I was looking at The Perfumery Training Kit at the Perfumers World
(http://www.perfumersworld.com/) and I wondered if anyone has used anything like this to train their nose to identify perfume notes?
I am new to perfumes and I am getting sampler packs from the Perfumed Court and finding fragrances that I never knew existed and can't live without...some are from frangrance groups I never thought I liked. Being the sort of person that tends to go into things quite deeply if interested, I would like to know more.
Is there any way of learning about the fragrance families that people would recommend?
Or is it best just to sniff lots of testers? The problem is I live a long way from any big stores-three hours drive, to be exact!
Suggestions would be welcomed.
Anyway, I personally think that you need to smell some of the "classics" to learn first and foremost. Its very handy to be familiar with the notes when doing this though. If you look on Perfumeposse.com, they have a great "Perfume 101" and "Perfume 201" list of fragrances that give you a good idea of where to start. From their categories, you could pull a list of ingredients to learn how to distinguish them from each other. If you happen to be close to a health food store or anywhere that sells essential oils, it would be helpful. If not, go for the real thing...go to a garden centre or nursery and smell the real thing.
There are also numorous books on the subject...I believe Mandy Aftel has a good book for beginners. From there you can look into books on synthetics, which are equally as important as the natural ingredients.
I'm not quite sure what's in the kits you're talking about, but as long as they're reasonably priced, I don't see them as a bad thing to learn. Keep in mind that Perfumer's World is based in Asia (for shipping reasons).