Trend Alert: Perfume Parties

Grab your bridesmaids and create signature scents.

Whoever invented the Tupperware party—a Saturday afternoon when your mom invites all the other moms over to buy kitchenware—opened the door for parties selling much cooler products. For example, bras (which, come on, totally trump plastic bowls). And last week I learned about a Tupperware-style shower idea: gathering the bridesmaids to create custom perfumes.

An Urban Botanic party, like any of the others, will be a sales pitch—but it’s a really, really fun one. Catherine Javier-Wong, the company’s representative for the Washington area, will bring over a suitcase and unpack 66 little bottles of scented oils, chatting and laughing as if she’s been doing this her whole life. (She started at the company last year.) Smell five, smell all 66—whatever it takes for you to pick your favorites. If you’re overwhelmed, take Urban Botanic’s online test, created with the help of psychologists, to find your scent “family,” such as floral or fruity. It’s not quite on the nose—I tested as an herby girl but skipped the basil and sage scents in favor of vanilla and cinnamon—but it kind of made me want to buy a copy of Seventeen magazine. “Does he have a crush on you?”

When you’ve picked your favorite smells, Javier-Wong will help you mix them, testing different oil-to-oil ratios in Urban Botanic shot glasses. If you hate what you’ve made, start again. If you’re happy, time to whip out the wallet (the party itself is free): Mix your scent into a perfume, body lotion, shower gel/hand soap, or bubble bath and then buy it. Prices range from $12.50 for the bubble bath or shower gel to $24.95 for the perfume. Or ask for Javier-Wong’s special, not listed on the price sheet: $48 for a three-item combo. Sometimes, Javier-Wong says, the bride decides to pick up the tab and give the products as bridesmaid gifts.

Hey, men—Javier-Wong said she once had a groom create a custom fragrance for his bride. I’m just saying. . . .


To contact Javier-Wong about setting up your own scent party, e-mail her at

If you’re customizing your wedding-day scent, you may as well customize your wedding-day cocktail. Read more about that here

To read the latest Bridal Party blog posts, click here