Product Type: Hamleys Child Development
Newest Review: ... with two similar kits. When we were opening up the box, I was pleased to see the contents were tidily laid out in a clear moulded p... more
The sweet smell of success ........
Hamleys Perfume Laboratory
Member Name: thehonesttruth
Hamleys Perfume Laboratory
Advantages: Great kit with everything included, clear instructions,
Disadvantages: Younger children will need supervision, food colouring could be potentially messy
Firstly, I'd like to preface this review by stating that I am writing about the pictured product, the Wild Science Perfume Laboratory, which is, as far as I am aware, not manufactured by Hamleys . I'm not sure why Dooyoo have headed this category up with the Hamleys branding, but I believe this review is in the right place .
My daughter, despite tomboyish outward appearances, is a bit of a girly girl - she loves anything flowery or scented, and one ofher favourite activities in the summer is to gather flower petals and steep them in boiling water in an attempt to make perfume . This endeavour is usually successful only in making a rather big mess of my kitchen, with very little scent being coaxed out of the various petals my daughter cheerfully begs from neighbours gardens .
Seeing adverts for this Perfume Laboratory in the run up to christmas, this seemed a perfect present for her. Looking the product up on Amazon to get a little more detail, I was impressed to see that as well as being able to make perfume with this kit, she would also be able to make pot pourri, burp slime, and scented gel crystals . I also noticed that the recommended age for this toy is 8 years and over . My daughter is seven, but I decided that, as she would only be using this toy whilst supervised by either myself or my boyfriend, this would be a perfectly safe purchase. The product costs 15.44 on Amazon, but I managed to save a small amount by purchasing it together with two similar kits.
When we were opening up the box, I was pleased to see the contents were tidily laid out in a clear moulded plastic tray, keeping them nice and secure, which also allowed for the tray to be placed on a table top, with all the equipment easily available and neatly laid out . Included within the kit are several small vials, a plunger syringe, several sachets containing scented tabs, tweezers, mixing sticks, labels, a slime pot with food colouring and slime ingredients, and a vial of crystals . Also included is an instruction booklet, and a seperate leaflet detailing important safety cautions.
The instructions themselves were easy to understand - not only for me, but for my daughter too, which I felt was a nice touch, as it enabled her to make the perfumes herself with only minimal interference from me. The written instructions were accompanied by clear diagrams and illustrations, and the booklet itself was pretty colourful making it interesting to look at.
The first thing my daughter decided to make was some perfume, and she carefully picked her choice of scen from the four included (mint, eucalyptus, rose, and jasmine). Opting for Jasmine, she carefully followed the instructions, squeezing the scented tab to the bottom of the plunger, before adding the right amount of warm water, shaking, then finally filtering and decanting the scent into the little vials . The whole process of creating her first perfume took about ten minutes from start to finish, with the only slight difficulty for her being using the plunger, which is actually a little big for small hands. I was impressed at how well she measured the water out, and by how vigourous her shaking of the perfume was, and the end result was very pleasing - a light rose scented perfume. It was nothing too complex, and certainly won't be putting big name perfume manufacturers out of business, but my daughter was very impressed with her creation .
Then it was onto the slime . The instructions actually recommended blending a perfume to add to the slime to make it scented, but my wise daughter decided there was no chance she was wasting her perfume on that, and elected to make it unscented . This was an incredible simple process, just involving mixing the powder with some water in the storage jar provided, and then stirring vigorously until the slime thickened. My daughter was very impressed with the way the slime turned out, and even more impressed when she then proceeded to squish it up and down in the pot making farting noises!
The scented gel pourri was the activity in the kit that needed the most adult supervision, becuase it called for the crystals to be carefully measured out, and also for the use of food colouring, that could potentially be messy . There was a red food colouring included, but with em being a bit of a baker, we also had several other colours available in the house, which we took great delight in mixing together to make various different colours . My daughter did elect to use some perfume in this, and made up a batch of mint scented fragrance. The end result was a dish of lovely jelly like scented crystals with a refreshing mint fragrance that is currently freshening up our living room .
I did have some concerns when purchasing this kit that it might be one where everything would be used up quickly, and then need replacing at an extortionate price, but actually I have found that my daughter is surprisingly economical, coming to the common sense conclusion that using a little mroe water will result in a larger batch of perfume, albeit with a slightly lighter scent . The instruction booklet also recommends trying to make perfume with flower petals, using the plunger to compress them end extract the sense, and a quick try with some lilies has actually worked very well, although the perfume was yellow in colour even after filtering due to the pollen .
I think this is a great little kit for girls, and think that children under the recommended age of eight could certainly use it safely with some supervision . I actually think the booklet with the instructions in is quite educational, without being so scientific it takes all the fun away . Measuring, readng and processing information, and following instructions are all important life skills that could be enhanced with this kit, and the booklet even explains in the closing pages how this kit can be used to tie in with some parts of the national curriculum .
A brilliant toy that is fun, allows for creativity, and improves essential skills - a fantastic 5 stars .
Summary: A fantastic bit of kit
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