Before attending my Advanced Class on Zoom, students learn the fundamental building blocks on their own by completing my Level 1 Workbook. The dates for this Advanced Class are announced to the list of students who have the Level 1 Workbook. This class develops the 3 foundational practices to becoming a skilled natural perfumer:
- The ability to edit and revise your perfumes (most important)
- A thorough understanding of the blending capacities of perfume essences
- How to think about perfume structure
I lecture about specific essences and their unique blending capacities, and I work directly with each student in making liquid perfumes. Over the 4-week class, each student works on 3 specific perfume constructions: one from an initial chord selected by the class, one based on a specific perfume type (like a floral-floral, or a chypre), and one built upon 2 starting essences of the student's choice. After each student has created a perfume, I help edit the results, pointing out the problems and suggesting how to fix them. We evaluate again after the students have revised and remade their perfumes. In the group environment of the class, you will see many cycles of identifying and fixing design problems in your own and all of your classmates' perfume formulas. Examining the details of these very specific examples illustrates the broader general design concepts, which improves each student’s ability to create beautiful perfumes. These sessions are fun, friendly, and not stressful.
The goal is not to make great perfumes in class. The goal is for you to learn to edit your own designs -- finding and fixing the problems in your formulas, and to develop your own art practice. Every time you create a new perfume, there will always be new design challenges. It is very important to understand what contributes to the essences burying or locking with each other; both of these effects can have either a positive or negative outcome in a perfume blend. Learning natural perfumery with me is like studying painting at an art studio; my teaching focus is solely on the aesthetics -- not on weights, scales, specific gravity, regulations, or how to run a business. Topics include:
- Filler & accessory notes
- Natural isolates
- Burying & locking
- Using different forms of essences -- essential oils, absolutes, concretes, isolates
- Why top notes are so difficult
- How to create a perfume around 2 foundational essences
- Odor studies
- Scaling up your formulas using the Aftelier drop chart
Each student in the advanced class needs to have all of the 45 essences in the Advanced Class Oil Kit. This meticulously selected set represents a wide range of odor families -- they are the most useful blending essences to study with and use during the class, and will be an invaluable resource in your ongoing art practice of creating perfumes. You can buy the essences as a set, or individually if you already have some of them. You will also use the 18 essences from the original Level 1 Oil Kit.
The Advanced class typically includes a mixture of returning and first-time students. For returning students, at your second class, I will give you the content & format for you to be able to teach a beginning perfume class of your own. You will get a Level 2 certificate of completion after attending 2 classes, a Level 3 certificate after completing a total of 4 classes, and a Master Level certificate after 8 classes.
The $2,100 price of the class includes $100 to cover the cost of packaging and sending 3 express shipments to you of all the other students' perfume samples during the class.
For those of you who have been to my in-studio class
The new remote Zoom format brings several wonderful improvements:
- A Coherent Set of Essences: Each student works with the versatile set of oils I have selected that span the major fragrance families and provide deep learning about how to blend perfume. Working within these essences rules out the possibility of having students pick the obscure essences from my organ that don’t lead to any further learning. The teaching is focused on becoming more intimately familiar with the most useful essences, seeing them in a variety of blends, and having the full set on hand at home every time you create perfume.
- Library of Perfume Edits: Each student receives the before-and-after formulas and actual samples of all 3 perfumes created by all 10 students – 60 examples in all, along with my analysis of the blending dynamics – the challenges inherent in each and how they are improved (or not!). This builds your reference library of fragrant examples, like having drafts or sketches of work-in-progress that illustrate key principles of my teaching.
- Flow and Ease: Since everyone has their own bottles of the essences being used and perfumes being discussed, the real-time experience in class comes together in a beautifully synchronized way. There is no delay or confusion waiting for scent strips to be passed around, or getting backed up waiting to explore the essences at my organ, or trying to find something misplaced or in use by someone else, or smelling one perfume in a hurry while I’m talking about the next one.