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Blind Teens Explore Careers in Fragrance
Alexandria Parrish, Thane Sanzo, Nikki Singh and Jennifer Suchan spent four days learning about the scents and aromatic plants of Provence.
The students with vision loss also developed their own perfumes, bath and body products, and. They were selected through a competitive application process in the spring of 2006 run by L'Occitane and the American Foundation for the Blind.
"The summer workshop was designed to help the development of these young people's senses and possibly inspire future careers," said Christine Burke, Vice President of Marketing at L'Occitane.
The idea for the workshop came from L'Occitane's founder, Olivier Baussan, who was inspired by watching a blind woman smell his perfumes. He wanted to help young people focus on using the skills they have, not the ones they lacked. At the same time, L'Occitane also began to introduce Braille labelling on its product packaging.
Alexandria Parrish, a 14-year-old from Tyler, Texas, had always wanted to explore fragrance design as a possible career. After attending the workshop, she is considering applying to study perfume-making in New York or Paris. "The most important thing that I learned was that you can create mental pictures of things such as a lavender field just by its fragrance," said Alexandria.
Jennifer Suchan, a 15-year-old from Potomac, Maryland, had been interested in perfumes and scented soaps ever since her mother first exposed her to them when she was a toddler. With a passion for the sciences, she was intrigued by integrating the science of chemistry with the most beautiful smells in the world.
Jenny had the following to say about the program: "Among the many wonderful memories of the people and activities of the four-day fragrance workshop, I especially liked discovering the scents of different herbs and spices indigenous to Provence…Something that has stayed with me was Mr. Baussan's comment about how smelling an herb from Provence will enable a person to see the light of Provence. These words made me realize that although I cannot see, I can, through my sense of smell, experience the beauty of Provence."
REHACARE.de; Source: American Foundation for the Blind
- For further experiences of the students, visit: www.afb.org