Friday, December 30, 2011

Teaching Natural Perfume

A selection of natural oils
My Natural Perfume Blending Workshops at 3rd Ward in Brooklyn have been a joy to teach.  It's was enormous fun to introduce students to a selection of essential oils, absolutes and concretes and guide them towards blending their own fragrance.

For most of the students it was the first time they had a chance to smell some of the more exotic and rare oils that a natural perfumer uses.  Ambery labdanum and earthy oak moss were favorite bottom notes for the group.  They swooned over sultry jasmine sambac and orange flower concrete, rich and complex honey and spicy aromatic clove absolute.  Head notes of pink grapefruit, fir needle and black pepper peaked their interest for top notes. 

The January and February classes at 3rd Ward have filled up already but there is a link to get on a wait list for future classes.  I'll also be teaching at Observatory Room sometime this spring.  I've discovered that I love teaching!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Natural Perfume Blending Workshops

Smell is the most neglected of our senses yet it has an instantaneous power to penetrate our consciousness invoking memories and emotion. Odors are ethereal and elusive yet can strongly attract or repel.

As a concerned consumer, you are choosing organic food, seeking out sustainable products and opting for eco-friendly packaging. But what about the fragrance you wear? That signature scent is likely composed of synthetic materials (as most commercial fragrances are), mass-produced, packaged and shipped around the world in the millions of units.   Natural perfumery is a much different process that uses only essential oils and precious absolutes that are extracted from plants. Like fine wine, subtle differences can be found from the same plant from year to year depending on soil conditions and climate meaning that it is not an exact science but a creative alchemical process.

In this sensory workshop we will examine the artisanal art of natural perfumery.  Students will gain a basic understanding of the sense of smell, the history of perfume, the advent of synthetic ingredients and the return to naturals.  Perfume ingredients and formulation will be explored and each participant will leave with two bottles of their own bespoke perfume.

No prior knowledge of perfume making is required.  Students should bring a notebook to class, all other materials will be provided.

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Sunday, December 11th
2:30 - 5:300pm

and in 2012...

3rd Ward
195 Morgan Avenue
Brooklyn, NY
Thursday, January 19th
7:00 - 10:00pm
Saturday, February 11th
1:30 - 4:30pm