Making perfumes is easy

2020 – April 4th to 9th

(10 students)

Perfume making courses

The program

Perfume courses

The Natural perfumery seminars of 2019 will be held in Coriano, Italy.

There will be 6 days of daily classes and blending exercises to teach 12 students both my philosophy of perfumery and the method of composing 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 educate the nose to understand and evaluate the quality of natural raw materials. “Your perfume will be only as good as your ingredients are”.

Every day, we shall have blending exercises using different methods and approaches. I will teach students how to blend custom fragrances for private clients, companies or friends. All the perfumes composed daily during the workshop will be bottled and kept by the students.

Before we begin

A month before the seminar begins, I will guide students through a pre-course on a Whatsapp group. They will familiarise with a new approach to composing perfumes and with different aspects of this trade; philosophy of perfume, ethics of perfumery, olfactory psychology, the language of scents, the animal scents and pheromones, and more…

This introduction  to the fundamentals of my perfume philosophy ahead of time will enable the group to dive into composing and making perfumes already from the first day of the seminar.

During the seminar, students will learn by practicing in workshops how to approach concept blending, custom perfumes at distance and custom perfumes 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 independent perfumers.

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 brain in making perfumes, which is before all a mental attitude.

The students will quickly learn how to make perfumes with different approaches, in the same way as you learn how to swim different styles, until to their own surprise composing perfumes becomes as natural to them as swimming. But the most important teaching for their future will be the 7 points of the “Way of Scent”, a training method that will allow them to continue and progress after the course.

Each class is limited to 10 students

The perfume course is in English

The course

Our perfume course classroom

Kafkaesque-Perfume-classroom-Perfume-Course

The workshops

Students will work with a professional organ
of 75 essences

Accomodation

Podere del Germano Reale

The accommodation package includes hotel stay, breakfast and lunch.

Accommodation is at the same location of the perfume course on the Coriano hills, it has a beautiful swimming pool, and an eagle’s view on the Adriatic sea and the coast.

Breakfast and lunch are also included, but not dinner,. Dinner is served at the Germano but I prefer to let the students free to go out in the evening to visit the city and have dinner in some of the reputed fine restaurants of our area.

Who is AbdesSalaam Attar?

AbdesSalaam Attar - New York Times Magazine - Scent Notes

Luca Turin, the author of “Perfumes: the Guide” a visiting scientist at M.I.T. and the capo of perfume critics, says: “He’s one of these very rare examples of a natural-born perfumer. He seems to be incredibly sure-footed, in a way which reminds me of François Coty. There are dozens of all-natural perfumers; I don’t pay much attention to them, but I love his fragrances. I don’t think anyone can touch him in the field of natural perfumery.”

“I have been fond of his work for years, not least because he embodies the fact that the most important thing for an artist to have is talent. You can learn most everything except talent, and he is a natural-born perfumer.”

Testimonials

What the students say about him

Claire Ryan, Ireland

Founder of The Informal Florist & DIG – Apothecary of Scent

When I discovered La Via Del Profumo it was like finding the correct key to unlock the mysteries of natural perfumery. Having emerged from a year that threw many personal challenges in my path, I’d decided to pursue my dream to become a perfumer. However, after many months of home study and work, I was hungry for more guidance. So when I found Salaam’s website and read his teachings, I was determined to do the course.  Booking the week-long program in Italy was not without sacrifice. There was the significant financial aspect and also the fact that I had to leave three young kids for my husband to juggle alongside work. However, having returned from the course, with the house still standing and the children all accounted for, I can honestly say it was the best decision I’d made in a while!

Stepping out into the Italian sunshine on that first morning with the scent of languid jasmine hanging in the air, I closed my eyes and felt so grateful for this magical introduction to a very special week.

One of the first things you realize about Salaam is that he lives the life he extols – that being the life of a “ninja “perfumer. His stories and experiences show him to be a man of great depth, intellect, talent, mischief and craftiness.  Scent reaches into all areas of his life and he showed us how it can add another dimension to every aspect including taste. From the gorgeous ginger tea and rose tea we sipped, to the basil and rosemary essence we drizzled on lunch, fragrance was ever present.

We were taught how to smell, appreciate and evaluate botanical essences and had access to the most beautiful and expensive extracts available.  He is very generous and wants to share his knowledge and material, as long as you appreciate the importance, sanctity and ultimately the power of what he is sharing.

In many ways Salaam’s teachings elevate natural fragrance to that of the old world perfumer/physician.  He spoke of healing and the remedies we have at hand in the botanical world. He reminded us to think about the needs of the person who will buy our perfume and how we can help. Think about them. Not about our egos.

As we mixed our perfumes, Salaam was on hand to guide, make suggestions, push and encourage us to do better and to make better perfumes. When our chatter was a little too much he gently reminded us what we were there to do and that he required our full attention. He wanted us to become “ninja” perfumers, who focus on the target and move swiftly and confidently towards it. He took that responsibility very seriously.

Each day in class he was assisted by his wonderful daughter Fatima, who was always at hand and helped to bottle our perfumes when thing got a little busy. By the end of the week we were all moving with greater prowess and knowledge. We began to approach briefs and execute our formulas like actual, real-life perfumers.

The course was held in a beautiful retreat called “Il Podere del Germano Reale” in the Coriano countryside a few km outside Rimini.  It is a stunning setting with immense charm and warmth. They grow their own vegetables so each day we were treated to a gorgeous array of produce in the lunch buffet. I have to mention Marco, who went above and beyond every day to make sure our every need was met.  He has incredible energy! Upon learning that my suitcase was broken in transit, he went shopping for me and arrived back to the accommodation with a brand new perfectly chosen suitcase. My own personal shopper!  So big thanks to Marco. And to Lorella for collecting us and dropping us hither and thither, as well as all of the wonderful team at Germano Reale with whom we shared good times and much laughter.

I feel immense gratitude and happiness to have had the opportunity to learn from Salaam. He shared so much of himself, his wisdom and his perfuming experience with us. It is impossible to not feel honoured and enriched by this knowledge and as a result I feel ready to take the next step within the world of natural perfumery.

I shared a truly wonderful week of learning with new friends from around the world who brought talents, experience and fun to the table. I have so many happy memories to treasure.

I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

Virginia Di Somma

Stylist at Bob (Best of British) & Friends

I have treasured memories to take with me to the end of my life journey from my time with AbdusSalaam, the course students, Germano Reale staff Marco & Manuela, the fragrant garden and all I learned while on this life-changing course. I am not alone. Everyone who experienced this time together understands what I am saying – each one in his or her own way, has conveyed this truth in their writing.

There was more to this course than simply learning about the wonderful healing properties of essential oils and how to make a nice smelling scent. Much deeper. More profound. Underlying spirituality which culminated in the distillation process and which first attracted and inspired me to make contact with AbdusSalaam and ask that he consider teaching a course in Perfumery. I’m so pleased each one of you students made it possible. A thousand thankyous!

We learned so much. That perfumes made with synthetic ingredients (laboratory created molecules) are at best, like eating strawberry flavored ice-cream compared to real fruit ice-cream. Or eating takeaway food compared to hand picking fresh organic ingredients.

If you’ve only ever tasted strawberry flavored ice-cream and takeaways, you may not recognize the true berry flavor or fresh taste of organic vegetables with your first mouthful, but you will absolutely notice the difference in how your mind works and how your body feels, as you make the switch over time.

Watching the transformation of plucked leaves from a laurel tree, dispensing ‘hydrsol’ as well as beautiful fragrant oil after the steam distillation process, was also a graphic example of how pressure and ‘heat’ can also work together on human hearts/souls to bring out the true essence.

For me the analogies were present every day.

Such a blessing to be part of this group.

I’m grateful to each student for your unique participation.

To you AbduSalaam for gifting formulas, techniques and your years of personal experience, in a beautifully handmade wooden box, wrapped with brightly coloured silk and embroidered gold thread.

Heartfelt thanks.

Kafkaesque

Blogger at Kafkaesque

How do you describe the experience of a lifetime that introduced you to new worlds, theories, sights, and smells? How do you convey the depth of information so generously shared by a master of his art through six intense days (and a pre-course) covering both theory and practical usage? Perhaps one way would be to compare it to an olfactory Star Trek, where Captain AbdesSalaam Attar took many of us through a new frontier where few of us had gone before, through a portal into a new dimension of thought as much as scent and perfume creation.

It may sound silly or hyperbolic, but it really isn’t. AbdesSalaam tried to teach us a completely new way of thinking about scent through concepts that, as you will see in this post and others, are completely untraditional, unconventional, or alien to typical fragrance narratives, let alone the mainstream perfume world.

The sheer quantity of information was staggering, and that combined with the unique experiences during the perfume course truly blew my mind. Not just mine, either. When the lunch break was called on the first day, one of my classmates said she felt as though she was having an out-of-body experience at the deluge of information and the intensity of the smells that were pouring over her.

Like the essences we explored, the class itself became a form of life undiluted — life at its most essential, fundamental level, concentrated for a burst of raw, thrilling intensity that none of us would ever forget.

Jeffrey Paul

Hair and Makeup Artist at Exclusive Artists Management

If you haven’t heard of Jalaluddin Rumi, he was one of the world’s most revered mystical poets. I know him for describing the ever-vast all encompassing subject of divine love. Salaam quotes him by saying one of his many quotes “like love, you can learn to love only by loving!” and you can learn to make perfumes only by making perfumes. And that is exactly what I did; fall in love with making perfumes.

I started to discover pure bliss when working with all of the different essential oils and absolutes. I felt like the fragrance of the perfumes had merged their soul with mine and influenced my body, mind, and spirit.

I feel each moment that I’m away from the perfumes, oils I feel like a lost lover pining for love. I am grateful to Salaam for his knowledge and generosity. I have to say that when I first heard of the perfume course and the price of traveling to Italy, I thought is it worth it? YES!

I know I have received way more in knowledge, growth and materials than I paid for the whole thing. I feel humble and thankful that, I was able to come Salaam has put this together with ingenuity and care that we would learn new knowledge and skill. And would I do it again? DEFINITELY and absolutely!!

Rumi was described as if he was a small river pulling a giant ocean behind him. That is what I feel about Salaam and his gift to us. Thank you, Salaam.

Stine Hoff

Denmark

I would like to thank you for a wonderful and inspiring course in September.

The week was very important to me on many levels – I learned a lot from you about oils and perfumes but also about the philosophy of life. And as an extra bonus, I got to meet my fellow students – the most wonderful women from all over the world. You and these ‘sisters’ will be in my heart forever.

In the safe surroundings in beautiful Germano Reale, I learned about essential oils in a new and deeper way and I learned how to assess the quality of the oils. It was pure indulgence to be surrounded by all these wonderful, natural scents every day.

You taught us to make perfumes for different people with different wishes and demands. Furthermore, you taught me how important it is that the ingredients are of world-class quality in order to make a good perfume. By making the perfumes of high quality ingredients you also get all the amazing benefits of the oils. Perfumes can heal both the body and the soul – health and beauty are one.

During the week, you taught us to ‘think’ with our sense of smell and that perfumes are made by using your brain, not only your nose. You taught us ‘the way of scents’. Besides teaching us how to make perfumes, you also taught us how to sell them, present them and how to satisfy customers. After attending your course, I feel fully equipped and ready to start my life as a perfumeur.

Salaam, Thank you for sharing your love of natural perfumes.

Olga Gurnani

United States – Wellness industry

How can you review a perfume course by Salaam in a matter of few words? As Osho says, ‘ …the more you summarize something, the more it becomes less alive’.

As we stepped into a little cottage, it marked a journey that engaged all of our senses. Be it a drop of ginger or rose essence in a delicious tea, visually captivating bottles, the sound of the samovar, and of course the smell of essences.

The simplicity behind Salaam’s method allowed for our perfumes to take their shape and form which was taking place in a non-judgmental and supportive environment. I have studied natural perfumery with other teachers but I have never encountered a teacher who made me think about a perfume composition in a way that I can finally apply!

During the six days of the course that we spent in the Italian countryside, we have sharpened and educated our noses with exquisite botanical and animalic essences. From smelling the most complex and reach aromatics such as oud, orris, and the varieties of roses, we also got to work with some other precious essences from our organs.

Towards the end of the course, my head was so ‘perfumy’ that the sweet and exotic essences we have worked with were coming to my mind at different times of the day, appearing and disappearing just like the nature of essences themselves.

I can’t agree more with Salaam’s vision of what natural perfumery truly is. It is far beyond the alluring world of scents, it is a far reaching effect on mind and body. With a background in holistic medicine, I thought this progressive (or an echo of the ancient Eastern wisdom) view to be essential!

The teacher’s depth, knowledge, and special ways on how to beautifully incorporate ‘naturals’ into our daily lives felt really special. It was sort of awakening to a more meaningful work with raw materials and people who the fragrances would be made for.

Leila Johnson 

How do you begin to put into words an experience as transformative as the one we were fortunate to share with each other, under Salaam’s unique and patient tutelage? I came to the perfume course with deep passion, and an open heart: I left with a deeper knowledge not just of perfume, but of myself, my classmates, and with a new language of scent to share with others. A new way to connect, to understand and to heal. It was so much more than I expected and so much more than I had thought possible in such a condensed time.

It takes great skill to make something complex feel simple. Salaam has created a very special perfumery course; a blend of curriculum and philosophy that speaks to the perfumer in each of us. The combination of his deep knowledge, his profound respect for natural materials and their importance to our lives, his narrative, his willingness to share his experience, and his remarkable ability to distill all this into a format that we could understand was powerful. It unlocked something in each of us.

It is a gift to share knowledge. Salaam was generous with his knowledge, answering our many questions, but he also gave freely of himself. He was generous with his time (we never wanted to leave the classroom and truly would have stayed making perfumes through the night!), with his wonderful materials (letting us compose freely with materials of exceptional rarity and value), with his encouragement of our efforts and his supportiveness of our need to keep working, blending and bringing ideas to life. We blended compulsively, and each of us responded to, and was moved by, the essences he shared so generously with us. Salaam gave us the knowledge, tools, confidence and support to share ourselves through scent, fearlessly. I am forever grateful.

Finally, I must say some words of acknowledgement and gratitude to my classmates. We came from all over the world to share this experience, without knowing what it would be. We were so different, yet under Salaam’s guidance, we learned how much we share. It was unifying and enlightening. We were exactly what each other needed in our different learning journeys. This would not have been possible without each person making a genuine commitment to openness, sharing and joyful collaboration. Read more …

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