This was really a new kind of time management game, in which do you not only run a store as an adventurous perfumer in the mid-1940s, but your character, Sophia, also hunts down exotic oils and scents from around the globe to add to your ingredients. Going to the tropical locales is fun, and finding little treasures here is there is great, but when you get to the heart of the game, the perfume shops, Passport to Perfume smells a bit dull and flat.
After Sophia’s father goes missing on a trip to the Brazilian Rain Forest, she takes over the family business back in London of selling perfumes, but this can get a bit tedious, as there is lots of precise pointing and clicking needed. The customers are not patient, and one would think they were in a rush to buy a hamburger rather than a custom-crafted eau de toilette. There is a mixing lab where you mix together citrus, florals, and spices to put together new scents to sell in the stores. Oh yes, you will be expanding, running three stores, London, New York, and the world’s most prestigious perfume capitol, Paris. Your travels are going to take you to China, Hawaii, and other places where you can find new scents.
If it were not for the flawed gameplay mechanics, Passport to Perfume would have a much higher gameplay and fun factor score. If you have ever been interested in this industry, and would like to get an idea of how it works from the ground up, this might be a good way to get your feet wet. As a game, it could do better, but as a tool to learn the trade, it is a fun diversion that could be helpful.