My Perfumery Course in Grasse and Edmond Roudnitska’s Garden

I’m happy to share that I’m going to teach another perfumery course in Provence this spring. It will take place from April 5-9th in Grasse, while the guests shall be staying near the Cap d’Antibes. Located between Nice and Cannes, it’s ideal for exploring the area that gave rise to modern perfumery as we know it today. Moreover, spring in Provence is the best season: mild, warm and richly scented.

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My course will cover the principles of fragrance construction and perfume history. It requires no prior knowledge of perfumery, and my goal at the end of the long weekend is to leave you with greater knowledge of scents and ways to enjoy them. We will also smell the original versions of classical fragrances and learn about quality and what makes perfume great, rather than merely pleasant. We will also do exercises to sharpen our sense of smell and use professional techniques to help us memorize and describe aromas. It will be a longer and more intensive course than the one I gave in October, with an emphasis on learning the fundamentals of perfumery and the perfumer’s palette.

Another highlight of the long weeekend is the opportunity to visit Edmond Roudnitska’s garden and his Art et Parfum lab which is still run by his son, Michel. Roudnitska’s garden and house are usually closed to the public, but Michel Roudnitska has been kind enough to invite our group and give a guided tour of the estate. You will see the room where Edmond Roudnitska worked on most of his creations, take a look at his library, walk down his favorite garden paths and see his flowers in bloom. If the weather cooperates, you can even smell the legendary lily-of-the-valley patch where the famed Diorissimo scent was born.

You will also visit the perfume lab that still creates Diorissimo and get a glimpse of the background lab work, without which a creator’s olfactory idea can’t find its way to you.

The course is run by Science & Vacation and you can find more details and schedules on their website. For those who want to explore the area and stay longer, there is a week long option with several guided tours around Provence. If you have any questions about my course specifically, don’t hesitate to ask. For all other questions, such as logistics, schedules and costs, please contact Science and Vacation directly through their website.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin, Grasse, a rose de mai field.

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26 Comments

  • Nora Szekely: Dear Victoria and perfume livers,

    Wow great news! Let me check details. January 10, 2017 at 8:37am Reply

    • Victoria: The website has the whole program and schedules, but of course, if you have any questions, do post them. January 10, 2017 at 9:46am Reply

    • Linda: What a dream! January 11, 2017 at 5:22am Reply

  • Cornelia Blimber: That must be a wonderful experience. Congratulations, Victoria! January 10, 2017 at 9:47am Reply

    • Victoria: Grasse is beautiful at that time of year, and Cabris, the place where Roudnitska’s house is located, is a slice of heaven. One of my favorite towns in Provence. January 10, 2017 at 9:55am Reply

      • Cornelia Blimber: The ideal background for the rewarding activety
        of teaching. You deserve it! January 10, 2017 at 10:13am Reply

        • Victoria: Thank you very much! January 11, 2017 at 6:25am Reply

  • Sylvia Long: The description sounds so interesting and the location sounds like a Heaven. What a wonderful opportunity for you Victoria! Congratulations. January 10, 2017 at 10:42am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you. Spring in Provence is the most beautiful season. January 11, 2017 at 6:26am Reply

  • limegreen: Such a lovely site! I love the image of Roudnitska crouching by the lilies of the valley with tester strips of Diorissimo prototypes in hand. It is great that they made the garden into a monument of sorts. January 10, 2017 at 11:38am Reply

    • Victoria: The last time I visited the garden in May, I came when the lily of the valley already finished blooming, but there were so many roses and other fragrant plants around that I was overwhelmed. January 11, 2017 at 6:28am Reply

  • noele: Hi Victoria! This sounds utterly thrilling…the garden especially.

    My question is whether these classes are part of a series and if you have any knowledge of more coming up later in the year? Cheers! January 10, 2017 at 1:32pm Reply

    • Victoria: It depends on the general interest and my availability, so I’m not sure when the next class after the April one might be. January 11, 2017 at 6:30am Reply

  • key change: Oh, I want to attend this so badly. I think I’m going to try to move heaven and earth to make it happen. You are incredible! January 10, 2017 at 2:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that you can make it! It was so much fun to meet my other readers in October. January 11, 2017 at 6:30am Reply

  • Nancy A.: Great news!!! Bonne chance & make certain you fill us in. I’m about to read up about this treasure of a town. A recent airing on the local news front featured a vineyard in Tuscany where the vintner raised Sangiovese grapes touting that the piped in classical music featuring his preference for Mozart produced extraordinary grape size and flavor. He commented, I am a romantic. I love wine and Mozart. January 10, 2017 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: What an idea! I’m not sure how it can affect the taste of wine, but it certainly sounds interesting. January 11, 2017 at 6:31am Reply

  • Liz: Since I’ve been feeling like I can make my own dreams come true lately, I promise myself now I will someday have an opportunity to take a trip like this. What a lovely way to spend a week.

    I’m drawing so many parallels between the art of perfumery and the art of dyeing cloth. The intersection of science and magic is what I’m finding is the key. You can learn whatever you are able to about the materials you have to work with, but sometimes small factors cause unexpected changes and there are endless surprises to be discovered.

    I wonder if you ever happened to look at India Flint’s work. I’d love to hear what you thought of you did. January 10, 2017 at 11:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: You can spend a week or a long weekend, depending on the option you choose.

      I loved India Flint’s work, especially the fabric with the small trailing leaves that looked like a snapshot of willow branches on water. Yes, I agree, there are many parallels between perfumery and other arts. I especially love the textile arts and the whole process of weaving and dyeing cloth fascinates me. I just spend a few weeks traveling around Indonesia and learning about the use of aromatics and the textiles. January 11, 2017 at 6:34am Reply

  • Aurora: Oh le jardin de Monsieur Roudnitska, what a scoop. I’ve acquired a bottle of vintage Dior Eau Fraiche (in the ribbed box and bottle with a charming bow) and can hardly wait until summer to wear it. Attending one of your classes would be my idea of heaven. January 11, 2017 at 12:29pm Reply

    • Victoria: It’s a beautiful place, and when you see the view out of Roudnitska’s office and his garden, you realize how he was able to create so many extraordinary perfumes. One cannot but be inspired there. January 12, 2017 at 9:21am Reply

  • Emma Wyatt: How wonderful! January 11, 2017 at 3:32pm Reply

  • Rita: How amazing!!! I can’t wait to hear all about it. Have a great time. January 13, 2017 at 4:47pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’ll be sure to share! January 14, 2017 at 9:53am Reply

      • Rita: Excellent!😊 January 14, 2017 at 5:27pm Reply

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