Words and photo by Tristan Ovington.
Follow your nose along a scented path strewn with the aromas of lavender, sandalwood and peony. At the end of the path you will find The Scent Studio, located in Cross Keys, and you will be greeted with a smile by the owner, Anna Karina-Bobby.
Anna reflects on how she came to own her perfume and bath bomb shop. “The shop had been there for six years and I was a loyal customer under the previous owner Celia when it was called Scent & Colour.
“But in October 2021, I came one day for my perfume refills and she told me she was closing and moving to Spain within 10 days. I was devastated to hear I couldn’t get my zero-waste vegan fragrances, but also intrigued by the idea of buying the shop to run as my own business.
“A long-term health condition meant I had been in and out of hospital for the past five years. I was told I couldn’t work for the fear of my health deteriorating further, which was completely disempowering.
“But when I opened on October 5th in 2021 under the new name of The Scent Studio my life completely changed and it gave me hope. Customers have even said, ‘I can tell this is much more than just a job for you because of your passion.”
But the smell of success doesn’t come without challenges. “Brexit has made it difficult to get the stock shipped in and then there is the cost of living crisis,” said Anna.
“I have tried to not raise my prices this year but I will have to increase them in 2023 due to the increasing prices of perfume ingredients.
“I am so grateful to my dear friend, Nicky Machin-Mitchell. I couldn’t have run the shop and served all customers during the busy Christmas period without her.
“And I am proud to have remained open for a year despite all the economic challenges.
“Hopefully, The Scent Studio will still be there for my daughter when I retire so it can sustain a living for her in future.
“I love creating custom gift baskets and spending 1:1 time with customers to ask what the recipient of the gift likes, whether it’s citrus, fruity, woody or other scents.
“We have something for everyone at The Scent Studio, from mini bath fizzers for kids, to aromatherapy bath bombs to alleviate muscle soreness.”