The Elements of Fragrance (Canterbury, NZ) 28-29 Sept 2024


A weekend Masterclass in Fragrance at Phytofarm Herbal Learning Centre, 166 Okuiti River Road, Little River, Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand.

Taught over two days, these workshops are hands-on and immersive learning experiences engaging all your senses. Come for a single day or join us for the weekend at a discounted rate.

Saturday 28th and Sunday 29th September 2024.


Join us for a deep dive into aroma as we explore the many ways to create fragrance—from traditional perfume accords and ancient attars, to building perfumes in the still (composite essential oils and gin blends).

Jill Mulvaney from The Alembics Lab leads a small group through a comprehensive range of plant extraction and distillation techniques using seasonal organic botanicals. (Suitable for both beginners and experienced distillers).

**When you sign up for these in-person workshops, you will also receive a complimentary online Foundation Distillation Course of your choice (valued at $175).  All our online courses come with lifetime access, so you can refer back to them whenever you need, making them a great learning resource. Feel free to explore your online course before or after your workshop with us.

Saturday 28th September

DAY ONE—Accords, attars and essential oils

  • Create a perfume in the still—using a copper column still, we will distil a selection of seasonal botanicals taken from our environment to create a ‘perfume of place’. (Combo steam/hydro distillation).
  • Includes plant selection, harvesting, packing the still, when to stop, correct collection, bottling and storage.
  • Eau de parfum—learn to create perfume accords using the traditional pyramid structure. We will create our own eau de parfum utilizing resins, lichens, seasonal aromatic fruits and flowers while our combo distillation progresses.
  • Break for Lunch
  • Guided walk in the garden, and tour of the herbal drying room.
  • Perfume oils—learn how to capture elusive scents, based on the ancient method of distilling attars (or ittars).
  • Using a 3L alquitar, we will steam distil seasonal botanicals into an aromatic base oil, layering scent to create unique aromatic perfume oils.

Sunday 29th September

DAY TWO—Gin, quintessences and aromatised wine

  • Create a gin based on the principles of perfumery. How to build well-balanced botanical blends by layering base, middle and top notes to create complex and delicious bespoke gins.
  • Using the 3L copper alquitar, we distil a vapour-infused gin reflecting the season and surrounds of Phytofarm. Jill will take you through the distillation process from start-to-finish.
  • Using our single vapour-distilled quintessences, practice your blending skills and make your own 30ml shot for a pre-lunch G&T.
  • Break for Lunch
  • How to distil aromatic spirits for aperitifs, cocktails or for use as the basis for perfume and tincture.
  • Using the 3L alquitar, we distil wine steeped with botanicals, creating an aromatised eau de vie. Includes set up, how to calculate yeilds, measure fractions and take cuts.
  • Finish the day with an botanical cocktail.

All botanicals and resources are provided at the beginning of each day, as well as a delicious, seasonal lunch from the Phytofarm kitchen garden.

Sample bottles of everything prepared during the Masterclass will also be available to take home!