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  1. #1
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    Default Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I cannot recommend taking Perfumersworld class training. I cannot say this strongly enough.

    My opinion is that the classification system of A-Z of materials is completely inadequate, is idiosyncratic, is poorly conceived, and which will need to be unlearned, if you work anywhere else professionally. Any professional Perfumer who hears you spout off about the A-Z system, in a job interview, is going to immediately yell out during your interview, "NEXT!". I certainly would NEVER hire a Perfumersworld trained person in a Lab or Business that I run.

    Additionally, I think that Perfumersworld actually trains people as cripples, not as Perfumers.

    They teach nothing about working in weight, for which ALL PROFESSIONAL PERFUMERY IS DONE BY WEIGHT. This working only in drops, gives you zero preconception capability in learning your materials, and how they interact, and then thinking in percentages. Previsualizing, and working in percentages is foundational to learning to be a Perfumer. Working in drops is incapable of helping you to accurately and properly appreciate percentages.

    They teach to use their OWN FRAGRANCE OIL PRODUCTS, called fleuressences. SO many of their formulations revolve around their circular and self serving use of their own products.

    I think that if a student has a very low level of expectations of learning, or if that student comes from a developing world country, (and maybe is working off of their phone for their internet functionality), then maybe Perfumersworld serves a fair function.

    But if a student is from a developed country, has a real computer, has a good internet connection, and has good access to real and complete raw materials, then Perfumersworld is to be completely avoided.

    This is the very strongest and most complete public statement I have ever made against the Perfumersworld training. Until now, I have publicly kept my mouth shut. Additionally, I am CERTAINLY NOT the only Perfumer who feels this way about the Perfumersworld training. We all have been trying to just be rather kind to the idea of Perfumery training from Thailand and Los Angeles, but I am done trying to just be silent and say nothing publicly.
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    But, they just added a graphic odor design wizard.

  3. #3
    Basenotes Member nicotiro's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    lol

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    In defence of PW training, it might connect better with local perfumery tradition, more spiritual, less exact and predating the western one by millenia.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Is there any online training that is good? Personally I wouldn't spend money doing online courses unless I knew the information couldn't be found elsewhere.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by xii View Post
    In defence of PW training, it might connect better with local perfumery tradition, more spiritual, less exact and predating the western one by millenia.
    In all honesty, it's hard for me to think of these attributes as anything but an indictment, rather than as a defense...
    Paul Kiler
    PK Perfumes
    http://www.PKPERFUMES.com
    In addition to Our own PK line, we make Custom Bespoke Perfumes, perfumes for Entrepreneurs needing scents for perfumes or products, Custom Wedding Perfumes, and even Special Event Perfumes.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by xii View Post
    In defence of PW training, it might connect better with local perfumery tradition, more spiritual, less exact and predating the western one by millenia.
    Even if this were true (which I don’t think it is) it would not make much sense to apply such principles to the use of synthetic ingredients that have NOT been used for millennia..... and PW’s training does include a majority of synthetics.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I definitely agree PW perfumery school seems inferior to, say, ISIPCA. I also agree that especially we, DIY-ers, should be encouraged to look up to excellence without compromise. But there aren't many perfumery schools in the world and I don't think PW is the worst of them.

    Quote Originally Posted by ajsanch View Post
    Even if this were true (which I don’t think it is) it would not make much sense to apply such principles to the use of synthetic ingredients that have NOT been used for millennia..... and PW’s training does include a majority of synthetics.
    I'm not sure I understand this statement. There is no contradiction between being spiritual and using synthetic substances for spiritual purposes. To my best knowledge the combustion engine wasn't available at the birth of christian religion and yet people drive cars to churches often enough these days.

    I wish I knew more about Thai (or any other for that matter) culture. We, western people doing perfumery, are quite obsessed with reproducibility. Eastern people often enjoy uniqueness much more. For Oudh lovers every tiny batch seems a new world of experience, for Aventus lovers every batch is inferior to the original one.

    Bangkok is also a very modern place. It isn't perhaps as advanced as Singapore (higher Global Innovation Index than USA in 2018), or Kuala Lumpur for that matter, but Thailand is on par with a few EU countries and Bangkok is the Thai centre of modernisation in many ways following the footsteps of Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.

  9. #9

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I really don't understand this, Paul. Why does this bother you so? In all kinds of hobbies and crafts there are workshops, all are beneficial to some degree, but more importantly... every business owner has the right to develop their business model as it suits them.

    Every workshop I take is pretty expensive compared to doing the hobby at home with books / internet, etc. but there is nothing like gathering with fellow artists at the studio. For most of the regulars, they are not there for the instruction. They are there for the synergy.

  10. #10
    Basenotes Junkie mattmeleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Schools is a tool. The internet a tool. Books are tools.
    Ultimately, It`s up to the individual to develop a deeper understanding of perfumery on their own.

    If you STOP at PW training, you are not going to be making professional products.
    If you use PW training as a stepping stone onto deeper study. Then sure, it`s not that bad.
    You have to start somewhere.


    I too, disagree with the use of mysterious fluressences.
    If he published to formulas to these fluressences - it would be a whole different story.
    Long, dark Vancouver winters

  11. #11

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Not only would I not study there, I would never purchase anything from them again.

    They sold me an aroma chemical which did not match their own description. When I questioned them I didn't get a response for a week, then a response that was nothing more than vague and insulting to my own intelligence.

    I had the material tested by GCMS and it was NOT what they were advertising. They refused to accept their description and name of the AC was completely false and misleading.

    I will NEVER purchase from them again.
    Last edited by Kennel No5; 10th January 2019 at 03:27 AM. Reason: gramma

  12. #12

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    That is just so wrong when the scent doesn't match the picture.

  13. #13
    Basenotes Junkie mattmeleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Kennel No5 View Post
    Not only would I not study there, I would never purchase anything from them again.

    They sold me an aroma chemical which did not match their own description. When I questioned them I didn't get a response for a week, then a response that was nothing more than vague and insulting to my own intelligence.

    I had the material tested by GCMS and it was NOT what they were advertising. They refused to accept their description and name of the AC was completely false and misleading.

    I will NEVER purchase from them again.
    To be honest, I had better luck with them.
    Long, dark Vancouver winters

  14. #14

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I agree with Paul,
    i have lost few years with them ( but i had very poor results ). PerfumersWorld sell AC at very low prices which is very attractive for newbies ( quality of some of them is not always good ). But i love some of their Fleuressences Narcis,Jasmine...they are IMHO very well blended. If you ( beginners ) need to replace real stuff with cheap ( but nice ) base i can recommend it.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Do they sell perfumers alcohol? If the shipping is low it might be better to buy from them

  16. #16

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by Thea in Fl View Post
    I really don't understand this, Paul. Why does this bother you so?
    I hope Paul will forgive me for chiming in, because I was the one who requested he discuss this subject. He expressed frustration with PerfumersWorld students who have mistaken PW's idiosyncratic category system for a universal model, and who demand Paul classify his bases according to their model. The only tool they have is a PW-brand hammer and everything looks like a nail, so to speak. I'd quickly lose patience with that sort of thing myself.

    My background is in information theory, so I have an interest in category systems of all kinds, where they succeed and where they fail. (That's why I asked Paul's opinion of their system, I wasn't trying to make waves!) It seems striking and significant to me that apparently no widely-used scent classification system exists. We agree broadly on the meanings of words like 'musky' or 'aldehydic,' and there are well-established genres (chypre etc.) that complete formulae fall into. However when it comes to grouping components together or splitting them up, everyone chooses to carve the pie differently. Librarians have Dewey Decimal vs Library of Congress, biologists have Linnaeus and physicists have the Periodic Table, but perfumers each seem to make up our own private categories to suit our needs. Arctander, Curtis and Williams, Ellena and others have published classification systems, but nobody appears to use them. Therefore there's no excuse for anyone kvetching like PK's customers if someone else doesn't share their preferred system.

  17. #17

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by xii View Post
    In defence of PW training, it might connect better with local perfumery tradition
    Perfumer's World training doesn't include 'local tradition' at all. Dowthwaite is a Brit who teaches western-style perfumery, he just happens to live in Thailand. There's no Thai influence or content, except in his mentioning brands common in modern Asia (e.g. Lux soap) in examples.

    An English-language introduction to a non-Euro-American style of perfumery, e.g. the Arabic attar tradition, could be a valuable view 'outside the box' if it existed, but that is not what PW offers.

  18. #18

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by birdie View Post
    Is there any online training that is good? Personally I wouldn't spend money doing online courses unless I knew the information couldn't be found elsewhere.
    It's hard to make a one-size-fits-all recommendation. Every online course is aimed at a different audience - all-botanical, EU-regulated, etc. - so the question is whether you are the right audience.

    PerfumersWorld's audience for their introductory course seems to be laypeople (including children) who want to experiment and 'get their feet wet' before committing a lot of time and money to self-study. Therefore their training is focused on what is least complex and least expensive - using bases instead of a full organ, not dealing with the regulations around ethanol, not buying a high-end scale - rather than what will let you work at a professional level. The webinar text discusses some individual aromachemicals, and their freeware formula spreadsheet program works by weight, but the coursework doesn't cover the use of either.

    It might be a helpful 'training wheels' course for someone who wants to graduate from mixing up health-food-store oils in their kitchen, but if you've got a copy of Poucher's Perfumes, Cosmetics and Soaps vol. 2 and a beginner's kit from Pell Wall, Perfumer's Apprentice or Creating Perfume, it's probably redundant.

    If you choose to try out PW I would suggest:
    a) sticking to the free content on the webinar and Youtube,
    b) using a real scale and mentally rewriting 'drops' as 'parts by weight,'
    c) buying bases from someone who provides at least an SDS, or Perfumer's Apprentice Key Accords which usually provide the full formula, and
    d) treating the ABC classification system as a classroom tool not a Grand Unified Theory, and not pestering PK with it

  19. #19

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Quote Originally Posted by mindfulnessjewel View Post
    Do they sell perfumers alcohol? If the shipping is low it might be better to buy from them
    No, they don't. They sell vegetable oils and functional product bases (e.g. hair conditioner), and their own proprietary non-alcohol solvent mixture which sounds like it could plausibly be IPM/DPG.

    The price and red tape around shipping alcohol across international borders means that it usually makes more sense to buy it domestically wherever you happen to be, if at all possible.

  20. #20
    Basenotes Junkie mattmeleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    "PerfumersWorld students who have mistaken PW's idiosyncratic category system for a universal model....I'd quickly lose patience with that sort of thing myself."

    I`ve lived and taught in Asia for a long time.
    Education in Asia is not about asking question. It is about memorizing the "correct," answer.
    I`m not sure to what degree 1). their education background or culture 2). perfumers world 3). or the un-imagintibe individual is to blame.

    This said, I agree 1000%
    Unimaginative people are frustrating to deal with.
    Long, dark Vancouver winters

  21. #21
    Basenotes Junkie mattmeleg's Avatar
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    "It seems striking and significant to me that apparently no widely-used scent classification system exists."
    Do you know why? I do :-)


    When asking 2 people to describe the scent of an objects... their answers ALWAYS diverge according to the level of nuance.
    Example: What does a rose smell like?
    Both A and B will agree a rose smells sweet, floral, fresh...

    But, let`s say you suggest. Ok, narcissist smells sweet, floral, fresh too.
    What makes a rose a rose?

    Asking them to describe the nuances of a roses "rose-ness," their answers begin to diverge.
    A might say, a rose has nuances of lychee
    while B suggests peach or apple.

    SMELL is the ONLY sensory experience
    where a more detailed level of analysis actually leads to divergence in interpretation.
    Sight, sound, mathematical measurements - NO OTHER sensory experience has this unique character.
    Smell, is also the only sensory experience where the brain actually "touches," the thing it analyzes.


    The ball is in your court.
    Please explain WHY this is so, and you might be up for the next nobel prize!
    Long, dark Vancouver winters

  22. #22

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Septime, thanks for the clarification.

    Ooooooh, so he's got students coming in and saying 'that's not how you do that..', lol. I get the frustration.

    Still, there are artists who take workshops and those that would not be interested in that. There are those who like to sell at trade shows and local markets and those who do not. If someone wants to spend big money on a PW workshop, and travel expenses, then they should, it's probably money well spent for a lot of people. And they will go again, to another one. If that person is blind to other workshops, or chooses to 'live the PW way of life', that is THEIR problem, not PW. I doubt any of their frowned upon practices are malicious, they just want to make money and streamline the process. They have every right. If it is not a privately held company, then they have a duty.

    Okay now we get to Paul, his workshops are a different thing if he only teaches Schiff's bases, that is very specific to one part of the art, and likely draws a very different crowd. And if he charges $1000 and the person could not progress well because they were preoccupied with something they learned elsewhere, then you do what you can. This happens.

  23. #23
    Super Member
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    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I think I have been misunderstood. I wrote:

    In defence of PW training, it might connect better with local perfumery tradition, more spiritual, less exact and predating the western one by millenia.
    in hope a short not really polemic statement will be less likely to get twisted into something I didn't claim. Apparently I was wrong. So let me elaborate:

    I used to teach Asian people, both skill and formal theory. Unlike Germans, for instance, they wouldn't question my statements even if I challenged them with fishy ones. I found it rather frustrating. On the other hand, non-Asian students tended to adhere to their own idea even once they understood it was no so good. I gave it some thought: western people are generally less spiritual therefore more likely to question authority. It's as an important part of our culture. It seems a part of Asian culture to accept knowledge and needn't be persuaded to its validity. So I actually thought the ABC system is quite suitable in Thailand.

    It's very nice of pkiler to give the potential PW students a competent opinion. One I pretty much share by the way. Nonetheless, it is always nice to add a variety of perspectives to a thread tending strongly towards groupthink. Groupthink sucks balls.

  24. #24

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    Edit: belatedly realized I had misunderstood the comment I was responding to, thus my response was irrelevant.
    Last edited by Septime; 17th January 2019 at 04:13 PM.

  25. #25

    Default Re: Perfumery Education? Just say NO to Perfumersworld training.

    I'm not sure there is a 'real education' excepting the act of doing, and sponging up information and tips from others.
    This sounds like ruminating on a failed endeavor.




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