A Short Introduction To The ABC's Of Perfumery
The heart of the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course

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Introducing the ABC's of perfumery

A short introduction to The ABC's of Perfumery, included with the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course, introduces and explains perfumer-educator Stephen V. Dowthwaite's "ABC" method for training perfumers.

A short introduction to the ABC's of Perfumery is the 56 page book that is included with the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course. The book introduces the student perfumer to The ABC's of Perfumery, a perfumery training method developed by PerfumersWorld founder, Stephen V. Dowthwaite. The method itself was developed out of Mr. Dowthwaite's need to find a simple was to teach odor groups to Asian students who spoke a number of different languages but were all familiar with the English alphabet.

In The ABC's of Perfumery, each letter of the alphabet stands for an easy to remember word which represents an odor group. "A" stands for "Ali-Fat-ic", "B" for "ice-Berg", "C" for "Citrus", and so on. To go with each "letter of the alphabet odor group", Mr. Dowthwaite has created a Fleuressence® base to represent a typical aroma for that group. These bases can be used both to make good examples of classic fragrance types and to make original fragrances of the student's own design.

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The ABC's of Perfumery illustrated

In The ABC's of Perfumery, each letter of the alphabet stands for an easy to remember word, which represents one of 26 odor groups. Perfumes may have more than one dominant facet, as noted above.

A short introduction also introduces the Foundation Course perfumery student to the concept of "relative impact", the immediate impression — the perceived strength of the odor as compared to that of linalool — which is used as a reference material. Each odorant used in perfumery can be rated as having a stronger immediate impact on our nose than linalool, a weaker impact, or an impact about the same as linalool. Odor strength is important when blending perfumery materials because some, even very small amounts, will easily overpower all other scents unless they are "tamed" by modifiers.

"Odor life" is also explained. This is a figure that tells us how many hours a particular odorant or perfume will last on a paper test blotter. That is to say, the length of time your nose will be able to detect it after the test blotter has first been "dipped". Highly volatile substances may last just minutes; others — those which we use for our "base notes" — may still hold their odor on a test blotter for a year or more!

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Formulas for Iris and Jasmine odor groups

Shown above are the letters for two odor groups of the 26 ABC's of Perfumery — "I" for Iris and "J" for Jasmine. Accompanying each description is a simple perfume formula that can be mixed, immediately, using Fleuressence® bases from the Foundation Course kit.

After explaining The ABC's of Perfumery and safety practices (VERY IMPORTANT!), A short introduction goes into the methods by which materials are mixed. Then — what is perhaps the most exciting part of the course for the new perfumery student — examples are given of fragrances that can be mixed immediately, using combinations of the 26 bases included with the Foundation Course.

Thirty-two simple formulas are included in A short introduction, one to represent a fragrance based on each of the "ABC" odor classifications, and additional formulas to illustrate classic perfume types such as "fougere", "chypre", "oriental", etc.

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Uses for your fragrance creations

Besides perfumes, colognes, and soaps, the page above shows additional products in which you can use fragrances you have created yourself.

Moving on, A short introduction explains how to perfume such products as soaps, shampoos, lotions, candles, air fresheners, liquid air fresheners, writing paper, carpet fresheners, incense sticks and more. If, for example, you are already making your own soap or candles, now you can scent them with fragrances you create yourself!

Finally, A short introduction introduces you to The Perfumer's Workbook, a perfume creation program (software) included with the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course that comes on a CD, for use in your computer. A short introduction explains the various tools within The Perfumers Workbook and how to use them for help in developing or modifying your own perfumes.

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Back cover of A Short Introduction

The back cover of A short introduction (shown above) graphically illustrates the PerfumersWorld "Family of Odors". Using this illustration and the Fleuressence® bases included with the Foundation Course, you can begin to see how various perfumes "go together", and begin to create your own original fragrances, using this graphic as your starting point.

"Using Graphic Odor Wizard" of The Perfumer's Workbook, you can generate a perfume formula from your odor description and then fine tune it until the graphic representation of that formula "looks right" to you.

You can develop your own perfume formula using only the 26 bases included with the Foundation Course, or you can instruct the software to use any of the 500 or more odorants from The Perfumer's Workbook's installed database. (This is a great way to become familiar with more perfumery materials, even if you decide not to use them!)

The Perfumers' Workbook, in my estimation, is worth the entire cost of the PerfumersWorld Foundation Course. For more information on this software, click here. Or order the Foundation Course below.

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-Philip Goutell
-Lightyears, Inc.