Thursday, January 26, 2012

What a Student of Perfumery Must Learn Early On - Groups and Families

In Module Two of the Natural Perfumery Institute's textbook, I introduce the students to the differences between aromatic groups and fragrance families.  It is mandatory that the students understand the characteristics of aromatic groups before they move forward in their studies.  Committing the aromatic group's essences to their scent memory allows them to concisely and correctly identify not only the aromatic group oils they study in the course, but to have that knowledge of the characteristics to allow them to independently identify what group an aromatic is placed when they come across a new one in the future. 

Once they fully understand this, they move on to what I term a "Certain Perfumer" - one who is certain about their choices and how to defend their naming an aromatic according to the group it belongs in.

After that, fragrance families are a piece of cake!  Fragrance families are an invention of the perfume industry.  They're a sort of shorthand, easily-understoody way of giving the perfume customer a quick way to sense what  a perfume might smell like.  Floral-woody, chypre, citrus, etc.  I teach several different "schools" of fragrance family naming, and encourage the student to learn how to create their own, if they wish.
                                               
Some of the topics in Module Two's Table of Contents:
2.4: Aromatic Groups and Fragrance Families                                                    
How Aromatic Groups and Fragrance Families Differ                                          

2.5: Aromatic Groups                                                                                          
The Major Aromatic Groups                                                                               
The Ongoing Study of Aromatic Groups                                                              
The Supplemental Sample Kit – Aromatics Study Kit #2                                  
Completing Your Perfumer’s Palette                                                                     
The Nuances Within Aromatic Groups                                                                 

2.6: Fragrance Families                                                                                           
The Fragrance Family as a Descriptive Term in Perfumery                                 
What Makes a Fragrance Family?                                                                      

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