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Satisfy Your Sniffer at Revera Beauty’s Perfume Class

Published: Monday, October 8, 2012

Updated: Thursday, October 11, 2012 18:10

Revera Beauty

Tiera Allen

Olfaction, the sense of smell, connects emotional memories in the brain and can jolt you back to a specific time or place. Fragrances are tricky business and can affect how someone feels in a positive and negative way.

Violet Brand and Susan Kerr own Revera Beauty, a boutique on Roosevelt Row filled with delicious smelling products and perfumes.

They opened shop in January and are dedicated to educating and delighting their customers with all-natural scents.

Brand and Kerr hope to coax out wonderful memories using all-natural essential oils. They can create custom blends that have an array of reactions, but they want you to try it for yourself.

Revera’s most unique service is its perfume classes, in which up to four people sign up for a two-hour class that not only teaches them all about essential oils but helps them come up with their own perfect blend.

Scents and fragrances can be very hit-or-miss depending on the individual, but the key to a fantastic perfume is to approach it with an open mind.

“No, it’s not going to smell like a perfume you buy in a store but it’s going to smell like something you love and you’re going to create it yourself,” Brand said. “It becomes something special.

”While the scents are not synthetic, they have a unique charm. Revera has over 40 oils for customers to pick and choose from, which can be overwhelming.

Luckily, Brand is excellent at what she does. After sitting down with a pen and paper to take notes, students are asked what scents they are drawn to. Brand then starts pulling oils she feels are appropriate based on the responses.

A plethora of oils, such as magnolia, palmarosa, carrot seed, oak moss, ambergris, patchouli, orris root, geranium, tuberose, jasmine, vetiver, bergamot, neroli, sandalwood, and dill are smelled, noted and considered.

The best ones are set aside and, slowly but surely, a cohesive blend becomes clear.

Individuals unfamiliar with essential oils are coached through the class and given a cheat sheet with the oils’ information. Where they’re from, what they’re for, what they smell like, what they blend well with, and what they actual plant looks like are provided.

It’s important to know what you want in your perfume, but it is also just as important to see how it reacts to your individual chemistry.

“When you first put your perfume on you should have a certain feeling about it,” Kerr said. “As the day changes and your body chemistry starts to change with the oils you created, [the perfume] will change. It opens different layers.”

For this very reason, Brand and Kerr hesitate to call any particular scent masculine or feminine, as it really depends on the individual and what it smells like on him or her.

After the class participants find their ideal oil blend, Brand clears the sampling table. She guides the class, but it is the individuals who make their perfume, which is either alcohol- or oil-based. Customers then get to name their perfume and have it engraved on the bottles they take home.

Customers walk out with one-of-a-kind perfumes and know exactly what is in it and where it was made. Revera also has a recycling program that allows them to return the bottles for refills.

Kerr and Brand come from different backgrounds of aroma therapy and understand how it can be used in perfumes and for health purposes. They truly understand the oils they carry.

“There are accords in perfumes,” Brand said. “A chord is three notes and an accord in a perfume has three notes. Three different scents, three different accords, create one beautiful scent and that’s how you build the symphony of your fragrance. It’s really special, just like a song.”

Revera Beauty, 610 E. Roosevelt Avenue, Unit 149, Phoenix, 602.281.9005,, Wednesday to Saturday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., $60 (by appointment only)


Revera Beauty is not only a place to create perfume but is also an aroma therapy Mecca with all-natural bath and body products for men and women. Revera’s line ranges from lip balm to foot cream, but here are some standout products to check out.

Efflorescent Milk Bath, $5
This skin-softening mixture of oats, powdered goat milk, green tea and flower petals is activated when tossed into a bath. The milk bath pouch can also be lightly scented to your liking.

Lemon Olive Scalp Treatment, $22
Taking care of your hair is important, but your scalp needs some loving too. This lemon olive scalp treatment hydrates dry or damaged hair and treats your scalp.

Revera Perfumes, Prices vary
The Revera ladies create a multitude of scents that are available for purchase. They are constantly changing, but if something you enjoy is no longer in stock, never fear; they keep every recipe on file and can recreate it for you. Sizes range from 50 to 100 ml.  

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