Dexter Schools Teacher Creates a Scent of Success in Custom Perfume Making


ATELIER DE FLEUR, a French term for “flower workshop,” isn’t just an endearing translation, it’s the name of a tucked away gem that offers people a perfume crafting experience in Ann Arbor and surrounding areas. This home-based business was created by local substitute teacher, artist, mother, and entrepreneur Kim Easterday. Easterday, originally from Dearborn, resides in Ann Arbor near the Dexter border where she and her husband raised their family. Easterday co-founded the business in May 2021 with her daughter Maddison. Up to now, word of mouth and the company website have been their recent means of marketing.

With a substantial background in internet and computers, Easterday also had a successful pottery studio, called Garden Shed Art Studio. “I did pottery in college,” said Easterday, “and I was doing it on and off at the Ann Arbor Art Center.” Some of her pieces were in art galleries and have even won prizes. After 15 years in business, the artist got whiff of something new, and turned the shed into a hands-on fragrance studio.

“My daughter and I went to France when she graduated high school in 2016,” said Easterday, “we were there for three weeks, and went all over.” The duo was able to have their own journey among the trade and felt inspired to bring this newfound knowledge and existing love for the craft back home. The traveling mother daughter arranged to do a workshop with European experts, and immersed themselves among the pros. “I knew there were perfumers,” said Easterday, “There are men and women called noses, who walk and talk you through everything.” The two had this experience in perfume mecca, Grasse, located along the French Riviera where the industry has long been established and the legacy continues.

Since early human civilizations, crafting oils and creating scent is said to date back more than 4,000 years. Perfuming made its way into popularity in the late 19th century and has excelled ever since. How we relate to smell can be custom to our personal experiences, “It’s memory evoking,” said Easterday, “I’m the type of person who cooks in her head, and perfume started to feel like that, but it’s a real training thing.” As romantic as it may be, there are many important fundamentals to learn and understand before the perfect combination of aromas hit your nose. STN was lucky to be given an inside look into what the local workshop does, and how.

Once seated and ready to create, Easterday will lead each student through the creative process and fundamentals. Accords are used to build complexity to create combined scents and are essential to begin the process. They consist of notes, top notes, heart notes, and base notes, “You want some of all of them,” said Easterday. You can expect to see common notes such as Bergamot, Jasmine, Amber, and many more that may not be as instinctual. ATELIER DE FLEUR offers up to 50 different notes to choose from, “I’m fascinated by what people pick,” said Easterday, “I learn a lot from watching people do it.”

As one makes their way through smelling a scent, you’ll smell another, and another, take a break…and breathe in some coffee beans to reset. Each step helps produce a bouquet built by you, with tactful guidance. Customers will write each step of the process down, sample what they have created and let the formula speak for itself. Each scent is beautifully bottled and sent home with consumers to let the perfume gradually assemble, “I try to get as pure of a scent as I can,” stated Easterday.

ATELIER DE FLEUR offers services to men, women, and children of all ages. They have been booked for events such as wedding showers, birthday parties and other celebrations. There are typically groups of 7 per class, and each lasts an hour to an hour and a half. The workshop gives locals an inside look into this ancient craft, while promoting a personal and customizable experience. During or after an event, partakers can request their fragrance made into other products such as room spray and lotion. Check out to book an event and to learn more.

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