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Course 01:

Introduction to the
World of Perfume

Sharpen your smelling skills and get personal instruction from fragrance experts Kathryn Balcerski and Tami Katz of Serendipitee NYC — the official U.S. licensee of Cinquième Sens.


In six  live online sessions, Kathryn and Tami will take you through a journey built on their combined 50 years of industry experience. Learn the language, technical skills, and insider knowledge that will help you take the next step in your fragrance career — or just deepen your understanding for those who simply love perfume! 

What's included in this course?

  • Six live, online sessions with hands-on instruction from Kathryn and Tami

  • Olfactorium smelling kit: a mini perfumer’s palette of 48 fragrance vials shipped directly from Paris (included in registration fee)

  • Custom workbook including all training contents to help you work through smelling exercises and note what you’ve learned (included in registration fee)

  • International certificate of accreditation, endorsed by Cinquième Sens, the globally acclaimed French perfume educational institute established in 1976

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What will you learn?

Intro to the World of Perfume is broken into five different modules. Read more about each module below. For more information on course timing and scheduling, see here.

Image by Birgith Roosipuu

1. Perfume History and Sense of Smell

Perfume has been around for ages, but how much do you know about its origin and evolution over time? In this course, you’ll learn how the olfactive landscape has changed over time — and as a result, develop a sophisticated understanding of the olfactive landscape today. We will also discuss the sense of smell: physiology, characteristics, how memory and emotions are intrinsically connected to olfaction, and what happens when you lose your sense of smell.


2. Perfumers and their Palette

Whether you’re a perfume enthusiast, seeking to develop your own product, or wanting to advance your career within the industry, understanding the core components of a fragrance is essential to success. From naturals to synthetics, to current regulations and sustainability considerations, we’ll discuss the extensive palette of ingredients  that goes into the making of a great  fragrance.

Image by Parker Coffman

3. The Fragrance Development Process

Become an expert on the fragrance creation process from brief to bottle. We will walk you through all facets of development: from how a brand constructs a fragrance brief for a new creation, to how to evaluate existing creations and select the best one for your project. We’ll also discuss how to work with fragrance houses and perfumers for the optimal outcome.

Image by Fulvio Ciccolo

4. Perfume Facets, Smelling and Language

Module Four is hosted over two separate sessions, each crafted to sharpen your sense of smell. Here, we will work directly with the Olfactorium smelling kit, a portable perfumer’s palette which includes 48 fragrance vials (included in the registration fee). We’ll learn how to smell and how to talk about fragrances, discover the 17 perfumery facets, and discuss how to effectively communicate what you are smelling.

Image by Christin Hume

5. Smelling Workshop

In Module Five, we’ll take a deeper dive into building your smelling skills. We’ll use the same Olfactorium smelling kit from Module Four to expand your ability to speak the language of perfumery. In addition to expert instruction, we’ll run through engaging smelling exercises to help sharpen your skills and perfumery vocabulary.

Pricing and Timing

The price of this course is $1505.00.  This is a comprehensive price that includes: 

  •  Registration for all five modules (over eight hours of live instruction)

  • An Olfactorium containing 48 fragrance vials, shipped directly to you from Paris

  • Custom course workbook

It is possible to purchase each module à la carte, however it is not possible to receive the workbook unless you purchase all five sessions. Please contact us for information on pricing for à la carte sessions.

At this time, we are accepting registrations for Spring 2024. However, we offer this course three times a year — so stay tuned for future offerings. 

Additional Information:


Registration deadlines for smelling based modules are applicable to those who wish to purchase single sessions. You must register by the corresponding deadline to allow for time for the Olfactorium to be shipped from Paris. If you register after the deadline, there will be an expedited shipping fee for the Olfactorium.  


Additionally, we require a minimum of four participants for a session to proceed as scheduled below. If there are too many conflicts with a particular date,  or we otherwise do not have at least four participants, the session will be rescheduled. In this instance, we will contact each participant via email. 

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