Crafting Memories: Top 5 Unique Experiences for the Global Traveler in Vietnam

perfume making workshop by NOTE

To embark on a journey to Vietnam is to dive into a world where the old interweaves seamlessly with the new, and traditional practices sit comfortably alongside contemporary innovations. For the international traveler seeking experiences beyond the beaten path, Vietnam offers a tapestry of activities that are as unique as they are engaging. This article aims to shed light on the top five innovative and distinctive activities that foreign tourists can partake in during their visit to Vietnam, with a particular focus on the increasingly popular workshop experience of perfume making. Towards the end, we will introduce a notable opportunity to engage in this olfactory adventure at NOTE – The Scent Lab, located in Lotte Mall Westlake (Hanoi) and Thao Dien (Ho Chi Minh City).

1. Cultural Immersion through Traditional Art Forms

Vietnam’s rich cultural heritage is nowhere more evident than in its traditional art forms, such as water puppetry, silk painting, and the intricate performances of Tuong or Hat Boi. Engaging in these art forms provides a unique lens through which tourists can understand the local culture, history, and values. Workshops and live performances offer a hands-on experience, enabling visitors not just to witness but to actively participate in these age-old traditions.

2. Eco-Adventures in Vietnam’s Untouched Wilderness

Vietnam’s diverse landscape is home to some of the world’s most stunning natural wonders, from the limestone karsts of Ha Long Bay to the sprawling deltas of the Mekong River. Eco-adventure activities like kayaking, cave exploration in Phong Nha-Ke Bang National Park, and trekking in the terraced rice fields of Sapa, offer a blend of thrill and awe. These activities not only provide an adrenaline rush but also promote sustainable tourism and a deeper appreciation for Vietnam’s natural beauty.

3. Culinary Expeditions Beyond Pho and Banh Mi

While Pho and Banh Mi have won international acclaim, Vietnam’s culinary scene is incredibly rich and varied, offering flavors and dishes unique to each region. Culinary tours and cooking classes focusing on local specialties, such as Hue’s royal cuisine or Hanoi’s street food, allow tourists to delve deeper into the Vietnamese way of life. These experiences often include market tours, hands-on cooking sessions, and, of course, the joy of tasting one’s own creations.

4. The Art of Ao Dai Tailoring

The Ao Dai, Vietnam’s traditional dress, is a symbol of beauty, elegance, and national pride. Workshops on Ao Dai tailoring offer visitors a unique opportunity to learn about the art and intricacies involved in making this beautiful garment. Participants can select their fabric, work alongside skilled tailors, and eventually take home a custom-made Ao Dai—a timeless souvenir of their Vietnamese adventure.

5. Perfume Making Workshops at NOTE – The Scent Lab

Amidst the sensory experiences that Vietnam offers, perfume making stands out as a unique and intimate way to capture the essence of the country’s diverse flora. NOTE – The Scent Lab, with locations in Lotte Mall Westlake (Hanoi) and Thao Dien (Ho Chi Minh City), offers workshops that guide participants through the process of creating their own signature scent. This activity appeals not only to the olfactory senses but also to the creative spirit, offering insights into the art of perfume making.

Deep Dive into the World of Perfumery

At NOTE – The Scent Lab, participants embark on a journey through the history and science of perfumery, learning about the extraction of scents, the role of base, middle, and top notes, and the delicate balance required to blend a harmonious fragrance. The workshops are led by experienced perfumers who share their knowledge and passion for the craft, making it a richly educational experience.

The process begins with an exploration of various scents derived from Vietnam’s rich biodiversity—citrus from the Central Highlands, spices from the North, and aquatic notes reminiscent of the country’s vast coastline. Participants then proceed to select and blend these essences under expert guidance, crafting a perfume that reflects their personal style and memories of Vietnam.

A Souvenir Beyond the Ordinary

The resultant perfume is more than a mere souvenir; it is a bespoke creation that captures the essence of the participant’s Vietnamese experience in a bottle. It serves as a tangible, personal reminder of their journey—a scent that can transport them back to the vibrant streets, lush landscapes, and warm people of Vietnam.

Visiting NOTE – The Scent Lab

For those interested in this unique experience, NOTE – The Scent Lab welcomes visitors at its two locations. In Hanoi, the workshop is nestled within the contemporary setting of Lotte Mall Westlake, providing a serene escape from the bustling city. The Thao Dien location in Ho Chi Minh City offers a tranquil setting that reflects the artistic and laid-back vibe of the neighborhood.

Participants are encouraged to book in advance to secure a spot in the workshops. Each session provides all necessary materials, and no prior experience in perfume making is needed. It’s an open invitation to explore, create, and indulge in the artistry of scent-making.


Vietnam’s array of unique and immersive activities offers international tourists an opportunity to experience the country in ways that go beyond conventional sightseeing. From the adrenaline of eco-adventures and the richness of culinary explorations to the cultural depth of traditional arts and the personal touch of creating one’s own perfume, these experiences enrich the travel narrative, making every visit unforgettable.

Engaging in a perfume-making workshop at NOTE – The Scent Lab stands out as a highlight, offering a blend of creativity, education, and personal expression. It’s a testament to Vietnam’s evolving tourism landscape, where traditional charm meets innovative experiences. For those seeking to bring home a piece of Vietnam, a bespoke fragrance crafted in the heart of this beautiful country offers a unique and enduring souvenir.

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