Perfumery Course

Ayala Moriel currently offers a Foundation of Natural Perfumery Course. This is a flexible program, allowing long-distance students who come from all over the world attend in person and learn at their own pace. The program is broken down into 8 week-long courses, each covering a different fragrance family and tackling from all angles the skills, information, resources and problem solving required for mastering the art of perfumery.

The program is tailored to different levels: from complete novice to advanced students; as well as working perfumers who want to deepen their skills working with the complex, challenging natural raw materials and master the art of natural perfumery. For most courses, there are no pre-requisite, and students from all levels can attend. Other courses, such as the Leather, Soliflore and Floral Bouquet weeks are only offered to advanced students (who have completed at least 3 of our multi-level courses) and working perfumers. 

The program may be followed by a 1 year internship program at Ayala Moriel Parfums Studio, offered to qualified students only, who completed the program's requirements and were found suitable for the internship program.

About the Program

In this program, you will learn the fundamentals of natural perfumery, and will lay the foundation to develop your own styleas a natural perfumer later on. We recommend the course for those interested in pursuing a career in natural perfumery, although students with personal interest and no professional aspirations in the field are also welcome. Many of our students are attending the program for personal growth and for getting connected through their senses. We have students from all ages and walks of life and all parts of the world - as far away as Finland, England and Australia. Many of our students lead careers as nurse practitioners, marketing experts and aromatherapists who wish to add natural perfumery to their set of skills and to enrich their lives. So you are sure to meet wonderful people from around the world!

The sessions take place 2-3 times a year, on site at Ayala Moriel Parfums studio in Vancouver, where you will get to interact with rare essences and learn from Ayala’s first hand experience in the industry. Each student also receives one-on-one personal sessions in the lab that will focus on each student’s individual needs and development as natural perfumer, to prepare you for working in the field. Our week-long courses usually take place on the 3rd week of September and 2nd week of May; and sometimes there is also a summer school in July.

Students' Testimonials

“Ayala's teaching style is one of demanding patience. She is incredibly good at encouraging students to get the basics down then build knowledge and experience on to that strong foundation. The mix of theoretical and practical exercises really helped me get a firm grounding in perfumery - knowledge that I could not have acquired on my own. I highly recommend Ayala."

- Monique Trottier, Internet Marketing Consultant (Boxcar Marketing)
Botany of Delight launched in 2010
Vancouver, BC, Canada

“It is just a matter of WHEN not IF this talented young perfumer is celebrated for the skills and enthusiasm she brings to natural perfumery. She is a wonderful and sincere teacher on the cutting edge of a very exciting new field”.

- Anita Kalnay
Flying Colors, Registered Aromatherapist
Vancouver Island, BC, Canada

“Ayala Moriel (...) creates some of the most beautiful natural perfumes available. Her perfumery course is comprehensive and highly organized. The classes are unique in that she bridges both her artistic talents and the foundational principles of natural perfumery. I have had the opportunity to study with other well-known and published natural perfumers and I find Ayala’s classes to be professional and to have a spirit of openness, community and integrity. Ayala Moriel is a teacher’s teacher and we are fortunate to have such a wonderfully gifted and gentle mentor”.

- Lucy Miller
Anesthetics Nurse, Certified Aromatherapist
Lucy Miller Pure
(launched May 1st, 2012)
Longboat Key, Florida, US

"I learned about Ayala and her work through Twitter, and in my nascent attempts to compose fragrances for my homemade soaps, she provided helpful advice and input. Later, I was fortunate to have the opportunity to attend her week-long perfumery course on the fougère family of fragrances.  Although the emphasis of study was fougères, we students also learned a lot of fundamentals of perfumery, including getting to know various essences and composing perfumes. I particularly enjoyed the blind scent tests at the beginning of each class.
Ayala is a very supportive teacher, and having her immediate feedback was invaluable, since there is no substitute for a well-trained nose. One can learn a lot of things from books and the internet (including Ayala's course book), but there is currently no technology that allows us to smell things from a distance. I am very pleased with my experience attending the course, and I hope to return someday to learn about the other fragrance families".

- Schuyler Corry
Chemist / Soapmaker
Open Source Soap
Eugene, Oregon, USA

"Ayala's perfumery courses provide a blend of essential theory and hands on education, and her personal, one-on-one instruction helps every student learn at their own pace. 

She structures her courses around fragrance families, allowing students to get an in-depth understanding and exposure to each of the primary perfumery categories before they move on to the next. She openly shares her extensive knowledge and experience from her years in the perfumery industry, while supporting students as they develop their own skills and style in fragrance creation.

Studying perfumery with Ayala is a unique and special opportunity to learn both the history and practice of natural perfumery in a welcoming and informal setting."

- Kirsten Hall
Senior User Experience Consultant
Vancouver, BC

"Thank you for the wonderful Oriental Perfumes Study that I attended with you in Vancouver.  The entire experience was an amazing one – falling in love with the city itself, the ambience of the workshop that we were in – making it feel like home and a cherished place, all the vital information that you lavishly shared with us and the insight that you managed to give us into the magical world of natural perfume blending…it all sums up to a remarkable experience that I hope I will repeat very soon".

- Mohammad Khalaf
EmmKay Beaute
Toronto, Ontario

"Studying under Ayala far exceeded my expectations. I entered the program with no previous blending knowledge or hands-on experience with raw materials, and left with the confidence to further pursue my intrigue back home. While I'll continue to blend on my own, I'm really looking forward to next season's session."

- Kacey Ivey
Nashville, Tennessee

Course Fees per Weeklong Course

Note: Feeds include materials used during the weeklong course

$1800 for each week (except the Soliflores week which is $2,200).
This fee includes all materials and equipment used during the week in our lab sessions.

* Additional materials, equipment and supplies that you need to continue practice, composition and studies on your own are the student's responsibility to purchase on their own. Recommended suppliers list is included in the course handbook. 

Depending on demand, a Natural Essences Kit of 25 different notes will be offered at an additional cost. Custom kits are available for each module. 

Purchasing the kit is not mandatory, but these will be the oils that we will be studying and use for our exercises and assignments. Students who wish to put together their own kit must do so by ordering from reputable suppliers that guarantee the authenticity, naturalness and quality of their essential oils. A list of some of these suppliers is provided in the course handbook.

Summary of Curriculum

Part 1: Preparation

  • including how to prepare your workspace, tools, equipment and materials.
  • Part 2: Methodology & Recording

  • this section will cover topics such as: importance of recording,how to record a formula throughout its development (including keeping track of modification in the process); maintaining a perfumer’s journal, and how to observe materials and perfumes through their evolution.
  • Part 3: An Olfactory Journey: Exploring the Building Blocks

  • Sniffing techniques, developing an olfactory vocabulary,expanding your olfactory repertoire, and systematically observing the various building blocks we’ll be using.

  • Part 4: Odour Classification & Categorization

  • categorization of building blocks, understanding the different roles of notes, and fragrance families
  • Part 5: Approaches to Blending

  • In this part you will learn about the different approaches that can assist you when creating a perfume. We’ll discuss approaches such as the architectural approach (using horizontal and vertical blending),exploratory blending, working from a brief, and other approaches to perfume design.
  • Part 6: Formulation

  • This section will explain in much detail the technicalities of developing a perfume formula, and the differences between formulating alcohol based, oil based and solid perfumes. You will learn how to create a standardized formula (which is the industry standard), and also learn about the concentration required for an effective performance of natural perfumes (i.e.: sillage and longevity).
  • How to Apply

    As class size is extremely limited (only 6 students per course), we have a screening process in place. Please contact us with your CV and a cover letter explaining why you want to study natural perfumery at Ayala Moriel's studio. You may also send sample of your work if you have created any perfume, blend, aromatherapy synergy,soap, scented potpourri etc. (only ONE sample please).

    Your application will be followed by a phone interview and if you are accepted into the program, a $540 non-refundable deposit is required to reserve your spot for the next session. This deposit is non-transferable and non-refundable. The course must be paid in full no later than 30 days prior to the course in order to ensure the course is running and to allow ample time for the instructors and other students to prepare and make travel arrangements.

    To pay for this course, click here.

    Table of Contents for the Book Accompanying the Course



    2.1 The Importance of Recording
    2.2 Observing the Materials
    2.2.1. Fragrance Note Study Guide
    2.3 Recording Formulas
    2.4 Keeping Track of Modifications
    2.5 The Formula Book
    2.6 The Perfumer’s Journal

    3.1. Unveiling the Mystery of Aromatic Extraction
    3.2. Sniffing Techniques
    3.3. Developing an Olfactory Vocabulary
    3.4. Expanding your Olfactory Repertoire and Olfactory Literacy
    3.5. Building Blocks Observation

    4.1. Perfume Notes and The Fragrance Pyramid
    4.2. The Different Roles of Notes
    4.3. Odour Classification by Odour Type

    5.1. Oriental
    5.2. Floral
    5.3. Chypre
    5.4. Citrus
    5.5. Fougère

    6.1. The Architectural Approach
    6.1.2. Horizontal Blending
    6.1.3. Vertical Accords
    6.1.4. Integrating Horizontal and Vertical Blending
    6.2.1. Central Theme
    6.3.1. Intuitive or Exploratory Blending
    6.4.1. Abstract Concepts
    6.5.1. Vision to Perfume: Working From Briefs

    7.1 Units and Measurements
    7.2 Standardized Formulas
    7.3 Concentrations
    7.3.1. Formulating for alcohol base
    7.3.2. Formulating for oil base
    7.3.3. Formulating for solid perfume base






    12. GLOSSARY





    Cancellation, Refunds and Re-Scheduling Policy

    There are no refunds whatsoever for courses that are booked. If you have booked your spot and cannot attend it and haven't provided an ample notice (see below), you will not be refunded for classes that you paid for but missed.

    Because of the nature of this course and how small the class size is, we require a minimum of 3 students attending. Therefore, if you cancel, this has an imapct on all the other students and whether or not the course will run. 

    Most of our students travel from far away to study here, and therefore an ample notice is required if you must cancel your participation in a session you have applied for, been accepted to and paid for. You must give your notice no later than 45 days prior to the commencement of the course week long session you signed up for.

    Because most students need to book flights and hotels (not to mention childcare and other arrangements while their away from their jobs or businesses), we require such long in advance notice, so that the other students can make proper arrangements and re-booking if necessary should class be cancelled.

    If you do withdraw from the course 45 days prior to its commencement, you will receive a credit towards another week long course. 

    Also, you will receive a credit if the class is cancelled or re-scheduled by the teacher (Ayala Moriel). 

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