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Diploma Course Structure in Detail

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Topic 1: History of Natural Botanical Perfumery

The history of Natural Botanical Perfumery spans millennia, with records going back some 4000 years or more. This is a brief, though somewhat sceptical, history of perfume, which includes “modern perfumery” and its inclusion of synthetically produced raw materials. It covers perfume’s use through history and cultures up to the modern era of synthetic perfumery; including how perfume affected culture. The highlights of this topic are the introduction to Conscious Smelling Activities and starting your perfume journal. 

Topic 2: Safety

This topic will provide students with the necessary theory to understand and apply selected key safety assessments, and provide students with basic skills to complete a life-cycle and environmental impact assessment for selected products. You will learn about the safety standards for the raw materials used in natural perfumery. The highlights of this topic are safety precautions and resources for fragrance safety regulations. 

Topic 3: Chemistry of Natural Materials Overview

A brief overview of chemicals within natural raw materials which produce the scents with which we, as Natural Botanical Perfumers, are so familiar. You will learn basic chemistry in order to help you to create better natural perfumes. The highlights of this topic are creating a Faux Carnation note and learning about scents, the brain, smells & memory.

Topic 4: Perfumers Studio & Resources

This portion of the course focuses on the tools necessary for a beginning perfumery student to formulate basic compositions and compounds. You will be given guidance on where to purchase all the tools and equipment you will need. You will learn how to effectively organise your materials, your space and your time as a perfumer. The highlights of this unit are how to grow a garden for perfumery and getting set up in your ‘studio’. 

Topic 5: Natural Raw Materials

The raw materials available to today’s natural & botanical perfumer are far more numerous than they were for our predecessors. Where their palettes were restricted to a few dozen or so essences, ours has been greatly expanded to include hundreds of materials. You will learn how to source authentic ‘real’ natural materials from reliable suppliers. The highlights of this unit are learning about the various types of notes and how to classify those notes within a composition. 

Topic 6: Evaluating Raw Materials

All raw materials must be evaluated by the perfumer prior to their use in a perfume. The perfumer needs to become familiar with the note category or categories, character and safe usage levels of each material. You will learn in depth instructions and information about the raw materials used in natural perfumery. The highlights of this topic are learning about dilutions and how to evaluate your natural perfumery materials and how to determine their uses in a perfume formulation.

Topic 7: The Perfumers Stillroom

You will reach a point in your perfume making studies when you will require knowledge of advanced tools and techniques to create larger volumes of perfume. It is important that you study diligently all the information and materials provided by the course in the earlier lessons in order to successfully move onto the advanced stage of instruction. In this topic you will learn extraction methods which will be explained and utilised. The highlights of this topic are learning how to create extractions using enfleurage and tinctures. 

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Topic 8: Journaling

Perfume begins on paper. Before you open a bottle or waft a scent strip, the first order of building a perfume begins with the inspiration, and the ideas are written down in detail. In this topic you will learn how to navigate the creative path with exercises to get the creative juices flowing. You will learn how to compose a perfume on paper and how to keep proper records of your work. The highlight of this topic is Justine’s perfume cookbook crammed with perfume recipes. 

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Topic 9:  A study in Fragrance Families

In this topic you will look at the 11 different fragrance families in detail. You will learn about the fragrance families, from Oriental to Hesperides. The highlights of this topic are getting into depth with the fragrance families, and learning how to recognise, create and discover your own favourites. 

Topic 10: Perfume Formulation

With guidance from the teacher the student will propose the creative assignment and essay for the end of course perfume submission. You will learn how to write a perfume brief and how to create a perfume using various methods. You will learn how to clarify compositions and how to make solid perfumes. The highlights of this topic are learning the many different natural perfume methods, getting into and developing your own style as a perfumer and how to create custom perfume. 

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Topic 11: Branding and Packaging

This module introduces the basic principles of branding and marketing in the natural botanical perfume industry, as well as the financial background for natural perfumery business management. The highlights of this topic are getting to bounce ideas off your teacher, and get feedback. At this stage in the course most students have built up significant rapport with their teacher. This is where the real magic begins to happen as you are guided through to the final topic.

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Topic 12: Finals

In this topic the student finalises and submits the end of the course essay along with the creative assignment perfume submission for tutor evaluation. You will learn how to utilise all of the skills taught in the course to complete a finished perfume. The highlights of this topic are writing your essay to accompany your final submission and getting your evaluation and certificate. Your teacher, Justine or Ane evaluate your submission and send you written feedback. This is the stage where your teacher becomes your true mentor and you begin to truly feel like a perfumers apprentice.