Ayala Moriel Parfums

Incense Making Apprenticeship


Ayala Moriel Parfums

Incense Making Apprenticeship


This new and unusual internship opportunity spans over the course of two weeks, and  brings together the best of all worlds: Nature, art, travel, history, and studying the Art of Incense Making. 

This apprenticeship is designed for students who want to immerse themselves in the experience of incense making and connect to the historical, cultural and natural sources of this art form. This week-long intensive Masterclass runs for 10 days in total, over the span of two weeks, and offers theoretical, spiritual, technical and practical guidance alongside hands-on incense-crafting exercises and experiments. 

As part of this program, students will spend two days touring the Incense Route in the desert, and the rest of the program in Ayala Moriel's state-of-the-art studio in Clil, where they will learn how to sustainably harvest and forage incense materials from the wild, dry and prepare them for incense in several different techniques: beginning with the most ancient forms of non-combustible incense (Smudging Wands, Loose Incense), to more sophisticated styles that require several days or even months of aging (Kyphi, Incense Pastilles, Nerikoh) and progressing to combustible-incense (Incense Trails, Incense Cones and Joss Sticks).  

For this amazing travel-and-learn experience, Ayala Moriel has teamed up with the exceptional local tour guide Yoav Avenyon 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.  

The Incense Route is an UNESCO World Heritage Site the 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 Opulent 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 dive deeper into the contemporary and traditional art of perfumery. 
Day 1 & 2: 
Trip to the Incense Route, lead by Yoav Avenyon. 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. 

Day 3-10:
Incense Making Masterclass and Apprenticeship with Ayala Moriel (In her studio in Clil)

Day 1:
Foraging Philosophy & Guidelines
Incense Wands from local wild herbs 

Day 2: 
Meeting the Materials
Loose Incense  

Day 3:
Alchemy & Western Incense Traditions 
Incense Pastilles (Greek Monastery Style) 

Day 4: 
Resins, Reasons & Raisins
Kyphi (Ancient Egyptian Incense) 

Day 5: 
Kyphi (Continued) 

Day 6: 
Koh-Doh Incense Ceremony & Incense Burning Methods 

Day 7:
Incense Trails - Practice and Principles 

Day 8:
Combustible Incense, Part 1 

Day 9:
Combustible Incense, Part 2

Day 10:
Combustible Incense, Part 3

The apprenticeship will give you the tools to study the raw materials of incense, incense burning styles, their role in healing and spiritual practice, and of course how to create successful incense recipes for different uses and requirements. We will make several styles of incense, both combustible and non-combustible. 

Beginning with the most ancient forms of non-combustible incense (i.e.: Smudging Wands, Loose Incense, etc.), to more sophisticated styles that require several days or even months of aging (i.e.: Kyphi, Incense Pastilles, Nerikoh, etc.) and progressing to combustible-incense (i.e.: Incense Trails, Incense Cones and Joss Sticks, Rope Incense, etc.).   
Learning Environment & Structure: 
The morning will include in-depth study of ancient and modern incense raw materials, explore incense ceremonies, methods of harvest and the philosophy and spiritual practice behind these traditions; and a practical incense making workshop in the afternoon.  

The morning sessions (8:30am-12pm) will be dedicated to meditation, theory and studying the raw materials of incense, as well as gathering and learning how to dry and prepare different incense materials. The afternoons (1pm-3:30pm) are dedicated to creating, formulating and forming the incense itself. 
The fee includes all materials and supplies used during the course, as well as a homemade vegetarian/vegan lunch, and fragrant refreshments served daily.
Must have previous experience in either herbalism, incense making, perfumery or another experience working with plants. 
Dates: TBA

The course takes place at Ayala Moriel's new studio in Clil, Israel. This little off-the-grid organic village has scenic is in one of the country's most fascinating regions, the Western Galilee - and has a view of the Mediterranean sea (gorgeous beaches are only 20min drive), Haifa Bay and Mount Carmel. Clil provides a unique experience for students who choose to stay here (although you don't have to - there are also plenty of places around, but keep in mind that in that case car is a must). The village is solar-powered and has small population of under 1000 people, who live in custom-built homes and semi-temporary dwellings (yurts, teepees, modified train cars and shipping containers, etc.) that are scattered among ancient olive groves and wild bush and Mediterranean garrigue (comprising of carobs, oaks, pistachia and thorny bushes). Despite its size, the village is a community bustling with life and culture: our neighbours are the village's cafe (inside a tent) that is opened Thursday-Saturday and hosts live concerts, and there.
Groceries, bread and fresh produce as well as some eco-friendly products and locally crafted first aid kits and toiletries can be purchased at the local Organic Garden. Tuesday evenings there is usually a Pizza night at the local bakery. Thursday evenings there is a little market in the village's playground, weather permitting. Also less relevant but sometimes handy are the village's book exchange and clothing exchange, which is open 24/7 and is completely free (take what you want and leave what you no longer use). Buses run to and from the village several times per day and connect you to Nahariyya. For all other places you will need a vehicle. 
Accommodations within the village include one boutique hotel, one guest house (India-style "hostel" on the second level of one of our neighbours) and several cabins for rent - some also offering breakfast. Sublets among the village's inhabitants are often listed and could be arranged if booked enough in advance, and also near Cafe Clil there is a small campsite for those who enjoy a fully rustic experience.

Students are responsible for their own accommodations. There are several excellent options within the village, for a full rural-life, off-the-grid experience; and there are also boutique hotels, B & B and other options for accommodations. We recommend you choose a place to stay no farther than 30min commute and will be glad to help you choose the best accommodation for your budget and other needs. 

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