Materials Courses – The Institute for Art and Olfaction

The IAO presents a four-module series of courses that takes place over each year, starting with Module 1 in the autumn and ending with Module 4 in the summer. Each individual session explores the most crucial materials of perfumery in an analytical setting led by trained perfumer Ashley Eden Kessler.


10weeksIn each session, held at the IAO’s spacious studio in Chinatown, Ashley will lead the class in smelling and discussing 6 crucial perfume materials – both naturals and synthetics. Over ten weeks, we will systematically go through the materials organ category by category, going into the function, aesthetics and technicalities of each material and its fragrance family.

Participants will leave with a fluency in the most important molecules of modern perfumery, as well as take-home vials of each material covered in that week’s class, for a total of 6 vials per session (and 60 vials for the whole course).

For beginners, this class presents an indispensable first step in practicing perfumery and growing your familiarity with the materials of perfumery. For more experienced perfumers, the class presents an opportunity to enrich your process and technical abilities. Join us!


IMPORTANT INFORMATION BEFORE SIGNING UP: Please review our refunds and cancellations policy, before signing up for the class. We cannot refund missed classes for people who have signed up for the full course. Each student receives a vial of each of the six materials covered in that week’s session to take home. Any extra materials covered (above six per class) will be available for purchase at $5.00 a vial. We have a six student minimum and a ten student maximum for this class. Sign up early, and tell your friends.


MODULE 4: Four week Summer session
July 11 – August 1 (Tuesdays), 6-8pm

July 11 – Session 1: Minty (Menthol Crystals Nat. , Menthone Laevo FCC, Carvone Laevo FCC, Methyl Salicilate, Peppermint EO, Spearmint EO, Wintergreen EO)
July 18 – Session 2: Anisic/Aromatic  (Anethole, Estragole, Eucalyptol, Cineoles 80, Eucalyptus, Radiata EO, Eucalyptus Globulus EO)
July 25 – Session 3: Other / Evaluations materials in combination (Sage, White EO, Camphor White EO, plus combination materials)
August 1 – Session 4: Evaluating materials in combination, and small blending exercises.

Note: This class is limited to ten people only. We will add a Monday session, pending demand.
+ Sign up here


MODULE 1: Eleven week Autumn session
September 5 – November 21 (Tuesdays), 6:00-8:30pm

SEP 5: Week 1, Woody Synthetic (Cedryl Acetate 10%, Vetiveryl Acetate 10%, Sandalore 10%, Ebanol 10%, Vertofix 10%, Evernyl 10%)
SEP 12: Week 2, Woody Natural (Cedarwood Texas EO 10%, Cedarwood Atlas EO 10%, Vetiver Haiti EO 10%, Patchouli EO 10%, Sandalwood, Hawaiian EO 10%, Oakmoss Abs 10%)
SEP 19: Week 3, Citrus Natural (Bergamot EO 10%, Orange, Sweet EO 10%, Mandarin, Yellow EO 10%, Grapefruit Pink EO 10%, Lemon EO 10%, Lime, Expressed EO 10%)
SEP 26: Week 4, Citrus Synthetic (Limonene D 10%, Methyl Pamplemousse 10%, Rhubafuran 10%, Citral 10%, Citral DMA 10%, Citronellal 10%)
OCT 3: Week 5, Spice Synthetic (Eugenol 10%, Iso Eugenol 10%, Methyl Iso Eugenol 10%, Methyl Eugenol or Methyl Diantilis 10%, Cinnamic Aldehyde 10%, Cuminic Aldehyde 10%
OCT 10: Week 6, Spice Natural (Clove Bud EO 10%, Cinnamon Bark EO 10%, Black Pepper EO 10%, Pink Pepper EO 10%, Cardamon EO 10%, Ginger EO 10%
OCT 17: Week 7, Green Natural (Galbanum EO 1%, Violet Leaf Abs 1%, Black Currant Bud Abs 1%, Lentisque Abs or Narcissus Abs 1%, Tagetes (Marigold) EO 1%, Mate Abs 1%)
OCT 24: Week 8, Green Leaves Synthetic (Cis 3 Hexenol 1%, Cis 3 Hexenyl Acetate 1%, Cis 3 Hexenyl Salicilate 1%, Styrallyl Acetate 1%, Triplal 1%, PADMA/Viridine 1%)
OCT 31: No class
NOV 7: Week 9, Aldehydic Synthetic (Aldehyde C-8 1%, Ald C-9 1%, Ald C-10 1%, Ald C-11 Lenic 1%, Ald C12 MNA 1%, Aldehyde Mandarin 1%)
NOV 14: Week 10, Fresh Synthetic (Hydroxycitronellal 10%, Lyral 10%, Cyclamen Aldehyde 10%, DMBC 10%, DMBC Acetate 10%, Dihydromyrcenol 10%)
NOV 21: Week 11, Fresh Synthetic (Linalyl Acetate 10%, Linalool 10%, Terpineol 10%) Floral Synthetic (Terpenyl Acetate 10%), Honey Synthetic (Phenyl Acetic Acid 1%), Honey/Amber Natural (Beeswax Abs 1%)

Note: This class is limited to ten people only. We will add a Monday session, pending demand.
+ Sign up here




Jan 10
– Amber (Natural): Cistus EO, Labdanum Abs, Frankincense/Olibanum EO, Vanilla Abs, Elemi EO
Jan 17 – Amber (Synthetic): Ambroxan, Ambrox DL, Cetalox, Iso E Super, Cashmeran, Grisambrol
Jan 24 – Rose (Natural): Rose EO Turkish, Rose EO Bulgarian, Rose Abs Morocco, Rose Abs Grasse, Palmarosa EO, Geranium EO
Jan 31 – Rose (Synthetic): Phenyl Ethyl Alcohol, Phenyl Ethyl Acetate, Citronellol, Citronellyl Acetate, Geraniol, Geranyl Acetate
Feb 7 – Jasmine/Orange Blossom (Naturals): Jasmine Grandiflorum Abs, Jasmine Sambac Abs, Petigrain EO, Neroli EO, Orange Blossom Abs, Petigrain Mandarin EO
Feb 14 – Jasmine (Synthetic): Jasmonal H/Hexyl Cinnamic Aldehyde, Hedione, Cis Jasmone, Jasmolactone, Benzyl Acetate, Benzyl Salicilate
Feb 28 – Orange Blossom/ Rose, Continued (Synthetic): Methyl Anthranylate, Aurantiol, Nerolin Crystals, Nerol, Rose Oxide, Damascone Beta
Mar 7 – Aldehydic: Ald C10, Ald C11 Lenic or Ald C11 Lic, Ald C12 MNA, Aldehyde Mandarin, Agrumen Aldehyde
Mar 14 – Fruity: Manzanate or Verdox , Hexyl Acetate, Nectaryl, Cassis Base 345 B, Allyl Caproate
Mar 21 – Marine/Green Aquatic: Calone, Adoxal, Helional, Floral Ozone, Canthoxal, Undecavertol


April 3/4 – Fruity Aldehyde + Violet Synthetic: Ald C14 10%, Ald C16 10%, Ald C18 10%, Violletyne 10%, Methyl Octine Carbinol 1%, Nonadienol 1%
April 17/18 – Green Natural: Violet Leaf Abs 1%, Black Currant Bud Abs 1%, Lentisque Abs 1%, Narcissus Abs 1%, Tagetes Marigold EO 1%, Mate Abs 1%
April 24/25 – Powdery Synthetic: Heliotropine 10%, Irone 10%, Ionone Alpha 10%, Ionone Beta 10%, Isoraldeine 95 10%, Coumarin 10%
May 1/2 – Powdery Natural +Misc Nat: Orris Concrete 1%, Ambrette Seed E) 1%, Carrot Seed EO 1%, Parsley Seed EO 1%, Chamomile Roman EO 1%, Chamomile Blue EO 1%
May 15/16 – Floral Natural: Ylang Ylang Xtra EO 1%, Osmanthus Abs 1%, Mimosa Abs 1%, Tuberose Abs 1%, Davana Abs 1%, Cassie Abs 1%
May 22/23 – Animalic Natural + Synthetic: Castoreum Abs 1%, Civette Replacer 1%, Costus Replacer 1%, Indol 1%, Indolene 1%, Paracresol 1%
May 29/30 – Vanilla + Anisic Synthetic: Vanilline 10%, Ethyl Vanilline 10%, Veltol (Maltol) 10%, Veltol Plus (Ethyl Maltol) 10%, Anisic Ald 10%, Anisic Alcohol 10%
June 5/6: Balsamic Natural: Benzoin EO 1%, Tolu Balsam EO 1%, Peru Balsam EO 1%, Myrrh EO 1%, Styrax EO 1%, Tonka Bean Abs 1%
June 12/13 – Aromatic Naturals: Lavender EO 10%, Wormwood EO 1%, Rosemary EO 1%, Thyme White EO 1%, Laurel EO 1%, Myrtle EO 1%
June 19/20 – Anisic Natural: Anise EO 10%, Coriander EO Cilantro Seed 10%, Angelica Seed EO 1%, Basil Linalol 10%, Basil Methyl Charvicol EO 10%, Caraway EO 10%



_AEK3_Web250x300A Los Angeles native, Ashley came to perfumery after forays into other creative disciplines. Sculpture, Architecture, Theater, Film and Design were the initial steps on her search for a mode of expression that would support both a dreamer and a pragmatist, a creative mind fascinated equally by science and by art. Perfumery, the science of the ineffable, is where the road finally took her.

Her first introduction to scent was by way of a gift on her 16th birthday: a bespoke fragrance formulated by renowned perfumer Sarah Horowitz.

The study of architecture and design led to travel and work in film art departments, but ultimately it was to Sarah Horowitz Parfums she returned. From apprentice to Junior Perfumer at SHP, she was smitten with the field. Dropping everything else, she immersed herself in study and practice. Her education in niche perfumery continued at LA’s Lucky Scent. Seeking a more formal education in the field, she moved to France to study at the prestigious Grasse Institute of Perfumery. There, she distinguished herself with her final brief- winning one of GIP’s coveted awards. After her studies, she returned to the U.S., having accepted a position as a Perfumer’s Assistant at Drom Fragrances International, one of the world’s top fine fragrance studios. After two years in that position, she was offered the chance to move back to Los Angeles as consultant for Sarah Horowitz’ new business initiative, Original Scent.

In her role as Perfumer in Residence at the Institute for Art and Olfaction, Ashley oversaw the development of the IAO perfumery studio while applying her formal education to the organization’s scent projects and consulting on the formation of the IAO’s educational strategies and courses.

in 2015, Ashley Eden Kessler launched Studio Sentir, a bespoke fragrance and consulting company, which she runs to this day.