Thursday, March 18, 2010

Perfume Education - On All Levels and a look at the past six months

 I planted about 100 tuberose bulbs this past weekend, so the photo above is just a perfumer's dream. Let's see if it comes true.

Hello again everyone. I've been kind of off the grid blog wise, and Facebook and Twitter-wise, too, for a few weeks. I've posted a bit on FB and Twitter, because there are just some news items and helpful plugs I have to put out there for friends.  This will probably be one of the most unfocused blogs I've ever written, kind of like stream of this blog post is going to be a little of this, a little of that, and just catching up on the busy, fulfilling life of an artisan perfumer.

On March 1st, I felt relaxed for the first time in six months. Since September, I had been working on not just my perfumery, which had an incredible upsurge in sales with the release of MoonDance and StarFlower perfumers, but I took part in a big PR effort in NYC, I started scanning rare articles by Edmond Roudnitska *and* started building the new website for my online classes and rewriting the textbook for the course. Oh, and managing the Guild, etc. Family stuff. Private label clients. Custom perfume clients. So, after the launch of the new website and showing it to the students on February 28, I truly felt my muscles relax.

Now, that's just not right. I was on too much of a treadmill. I promised to myself I won't ever get caught up in such a whirlwind again. Balance is what a Libran lives by, and it all got out of balance. I just took on too much. Still, the rewards have been fantastic.

First, the new website for the students - it's gorgeous!!! Easy to navigate, fast-loading pages, pretty, pretty, pretty and full of incredible content and freebies for the students. When I launched the first-ever online natural perfumery course in 2007, I used the Moodle database platform. What a freaking dinosaur! Slow, clunky, hard-to-navigate, and a real hassle to work behind the scenes. So I consulted with several professional website gurus and had my website gal build a site that can only be described as modern, clean, and fabulous.

Former students never complained about the old site, bless them, and I never had to show them where to find things. It was a bit complicated, only because I rushed to open the site, and I had half the teaching information in the printed Primer they received, and all the details on how to perform the exercises on the website. The editor and I went through 21 revisions of Module 1 alone, adding more and more content and tweaking it until it was perfection. The credit is all hers - I'm a very sloppy writer, disorganized, head jumping here and there. She forced me into a place of perfection I've never been before. Whew. Ouch. My head hurts. But the quality of the writing is just amazing, so I'll get over the crunch.

I only intended to have 10 students in the February class, but two more snuck in ;-) Amazingly, in the few weeks since, twelve students have signed up for the October 2010 course, which I had to add due to the demand!

Here's a decision that I made due to this fact: In about a month, I'll be able to allow students to enroll year-round. It's a new system that's possible with the new website. I don't want folks to have to wait, let's just get the new students right into the course asap.

See, I took one year off from teaching the basic level course. I decided to work with the different folks I had networked with to challenge the proposed FDA Globalization Act, and several other business-killing bits of legislation that were proposed. I'm officially burned out - again - on the government stuff.

So now, since I always have to have something going on to help the art of natural perfumery, I'm going to just work on education. Not just the education of my students, but the general public. I've been doing this for years, and it's a walk in the park compared to fighting legislative machinations.

I'll blog again soon. It's 10 PM and I now officially stop working at 10 PM ;-)

Next blog might be about what *not* to teach in a basic perfumery course

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