|Mandy's scent organ|
I came away with a better understanding of the shape and texture of a perfume and with a nose tuned in to the subtle differences in aromas, better able to distinguish between a good quality oil from it's lesser counterpart. Indeed, my sense of smell is heightened overall. As I walk down the streets of my Brooklyn neighborhood in Spring I can pick up subtle scents wafting in the breeze. I came across a vase of fresh peonies the other day and could distinctly pick up the variance in the scent of each blossom.
I also had the opportunity to smell things I had only read about and things I have searched for to no avail. One such oil is Flouve, a sweet, herbaceous tobacco-like oil that is so rich and complex that one keeps finding notes in it. Another is Oud, a rare and precious oil from the Agarwood tree, one of the most expensive perfume ingredients around at about $1000 to $1400 an ounce. Mandy collects antique oils as well which she hunts the globe for. Antique patchouli oil is rich and complex and bears little resemblance to the ubiquitous hippie aroma.
The workshop was a wonderful, creative and expansive experience which I'll be drawing from to create new fragrances for Herbal Alchemy. I'm so grateful for the opportunity to study with Mandy and to get to know a little better this warm, generous and dedicated teacher and perfumer.
|A selection of top notes from the perfume organ.|