Secret of Scent and Vintage Perfumes

I promised to give more details on the Secret of Scent course that will run October 20-24 in Provence. Luca Turin and I will cover the science and art of fragrance during a 3-day event. We’ve decided to keep the number of attendees small to allow us to interact with every participant and give each one as much personal attention as possible. It will be an excellent educational event, and it will also be a lot of fun (food and wine tasting will be included). You need not have a background in either science or perfumery, but at the end of the course, you will have a good understanding of both fields.


Among the highlights of the program are the vintage perfumes. Participants will smell the precursors to Guerlain L’Heure Bleue, the original version of Hermès Calèche, Coty Chypre, and many other treasures. Finally, I will share some of my favorite raw materials, the essential ingredients in the perfumer’s palette.

Reservations can be made via Science & Vacation. For all of the logistical details, accommodation and prices, please contact Science & Vacation directly.

Photography by Bois de Jasmin



  • key change: I cannot possibly articulate how sad I am to be missing this. I would have moved heaven and earth, but am pregnant and due on the 23rd of October, so there is literally no way I can make it work. Anyway, I do hope you guys consider putting it on again at some point, and am sure it will be a smashing success. What an amazing opportunity. June 10, 2016 at 10:10am Reply

    • Victoria: Congratulations! Wow, such great news. 🙂

      I hope that it will be the first of many events. June 11, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

  • Jillie: Oh – my idea of heaven! I would so love to attend but sadly can’t. I hope that you can tell us all about it afterwards, which will be so interesting, although we won’t have the pleasure of sniffing those amazing perfumes and meeting you and Mr Turin.

    Hope – no, I know – it will go really well. June 10, 2016 at 10:42am Reply

    • Victoria: I will write more about it, and I hope that we can make it again. June 11, 2016 at 10:15am Reply

  • Phyllis Iervello: I wish I could afford to fly to France for this, but it’s not in my budget (I live in the U.S.) June 10, 2016 at 11:20am Reply

    • Victoria: I hope that we can also make a US event at some point. June 11, 2016 at 10:19am Reply

  • Karen A: It will be an amazing and educational event! Looking forward to updates and info afterwords. June 10, 2016 at 1:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: We both will share our updates! June 11, 2016 at 10:20am Reply

  • marini: Oh man. My Dream Team: You and Luca. Be still my heart…I actually went so far as to call my travel agent, get some particulars. And here I thought I’d sworn off travel…but it’s a good time of year. Stay tuned… June 10, 2016 at 2:36pm Reply

    • Victoria: 🙂 Keeping fingers crossed. June 11, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

      • marini: I’m doing it!! I’m signing up! Getting on the website today. So EXCITED!! June 12, 2016 at 12:47pm Reply

        • Notturno7: Lucky you, Marini! That’s wonderful. June 13, 2016 at 3:51am Reply

        • Mia: Wonderful, I’m happy for you! June 13, 2016 at 2:28pm Reply

        • Victoria: Very happy to hear this! We will have lots of fun. 🙂 June 16, 2016 at 4:21am Reply

  • Amalia: I’m wishing you all the best, much success and good luck! June 10, 2016 at 3:39pm Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you so much, Amalia. June 11, 2016 at 10:21am Reply

  • Claudia: I hope all the attendees have a fabulous time! What a unique opportunity for learning and fellowship! June 10, 2016 at 7:02pm Reply

    • Victoria: Science and Vacation is a great initiative, based on Sergey Kuznetsov’s experience at Stanford. There are a number of similar events in other branches of science and humanities, so why not the science and art of perfumery. June 11, 2016 at 10:23am Reply

      • Mia: So great idea, love it! June 13, 2016 at 2:29pm Reply

  • Brock: Kudos to anyone being able to attend. What a major, major treat! June 11, 2016 at 1:37am Reply

  • Notturno7: Congratulations, Victoria and Luca.
    I love reading your reviews and have learned so much from you.
    I hope you end up writing your book, Victoria. You’re very gifted.💜
    And regarding ‘Perfumes, the Guide’-of which I have both editions and which have been borrowed by many of my friends before they got their own copies -Tania and Luca got me started on this amazing journey. I’ve always loved and collected perfumes, my mom who has a great taste, has been my first influence but reading this book has started this full blown passion for the world of amazing scents, and I’m so grateful ❤️.
    Many of your favorite ones have become mine too, including Mitsuko and Nahema, Vol de Nuit, Sarrasins , Bois des Iles, Fracas, Missoni, Lolita Lempicka, Habit Rouge, 31 Rue Cambon, Cuir de Russie, Carnal Flower, Fleur de Cassie….. Oh I’m just getting started here,lol and many more… I’ll have to live as long as Bilbo from Lord of the Rings to use them all, but that’s not the point, isn’t it. At least that’s what I think. Sharing with friends and family makes it even more precious and fragrant.
    And I still haven’t found a vintage Jolie Madame, but when I manage- I’ll think of you Tania, and your favorite. Thank you for sharing your passion with us ❤️ June 13, 2016 at 4:16am Reply

    • Victoria: Thank you. Hope that we will have a chance to meet at some point. June 16, 2016 at 4:23am Reply

  • epapsiou: Do another one in New York please 🙂 June 13, 2016 at 10:25am Reply

  • Aurora: The participants will be very lucky and I noticed in one of your photos that you were reading a Que Sais-Je on perfume, it is such a good French collection and by Edmond Roudnitska no less! June 13, 2016 at 5:26pm Reply

    • Victoria: Have you read that particular book? June 16, 2016 at 4:24am Reply

      • Aurora: No, haven’t read it but might look for it when I go to France. Did you find it informative, Victoria? June 17, 2016 at 4:40pm Reply

        • Victoria: It’s more of a philosophical tract on perfumery than an information guide. Roudnitska can be obscure and vague, but his opinions are refreshing and couched in great erudition. June 23, 2016 at 11:44am Reply

  • Areej: Oh how I wish I could live in Europe! It is going to be a dream. Do tell us more about it when you complete the workshop. Love from Malaysia. xx June 13, 2016 at 7:30pm Reply

  • nozknoz: I attended the seminar by Luca Turin a few years ago at the French Embassy in Washington, DC, sponsored by the Smithsonian. It was fantastic – so much information, witty insights, and amazing perfumes to smell. This sounds even better with your presentation on raw materials and the lovely setting.

    I can’t afford a trip to France this year, but I hope you can offer this in the U.S. someday, too. June 15, 2016 at 2:27pm Reply

    • Victoria: That seminar received lots of great feedback. Luca is always a great speaker. June 16, 2016 at 4:26am Reply

  • SilverMoon: I would love to join you, but can’t this year. I’m not at home (UK), but away in Brazil until September (for work). Victoria, i do hope you both will be running something like it again, because I would certainly sign up. Meanwhile, I will wait to hear about it. June 17, 2016 at 8:43pm Reply

    • Victoria: I hope so. And of course, I will post updates. June 23, 2016 at 11:45am Reply

  • Carla: Fabulous! How lucky to attend! Maybe one day… June 29, 2016 at 6:42pm Reply

    • Victoria: Keeping fingers crossed. 🙂 June 30, 2016 at 3:42am Reply

  • Mahiya Noor Mahomed: Any chance of you doing a workshop in Dubai? I would love to attend. November 30, 2016 at 4:34pm Reply

    • Victoria: I’d love it, but for now I don’t have any plans for Dubai. December 1, 2016 at 1:57am Reply

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