The past two weeks have been uber-busy for me, at times even sleepless. The time this blog post is published will serve as an evidence. There were many things in the making - including two new retail spots in Vancouver (Belmondo Skin Care Studio is one, and the other will be announced at a later date), various special events (i.e.: Mi Casa’s Christmas Party & Open House) and last but not least 3 full days dedicated to my perfumery students who came over from all parts of North America just to learn natural perfume at my studio!
This is the first time I’m holding a mixed-level group, something I decided to try in order to allow my correspondence students a more realistic and convenient opportunity to travel for a more in-depth instruction over the course of 3 days instead of just one. The challenge for me was to not bore the more advanced students with redundant information (at least by presenting it differently and using new examples of raw materials and perfumes), and at the same time make sure those who are starting at step 1 receive a thorough introduction that I always give new students.
As much as theory is important, there is no doubt in me that the practical parts of the weekend are the most valuable and probably were the most memorable for my students (even if at times I’m quite sure that my exercises could seem a bit odd to some). Some things you just can’t learn from a book. Making perfumes is one of them. This is the reason why they have packed their bags and traveled so far just for three days. A picture is worth a thousand words and sometimes only seeing is believing. For others, encouragement and coaxing to think out of the box and to dare experimenting without worrying about how terrible the results may smell is what it’s al about.
What I wanted to achieve in this course more than anything else is to create a stimulating and nurturing learning environment that provides hands-on guidance and experiential learning. It is important for me to teach each student what they need to learn, based on their level, interests and professional goals. While many useful techniques and efficient work habits are taught, there is always room for new ways of thinking. And even though I am officially the teacher, there is always something new I learn from my students. We all perceive scent a little differently and sharing those concepts and impressions in the classes is invaluable. My students also teach my by forcing me to reflect on how I communicate both olfactory and abstract or interpersonal ideas.
The next term begins February 1st and there is room for up to 6 correspondence students in the first level. This will include an option for participation in the intensive weekend too, which will run either in May or June (more details TBA). To register you can pay online (the correspondence course fees include the essences kit for level 1) but you must first contact me with your CV and a cover letter explaining your reasons for applying to the course and your goals. There is an Early Bird price until November 30th offering 10% off the full tuition.