Ever wonder what goes on in our perfume classes here at Providence Perfume Co.? Well, if you're looking for glowing student reviews of our classes we've got them peppered throughout our website. But, if you're looking for a behind-the-scenes glimpse into what goes into our classes we are ready to share! I've written this post in conjunction with Sabrina, my fabulous assistant here at Providence Perfume Co. Sabrina offers invaluable perspective on the perfume classes and offers poignant and supportive feedback which includes the likes of: "Nobody cares if you wear jeans on Sunday when you teach the class Charna," and "I don't think anybody noticed that you forgot what you were saying in the middle of teaching accord building. I mean, you had been talking for a long time so that's probably to be expected." Sabrina is one smart lady, right?
I firmly believe in small, hands on, face to face perfume classes, held in our working perfumery in Providence. Rhode Island experiences typical capricious New England weather, which means it can uncomfortably hot and humid in the summer and freezing and snowing in the winter. Consequently we must schedule our perfume classes in the fall or spring when temperatures are moderate and the risk of blizzard is small. (Ask me why this can be an issue and I'll note the unfortunate scheduling of the March 2012 perfume class which just so happened to coincide with the famous "blizzard of 2012" that left four feet (!) of snow in Providence and Boston and caused the cancellation of a large class. Touché mother nature. Lesson learned.)
Because so many of our perfume class attendees fly into Providence, scheduling classes seasonally is important. All this scheduling can be challenging. Just when we think we have the perfect date to circled on the calendar to hold an amazing new perfume class, we discover:
A) It's Brown University Parent's Weekend. Consequently, hotels have no vacancy.
B) There's a Star Trek convention being held at the local convention center, said to draw thousands to the city. Consequently, hotels have no vacancy.
C) It's a long holiday weekend during peak foliage season. Consequently, hotels have no vacancy.
Yep, this happens. We find a new date.
Speaking of hotels, traveling perfume class attendees want to know where to stay and how to get here. If you plan on flying into the state to attend one of our natural perfumery classes, I recommend flying into TF Green airport located in Warwick, RI. It is a short 15 minute cab ride to Providence and the TF Green airport is small and easy to navigate. Logan airport in Boston is another option, but coordinating travel by bus or train from Boston to Providence can be expensive and time consuming.
On to where to stay: I recommend staying in Providence versus one of the neighboring cities such as Cranston or Warwick. You may be able to find a cheaper hotel outside the city, but you'll have to take a long cab ride to and from classes and miss staying in the fabulous city of Providence.
The first hotel I recommend for perfumery students is the Wyndham Garden . I recommend this hotel as it is budget friendly and within walking distance to the perfumery. Conveniently located just a few blocks away from the perfumery, the Wyndham Garden allows students to walk easily to classes. Should you prefer not to walk, there is a hotel shuttle which can traffic you around the city. Feedback from students is the hotel is "fine" or "o.k." so gauge the experience accordingly. Many students indicated they found cheaper rates for the Wyndham online using one of the travel booking sites like Expedia. If you are seeking a trendy hotel with a modern vibe, you may want to look into the new Dean Hotel. If you're seeking the ultimate Providence experience, The Providence Biltmore is considered one of the nicest and most historical of Providence hotels. Please note that the Dean and Biltmore hotels will require cab, trolley or bus transportation to the perfume boutique as they are not within walking distance.
don't worry, it won't be snowing when you're here!
All classes are taught on site at the perfumery located at 301 Wickenden Street in Providence RI. Wickenden Street is a quaint shopping district less than a mile away from Brown University and RISD, known for its artsy mom and pop owned shops including antiques, vintage clothing, pottery, records, and glass. In addition, there are coffee houses, sandwich shops, an organic grocer, two stellar pizza places, Japanese, Ethiopian, and Indian restaurants, bars, and even a tasty crepe and cupcake bistro! This is ideal as you can quickly and easily grab a meal. (Sabrina would like to add that the restaurant across the street called the Duck & Bunny has the best rosemary garlic french fries you've ever tasted.)
The final question you may have on our perfume classes is content. What exactly do we do in our perfume classes? This is the toughest to answer as each class is different and tailored for a different levels and topics of study. For a current list of perfumery classes with full course descriptions, see our "Perfume Classes and Materials" tab under PERFUMES. I can tell you that I enjoy teaching natural perfumery classes and there is nothing better than meeting people who love to smell things and get excited by the differences between jasmine sambac and jasmine grandiflorum.
I'm a perfumer not an aromatherapist, so I don't teach the health or therapeutic benefits of essential oils. I am concerned with aroma. I teach how to combine natural essences to create a pleasing well balanced perfume. I have a special interest in helping those interested in starting a business, and am honest and forthright. I share suppliers. I leave the labels on the materials we pass around the table. If you smell something you like, feel free to jot down where I've ordered it from so you too may order it. I share horror stories of mistakes I've made over the years, such as ordering leaky perfume bottles from a disreputable supplier, so perhaps you won't make the same mistakes. Questions are welcome, and classes are friendly and informative.