JULY 2015

Held in English language

July 22nd to 27th


perfumer organ

“Making perfumes is easy” by AbdesSalaam Attar “La Via del Profumo”

After 6 years, I am returning to teaching with a summer seminar in the hills of Rimini, Italy from 10th to 15th June 2015. There will be 5 days of daily classes and workshops to teach 12 students both my philosophy of perfumery and my method of making fragrances

The classes will cover a range of issues. One key point will be natural raw materials, including animal scents and rare essences, several of which can be smelled only with me. I will explain the crucial issue of how to understand and evaluate the quality of natural raw materials.

Every day, there will be blending workshops of different methods and approaches. I will teach students how to custom blend fragrances to benefit those who may wish to expand into perfume creation for private clients, customers, or friends. I will also explain how to approach concept blending for companies. In addition, I will discuss where to source the best essences, so that those who have learned how to make perfumes with me can carry on as a perfumer.

Other topics will include perfume descriptive language, olfactory psychology, philosophy and the ethics of natural perfumery. These are fundamentally important because the nose is only secondary to the mind in making perfumes, which is before all a mental attitude.


Rimini dates back to Roman times and is located in the Emilia-Romagna region on Italy’s Adriatic coast. It is famous for its beaches, but we will be in the nearby hills of Monte Colombo where I live. In June, the lavender will be full bloom, so there might also be a distillation course on one of the days.



  Il Germano Reale


All of this will be covered by an accommodation package that includes hotel stay, workshop materials, perfume-making kits for a value of 400 euros.

Il Germano Reale

Our accommodation is the same location of the course, it has a beautiful swimming pool, and an eagle’s view on the Adriatic sea and the coast. Breakfast and lunch are included. Dinner can be ordered at a nearby reputed restaurant.

The students will be only 10. The course is in English.

Please write to [email protected] or call me at +390541863013 with questions or for further information.


Distilling the resort “Il Germano Reale”.

Today is distillation day, D Day, and also the conclusive day of this adventure for my friends.
It has been very emotional  for many of them, not so much because of the door opening learning, but very much more because of the ties that have built between them during these days. The intensity of the experience has been decuplated by the immersion in a bath of natural perfumes.

From the plant to perfume!
We cut some branches of the big Bay Laurel tree that were too near the wall of our classroom at the Germano Reale.


All of us helped in preparing the leaves for distillation. Specially Andrej.


Filling the still with Laurel leaves.



We set up the 150 litres distiller just outside our classroom.

In the meantime, Marie asked how the essences I distilled in Cyprus and in Italy compared with the ones I get from my suppliers.
We compared them all together. Pink pepper, petit grain ecc…
We all recognized that artisanal distilled essences not only can compare with the best quality of the best suppliers, they compete with them and surpass them.

It was very gratifying to see the students smell and understand the differences, comment on them very surefooted and reach to the right conclusion regarding the quality of the essences. When they had started the course they were smelling without understanding, they had no clue as to the meaning of what they were smelling, they could not describe or evaluate smells in any way. They are now on tracks to work with perfumes.


The distillation starts very quickly.


We obtained 80 ml of a delicious Bay Laurel essential oil. It is already good, but it will be even more so after a few weeks of maturation.
Happy feast at the Germano Reale with Mint tea, Mascarpone and a draw of perfumes where everyone was the winner.

mascarpone Il mascarpone.



Our happy hosts at the Germano Reale, Marco and Manuela.



Today we unveiled the road that brings from olfactory language to olfactory psychology.

Olfactory language enables you to write stories with smells, olfactory psychology gives you the understanding of what stories should be narrated to different people and different publics.

In the afternoom the students were finally let loose, after 5 days, to compose a perfume of their invention all by themselves. A “fantasy perfume”. We then bottled it.


The lady who owns the perfumery shop in Riccione visited us and smelled the 10 different versions of her fragrance that were executed yesterday by the students.


She selected 2 fragrances from the ten.

Her visit was a didactical highlight. She is a lady whose work is to choose the perfumes that she will sell to her customers. She examined the fragrances that the students made on fifth day of course and evaluated them to be of a quality level that could be her own signature scent for her exclusive niche perfumery.

What more do my students need as a proof that they are now perfumers?
Real perfumes made for real people with real essences, and now we have a real customer.

Dear students, we shall now make a competition. I shall compose her perfume and present her 3 proposals, my own and the 2 she selected. They will be just numbered and she will not know which is mine. Let us see which perfume she will choose.


Bottling our perfumes, beautiful outside and beautiful inside.



Our classroom on the left, seen from the bedroom.



The first part of today’s program was to discover the animal scents.

What role they have in perfumery and what effect they have on people. Tri-dimensional perfumes and pheromones.

We tinctured muskrat glands and discovered the stupefying smell of the fresh tincture.


We then used the animal tinctures of the kit of animal scents to see how they would change the custom perfumes that we have bottled yesterday.


We bottled the perfume that we have done for the customer who has a perfumery in the nearby city of Riccione



At the end of the day we spent our time comparing commercial   essences brought by the students with the ones we are using, learning to understand the quality.





Yesterday everybody shot a few arrows and realized how innate is archery in us.

The world of perfumery is in need of a philosophy and of ethics. What is the state of today’s philosophy and ethics whe have perfumes full od chemicals who are legally natural, molecules from bio-technologies that are legally organic and a bunch of natural molecules that are legally allergenic, although they refuse stubbornly to give allergies to consumers of natural perfumes or to aromatherapy users.

We had worshop to learn how to define a clear idea and to execute it scrupulously.  We executed the Aisha’s idea, “Urban Patchouli”.

Custom perfumery and scents that sing to the soul. Custom perfumes are the meaning of perfumery, of the life of a perfumer, real perfumes made for real people.
Students made their first custom perfume. Each one made it for his table partner. They are learning the method. Don’t be complicated, be minimalist, making perfumes is easy, do not make it difficult.

Fourth day class was about  Olfactory language and the meaning of smells. I explained how to acquire the brain of a perfumer, a mind that can think with smells.

We bottled our custom perfumes in a beautiful flask.

A lady from nearby Riccione phoned to brief  me on a signature scent for her perfumery.  “We have a customer”! I told the group. A real customer for which we shall make a real perfume. This is a real exercise.

Each student executed the brief as if they were perfumers for this client. The perfumes are surprisingly good.
Is there a better way to learn?



10 students from 6 different countries came to Italy to follow my course on how to compose perfumes with be best materials of perfumery, the natural ingredients. Several of them have attempted to make perfumes with these ingredients in the past but without satisfactory result. They will understand here what went wrong with their endeavour.


Learning archery to learn perfumery. Parables are the most potent explanations. Making perfumes needs a new mental attitude.
Making perfumes is easy, but you need a method otherwise you will end up with a mish-mash, an incoherent mix of smells unappealing and without character.

Inasmuch as you can learn love only by loving, you will learn to throw arrows only by throwing them and to make perfumes by making them. This is why such an important part of the seminar is dedicated to workshop sessions.

We shall make perfumes everyday, starting from the first day.


Learning how to smell. The beginning for making perfumes.

Everybody smells, but the lack of olfactory education does not allow us to understand what our nose says to us.
Starting to use our nose in the right way is the first step of perfumery. It means in great part establishing connections between our nose and our brain, so that our intellect will be able to understand what the nose says.


Making your first perfume. Finding a clear idea and executing it. “Urban Patchouli”, a balsamic patchouli to wear in the tram.
The idea that will guide us in the composing the fragrance was chosen from a series of proposals made by the students themselves.

It was a beautiful day, we were all drunk of felicity, swimming in a sea of aromas.

The course lasted 7 hours and I had to send the students away for lunch and also for dinner, they would not stand up from their place, wanting to work more and more, to hear more and more.

Hunger for knowledge, overwhealming enthusiasm, tirelessness, what more could a teacher desire from his students?

The transmission of knowledge has 2 essentials: a person with the ability to teach and a person with the ability to learn. For both of them humility is the key.

From humility comes respect and only from respect can come love. You can know only whom you love. Love is a bridge between you and everything.