dimanche 3 mai 2009

My “Perfume Primer” Intensive Class at the London College of Fashion

Are you in London from August 3rd to the 5th?

Why not join the students of the London College of Fashion for my 3-day intensive “Perfume Primer” course? I’ve just been informed that the course is open to non-students, and I’d love to see you!

I’ve been giving short talks and lectures for two years now at LCF, but I was very excited indeed when the head of the Study Abroad program asked me to conceive a short summer course to initiate fashion students to the world of fragrance that lies beyond (and even within) the aisles of Sephora.

Fashion and fragrance, obviously, were joined at birth and it makes sense to initiate fashion students to the language and history of perfumery: not only because they may be one day called on to launch their own line of fragrances, but because through historic perfumes, they can get a real, direct feel for bygone eras, as reflected by past classics – from the leather/tobacco scents of the Flappers to the shoulder-padded florals of the 80s, fragrance has always reflected social and sartorial trends.

If you’re reading this blog, you’re obviously a perfumista. So what’s in it for someone who’s already in the know?

Actually, quite a lot, I think!

The first day will be devoted to raw materials and bases, with lots of olfactory games (I’ve been receiving advice from top perfumers who teach at ISIPCA): grouping materials “blind” by families, recognizing them by matching unlabelled vials to verbal descriptions, acquiring a vocabulary to describe various odors, matching materials with the fragrances in which they’re featured… Major labs have agreed to donate the materials.

The second day, I’ll do a show and tell of the classics from 1890 to 1990, including a few from my personal vintage collection (I might get a few from the Osmothèque as well), focusing on the relationship between fashion/fashion houses and fragrances, with lots of visuals and historical anecdotes.

The third day, I’ll be walking the group through the trends of the past 15 years in niche perfumery, again with samples of the major compositions placed in context, from the pioneers L’Artisan, Serge Lutens and Annick Goutal to more recent experiments…

The course will conclude with a “treasure hunt” in a department store or, if at all possible, with a visit to a niche perfumer in London.

If you’re interested and would like to know more, please contact me at graindemusc at gmail dot com.


Date: August 3 to 5, 2009 (20 hours)

You can consult the program by clicking here.

Inscriptions, in theory, end on May 15th but apparently the deadline can be stretched a bit: click here for info on how to apply.

And for fees, click here.

For readers of Grain de Musc who follow the course, I’ll reserve a bonus: samples of the raw materials and a vial of a rare vintage marvel!

17 commentaires:

  1. Looks like fun, Denyse! Wish I could come. By the way, it took me forever to find the dates of the course on the website (3-5 August 2009) -- they don't put it in an obvious place, do they?

    Are you sure you don't need a teaching assistant? :-) I'm available...

  2. Jealous jealous jealous! Gosh, that sounds wonderful. I wish I could swing that, but it's pretty doubtful.

  3. Jarvis: silly me, I forgot to put in the date in the practical info section... Shows just how practical I am!
    I wish I did need an assistant, but, you now, budgets, blabla etc...

  4. March, it will be fun, I think. I hope some of the English contingent can make it...

  5. I will be in London, and it sounds magical, but I can't afford the fees! Very jealous of anyone who can, though.

  6. Hilary, I couldn't afford it either! :-(
    The thing is, between my (relatively modest but I'm certainly not complaining) fees, (moderate)expenses and school overheads, everything's been budgeted at the tighest level possible for 20 hours with materials... A pity, but what's to be done?

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  8. What fun! I love the way the course is organized. Wish I could be there. Maybe another summer you'll teach it again?

  9. Or perhaps, D, you should take your course on the road? I'm sure if you were to offer your course in North America, we could find tons of people who would want to take it.

  10. Melissa, it's set to be given twice a year... so far.

  11. Jarvis, now there's an idea... that would sorely tax my feeble organisational capacities! But I *am* thinking of offering the format elsewhere.

  12. Oh, I do so like Jarvis' idea. East Coast maybe? :)

  13. Hey, it sounds like good value for the expertise and the raw materials and rare scents: I'm not complaining! Just not in my budget, sadly. Hope you have a great time and meet some interesting people doing it.

  14. Melissa, problem is, I don't see who'd be willing to ship in an "expert", and my travelling budget is... narrow... :-(

  15. hello, i 've been quite constant with your blog but i just found out about this class in august. can i still book it, or is it too late? i couldn't find this out on the official site... i am still a student, but i think i could spare the money for this, i'd really like to join

  16. Andreea, they're still taking registrations. I hope to see you in London!