From Versailles to Bermuda: A Perfume Intern's Story

Summer of 2023, I got the opportunity to come to Bermuda for an internship as a part of my Master’s Programme at ISIPCA, Versailles. Passionate to start working in the world of perfume, this internship at Lili Bermuda fell into place at the perfect time, like a true blessing.

I arrived at LF Wade airport on Thursday 1st June after a long day of travelling. It was raining heavily which was quite contrary to the Sunny Bermuda that I had in mind. Isabelle was there to pick me up, with her massive Lili Bermuda umbrella and we drove to a cute little cottage in St. David’s which would be my home for the next 3 months. We then went to Wahoo’s for dinner in the torrential rain, it was truly memorable.

Even with all the rain, Bermuda remains beautiful. I think about the first time Isabelle drove me to work, the island of St. George’s is so dreamy. I remember being slightly overwhelmed on my first day, smelling Lili Bermuda perfumes for the first time and meeting the amazing team of Lili Bermuda whom I’ve grown extremely fond of.

Throughout this internship, I was exposed to all the types of tasks it takes to run a successful perfume business. I got to organize the Perfume-making workshops and host them alongside Master Perfumer, Isabelle. I had the opportunity to make and formulate perfume with her in the Perfumery. I also had days of being creative and decorating promotional windows for the newest fragrance, Island Rose. Along with that, I would also help the Lili Bermuda team with sales activities, serving customers, and meticulous packaging upstairs in the beautiful store in St. George's. Sometimes I even got to work at the store in Dockyard for which I can romanticize and say I caught the ferry to work. 

Isabelle is the best mentor I could’ve asked for. With her business, she is a perfectionist, which is crucial for this business. She is incredible and truly inspiring in the way she handles every aspect of the Perfumery so well. Working here has made me sharper, more careful about paying attention to details. I now work with the thought of “Isabelle is watching, what would she say and think?” Haha. She has a mind full of ideas and it is sometimes hard to keep up with but I’m always mind-blown. As a person, she is warm and caring. She’s taken such good care of me and made sure I am okay every day. She is generous with sharing her knowledge, passion and love, I have been so fortunate to have encountered a person like her in my life and the start of my career.

Something I am really thankful for is the people I met in Bermuda, the lovely people I got to interact with at the workshops and the store. Bermuda is such a wonderful place. The people are so friendly, the food and cocktails are delightful, and the views are gorgeous. I will miss the dock next to my cottage, my neighbours, the stunning beaches, the blue water, the beautiful sunsets, the sound of the tree frogs at night and Cassava Pie!!

I always tell people who ask me how my internship has been, that coming to Bermuda and getting this internship was like winning a lottery ticket and I know that I will come back to the Island, to meet the people who have been so kind to me, and for the feel of being in paradise. As for perfume, I won’t find scents like those of Lili Bermuda anywhere in all over Paris. There is something special about each perfume here because of the thought and love that goes into its creation, bringing out the true beauty and purpose of niche perfumery. Pink remains my favourite, it has my whole heart, followed by Island Rose and Mary Celestia!

To everyone I’ve met during my time in Bermuda: Thank you for everything, it has been a marvellous adventure from the start to the end and I am truly grateful. 

Lots of love,
Somiwon Modi

Somi - Bermuda Perfumery Intern

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