• Week of Teaching
  • Natural Perfumery Courseperfumery training

Week of Teaching

Antique perfumer's organ at the Musée International de la Parfumerie

Perfumery students evaluating the scent of roses in Stanley Park, Vancouver

It's been a week of teaching at my studio has come to an end, which explains why I was unable to blog recently. And now that it's over I can share a few moments captured with my little digital iBall.

This week focused on technique and olfactory memory: sharpening the students' skills of remembering, recognizing, categorizing and identifying notes in different contexts. Understanding the different relationships between notes and which molecules they have in common helps greatly in achieving balance in perfume compositions and preventing clutter (the slippery-slope of natural perfumery since the materials are so complex on their own).

Simplicity was an important theme this week as well, learning restraint and sticking to the basics to achieve clear, concise olfactory statements. The fragrance families of citrus and Eau de Cologne for newer students and the intense challenge of creating all-natural soliflores pose a challenge of creating something that is focused on a simple theme yet not boring and also has enough sillage and longevity.

Perfumery student evaluating the fragrance of the living flower of white magnolia at the Rhododendron Garden in Vancouver

Nature is not only a source of materials, but also a source of inspiration. So I always make a point of taking my students outdoors as much as possible and study fresh living plants and notice the aroma in the air. When near water, or in the forest, or near the ocean or on the mountains - the surrounding plants, earth and air changes and so does the scent. This week we went to Ted and Mary Greig's Rhododendron Garden, to view the last blooming azaleas and find other fragrant surprises - which happen to include one rose that smelled intensely of musk and aldehydes (I found it extremely disturbing actually! It smelled like a perfume, not like a rose at all...), a dark red rhododendron redolent of spicy ylang ylang, and a white magnolia that smelled like fresh peeled tangerines and carob blossoms. We also found a white blooming tree that smelled precisely like styrax (Liquidambar orientalis).

In September, a new group of students is being accepted into this 2-year perfumery program. There are still 2 spots available. For information, inquire here.
  • Natural Perfumery Courseperfumery training
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