My Big News


I hinted in my last post about having some very BIG IMPORTANT EXCITING news to reveal and that’s true- to an extent. In that it’s much BIGGER MORE IMPORTANT MORE EXCITING news if you’re me.

And that is that I’ve been accepted into IFF-ISIPCA’s 3-year MSc program in Scent Design and Creation.  Starting in late September I’ll be studying fragrance in Versailles, France.

Unless you’re new to this blog you’re aware of my great love of fragrances and scent- despite discovering my appreciation of perfume in high school, sniffing at things around me has always come naturally. I never imagined that it would lead to being able to do something like this- and the chance to pursue a career in an area that I love more than almost anything else.

Earlier this summer/in late spring, I went to NYC for a few days for an interviews, creative presentation, and hours-long Olfactory Intelligence Test.  The woman who was in charge of my, Barbara Gyde, was very lovely and kind, and I was absolutely starstruck when I discovered that one of my interviewers was Carlos Benaim, the creator of Frederic Malle’s Eau de Magnolia and Viktor & Rolf’s Flowerbomb.  I read an excerpt from a children’s story that I wrote for funsies last year (/to express a philosophical feeling I was having- it’s an odd habit, but I’ve written maybe three private philosophical children’s stories) and was super flattered when he asked if I’d ever considered being an author. So I guess now I also have a backup profession lined up. 😛

One of the craziest moments of the day was my lunch break. When I accidentally took the service elevator and was unable to get back into the building (because I didn’t have swipe access) and had to get down to the ground floor and run around a NYC block to get back to the other entrance). When I found Barbara: “I was just looking for you, did you just finish?”
I guess that’s not a secret I’m taking to my grave anymore.

The amount that I can overtly talk about is limited, because a lot of the testing is covered by a nondisclosure agreement as an industry secret.  The technology behind the OIT is very cool and I wouldn’t want to do anything to harm the amazing person who came up with it.

There’s more information about the program here and here.

In the summers I’ll be doing internships.

I’m really so extraordinarily lucky to be able to do this and to have the support of the people who have helped me get here. Especially my parents, who have encouraged me to try for this thing that felt like such a long shot, and for helping me pay for the tuition, which I wouldn’t be able to cover alone. On that same (financial) note- an elderly neighbor of mine recently passed away and left us a little money that will be very helpful in covering tuition and expenses. She was a wonderful lady with so many pets, she was always very kind to me and I loved working in her garden and helping with the animals. I can’t help but imagine that with her love of armchair traveling, she would be really pleased to see what her generosity is helping me do.

I’m sorry, I am going to write out my thanks on this blog because its the least obnoxious place I can share all of my gratitude.

My Chemistry professor and thesis advisor Jonathan Parr wrote me a letter of recommendation, as did Marie Aoun, who you may remember I do freelance perfumery for (check out her sustainable South Africa-based brand, Saint d’Ici, here!)

I was very superstitious about telling people about my application: I didn’t want to jinx it and I didn’t want the stress of explaining my failure if I wasn’t accepted.  (But I know my parents went around talking about it). But there were a few friends I let in on the secret- because I wanted them to know, a few others found out because they asked about my plans. But Hyun, Pratik, Adam, Lily (who told me over and over again that I was a ‘shoe in’ and a ‘perfect candidate’), and Gabriella (who cried when I told her I was applying and always compliments me on how I smell)- thanks for carrying me through. 🙂

And to all of the online perfume community for sharing their expertise (and samples!) with me.

I’m so very excited, but I’m also already getting homesick and nervous. To the adventure ahead!

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