. For me, this was the most enjoyable part of the experience. If you’ve ever spent your time trying all the perfume samples in the duty-free section at the airport, you’ll know what I mean. I didn’t have a strategy about which scents to mix together when selecting and simply went with what appealed to me.

Coffee beans to cleanse the nostrils

After a few sniffs though, your nose does start to become a bit overwhelmed. But not to worry – there are little pots of coffee beans which you can sniff in between to reset your senses. We really appreciated the fact that the staff let us take our time during this part and we didn’t feel rushed or hurried to make our choices. To be honest, there were so many lovely scents, it was difficult to narrow them down to just 10 in total. 

Once we had all picked our 10 scents and written down the numbers, it was time to create our ‘test’ perfume. We were each given a small cup with cotton wool inside and we used pipettes to place a few drops of each scent inside. The kids loved this part too. It was just like making a potion – but one that smells great and keeps changing as you add more to it.

Surprisingly, it turned out really well, so the final perfume was then made by the staff. However, if you aren’t happy, the staff are on hand to help you tweak the final result to something more to your liking.

The final product was slightly different to my ‘test’ version, in fact it was much better –  I guess there is an art to getting the proportions just right for each ingredient. We were all pleasantly surprised by what we created and funnily enough they did all smell very different and suited us as individuals.

A happy fragrant family at Scentopia

My tween girl was in absolute heaven – and I’m sure she would love her next birthday party at Scentopia which they can arrange. Even my son, who I didn’t think would be too interested, was happily spritzing on his perfume at the end. 

The only downside is that this is quite a pricey experience, so younger kids may not get as much out of it as older kids. I’m sure my boy would’ve been happy to just help me with my fragrance instead of doing his own. But if you want to try something a little different or if you have a special occasion coming up and like the idea of creating your own unique perfume, this is the place to do it.

On the other hand, if that all seems like too much hard work, you can also just visit the shop where you can buy some of the single scents or purchase perfumes with a Singapore theme to them as well as other smellies. We left smelling very fragrant indeed!

Useful info

A one hour perfume making session for 50ml costs SGD95 (about MYR299) and a perfume making session for 100ml costs SGD125 (about MYR394). Scentopia is located at 36 Siloso Beach Walk, Sentosa, Singapore. More info on Scentopia here.

Looking for more fun things to do with kids in Singapore? Have a look at our post here!

We were invited by Scentopia. As always, our opinion is honest and our own.

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