Monday, March 28, 2011

I Don't Supply Formulas for Students of the Anya's Garden Natural Perfumery Institute

Nowhere in the 350 page textbook, nor in the online study area of the website (access via password to the private area) will at student of the Natural Perfumery Institute find a formula.  Not a formula for an accord.  Not a formula for a basic perfume.  I don't instruct students to study existing perfumes, either mainstream or niche, synthetic types, or natural.

Students are given the skill set to properly evaluate, analyze and categorize the array of natural aromatics that they obtain, either by purchasing the course kits, or have purchased on their own.  They are instructed how to create accords and evaluate how the aromatics interact.  They then are given instructions on how make a perfume.

This system works beautifully, in my opinion, and allows the students intellect and creativity to combine, allowing them to set their own aesthetic.  They still adhere to the fragrance family paradigm, and select a cohesive theme for their perfume, say, a gourmand floral, but they arrive at that perfume by their own power, not because "xyz" that they constructed under someone else's tutelage gave them the idea.

This quote sums it up:
There are many people who reach their conclusions about life like schoolboys; they cheat their master by copying the answer out of a book without having worked out the sum for themselves. -Soren Kierkegaard, philosopher (1813-1855) 
Thanks to Anastasia on FB for sharing that quote.  It fits my philosophy about learning precisely. 
ETA: several comments and lots of "likes" on Facebook - the energy it takes away from blogs is always very noticeable.  I'm going to start giveaways here that only work if you leave a comment *here*.  Blogs were the first lines of communication on the 'Net, and I respect that. 


  1. Anya, I really appreciate that teaching philosophy more and more as I get older. In my youth I did my share of cheating my master and myself by focusing on the end (a good enough grade, a perfume that smells good) and not the journey/process.

  2. This post alone really sets your study course apart from others, it expresses a facet of your ethos beautifully.


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