Perfumer – Quest Room’s Aromatic Escape Room
In my experience, Quest Room has fantastic escape rooms at both of their Los Angeles locations – the raunchy Party Hard and the archaeological Red Giant – especially in terms of production value. Their newest room, Perfumer, is a dark, historical 90-minute adventure that has guests using all their senses to escape in the allotted time.
It is 18th-Century France and the leading perfumer has been arrested for murdering several women to use their scents in his creations. It has been said that he has perfected a new smell that is so powerful and attractive that anyone who catches wind of it will bow to the every whim of the wearer. As competitors in the field of olfactory compositions, my friends and I have 90 minutes to sneak into the perfumer’s laboratory, find his notes, and escape with the groundbreaking scent before the police show up and the perfume is lost for good.
Given the unique theme and narrative of Perfumer, the nature of the puzzles within is inherently refreshing – and pleasantly aromatic. However, with any scent-based puzzle, there is a certain amount of subjectivity that can make the answer a little difficult to agree upon. What one person might think smells like one thing could be completely different to another. Thus is the nature of the game, I suppose. Quest Room does a fantastic job of setting the scene and keeping all of the puzzles and clues time and theme appropriate; there are no bike locks, and most mechanisms take a hands-on approach. My teammates and I found the ingredients, boiled and mixed them together, and “created” the magical perfume.
Like with Red Giant and Party Hard, Perfumer has absolutely amazing production value with stunning sets, realistic and engaging props, and even costumes for the participants to wear (although most of my team took them off due to it being a touch hot inside). Guests are fully immersed in the world, including the hint system, and the narrative even extends to the game master greeting teams upon completion of the room. There are a handful of very fun puzzles that involve physicality, which is always a welcome surprise – one instance can be avoided if a player has mobility problems, but the “successful” ending does require a willingness and capability to move somewhat freely.
Quest Room has rated Perfumer their highest difficulty level, and I would agree that it is somewhat challenging. In addition to the possibility for smells to be muddled, some of the tech within the room either was fickle or we were manipulating it incorrectly; it’s hard to tell for certain, which is in itself a problem. For example, we were positive that we solved the very first puzzle correctly, but the mechanism would not work for us until we tried every combination and circled back to our first guess, which turned out to be right. Also, in a complex room such as this, you might need a higher number of players (up to 6), but this presents an issue with bottle-necking. At certain points, there just weren’t enough puzzles for everyone to keep busy, leaving one or two people watching from the sidelines.
Overall, Perfumer is a simply gorgeous escape room with some clever and innovative puzzles. It really transports players to a different time and place. Slightly sinister, but mostly interesting, Perfumer had me feeling like a mad scientist at times, trying to perfect a chemical reaction. Although I wish there were more puzzles within the room to keep everyone busy, Perfumer is a welcome challenge and a beautiful addition to the Quest Room oeuvre.
See if you can match wits with the Perfumer and escape from the police before they catch you. Book a room HERE, and check out other rooms from Quest Room, like the entertaining Party Hard. For more of our escape room reviews in the Los Angeles area and beyond, click HERE.