Talk to someone who has spent a lifetime with perfumers and you might hear that it takes seven years or longer before the "beginner" starts to create credible perfumes with any regularity. And it has been said that no one has ever created a really good perfume in their first year of training. I would not want to question these views of experts.
But I would like to state for the record that people with no experience in perfumery can be trained to begin to create workable fragrances of their own in a matter of days. I've seen it done.
Steve Dowthwaite runs 5-Day Perfumery Workshops, mostly in Bangkok, Thailand, where he lives with his wife and daughter, but also, since 2008, in the US. To date, Britisher Dowthwaite, through his various courses, has trained over 6,000 students in perfumery, including one member of the royal family. Of course not all of these students have the desire or the imagination to create artistically successfully fragrances. But some, in a matter of just five days, have already outlined a potential winner.
Steve's teaching methods in his 5-Day Workshops are identical to those in his home study PerfumersWorld Foundation Course. The two resources feed upon and reinforce each other. But having a face-to-face session with a professional perfumers who can give you personal guidance and encouragement is an experience not to be missed.
The USA is a big country and the logistics of setting up a 5-Day Workshop are far more intense than most people realize. As I've been the on site "facilitator" for 2008 and 2009, the workshops have been held in the New York - New Jersey area. That makes it a bit of a trip for someone in the Midwest or West Coast but a sprinkling of attendees have come from other countries -- France, Canada, Mexico, Chile, and Columbia -- usually because they (or their employer) knew about Dowthwaite's perfumery training sessions and understood that it was a whole lot less expensive to send people to the USA than for them to set up their own training programs at home.
If you have a serious interest in making your own perfume -- or in learning the technology of how modern perfumes are conceptualized and developed -- try one of Dowthwaite's 5-Day Perfumery Workshops for yourself. I am willing to bet that you will surprise yourself when you discover that you can create your own fragrances, "hands on," even though for you, this is the absolute beginning.
Warning: We run only ONE U.S. Workshop each year so if you are interested doing this perfumery training, clear your calendar and make you reservation.