Basic Perfume Course Syllabus

There are two options for the Basic Course: Independent Study and Private Tutorial. The education is the same, but the Private Tutorial allows the student to be privately tutored by Anya McCoy as needed.

Those who take the course include:

  • Aspiring natural perfumers
  • Experienced perfumers who wish to improve their studio, organization, and professional skills
  • Those desiring an education in a natural art
  • Aromatherapists who wish to expand their blending knowledge
  • People looking for enhanced career and business opportunities
  • Artists who wish to expand their culinary and lifestyle adventures

There are six modules in the basic course, and students typically take one year to complete their studies. The entire syllabus is very detailed and is over nine pages single spaced. The edited version below is to give the student an overview of the course.

Module 1

Module 1 introduces the student to a general overview of the history of perfume, from pre-civilization, through the millennia, up to the 21st century. Healing, ritual, animal, synthetic, and structured perfume creation are covered. The student is immediately set to working with aromatics, learning how to create a safe workspace, how to store aromatics, and how to work with them both undiluted and diluted. This course was the first to instruct students on how to dilute naturals to “open up their scent” and also provide an economical way to blend preliminary studies.

Perfume Creation Topics:

  • Workspace Design and Safety Requirements
  • Aromatics Dilution
  • Organoleptic Evaluations – scent, color, viscosity
  • Use of a Scale
  • Weight and Volume measurement plus much more

Module 1 Exercises:

  • Dilution of aromatics
  • Organoleptic Evaluations

The two exercises in this module give the student an intimate knowledge of the aromatics, learning their nuances, and most importantly, how to incorporate the aromatics into their scent memory.


  • Organoleptic Evaluation Form
  • Intensity/Impact Chart
  • Aromatic Lexicon Chart

Unique, professionally-crafted charts and forms for perfumery study are interactive and important resources for the student. How do you systematically record your evaluations of aromatics? What does intensity/impact mean to a perfumer? What are the words used to describe aromatics? These forms will be used throughout your perfumery career.

Perfume Industry Topics:

  • History of Perfumery
  • MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheets), CoA (Certificate of Analysis sheets), GC (Gas Chromatography tests) and what they mean. MSDS and CoA sheets for the Module 1 Perfume Making Kit are provided to the students (purchase of kits not necessary).
The NPI was the first online perfumer course to introduce students to the time- and money-saving method of diluting aromatics.

The NPI was the first online perfume course to introduce students to the time- and money-saving method of diluting aromatics. You learn how to evaluate both undiluted raw materials and how to work with them as diluted study essences.

Module 2

Module 2 advances the student from working with singular aromatics to studying aromatics in a “family”. The next step is to learn to associate similar aromatics of specific families, such as Citrus, comparing their similarities and differences. Once that topic has been learned, the student moves on to fragrance families, a perfume industry standard.

Perfume Creation Topics:

  • Aromatic Groups
  • Fragrance Families


  • Organoleptic Evaluations of Aromatic Groups

Twenty three aromatic groups are studied, including Animalic, Balsamic, Citrusy, Floral, Woody, etc., and evaluated using unique and interactive recording forms.


  • Organoleptic Evaluation Form – Specially created for linear groups evaluations
  • Aromatic Groups Chart – Excel Interactive Chart
  • Shorthand Key for Aromatic Terms – Work with Shorthand Interactive Sheet

No need to write out long, descriptive terms for the adjectives you’ll use in this study, or any study in the future. Use the Shorthand Key, and add terms that you come up with. 

NPI shorthand key sample

Perfume Industry Topics:

  • Sources of Aromatics – Botanical, Animal, Mineral

The fragrant sources of raw materials used in perfumery are covered in depth. Also addressed are issues of sustainability, wildcrafting, organics, and other relevant issues to the profession.

Module 3

Module 3 introduces the student to how the raw aromatics for the perfumer’s palette are created as you read about the methods that are used to extract the scented matter from botanicals, soil, and animal sources. You will also begin blending these aromatics, starting with an essential building block of perfume creation: the art and science of making accords.  Creating accords helps you to learn how to evaluate whether specific aromatics work well together, which enables you to make more well-rounded and harmonious perfume blends.  This skill will be vital to your work as an Active level perfumer.  

Perfume Creation Topics:

  • Exalting and Dampening
  • Introduction to Accords
  • Horizontal Accords


  • Creating Horizontal Accords


  • Horizontal Accord Form
  • Excel database, handwritten form

Perfume Industry Topics:

  • Extraction of Aromatics – from tincturing to fractional distillation

Module 4

This module will teach you about how we perceive and decode scent, a fascinating, scientific subject about which much has been researched and written, while mysteries still remain. You will also take the next sequential step in becoming a Certain level perfumer by creating vertical accords, which are more complex and more difficult to construct than the horizontal accords that you studied and created in Module 3.

Perfume Creation Topic:

  • Vertical Accords


  •  Creating Vertical Accords


  • Vertical Accord Form
  • Excel database Form

Perfume Creation Topic:

  • Physiology of Scent

Module 5


In this module, you will learn about how scent affects us psychologically.  Researchers map the responses of humans to scent for purposes of increasing sales, for medical reasons such as aromatherapy, and for pure science. You will also take the next sequential step in becoming a Certain level perfumer by creating perfume modifications.  The horizontal and vertical accords that you created in previous modules will now be reconstructed into true perfumes.

 Perfume Creation Topic:

  • Creating modifications for perfumes


  • Modifications, how to create and evaluate


  • Modification recording forms

Extra reading:

  • Psychology of Scent

Module 6


In this module, you will learn about industry regulations, and how they have grown in number and become ever more restrictive over the past few decades. Here you will receive an overview of the intermediate level perfumery course, and you will advance on your path to becoming an Active level perfumer. Your work with blending a beautiful perfume begins here. At the conclusion of this basic level course, you will have command of your aromatics and the method in which to blend perfume.

Major Topic:

  • Creating perfume


  • Creating a perfume

Exercise Instructions


  • Excel database, handwritten form

Perfume Industry Topics:

  • Industry Regulations
  • INCI names
  • FDA labeling
  • EU labeling

Which version of the basic course would you like to enroll in?

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