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Oriental Perfumery and Incense Masterclass & Incense Route Odyssey in the Desert

An unforgettable learning & travelling experience - sign up now to ensure your spot! Only 2 left. 
We're starting the decade with launching a new and exciting format for the Oriental course - combining it with a trip along the Incense Route in the desert, and with a longer course that allows for deeper learning of this most ancient and elusive of all fragrance families. 

We're starting the decade with a new format for learning the Oriental Masterclass, going back in time to the spice caravans a trip to the ancient Nabatean cities along the legendary Incense Route, a full day of immersion in the world of incense,

The Spring 2020 Perfumery Course (March 10-19) brings together the best of all worlds: History, Art, Culture, Nature, Incense and Perfumery Studies. Prior to the original format of 5-day perfumery masterclass, students will spend two days touring the Incense Route in the desert, enjoy a full day of incense masterclass at Ayala Moriel's studio in Clil, followed by a visit to a monumental piece of art that is tucked away just a stone throw from the Lebanese border. 


The Incense Route is an UNESCO World Heritage Site that runs through the Negev Desert. A place that every perfumery student should visit for insights and inspiration regarding the very origins of perfume and incense. Students participating in this unusual Oriental Masterclass will also learn how to make incense based on an ancient formula, in a traditional method using natural botanical aromatics that were used for millennia, and then delve deep into incorporating this tangible, aromatic knowledge and experience into composing perfume, which will enable to have a richer and fuller understanding of the art of perfumery, both contemporary and traditional.

This spring, Ayala Moriel has teamed up with the exceptional local tour guide Yoav Avneyon who specializes in its culture and heritage, and will lead you through the most significant Nabatean cities along this route. Yoav is especially passionate about bringing back to life the times of the spice caravans that brought aromatic treasures from India, China through Arabia, Israel and eventually via sea to Europe and North Africa.

DATES & ITINERARY
March 10-11:
Trip to the Incense Route, lead by Yoav Avneyon. Yoav will pick you up from Tel Aviv and drive you through the desert landscapes of Southern Israel for an immersive experience in the ancient Nabatean cities. The cost for this trip is $525 per person, and is factored into the final price of the course. This price includes the guidance, travel in a special car to the desert and back to Tel Aviv, accommodation in a boutique hotel in gorgeous location - Mitzpeh Ramon (in a room that sleeps 2), as well as breakfast. All other meals are not included. 
March 12:
Incense Masterclass with Ayala Moriel (In her studio in Clil)
The morning will included in-depth study of ancient incense raw materials, incense ceremony, and a practical incense making workshop in the afternoon. 
March 13:
Visit to the Painted House in Shlomi

March 15-19:
Five Day Oriental Perfumery Masterclass with world-renown Master Perfumer Ayala Moriel, at her state-of-the art perfume studio, lab and fragrant garden located at the foothills of breathtaking village of Clil, overseeing the Mediterranean. A rare opportunity to learn from a master and world-leader of modern Natural Perfumery and truly immerse yourself in the perfume plants both wild and cultivated, and explore the region where perfume and incense originate. 
Designed for students who want to excel in their studies of natural perfumery. This portion of the program is an intensive Masterclass which will run Sun-Thu from 8:30am-3:30pm, and offers theoretical and practical guidance alongside hands-on lab exercises and experiments.

This session covers studying the raw materials, perfume structure, how to blend a formula, how to write a formula, building accords and creating simple solid perfumes, and basic Oriental formulation in an alcohol base. We will make Oriental Amber, Oriental Spicy, and Gourmand fragrances. 
 
The mornings (8:30am-12pm) are dedicated to theory and studying olfaction (discerning between notes). The afternoons (1pm-3:30pm) are a lab session which is dedicated to the practical implementations of what was studied in the morning, i.e. weighing, measuring, recording, formulation, composition and compounding.
 
The fee includes all materials and supplies used during the course, as well as a homemade vegetarian/vegan lunch, and fragrant refreshments served throughout the day. It does not include the book for the program, which should be purchased in advance and is the textbook for all of the other perfumery courses I teach. 

Prerequisites: This is a beginner/intermadiate course. Ideally, all students should have read the book and have taken the the Citrus & Colognes correspondence course prior to joining this masterclass.  

LOCATION 
Our new and improved Ayala Moriel's School of Perfumery & Aromatic Arts is located in a wonderful region full of creative artisans and I've already collaborated with a few - some of which have been featured guests at the perfume courses and workshops I've held, such as artisan distiller, bio-dynamic vintner, leather craftsman and a tobacco shack.     

The Middle East is one of the most exciting places for perfumeryfrom both botanical, cultural and historic points of view. You'll be able to "meet in person" many of the original, natural raw materials of perfumery in their natural habitat, as well as follow the Incense Route and explore some of the ancient souks still operating in the region. Naturally, I incorporate field trips to these locations as part of the course, to enrich the students and provide a well-rounded, inspiring perspective on the topic of the course. 

Additionally, I've built here a state-of-the-art studio space that is dedicated to the art of perfumery, and can comfortably accommodate up to 8 students and can function as a perfume school - either hours-long classes and workshops to full-week courses.

The unique program I've built showcases a marvellous perfume collection of natural, niche and vintage fragrances that every perfumer should know about; hundreds of raw materials - and most special of all: being surrounded by many living plants that are actually used in perfumery - both as raw materials and as livinig and breathing references. Some of these plants grow wild, and others I've planted in what is slowly becoming a unique botanical garden of perfume plants. 

As always, I'm happy to help make my students' stay in my "neighbourhood" as memorable, comfortable and enjoyable as possible. Because our new settings are so special and a little off-the-beaten track, I've teamed up with local businesses to offer you delicious lunches (complementary with your tuition), and have connections here that will help you find affordable and suitable accommodations within the village limits and the best services for all your needs (I've also prepared a special guide for you, which each student will receive upon registering to help you plan your trip). 

We'll also include some exciting fragrant field trips and feature workshop in each of the courses - experiences, smells and locations that were not possible in the previous settings and surroundings. 

COURSE/PRODUCT REVIEWS
Whether if you studied with me in person recently or long ago, have taken the correspondence courses, read my book - I would really appreciate you taking a moment to add a review and/or feedback of my program so that future students can also benefit from it! Adding your review is simple and easy, and would help me a great deal in continuing this program and getting more students interested and engaged. Simply click on the relevant course listed on my Perfume School Courses page, and click on the "write a review" button near the customers reviews at the bottom of the page. 

REGISTEATION 
Registration ends January 31st, so please ensure you reserve your spot prior to that date. This can be done either by paying the registration fee online, or for the course in full. If you require a payment plan or another arrangement please contact me directly. 
 

Looking forward to seeing you at my studio this spring!

Warm regards,

Ayala
 
*Images from the desert courtesy of Yoav AvneyonYoaview  

Highlights of Florientals Week - Spring 2019

Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
The second perfumery course this spring was dedicated to the Florientals fragrance family - certainly one of the most charming and popular of all the floral categories. Narcotic white florals are the stars, supported by the contralto warmth of amber, woods and incense.

Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
Among some of my favourites lined up here are SamsaraSongesOpium Fleur de ShanghaiAzure de Soleil/BronzeGoddess, Velvet GardeniaFleurs d'OrangerVintage Gardenia as well as some serious bombshells such as Narcisse NoirGardnia and l'Heure Bleue.
Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
Some of my contributions to the genre include Moon BreathYasminWhite PotionTreazon and GiGi.
Our Spinning Organ for Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
Our palette seemed particularly indulgent, with all the gorgeous, intoxicating white floral absolutes: Jasmine grandiflorum and jasmine sambac, orange blossom, tuberose, and a few kinds of ylang ylang.
Raw Materials for Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
The base notes were no less rich and delicious, with sandalwood, tonka bean, ambrette seed, vanilla, benzoin and several other balsamic notes giving the characteristic ambery quality. We learned how to create amber bases and how to incorporate them within the Florientals genre.
Scent Strips from Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
We ran through thousands of scent strips (my scented paper project round 2 is underway). These were used not only to study close to thirty fragrant building blocks, and doing several "blind tests", but also longingly through the composition process.
At the Baha'ii Gardens in Akko with My Fabulous Students! Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
And we visited the Bahji gardens and tomb near Akko, which is the Baha'ii faith's holiest site, to seek inspiration and scout out new scents, smells and insights. Each student found a different aspect of the garden inspiring and built a unique Floriental fragrance based on what they've found. Perfume school is not just about theory and technique, but also about being open minded, open hearted, and with nostrils wide open for new smells and ideas. And most importantly - being perceptive to the other students and their process, because we always have something to learn from one another as well.
At the Baha'ii Gardens in Akko
Seeking inspiration in the forms and structure of the garden.
At the Baha'ii Gardens in Akko
Finding new fragrant plants...
Raindrops on Hibiscus at the At the Baha'ii Gardens in Akko
Inspiring visuals and textures (Raindrops on hibiscus).
My Fabulous Students! Florientals Week-Long Course, March 31 - April 4, 2019
Thank you so much for such lovely two weeks, with wonderful students from across the globe! It was wonderful to spend this spring together,  delve deep into the world of perfume and get to know you from up close. I'm truly blessed to have this opportunity to share my passion and knowledge with such lovely ladies who appreciate it and are so receptive to learning, respectful of one another, the raw materials, and this unique art form. I can't wait to see you all again this coming Autumn for the continuation of the course. We'll be studying Orientals (November 10-14, 2019) and Leather/Tobacco (November 17-21, 2019).

Fougere Week Summary - Spring 2019

Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019
Fougère Week has come to a close - after spending a week with five amazing women from all over the world (there were representatives from almost all continents!) - it's time to say goodbye. But before we move on to next week (three of them are staying for the more advanced Floriental course), I'd like to share some photos.
Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019
Our studies are focused on the Fougère fragrance family, yet tackling it from many different direction. As you can see from our setup, we study not only raw materials but also classic Fougère fragrances and this genre's pre-cursor Lavender Waters. So we enjoyed sniffing classics such as Jicky,  Polo, Yerbamate, Caron Pour Une Homme, Azzaro, Brut as well as some naturals from my collection (Lovender, l'Herbe Rouge, Gaucho and Orcas).
Perfume Trail in Park Adamit
We also went on a field trip to find inspiration and open our senses to nature. We went up to Park Adamit and Keshet Cave and strolled on the Perfume Garden Path, where we were able more than a dozen perfume and medicine plants, such as lavender, wormwood, bay laurel, wild rose and more.
My Students Rock! Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019

My Students Rock! Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019 Perfume Trail in Park Adamit

My Students Rock! Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019 Perfume Trail in Park Adamit

Perfume Trail in Park Adamit
We met different plants along the way, including one from the apiaceae family that I never met before (and am still struggling to identify). It has leaves very smilier in taste and shape to celery, but it is not wild celery from as far as I could tell. The flowers were honeyed and fragrant in a most surprisingly delicious way.

Keshet Cave
(This is Keshet Cave, also sometimes spelled Qeshet Cave - a cave that had its roof cave in and disappear, leaving this impressive arch behind).

Lavender Wands & Clary Sage Leaf
In addition to exposing the olfactory world and places outside of the studio, we also bring herbs, fruit and flowers from outside to tincture, study and smell. For example - various lavenders from the garden, and local natural sources of coumarin, such as wild purple clover (see below).
Purple Clover (Local Source for Coumarin)
It's amazing how each one of the students came out with a completely different brief, inspiration and Fougère fragrance out of this very same place of inspiration we all went to at the exact same time. It is important for me to teach not only the technical but also the creative and process-oriented problem-solving required to develop each student's unique voice and eventually style. It's not just about technique and raw materials, and I like to get this point across even in the beginner courses (Fougère is the second in the order of my courses).
My Students Rock! Fougere Week-Long Course March 24-28, 2019
If you too are interested in studying natural perfumery, I'd love to hear from you! The next beginner-intermediate session will take place November 10-14, 2019 and registration is already open. Before applying you should complete the Citrus & Colognes and Fougère correspondence courses.


Summary of Citrus Week Spring 2018

Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil
Summery of Citrus & Cologns + Lab 101 Course (April 22-26, 2018)
Citrus week began with scratch & sniff of real fresh citrus fruit, picking lemony and refreshing herbs from the garden, lots of sniffing, and lots of delicious tea breaks.
Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil
Once we start mixing, the table fills up with fragrant vials and the whole studio smells like Eau de Cologne!
Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil

Field Studies: Exploring the medicine garden by my studio, and finding inspiration, which is later on developed into a perfume brief.

Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil

Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil

Citrus Course, Clil, Spring 2018
Visiting Jullius Craft Distillery: The first of its kind in Israel, using cutting edge technology to preserve the most delicate aromas found in grapes, citrus and other fruit.
This is the special still that produces fine Etrog Eau de Vie, Tangerine Eau de Vie, Marc (out-of-Italy grappa) from fine local grapes.
Jullius Distillery
Joov explaining to the class how alcohol is made, how the still works (it's an advanced version of a column still that cools the distillates more efficiently than the previous generation, and therefore preserves the aroma much better).
Jullius Distillery
These juniper berries are just one of the local ingredients used to make the pure, ethereal Akko Gin. This is the only gin in the world which uses these types of berries, which are endemic to Mount Meron and the Golan Heights, and to this Joov adds many fragrant, fresh local plants, including mastic, etrog and tangerine peel, each ingredient distilled separately and later on the distillates are blended and fine tuned. The process of making this unique gin is on and of itself like perfume making.
Juniper Berries
There is always time for more tea... And delicious vegan food by Hagit Lidror who nourished our body and soul during this week.
Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil

Display of the various citrus perfumes and eau de colognes we've studied this week.
Citrus Week, Spring 2018, Clil





Leather & Tobacco Week


Tobacco & Leather Week (May 11-15)

This blog has been silent for a while, as the last two weeks were fully dedicated to teaching two courses back to back: Citrus & Colognes and Leather & Tobacco. Not to mention before that I was occupied with other things - recovering from jet lag, taking care of a sick teenager, and participating in two Pilates teacher training courses (just the stuff I do for fun... Because I don't have enough things to do)... It's nice to have your plate full; but it's also nice to ease in back to the good old routine of perfuming and blogging at the quiet of my own space, and at my own pace. Until next wave of events, of course.

Leather & Tobacco Week (May 11-15, 2015)

It's rare that I get to teach the fragrance family of Leather & Tobacco. Students must be at a very advanced level to study this genre, as the materials are quirky, strange, weird and forceful. Not to mention: at this point, they should have under their belt all the technical stuff, and have a solid understanding of composition and be utterly familiar with a wide array of raw materials.

Leather & Tobacco Week (May 11-15, 2015)
We studied a bunch of animal essences, including ambergris, civet and castoreum. In fact, we even tinctured ambergris that week - a rather messy process! This is what we did in the lab on the first day:

Tobacco & Leather Week (May 11-15)

The making of Espionage Tea
As the week progressed, we immersed ourselves with the raw materials and the history of these unique sub-fragrance-families. We started with tobacco fragrances and studied some of the key raw materials for the tobacco family. We also visited the tobacconist, drank plenty of Lapsang Suchong tea (black tea that is pine-smoked) and even smoked a cherry flavour cigar (it took me 3 days to finish off that one... My students were not very helpful!). The idea was to get to understand this genre from the flavouring point of view, which is how it historically began, and from that develop a scent that belongs to the genre and has a unique characteristic of a tobacco product - i.e.: pipe tobacco, cigar, etc.

Tobacco & Leather Week (May 11-15)

Studying leather was also a little more multi-sensory than usual. We visited some leather shops to immerse ourselves in the scent of leather. How does a jacket shop smell like comparing to a shoe store? How does a boot smell compared to a sandal? Each leather has its own scent, and we were likely mistaken for a bunch of shoe-fetishist as we scoured the shelves sniffing the inside and outside of boots... Thank goodness we were a small "group" of 3 (including the instructor). Otherwise they might have had to call the authorities.

Leather & Tobacco Week (May 11-15, 2015)
I've heard about Chamois a lot, especially in several of Mandy Aftel's books. But never bothered to find one. This class gave me the excuse to indulge in two pieces of this fine leather, that is used like a cloth for polishing cars; but is in fact the entire hide of an animal. I find this to be both creepy and humbling. The leather is so fine it has the texture of the plume-covered newborn's back. And it's also a bit stretchy. It is delicately scented - a leather scent alight, but one that does not dominate a scent that is added onto it. We didn't wash our Chamois before scenting it. I really wanted to see how the scent will mingled with all the curing materials on the leather. Each student got to pick a historic formula for scenting leather (and I picked a couple as well). They all worked quite beautifully on the leather. All in all we had 3 renditions of Peau d'Espagne (all from David G. Williams' Perfumes of Yesterday; and I also re-did one of Poucher's Frangipanni formulae.

Leather & Tobacco Week (May 11-15, 2015)

Here you can see the many essences we used for recreating Peau d'Espagne (Spanish Skin) - a historic perfume formula from the 17th Century which was used for perfuming gloves. It's a rich, complex melange of precious historic materials such as animalic tinctures, floral extraits (a step in the enfleurage process), and materials that are not commonly found on the modern perfumer's palate. There needed to be plenty of interpretation of the formula and how we can create it with what we have on hand, as authentically as possible. The result, I'm afraid to say, smells like a rather cluttered composition that if I were to compose it (or any of my students), I would heavily criticize their overindulgence of so many raw materials - often with no clear idea of why they are there and where is this composition going. At this point (pre-maturation), it smells like a chaotic cacophony of many floral and animalic scents that is lacking a clear vision or integrity. When applied to leather (we used the Chamois for that purpose)  it smells much better though.

Leather & Tobacco Week (May 11-15, 2015)

On the last two days, students got to create their own original leathery scents, based on all the raw materials and classic perfumes we've studied that week, the formulae they and practiced and created so far. Each student had their own brief, so that each perfume was a completely original idea. Which is appropriate for this level (about halfway through the 8-course program). The next program in the series is the Fougere week, which will take place September 21-25 at my home studio in Vancouver, Canada.
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