Linda Andrews was introduced to perfumery thanks to Mandy Aftel back in 2004 and it inspired her to open her own perfumery workshops in Santa Cruz not long afterwards. She likes to call herself "a perfumery enabler rather than a perfumer" who reportedly helped some 5000 people create fragrances. In keeping with this mission she has now a website titled The Perfumer's Apprentice through which people can buy both natural essences and aromachemicals in small, practical quantities,
"I noticed that it was very hard for amateur perfumers to gain access to the specialty ingredients used by the professional industry, so I built a website where small quantites of these could be purchased."....
To make it easier Linda Andrews even offers kits of some of the most important aromachemicals used in the industry to practice note-recognition. These are especially created for non-perfumers and constitute a great resource for perfumistas who wonder how Animalid, Ambroxan, Calone, Galaxolide, or Dihydromyrcenol etc. smell on their own. You can also purchase individual quantities from an online list of raw materials.
For people interested in taking courses in perfumery, there is also a whole range of options available on the site. The method used is based on that of Jean Carles, the creator of Tabu, Canoe, Shocking, Ma Griffe....which you can download from the site as well (it is now in the public domain in the US).
We think that this type of initiative can only help bring more transparency to the domain of perfumery and it will certainly help democratize the knowledge and appreciation of it. After all, people can be excellent amateur cooks. There was once upon a time in Europe when the well-heeled and even simple housewives would practice the craft of perfumery at home just like people would play concert music in a domestic setting. This is an opportunity to take up an interesting pastime and hobby, at the very least.
It is best to just visit The Perfumer's Apprentice and see for yourself. The customer service is great and prices are reasonable.