Perfumery Seminar Fifth day


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 an understanding of what stories should be narrated to different people and different publics.

In the afternoon 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 the 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.

7 replies
  1. Aisha Chai Nawab says:

    Producing for a client using Abdes Salaam’s technique and in this workshop was a very valuable learning experience. The variations of the base ingredients the client wanted had its unique affect. This highlighted the principle that each perfumer’s hand will create a scent that represents something of their heart, energy and personality. Our client gravitated towards a fresher, lighter and sweeter scent that remained this way throughout the dry down. This was a characteristic trait of the perfumers that created the scents she preferred.

    I like that our creations say a little something about the perfumer and the one who likes the perfume. Our states change with each experience we encounter. As Abdes Salaam taught us, just like distillation, our essence is extracted through the trying and painful times we go through to reveal the quality and characteristic of our soul and heart. What a beautiful way to write stories in a bottle.

    Abdes Salaam, please let us know which perfume she selects.

  2. Virginia Di Somma · says:

    Today the course ends with laurel distillation process … cutting down 10kg of laurel leaves from a tree on the Germano Reale property, filling the 150litre cylinder, attaching this hose and that, screwing stainless steel tubing into place, attaching glass beakers to capture the essence. Very exciting when the oil begins to flow from the tube as everyone gathers around. The fragrance is green, herbaceous and the hydrosol very pleasant. Delicious mint tea with honey was served afterwards with a delightful marscapone treat made by Salaams wife, Aisha. This course delivered everything and more than I could have hoped for. I’m grateful to learn from someone who generously imparted wisdom and knowledge with humility and humour. A perfect blend. Grazie Salaam

  3. Connie Beck-Treadway says:

    From Josephine (continued): with every misstep comes more understanding. We assist the perfumes to come into being, to express their true nature, and do not force our will on them. A new idea for Western minds.

  4. Connie Beck-Treadway · says:

    From Josephine: Our client, from Nana Scent Gallery, tested our work to choose a new fragrance from her brief. We came to understand that for Italian clients, “strong” indicates a dislike, and “delicate” is favourable. Watching her facial reactions was even more revealing.
    The opportunity to create the “perfume of our dreams” was both exciting and daunting.

  5. Andrea Schaffner-Dittler says:

    We are so blessed to be able to work with you raw materials – and that you are willing share your knowledge.
    Composing my yesterday’s perfume was a big and happy moment.

  6. Nadeem Bhanji says:

    Overall course comments:

    After discussing with classmates over lunch as to the exceptional multimedia course it has turned out to be…

    We started off with hands-on archery practise;
    The class then proceeded with fragrance smelling and handling;
    Amidst this there was Sufi music, coffee-with-cardamom tasting and other sensory experiences…
    To top it off, Salaam’s multilingual abilities had the group always wondering what he had just meant in his expressive languages…

    All in all, a truly wonderful action packed week in the world of perfumery!
    Thank you Salaam!

  7. Nadeem Bhanji says:

    The ability to create and have an actual client critique the scent was very use file exercise… In some ways it is like an internship whereby the trainee is allowed to be creative, but the actual ‘judge’ is not the instructor (who may be biased by working with the particular student), but instead, it is final user of the product. Excellent training ground for real life practice! So, thank you to the client for sharing her time and insight into the course.

    Overall, excellent experience obtained in the course!


Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *