Parfumerie in Saint-Martin

By Fyllis Hockman
This item appears on page 22 of the May 2020 issue.
Fyllis Hockman fashioning perfume at Tijon Parfumerie — Saint-Martin. Photo by Victor Block

People who travel to the French/Dutch Caribbean island of St. Martin and spend all of their time on the beautiful beaches or shopping for bargains are missing a below-the-radar attraction.

For a trip that my husband, Victor, and I took in December 2019, I looked online for things to see and do and found that, on the French side of the island, visitors to the Tijon Parfumerie (1 L’Esperance Grand-Case MF 97150, Route de l’Espérance, Grand-Case, Saint-Martin; can use techniques from France to create their own unique perfume or, for men, cologne.

Visitors each don a lab coat, choose from more than 300 fragrances and leave with their one-of-a-kind scent in an atomizer bottle, which is labeled with a name they choose. It took about 30 minutes to watch a video and get instructions on mixing scents, then we spent about an hour mixing oils to make perfumes, with help from two technicians.

The cost of $95 plus $4 tax included a gift bag of things the place sells worth up to $45, a champagne toast at the end of the session, and the vial of perfume we each created. There were four participants in our group, including one man, who made a cologne.

It makes a great souvenir or a wonderful gift.

Washington, DC