Level One Perfume Course Overview

05 Apr 2017

Are you interested in learning more about the wonderful art of perfumery? Here at the Cotswold Perfumery we run courses to introduce enthusiasts to this incredible skill. Whether you’ve already had some practical experience, or are a complete novice, this introductory course is the perfect stepping stone to learn everything you need to create your own beautiful fragrances.


Course Overview


There are normally between 6-10 people on our courses. We like to keep the class size to a manageable number so that everyone has great access to all the practical equipment, and space to be creative! The course is open to absolutely everyone so we do get our fair share of male participants and all age ranges.


Level One is a one day course which takes place at our workshop in the heart of Bourton-on-the-Water. The day begins with drinks, nibbles, and introductions from Master Perfumer John Stephen and all the course participants.


John kicks off the day by explaining the very basics of creating a scent and introducing the fundamentals behind successful perfume making. You’ll learn all about perfume composition, and the importance of base, middle and top notes when creating a scent which will be essential when you come to blend your own fragrance.


To help train yourself to identify different scents, John takes inspiration from the garden and together, you’ll learn to identify the dominant scents present in various plants and flowers so that you start relying on your nose, rather than your eyes. To help document your scent, you’ll learn how to use an Odour Profile to describe scents using recognisable fragrance characteristics such as ‘earthy’, ‘spicy’ and ‘floral’.


You’ll then start to learn about the various groups of perfume that determine what classification of perfume you create, for example Chypre, or Oriental. Exploration of blending techniques and possible pitfalls will also be explained that will prove useful when the practical lab sessions take place later in the day.


After a fascinating morning of theory, you’ll enjoy a restorative lunch in the local restaurant where you can relax and chat about your new found knowledge with your fellow students.


Once back in the lab you’ll be presented with a kit of 26 oils, a compounding (mixing) vial and a vast supply of pipettes to set to work blending your very own scent.


Master Perfumer John is on hand throughout this period of trial and error as you get to work mixing your favourite oils, so you’ll be actively encouraged to try lots of different combinations, and learn what does and doesn’t work. The process is undoubtedly largely influenced by theory and chemistry, but there’s plenty of room for creative flair.


Once you’re happy with our trial creation, you’ll learn how to convert your drops into grams so that you can make up a 25ml bottle of your first ever signature scent. You’ll get to name it, and package it too so your finished perfume looks ready for the shop floor.


In just 7.5 hours you’ll transform from being a complete novice, to a bona fide scent creator and hopefully, have developed your passion for perfume creation.


If you’re interested in joining one of our courses, give us a call on 01451 820 698 or visit the booking page of our website here.

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