When looking for activities in the Pittsburgh area, it’s easy to choose a local brewery to visit or a sporting event to attend, but why not try something unique for your next night out? This one-of-a-kind experience happens to be right in our Dormont neighborhood! Allow us to introduce you to the absolutely stunning Galimard Pittsburgh Studio, a creative fragrance experience.

Galimard Studio des Fragrances is a fragrance studio within the House of Handsome Barbershop & Boutique in the Dormont neighborhood of Pittsburgh. Galimard Pittsburgh is the only place in the United States that is certified to help you create the perfect fragrance from the centuries-old Galimard Parfumeur originating in Grasse, France.

Michael B., the owner of Galimard Pittsburgh and House of Handsome, became a Certified Nose in France from the current generation of Galimard. Michael brings his knowledge to the U.S. by hosting 2-hour perfume creation experiences for groups of up to 8 people. Believe us when we say this experience is unlike anything you have ever done before.

When you first enter House of Handsome, you will quickly realize Michael has an eye for design. From the thoughtfully designed interior to their own product lines for haircare, face, shave, and body, House of Handsome is the absolute best of the best. It only makes sense that this high-end barbershop and boutique would become the first home in the US for the famous Galimard fragrances.

As you might imagine, this was not a simple task. It took several trips back and forth from France to the U.S. for Michael to not only become a ‘Certified Nose’ but also gain approval from Galimard in France to operate out of his studio space within House of Handsome. After many travels and a whole pandemic later, Galimard Pittsburgh is open for business.

During this signature experience, there is no detail left out. Sip on complimentary espresso or Perrier while listening to Sinatra and Dean Martin tunes as you become acquainted with the process of customizing your perfect scent. Within the 2-hour time slot, you will hear a brief history of perfumery from a Certified Nose, go through olfactory testing, receive guided expert instruction, and of course go home with a 100mL bottle of your signature fragrance!

When we visited to create our signature perfume, we used a combination of 13 different fragrances to make up our nearly 3.4oz bottle. Be ready to sniff because the experience kicks off by individually smelling the base notes, which are the first set of the 127 notes displayed on what is called the “organ”. On the organ, each fragrance bottle is sorted by masculine vs. feminine, and then by the family the scent belongs to, signified by colored sticker tabs.

After you have established and ranked your favorite 4-6 base notes, the Certified Nose will break down the measurements for you. The base notes are those notes that remain after you’ve worn your fragrance throughout the day, so be sure you choose carefully.

After you have measured out the notes and combined the liquids, you’ll move on to the middle, or heart notes. Again, you will go down the shelf of the organ smelling each note and cleansing your scent palette with coffee beans when you need a reset. You will repeat the same process from the base notes with the heart notes and the top, or peak, notes.

This process may seem intimidating, but remember Michael is certified to help you create your signature scent. He knows which notes should be stronger and lighter and incorporates that into the measurements. He will also walk you through each phase carefully so you can get a sense of how the combination will smell before committing to a particular note. This helps with confidence as you move through the process.

One thing that we found so interesting was as you smell each bottle, you likely won’t read every label unless the scent sticks out positively or negatively. After looking at the notes that we had set aside as our most favorable, we noticed certain recurring scents like versions of sandalwood and versions of tangerine. It is fascinating that before even knowing the name of the scent, your brain knows certain scent profiles that you tend to favor.

When the fragrance notes have been mixed, you get to choose a name for your signature fragrance! Remember, this is a one-of-a-kind scent that is your specific selection of up to 18 notes with methodically thought-out measurements, so you should create a one-of-a-kind name.

We chose the title “Midnight Jazz” for our signature perfume. Michael recommended choosing a name that reflects how you feel throughout the experience, and how you feel about the scent you created. Midnight Jazz was inspired by the environment of the Galimard Pittsburgh studio with its swanky luxurious energy and of course, the crooner classics playing during the workshop experience. We envisioned our fragrance out on the town after a high-end evening of live music, still giving off its base notes far into the night as the clock strikes midnight. The name Midnight Jazz just felt right.

Once you have selected a name, a label will be printed, your bottle will be filled, sealed, and placed in the signature Galimard bag for safekeeping. You must allow 2 weeks for the fragrance notes to macerate. When that time is up, you are ready to go forth spritzing your signature fragrance! This experience is truly unbelievable and so meaningful to be able to walk away with not only knowledge of a centuries-old practice but also an unforgettable new scent personalized to your likeness. Book today for up to 8 guests to experience Galimard firsthand. It is an experience of a lifetime!

This content was provided by a local, independent contributor to Made in PGH, a lifestyle blog.
Francesca Ferrante

Francesca Ferrante aka The412Franimal is a Blogger/Influencer for travel and ALL things Pittsburgh. Typically you can find her all over the US exploring the best food, views and adult beverages, or at a local PGH brewery watching whatever sport is in season. Passionate about helping others make the best memories, she loves sharing recommendations and tips for restaurants, events, happy hours & more!

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