The first days of school~

view on the walk to¬†schoolIt’s been a few days since my last report. ¬†I have experienced three days of school so far and these have been 3 of the best days of my life!¬† Day one when I walked into the classroom/lab, and spent time looking at the perfumer’s organ (the station where a perfume is created) and the shelves full of endless little bottles of aroma chemicals (natural and otherwise), I was so overcome with happiness, I felt like¬†melting onto the floor in a puddle of joyful weeping!¬† Absolute bliss!

¬†During day one and two,¬† our professor introduced us to ¬†eleven aroma chemicals.¬†¬†This is the beginning of a study of 175 in total.¬†¬† We will learn 10 per day from tomorrow on.¬† It’s very¬†challenging work,¬†memorizing and then being able to identify¬†chemicals like hexenyl acetate CIS-3,¬† Phenyl ethyl alcohol, or methyloctine carbonate, by smell,¬† as well as¬†being able to say¬†what aroma family they belong to (Green, Violet etc) and whether they are a Top, Middle or Base note.¬†bottles of raw¬†materials¬†We are tested by being given random blotter strips and then having to identify what¬†it has¬†been dipped in. ¬† Lots and lots of memory; but memory¬†deeply connected to¬†imagination and descriptive language.¬† I learned an interestng thing- if we are unable to smell a certain sample, (which happened to me), it means¬†that I¬†have never smelled that particular substance before.¬†¬†¬†As I worked with it, over the course of an hour or so, I could begin to register it and so developed a new olfactory capability.¬†

perfumer‚Äôs¬†organToday we had a different professor; the one who will teach us the naturals.¬† He has been working with the natural raw materials for 35+years and is a wealth of information.¬† He took us through 10 oils- all of the citrus family, including chemical constituents etc.¬†¬†It’s¬† surprisingly difficult to¬†identify and distinguish between, by memory, sweet orange, bitter orange, grapefruit or¬†lemon oil, especially when the blotter has dried for 1/2 hour or so.¬† He instructed us to train constantly, like an athlete, to get to know the materials by heart.¬† Practise practise practise! our instruction¬†tableIt can be likened to an artist learning and memorizing all the colours; intimately, by name, by scent, by how¬†they develop over time, and by how¬†they interact with each other.¬†

It’s interesting to¬†note that I¬†smell in colour.

¬†I am feeling exhausted, but happier than I have been in years.¬† Perhaps happier than ever before- C’est ma vie!

sunrise with the pigeons