Karen Van Dyck and Stacey Moore use natural ingredients to craft custom perfumes for clients in one-on-one sessions. Visit thestillroomperfumery.ca to learn more, or stop by the shop in Oak Bay (Photo: Cathie Ferguson).

Travel back in time with scents that connect you to the natural world

Oak Bay perfumery forages, distils and concocts custom scents in one-on-one sessions

Years ago, Karen Van Dyck was at home rocking her sleeping baby daughter near Shawnigan Lake when the smell of Cottonwood buds wafted in through the door.

“It’s a heavenly aroma. I thought, what if I could put it in a bottle that scent, drop it at a bus stop in Winnipeg in the middle of winter, where someone would pull out the cork and be instantly transported?”

She started researching aromatherapy and the ancient art of perfume, developed her own natural cosmetic line, studied with esteemed perfumer Mandy Aftel in Berkeley, and eventually dropped her career in high school education to pursue perfumery full time. A generation later, perfumer Stacey Moore walked into Van Dyck’s shop, her own baby in tow.

“It was like we spoke the same language,” Van Dyck says of their shared passion, knowledge and experience with natural scents. Now the two women share their perfume and distilling talents at The Still Room Perfumery in Oak Bay.

“Often we overlook the importance of scent because we prioritize sight, but scent is a very personal. It’s connected to memory, and grounds us in the natural world,” Moore says. “I think of it as time travel — I can take myself anywhere through scent and my imagination. Scent tells a story.”

Custom perfume service

Besides a collection of artisan perfumes, The Still Room stocks nature-focused local crafts like pottery, gemstone jewellery, natural skincare, candles and tea, but most customers come in to connect with Van Dyck and Moore’s extensive knowledge and go on a “scent journey.”

“This is an experience, not just a retail shop,” Van Dyck says.

Sign up for a signature perfume session and you’ll work with The Still Room to make a custom scent.

“We get to know our clients by taking them on a scent journey. They don’t see the names of anything they’re smelling, and we teach as we go,” Moore says. “We use the client’s true intuition to find out what they really want. They may say they want vanilla, for example, but when when they smell natural vanilla without knowing what it is, they may not choose it!”

RELATED READING: The language of scent

At the end of your session you get a bottle of your perfume in a designer glass bottle and a copy of your custom recipe. The Still Room grows, forages and distils local plants, as well as sourcing exotic essences from around the world. The highest quality ensures the best perfumes.

“As artists, the aromatics are our palette. You can tell when you smell something whether it’s true or synthetic,” says Moore, who advises clients to focus on ‘synthetic-free’ instead of ‘scent-free’. “It’s about connecting to the natural world, to yourself, and to beauty.”

To sign up for a signature perfume session or to register for a class, visit stillroomperfumery.ca or email thestillroom004@gmail.com. For an old world experience stop by the shop at 1846 Oak Bay Ave., or follow them on Facebook and Instagram. Learn more about Moore at Flore Botanical Alchemy and Van Dyck at K Van Kyck Parfum.

oak baywomen entrepreneurs

 

At the end of your signature perfume session at The Still Room you get a bottle of your perfume in a designer glass bottle and a copy of your custom recipe (Photo: Cathie Ferguson).

The Still Room in Oak Bay carries local herbs and exotic essences from around the world (Photo: Cathie Ferguson).

Just Posted

Cook Street Village grocery icon closing, new owners plan major renovation

Louie family has operated Oxford Foods and predecessor for five decades at Cook and Oxford streets

WorkSafeBC investigating death at Victoria Customs House construction site

Prevention officer will ensure all safety issues addressed before work starts again

Three years for serial bank robber who hit Sidney branch

Lucas Bradwell was wanted for robberies in Sidney, Abbotsford and Vancouver

PHOTOS: Gallery explores ‘broken promises’ during Japanese Canadian internment in 1940s

‘Broken Promises’ to acknowledge the thousands of Japanese Canadians who faced dispossession

POLL: Do you agree with the decision to call a provincial election for Oct. 24?

British Columbians will put their social distancing skills to the test when… Continue reading

Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Join Black Press Media and Do Some Good

Pay it Forward program supports local businesses in their community giving

Island Corridor Foundation launches survey on importance of Vancouver Island rail

“ICF remains 100 per cent committed to the restoration of full rail service on Vancouver Island”

Island RCMP remind drivers not to text after 19 tickets handed out in 90 minutes

The $368 fines were handed out Tuesday on Norwell Drive and Old Island Highway in Nanaimo

Vanderhoof’s Brian Frenkel takes on top job in tough times

We can get through this, new local government leader says

Local councils important, Horgan says as municipal conference ends

B.C. NDP leader says ‘speed dating’ vital, online or in person

Penticton woman sentenced to one year in prison for manslaughter of teen boyfriend

Kiera Bourque, 24, was sentenced for manslaughter in the 2017 death of Penticton’s Devon Blackmore

Most Read