Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course – Third part

Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course (3)


USA. Sales Executive

Since I was young, I was aware of scents and how they made me feel.  Later in life I learned that scents are connected to memory.

My maternal grandfather was a florist and mother was a gardener.  I grew up around these smells.  I also played with chemistry sets and loved mixing things to create chemical reactions and delight a small audience.

As i got older I developed a curiosity about perfume.  That curiosity turned into an obsession.  Since moving to New York I visited shops that sell interesting niche and vintage perfumes and the perfume buyer in one of those shops recommended some blogs.  From one blog in particular, Kafkaesque, I read in detail about the perfume course in Italy, given by Abdes-Salaam Attar of La Via Profumo (“the Way of perfume”).  Until this time I had not considered a path of making perfumes. Read more

Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course – Second part

Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course (2)

Iran. Chef

I departed from Tehran and arrived at Germano Reale with a little apprehension, as I got my kit only on the last day, and I thought that I would have some difficulties because I had not practiced and experimented with the kits.

On the evening before the course starts, we all met Salaam and he reassured me. What I had never imagined is that we would be making perfumes already on the very day.

As he says making perfume is easy, and after the second day one can see he’s right and I could make sixteen within a week.

While guiding us in making our perfumes, he was giving us practical information about all the aspects of making perfumes. Know how, bottling, selling and so on. But more than telling and writing on the papers, Salaam writes on the soul. He teaches by doing and also makes you learn by doing. Learning by doing with precious essences. And he’s most with his pricey essential oils and the rare substances and raw materials that he has, that very few people have had the chance to see and smell them.

There in Germano Reale, you might feel far away from the world, but is a good opportunity to learn so many things all at once. Salaam doesn’t give any certificate, you don’t need any. He gives two most precious things, his knowledge and his time, before, during and after the course. God bless him.

Perfumes composed during the course by Amir

Perfumes composed during the course by Amir

Read more

Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course – First part

Report on May 2017 Perfumery Course

AbdesSalaam’s perfumery course - Perfumes composed by Carol

Group dynamics are important in my perfumery classes. A month before the course starts, students get to know each other over a WhatsApp group. The WhatsApp group is dedicated to connecting students through preparatory course goals and to encourage experimentation with preparatory course materials. Through this online networking, students become acquainted with one another, learning from each other’s experiences prior to meeting in Italy and developing the right mindset for composing perfumes together.

Nationalities are always varied in these seminars, but each of the participants is strongly motivated and has high expectations having spent a substantial sum of money for the course, travel and accommodation. This strong focus on the common goal of learning how to compose perfume unites all the students in spirit, whatever their nationality or social origin, and this spirit is the very soul of the group dynamics that will develop and bloom during these six days.

Is it the group itself or is it my teaching method that improves? Or is it a kind of alchemy between time, persons, and place? I do not know what made this group so successful, but for the first time I experienced the feeling of the teacher proud of his students, already by the fourth day. Read more

Ninja Perfumers

Perfume is love.

Like love, perfume is a bridge between the people

Like love perfume radiates from you and enters the heart of others.

Like love, you can learn to love only by loving, you can learn to make perfumes only by making perfumes

Like love, being in love happens without effort, it is like loving perfumes, but to learn how to love is to learn how to give love to others, and it is like learning how to make perfumes for others.

I have been telling you many metaphors in order to teach you how easy it is to make perfumes. Love is one of them.

Making perfumes is like swimming.  Only at the beginning is it difficult, until you realize that floating on water is your natural state. It is fear that makes you drawn, and lack of trust and confidence.

You have abandoned yourself with trust to my guiding hand and you have seen that composing scents is as an innate capacity we all have, like throwing arrows with a bow is. You acquired confidence.

You nose now knows what it smells and you are able to think with smells. You can take a brief and make a perfume in 10 minutes. You can work on different perfumes contemporarily, you can conceive perfumes before making them. You have become real Ninja perfumers in your spirit.

I have tried to teach you Humility as a Way in making perfumes and also Trust in Destiny.
Your perfumes are like your children, they will never be as you want, they will be as they want.

Be satisfied therefore when your perfumes are good, it is enough,  and do not ruin them by trying to make them perfect. That is something that may happen to them with ageing. You will not have to wait long to know, like with your children.

It is always an adventure to meet a new person. I learned this in the Sahara. Every person is a universe to discover, an infinite universe like none other.
Teaching this group  from such different countries as China, India , Russia, Canada, US was a unique occasion for me to apply my philosophy in perfume making as a bridge between east and west.

My Sufi teacher used to say to us: “when somebody knocks at our door we know who has sent him”.
Destiny has sent you to me and has reunited us together on this occasion.

We have eaten and drank perfumes from the first minutes we came together until our parting. You have been composing new perfumes everyday without limit, you were never tired. If I had left the door open after the class you would have continued during the night.
Happiness was your perfume in these days. I am so happy of it.

Do not forget me.

New Perfumery Seminar July 2015

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.

Perfumery seminar last day

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.

Perfumery seminar day 5


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.