Difference between learning jewelry making and perfume making  

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

I've been wire wrapping for close to two years now, and although I still feel I'm a newbie, I think I've learned quite a lot during this time. I can tackle some of the more advanced tutorials out there, without always making a mess out of things.
Very recently I've stumbled upon what proves to be another new hobby of mine, making perfumes using natural, essential oils.
I've purchased several oils from the UK so far, and started combining them to make perfumes. Which doesn't seem to be so easy as I first thought. Most of the concoctions smell horrible, at best as a bad medicine.
I've searched a lot the internet for recipes on the subject, but it's hardly anything out there. There are a couple of real life workshops that one should attend, at over $1000 a piece, and very few books on the subject, mostly touching the history of perfumery and the ingredients, but less the actual blends, mixes. So I broke down and purchased from Mandy Aftel the Level 1 Workbook, at a price of $375 (yep, you've read it right!) and shipping to Europe $80 (right again!), as this seems pretty much the only feasible avenue for somebody to really learn perfumery without spending a large amount of essential oils on trial and error, by not knowing what is one really doing in the process.
As the shipping was so very expensive for this one book, I let it be sent to Mary, a dear friend of mine who always helps me out when I buy something with high shipping to Europe, and now I'm patiently waiting for the workbook to arrive.
And in the meantime I'm musing...
Most probably since the time I started with wire wrapping, I did spend about this amount or even more on books and tutorials, however the difference between this workbook and the tutorials for wire wrapping, is that I've bought MANY tutorials, on all aspects of wire wrapping and jewelry making. I've learned a lot of skills in the process. I have now a new level of appreciation for all the wire wrappers who so freely share their knowledge in allowing the rest of us to learn their secrets, and to make their jewelry pieces. Without all these tutorials, and book out there, it would have been much more challenging to learn wire wrapping, even to the level I am right now (which is not that far). It is a completely different world between the two. Perfumers guard their secrets as if with their lives, they won't share but the very basic of blends, which doesn't bring one very far, and wire wrappers, or jewelers in general are very generous, and share. Yes, for a price, but the prices are very reasonable, anything between $5 and $15 for learning how to make one pendant, a pair of earrings, a ring, any items from start up to completion. Plus there are also many free tutorials out there, which allow you to build on your existing knowledge and widen it too. Best example out there is Eni Oken, who has many tutorials for a veeeery reasonable price, but also many freebies to get you started.
I know I'll have a hard and bumping road ahead of me with perfumery with the lack of resources available, but I'll take the challenge anyway. Should be fun.


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