Monday, June 30, 2008

Will Lapaz of Eden Botanicals - Guest Q&A Expert in Anya's Garden class

On Saturday, June 28th, students in both the Fall 2007 and Spring 2008 online class were able to ask an expert in the field of natural aromatics numerous questions in a "live chat" session. From Australia to Denmark, through numerous time zones, the students were able to ask Will Lapaz, one of the most respected suppliers in the business questions on everything from the price of patchouli to the availability of organic products.

Will's company,Eden Botanicals, is based in Northern California, and Will was not sure at first if he could make the chat, since wildfires have been smoldering in his area for several days, and the smoke was forcing him to get out of the region. Coordinating with teacher Anya McCoy, he was ready to relocate to an internet cafe to conduct the chat, and everyone was very appreciative of his efforts to keep the appointment. There were so many questions, Will stayed online for three hours, helping the students gain deep insights into various subjects such as the differences between orris butter and orris CO2, how attars are (perhaps) now being stretched because of the sandalwood scarcity, fair trade issues and opportunites and much more.

The students were very appreciative of all the time and knowledge Will shared with them, as one wrote: "I can't thank you enough! This is a great opportunity to speak to a real-deal supplier. And, I have purchased from Will, so, I can speak from previous experience and say it was wonderful. Again, thank you BOTH so much and I am very into the group buys." A group buy did arise spontaneously during the chat and the students who participate will be able to obtain some great supplies at a good price - another benefit of being enrolled in the class.

Past Q&A experts in the course were Mandy Aftel, the perfumer of Aftelier, who chatted about perfume creation and David Mark Covill, Egyptologist and Nose of Renaissance Aroma, who spoke on ancient Egyptian perfumes.