I hope I am not exhausting everybody with posts today, there just seems to be so much going on, so much to write about and all in such a short time!
Today, March 1st, is the first day of the second term of the Apprenticeship Program at the Artisan Natural Perfumers’ Guild. I felt very fortunate to be offered the role of Program Coordinator at the Guild last August, and do a service to the growing field of Artisan Natural Perfumery and the Natural Perfumery community. The
The reason I would like to talk about it here on my blog is two-fold: Firstly, I believe it is a fantastic program (and if you read more about it, you will understand why); and secondly, I can’t even count the instances where I received emails with inquiries about perfume education, requests for problem solving, etc., that I thought it would be nice to announce this on my blog:
a) The Apprenticeship Program is in existence and is open to all Guild members in the enthusiast level, so if you consider joining the Guild this is one of the most amazing benefits the Guild offers.
b) There is a study group on Yahoo, hosted by the Guild’s director, Anya McCoy, which is open to all levels of natural perfumers. This is a very friendly community with members anywhere from the professional master perfumer to the novice. A great place to network as well as find many questions answered (the group has archives of over four years, complied of tried and true information from working perfumers and enthusiasts).
c) If you want to receive in-depth Natural Perfumery education that is tailored to your level and your needs, one of the best thing you can do (besides work really hard) is find a perfumer who would be willing to either teach, or take on an apprentice. I happen to be one of them, so if you are interested in studying natural with me, contact me to receive more details and to register.
The Artisan Natural Perfumers’ Guild offers an Apprenticeship Program to its Enthusiast members. The Apprenticeship Program is a six-month period (AKA term or semester) in which an Enthusiast enters into a Mentoring agreement with a Perfumer, wherein the Enthusiast submits one question per month. The program is free of charge. The Apprentice may, upon submittal of application, continue on in the program for more semesters, after review by the Guild President and the Apprenticeship Program Coordinator.
The philosophy behind the program is to maintain, nourish and evolve the tradition of Artisan Natural Perfumery. The Apprenticeship Program provides a structure in which new generation of natural Perfumers will receive training and guidance from the wealth of knowledge of a working Perfumer in the field.
The Apprenticeship Program provides an opportunity for beginner Perfumers to enhance their knowledge and strengthen their skills in all areas of Perfumery: aesthetics, technical, business and marketing, as well as sourcing of materials. The Mentoring Perfumers get the exciting opportunity to enhance their teaching skills and network with members of the Natural Perfumery community.
The Apprenticeship Program is inspired by the model of the classical Apprenticeships programs of the Guilds in the Middle Ages: hands-on experience and personal interaction between Mentor and Apprentice are key to a deeper understanding and internalizing of the subject matter. In this new era of advanced communication technologies, we use the internet, email, internet phone and webcam conferences as means of communications when the Perfumer and the Apprentice are not from the same city.
This structure encourages curiosity, exploration and supported self-learning accompanied with feedback and assistance on an as-needed basis. Despite the fact that the Guild’s members are from everywhere in the world and cannot meet in person very often, we use advanced methods of communication via the internet, email, phone and internet phone and chat software, in order to make the experience personal and meaningful. This is complemented by an exchange of perfumes made by the Apprentice and the Mentoring Perfumer in the duration of the Apprenticeship.
P.s. For those of you curious why the Geisha photo - I picked it because I like it and it is showing a master of an art with her apprentice, and although both are continuing an ancient tradition they seem to be quite in harmony with the modern environment.