Perfumes of the Maghreb

A specialist tour in Morocco.

A 13 day excursion, exploring the history and cultural significance of perfumes. The tour is hosted by Jewellery expert Sarah Corbett, Jewellery Historian Sigrid Van Roode, and Scented Paste Maker Charlotte Dakin Norris. With support from the Kyrn team, Jim Ross and Amber Corbett

9th May – 21st May 2023

The tour cost is £4300 per person, with a 10% discount for those wishing to share accommodations.


Tuesday 9th May

Arrivals in Moroccan Airport. You will be met at the airport of your choice and transferred to your riad, where you can relax following your journey. Options are Marrakech (RAK) (your private transfer is included in your tour) or Casablanca (CMN) (Private transfers are available from Casablanca at cost).

We will stay in a luxury riad in the magical red city of Marrakech in large private rooms with en-suite bathrooms: your first encounter with the scents of Moroccan hospitality!

Our riad, the former home of Josephine Baker, will be our base to start this incredible journey. We will gather here for a fantastic traditional meal in the evening. Feel the style and joy of the Jazz Age in this beautiful Marrakech Riad.

Wednesday 10th May

We will enjoy breakfast in our riad. Our morning will be educational as Sigrid and Charlotte immerse us in the world of perfume in a talk covering some of the historical aspects of the use of perfume, along with an introduction to scented paste and the process of creating it. You will begin to understand the importance of fragrance in both the social and the spiritual world: a perfect basis to lead us into our afternoon activities.

For lunch, we go to the Restaurant & Cafe Limoni. Their pretty patio is shaded by lemon trees, with music gently filling the space from the sunny terraces and the scent of the best Italian cuisine. It is a relaxing corner with a vintage feel and a touch of modern design.

We will visit the perfume museum to explore the array of scents within Moroccan cultural history. Located in a 19th-century riad in the heart of the Medina of Marrakech, restored in 2006 by the perfumer Abderrazzak Benchaâbane, the perfume museum invites visitors to discover the world of the art of perfumes. From distillation to bottling, the museum’s various rooms describe the different stages of transformation of the raw materials used in the composition of perfumes, cosmetics and body and body care products. This intimate, dedicated museum is a sensory delight; we will enjoy the exhibits and create our own individual perfumes in a perfumes masterclass to take home with us.

Thursday 11th May

We will walk through the souks of Marrakech and visit the Mellah. The Mellah of Marrakesh, formerly known as Hay Essalam, is the Jewish Quarter (Mellah) of the city of Marrakesh. It is the second oldest of its kind in the country. We will visit a wholesaler of oils and natural ingredients for our perfume-making adventure. An experience that will make your nose tingle!

We will stop in the Medina for lunch and then return to our riad, where we will have the spacious kitchen at our disposal to learn the unique process of creating scented paste with Charlotte.

We will eat dinner in the Medina on a stunning roof terrace.

Friday 12th May

Today we take to the road!

With a winding journey over the High Atlas Mountains, crossing the Tiz n Tchika pass, stopping along the way to see argan oil production at a women’s cooperative. We will have the option to purchase Argan oil here at the source. Produced from the argan tree’s kernels (Argania spinosa L.) endemic to Morocco, argan oil is used to dip bread in at breakfast or to drizzle on couscous or pasta. It is also used for cosmetic purposes.

In the afternoon, we will arrive in Ait Benhaddou; an ancient Kasbah used as the backdrop for numerous famous movies. We will explore inside the Kasbah and visit the gallery of Hafida Zizi, an inspirational Female Moroccan artist.

Our accommodation is just outside the ancient Kasbah, with amazing views across the river to this ancient stopping point on the trade routes from the south.

We will enjoy a wonderful meal in our riad.

Saturday 13th May

We will continue our travels to Keelat Mgoun for an extraordinary experience: the annual Rose festival of Morocco.

The Damask rose was brought to Morocco by the French in 1938. There has been an annual rose festival since that time. The festival is a visual and sensory delight: roses, songs, dresses, and jewels! We will visit the famous valley of the roses at harvest time and enjoy the celebrations around the harvest. We will purchase rose water and oils, explore the products made locally and soak up the ambience. We will stay in a clifftop kasbah overlooking the Mgoun Valley, with the most stunning vistas of the surrounding region.

Sunday 14th May

Today we will visit the city of Ouarzazatte.

For a long time, Ouarzazate was a small crossing point for African traders on their way to northern Morocco and Europe. There will be the opportunity to search for perfume-related jewellery. The Jewellery Quarter of Ouarzazatte is compact and has many great places to find jewels, and we can explore for a whole or part day. There are also film studios to visit and quad bikes for those who fancy it! We have plenty of people in the team to allow all of these to happen at once!

We will spend the evening in Ouarzazatte

Monday 15th May

We will take the road to the Saffron growing regions, where we will stop to purchase local Saffron. Taliouine, the heart of Morocco’s Saffron producing region, lies south of Marrakesh and east of Taroudant. The city itself is small – just under 6,000 people – but produces more Saffron than any other place in Africa

Our route takes us across the Tiz n Test, a high mountain pass at an elevation of 2.101m (6,893ft) above the sea level located on the boundary between the Marrakesh-Safi and Souss-Massa-Drâa regions of Morocco. It’s one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Our destination is a rose garden in the highest part of Morocco.

Along the way will visit Tinmal Mosque, A 12th-century Mosque built by the Almohads and one of just three mosques which can be visited in Morocco.

The spacious residence is in the Toubkal national park. Jbel Toubkal is the highest peak of the park at 4,167 metres. We will spend a few days in this mountain top paradise with several swimming pools, a spa, herb gardens, rose gardens and pony and horse trekking.

Tuesday 16th May

We will wake up and appreciate the unique surroundings and explore our 23-hectare accommodations and its rich fauna and flora

In the heart of Amazigh country, among the tranquil foothills of the High Atlas Mountains, founded over fifty years ago by Mr Abdelkader Fenjiro, an early pioneer of Moroccan hospitality and hotel industry.

After falling in love with the beauty of the Ouirgane Valley, Mr Fenjiro left the comfort and security of the prestigious Mamounia Palace, where he served as General Director, to embark on an ambitious journey guided by his dream of creating a unique mountain retreat.

This morning we can relax, use the pools and the spa, and maybe take a guided walk or a pony trek; there is a hydro pool and a beautiful herb garden. Plenty to explore and enjoy!

In the afternoon, we will gather to use the scented paste we created in Marrakech to form beads and pendants. Charlotte will run this creative workshop and guide us all through the processes of creating our very own scented paste treasures.

Wednesday 17th May

Another morning to enjoy the facilities at this mountain top paradise!

In the afternoon, we will gather to continue to work on our scented paste creations. Sarah will show some stringing techniques for those who wish to make jewellery with their pendants and beads. You are welcome to bring some beads for this activity, or we can buy some along the way.

We will share an evening meal in the mountains before our return to Marrakech

Thursday 18th May

We will head down the mountain once more, passing through beautiful rural landscapes along the way. Returning to our Marrakech Palace home, we will enjoy some refreshing mint tea and then head to the Medina for a visit to a spice and perfume shop to have an informative explanation of the use of herbs, spices and perfumes in Morocco. There are many traditional uses, fascinating natural ways to adorn, flavour, scent and even deter clothes moths. We can ask about any which interests us and see, smell and touch all of these local products and exotic imported ones too.

There will be time for either souk exploring or a visit to the newly restored Ben Youssef Madrassa.

We will eat in the Medina.

Friday 19th May

In the morning, We will visit the MAP museum in Marrakech.

The MAP was born of the audacity and generosity of Marlène and Paolo Gallone. During their world-wanderings, this couple of art lovers and frequent travellers were fascinated by the genius and imagination of Man: ornaments, jewellery and textiles from around the globe, precious or humble fragments, echo so many identities and stories!

After lunch, we will explore some jewellery shops hunting again for perfume-related jewels and adornments, with dinner in a beautiful restaurant near our riad in the evening.

Saturday 20th May

This morning we will make the finishing touches to our created beads and pendants.

After a late lunch in the Madina, we will take part in a unique sharing experience. We head to a local museum to enjoy a presentation by Sigrid and Charlotte for both our group and an invited group of Moroccan women, an extraordinary chance to meet with, chat with and learn from Moroccan women about their use of and connections to perfume.

We will dine in our riad and celebrate our discoveries and creations.

Sunday 21st May

Free time and departures

Sigrid van Roode is a jewellery historian. She specializes in the history of traditional jewellery from North Africa and Southwest Asia, and is the author of Silver & Frankincense, a book focusing on the use of fragrance in this region. She teaches (online) classes and workshops, curates exhibitions and works as jewellery consultant with her own company Bedouin Silver. Sigrid will be sharing her research and providing background insights into cultural, social, historical and spiritual aspects of fragrance throughout the tour.

Charlotte Dakin-Norris is a designer / maker with an honours degree specialising in silver and glass. She subsequently focused on making glass beads – miniature works of art, and was chairman of Glass Beadmakers UK, which included writing and publishing the yearly journal. In the last 6 years she has researched and experimented with scented paste formulas to recreate ‘skhab” beads and has a YouTube channel where she shares her knowledge and recipes. Charlotte also co-teaches a weekly ceramics and glass class.

The price includes: Airport transfers ( From RAK transfers can be arranged at cost from Casablanca) Accommodation, breakfasts, entry to monuments, transport.

The price does not include : Visas, flights, tips, lunches, , evening meals.