We created this program for those of you who would like to catch up with modern science and can spare part of your vacation for this purpose.

The current decade is sometimes called the Decade of Science, but science keeps eluding us. For instance, we've all heard about the Higgs boson, but how many of us actually know what it is? We know that the human genome has been deciphered. But why is it important and what good is it to us? It's common knowledge that some of our food is genetically modified. But do we understand whether that's dangerous? And if so, to what extent?

Many of us keep meaning to figure these things out, but always lack the time. There's work to do and errands to run, and when it's vacation time—well, vacations are made for relaxing. However, who said that you can't learn about the things you've always wanted to know and have a great holiday at the same time?

We are here to offer a solution! We propose you to join one or several of our 3-to-5-day crash courses on the hottest scientific subjects, conducted by leading experts and taking place in one of the most charming places in Europe .

Our lecturers and speakers are leading experts from the world's major scientific centers. Our program participants are people of different professional backgrounds, mostly employees of major non-profit organizations, international corporations and even governmental institutions.

We choose the most interesting spots in Europe for our scientific vacation courses, and we make sure that the schedule leaves you plenty of time for activities and guided tours to local attractions.

How does it work?

First, we invite the best experts to develop 3-to-5 day crash courses on various scientific subjects.

Then we announce a course and register people who are interested. Finally, we book a fine hotel somewhere in Europe and make it all happen.

  • The Art of Perfume

    Victoria Frolova
    Location
    Grasse, Provence, France
    Scheduled for
    the course is finished

    Our program, The Art of Perfume, will teach you about the sense of smell, perfume history, and the culture of aromas. You will have a chance to smell rare legendary perfumes in their original formulations, explore some of the best materials used by fragrance industry professionals, and discover why your nose is more sensitive than the most sophisticated machine. The April session will take place in the historical heart of the French perfume industry — Grasse, Provence.

    Senses &Vacation is an educational project aimed at introducing its participants to new ideas and sharing experience while visiting the most picturesque places.

    Our first course was dedicated to the science of smell. It took place in October 2016 in Luberon; our lecturers were the renowned Luca Turin and Victoria Frolova, author of Bois de Jasmin perfume blog. The course was very successful, according to both its participants and the press. The second part will take place in Grasse in April 2017.

    The guests will be livinge in a small town Juan les Pins, Antibes. The town is situated between Nice and Cannes, 13 km from Nice Côte d'Azur Airport.

    Victoria Frolova will explain the principles of fragrance construction and history. Her professional training gave her a glimpse inside the secret and competitive world of the perfume industry, and in turn, she will share her experience with you. You will learn about the perfumer’s palette, smell rare vintage fragrances and do exercises to sharpen your sense of smell.

    The participants will have the unique opportunity to visit Edmond Roudnitska's flower garden and his Art et Parfum lab which is still run by his son Michel. Usually, Roudnitska's garden and house are closed to the public, so this is truly a very rare chance. On April 6 our course participants will take a long guided tour and will discover how perfume is created at Art et Perfume and will admire the spring flowers in bloom, including the legendary lily-of-the-valley patch where the famed Diorissimo scent was born.

    Victoria Frolova will explain the principles of fragrance construction and history. Her professional training gave her a glimpse inside the secret and competitive world of the perfume industry, and in turn, she will share her experience with you. You will learn about the perfumer’s palette, smell rare vintage fragrances and do exercises to sharpen your sense of smell.

    The participants will have the unique opportunity to visit Edmond Roudnitska's flower garden and his Art et Parfum lab which is still run by his son Michel. Usually, Roudnitska's garden and house are closed to the public, so this is truly a very rare chance. On April 6 our course participants will take a long guided tour and will discover how perfume is created at Art et Perfume and will admire the spring flowers in bloom, including the legendary lily-of-the-valley patch where the famed Diorissimo scent was born.

    Victoria Frolova is a journalist and fragrance specialist. After pursuing her graduate degree in political science at Yale University and later at Duke, she stepped into the labs of International Flavors & Fragrances and received an opportunity to learn the intricate art of perfumery at the source. Inspired by her mentor, Sophia Grojsman, the creator of legends like Yves Saint Laurent Paris and Calvin Klein Eternity, she studied fragrance chemistry, history and composition.

    Frolova’s writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, Red Magazine, Marie Claire, and Flair. She’s a longstanding contributing writer to Perfumer & Flavorist and The Financial Times “How to Spend It” Magazine. Her explorations of scent touch upon all elements that make this subject rich and complex — science, art, literature, history, and culture.

    The editor of boisdejasmin.com, a website devoted to sensory pursuits, Frolova is a recipient of three Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards for Editorial Excellence and is a member of Société Française des Parfumeurs (French Society of Perfumers). She lives in Brussels and conducts scent seminars around the world.


    Genya Cartozo is a certified guide and expert on Provence. She studied Archaeology in Tel Aviv University and Anthropology in Marseille-Aix. After living in Provence for nearly twenty years, she knows the region inside and out, and Provence dwellers often recognize her in the streets even in the smallest villages. Her tours are very popular and highly acclaimed.

    We studied the feedback from the first course and are now happy to offer you two different options:

    A week-long course (April 2–9), or
    a long weekend course (April 5–9)

     

    COURSE SCHEDULE


    I. Week-Long Course Schedule (April 2–9, 2017)

    SUNDAY, April 2

    • 8:00 pm Welcome reception at the hotel

    MONDAY, April 3

    • A guided tour of Nice
    • A visit to an antique market

    TUESDAY, April 4

    •  A tour of Antibes and a visit to Provence market
    • A tour of Cannes, including a visit to a perfume shop

    WEDNESDAY, April 5

    • A tour of local wineries
    • Wine-tasting
    • 8:00 Welcome reception for the second group (an opportunity for the participants of both groups to meet and greet.)

    The schedule for the next four days is the same as for both groups (see bellow).

    Genya Cartozo will be our guide during these days. She has been showing the region to visitors from all over the world for more than 15 years and has extraordinary knowledge unrivaled expertise in its best sites and stories.

    for participants from the US and Canada we recommend the week-long course: the three days of relaxation will help them to overcome jet lag before the start of the educational program.

    II.Long Weekend Course schedule (April 5–9, 2017)

    WEDNESDAY, April 5

    • 8:00 pm. Welcome reception at the hotel bar: an opportunity for the participants of both groups to meet and greet

    THURSDAY, April 6

    Day 1: Inside A Perfumer’s Garden and A Visit to the Perfume Lab

    • 9:00 am-noon. A visit to Roudnitska's
    • Noon-2:00 pm. Lunch (not included in the price of the package)
    • 2:00 pm-4:00 pm. A visit to Grasse Museum

    FRIDAY, April 7

    Day 2: How We Smell, and a Journey Through Perfume History

    Participants will master the language of fragrance as they draw on their personal experiences. They will also perform exercises to sharpen their sense of smell.

    Painters express their vision with colors, but for perfumers, ideas acquire meaning with aromatics. Nowadays the multi-million dollar industry, supported by research and development in aroma-materials, creates hundreds of new scents each year. In this module the participants will learn how something as shapeless. They will learn how professionals transform ideas and visions into scents, and they will smell some of the greatest examples of the perfumers’ art, including the legendary fragrances in their original formulations.

    • 9:15 am-10:15am.Victoria Frolova's lecture
    • 10:15 am-10:30 am. Coffee break
    • 10:30 am-noon. Victoria Frolova will demonstrate her collection of vintage perfumes and talk about fragrances popular in the past
    • Afternoon. Personal time

    SATURDAY, April 8

    Day 3: The Art of Perfumery

    Participants will learn about some of the key materials used in perfumery as well as the basics of fragrance composition. They will get a glimpse into the métier of a perfumer by creating a fragrance accord using classical materials.

    The day will continue with explorations of more legendary fragrances and the stories behind them.

    • 9:00 am-10:30 am. Victoria Frolova's workshop
    • 10:30 am-10:45 am. Coffee break
    • 10:45 am-noon. Victoria Frolova will demonstrate her collection of vintage perfumes and talk about fragrances popular in the past
    • Afternoon. Personal time
    • 7:00 pm. Farewell dinner at a restaurant (optional, not included in the price of the package)

    SUNDAY, April 9

    • Check-out

    This schedule may be slightly modified depending on the number of participants, the weather, and other conditions. The changes will not affect the main events: the visit to Roudnitska's garden and Art et Pafrum lab, and Victoria's lectures and workshops.

    As part of our course, we are going to visit famous perfumer Edmond Roudnitska's flower garden and his Art et Parfum lab where his son, Michel Roudnitska, continues the family tradition. Always in search of perfection, Michel took the Art et Parfum workshop, synonymous with quality and prestige since its foundation in 1946, to new heights in his quest for beauty and harmony, while maintaining the uncompromising standards to which his father dedicated his life and work.

    Art et Parfum continues to serve the most exclusive fragrance houses (Christian Dior, Marcel Rochas, Hermes, etc,). Among the lab's timeless creations are Eau Sauvage, Diorella, Diorissimo, Moustache and Eau d'Hermes. And yet the lab remains faithful to innovation.

    Seeking to expand the artistic potential of perfume, Michel Roudnitska dedicated himself to the concept of signed parfum d’auteur working mostly for niche brands. In June 2000, his first fragrance Noir Epices was launched by Editions de Parfums Frederic Malle together with Parfum de Therese, his father's last masterpiece.

    In 2002 Michel collaborated with Parfums DelRae, a new brand from San Francisco, in creating a family of perfumes targeting the USA market: Eau Illuminee, Amoureuse, and Bois de Paradis, followed by Debut in 2004. These fragrances are now alsoavaileble in Europe.

    Michel still creates perfumes for the US luxury market. In 2007-2008 he and Jessica Dune designed two new fragrances: Ellie and Ellie Nuit. Also, in November 2008, Emotionelle, the fifth fragrance by DelRay brand, launched in Europe.

    The course will take place in a hotel in Provence.

    Rooms with twin or king-sized beds are available. All rooms have air conditioning, LCD TV, and other amenities.

    PRICES WEEK-LONG COURSE

    €3,700 for 1 person occupying a double room.*

    €5,800 for 2 people sharing a double room.*

    LONG WEEKEND COURSE

    €2,500 for 1 person occupying a double room.*

    €4,300 for 2 people sharing a double room.*

    *This cost includes accommodation, courses, breakfast.
  • The Secret of Scent

    Luca Turin & Victoria Frolova
    Location
    Luberon, France
    Scheduled for
    the course is finished

    Drawing on his long-standing experience in biophysics, quantum biology, molecular biology and fragrance chemistry Luca Turin will explain you what is known and — just as importantly— what hasn't been known yet about smell.

    Fragrance expert and journalist Victoria Frolova will explain the principles of fragrance construction and history. Her professional training gave her a glimpse inside the secret and competitive world of the perfume industry, and in turn, she will share her experience with you. You will learn about the perfumer’s palette, smell rare vintage fragrances and learn exercises to sharpen your sense of smell.

    You will find out what clues olfaction may be giving us about the mode of action of drugs and receptors in general. All these concepts will be put into the context of the two parallel worlds, fragrance and science, each with its own culture and quirks.

    Luca Turin was born in 1953 in Beirut, Lebanon, to Italian-Argentinian parents. His father is a UN diplomat and his mother is a designer. Brought up in France, Italy and Switzerland he got his French Baccalaureat in 1970. Then he pursued his studies in Physiology and Biophysics at University College London and got PhD in 1978. In 1982 he started working at the CNRS and after 10 years of successful career he became a lecturer at UCL where he taught Biophysics until 2000.

    Luca has long had an interest in areas of pharmacology that didn’t appear to follow the standard rules of structure-activity and molecular recognition. He is best known for his work on olfaction, in which he proposed a novel mechanism for odorant recognition by receptors. This mechanism, inelastic electron tunneling, is one of the three instances in biophysics where an explicitly quantum explanation is required to account for experimental facts.

    For 8 years Luca Turin was CTO of a venture company designing odorants for fragrance and flavors with a success rate 100 times the industry average. After returning to full time research in 2009, in collaboration with Dr. Skoulakis he has shown that both flies and humans could detect molecular vibrations by smell.

    In 1992 Luca wrote his first perfume guide. The second edition was made in collaboration with Tania Sanchez in 2008.

    Starting from 2011 until recently he worked as visiting scientist and professor at MIT, at the Alexander Fleming Institute in Athens and at the Institute of Theoretical Physics in Ulm. Today he is the perfume critic of Style Arabia. He is married to Tania Sanchez and has three children, two from a previous marriage.

    Turin is the author of The Secret of Scent (2006), published by Faber & Faber in the UK and in the US by HarperCollins and is the subject of Chandler Burr's 2003 book The Emperor of Scent.

    Here you can see his lectures from TED talk and The University of Alaska


    ****************************************************************************************

    Victoria Frolova is a journalist and fragrance specialist. After pursuing her graduate degree in political science at Yale University and later at Duke, she stepped into the labs of International Flavors & Fragrances and received an opportunity to learn the intricate art of perfumery at the source. Inspired by her mentor, Sophia Grojsman, the creator of legends like Yves Saint Laurent Paris and Calvin Klein Eternity, she studied fragrance chemistry, history and composition.

    Frolova’s writing has appeared in publications such as The New York Times Magazine, ELLE, Red Magazine, Marie Claire, and Flair. She’s a longstanding contributing writer to Perfumer &Flavorist and The Financial Times “How to Spend It” Magazine. Her explorations of scent touch upon all elements that make this subject rich and complex—science, art, literature, history, and culture.

    The editor of boisdejasmin.com, a website devoted to sensory pursuits, Frolova is a recipient of three Fragrance Foundation FiFi Awards for Editorial Excellence and is a member of SociétéFrançaise des Parfumeurs (French Society of Perfumers). She lives in Brussels and conducts scent seminars around the world.

    The three day Science & Vacation program devoted to fragrance will teach you about the anatomy and physiology of the sense of smell, perfume history, and the culture of scent. You will have a rare chance to smell legendary perfumes in their original formulations, explore materials used by fragrance industry professionals and discover why your nose is more sensitive than the most sophisticated machine.

    October 21 st , 2016: How We Smell

    The participants will learn about the anatomy and physiology of olfaction and will master the language of fragrance as they draw on their personal experiences. They will also perform exercises to sharpen their sense of smell.

    October 22nd, 2016: Smells and Messages

    Painters express their vision with colors, but for perfumers, ideas acquire meaning with aromatics. Nowadays the multi-million dollar industry, supported by research and development in aroma-materials, creates hundreds of new scents each year. Over the course of the next module the participants will learn how something as shapeless as smell acquired such an impressive history and culture. They will find out how professionals transform ideas and visions into scents and smell some of the greatest examples of the perfumers’ art, including legendary fragrances in their original formulations. Participants will also discover a connection between smell and taste via wine tasting.

    October 23rd, 2016: Olfaction, Hearing, Vision and the Art of Perfumery

    What do olfaction, hearing and vision have in common? The participants will find out what processing happens in the brain as their senses are stimulated and acquire some understanding of how the brain processes information coming from the sense organs. Similarities and differences between visual, auditory and olfactory perception will be described and discussed. They will also learn the basics of fragrance composition and will get a glimpse into the métier of a perfumer by creating a fragrance accord. They will use classical materials from the South of France to compose their personal olfactory etude.

    Vibrational theory of smell vs. shape theory of smell
    The vibration theory affirms that the smell of substances is based upon the frequencies of vibration of their molecules. This is in opposition to the shape theory of smell, which imagines smelly molecules fitting into conveniently shaped receptors in our noses.
    History of Perfume
    Nowadays the multi-million dollar industry of fragrance creates hundreds of new scent each year. How did something as shapeless as smell get such an impressive history and culture?
    HERE ARE SOME POSSIBLE DISCUSSION TOPICS:

    - What a particular molecule will smell like?

    - How our nose is connected to our brain?

    - Why Does Perfume Smell Differently on Different People?

    - How do we choose which perfumes to review?

    The course will take place in a splendid hotel in one of the mountain villages of the Luberon region, in Provence. There is a choice of twin or king rooms with air conditioning, LCD TV and other convenient amenities.

    In the course of our 3-day program, lectures will begin daily at 9 a.m and last for about 1h 45 min. Following a coffee break, you will have the second lectures and at the second half of the day you will have opportunity to engage in a one-hour discussion with the lecturers.

    In your abundant free time, will be at liberty to explore numerous local attractions and cultural monuments.

    Total Cost :

    2600€ per person, per single accommodation in a double room.

    4400€ per two persons (accommodation in a shared double room).

    This cost includes accommodation breakfast, wine testing and courses.

About us

We are Sergey and Katya, founders of S&V. We are originally from Moscow and are now based in Paris.

We believe that learning and vacations can get along pretty well! In 2014 we founded the Marabou Smart Camp for children from Central and Western Europe. During a 2 week-long camp, kids from age 9 to age 14 learn new things in a very interactive way, working with highly-trained counselors and lecturers. The project has turned out to be extremely successful. That’s why we decided to go further and create a similar program for adults. Now both kids and adults can expand their understanding of various scientific subjects and have a great holiday in a beautiful city in Europe.

Sergey Kuznetsov

Sergey Kuznetsov is a well-known writer and journalist. He is the author of nine novels including «Butterfly Skin» and «The Circle Dance of Water». His opinion pieces have been published by The New York Times, Huffington Post and other venues. He was a Stanford Knight Fellow in 2001-2002. In 2004 Sergey founded the SKCG agency specializing in digital marketing and educational projects. Today SKCG’s branch offices are located in Russia, Ukraine, France and the US.

Katya Kadieva

Katya Kadieva is a psychologist, journalist and cross-cultural communication specialist. She is a member of The European Association for Psychotherapy. Katya is also the author of many articles on childhood and education issues.

We connect like-minded people

Few things are worse than spending your vacation with boring companions. If you choose to go on holiday with us, you will find yourself among companions who are as inquisitive as you are.

We know how to really nourish your mind

With our lecturers you will never be left lacking answers or hungry for information. You will hear well-argued responses to the most challenging of your questions. You will also take part in thought-provoking discussions to further explore the chosen subject.

Reviews

"So it’s serious news that Turin will be one of two principal lecturers at The Secret of Scent, a three-day residential course in Luberon, hosted from October 20 to 24 by Science & Vacation, a company that specialises in luxury learning with a scientific bent.

Also speaking scent will be the course’s other founder Victoria Frolova, fragrance expert and How To Spend It contributor, who will delve into perfume’s history and how it is created now, while offering a rare opportunity to sniff recherché vintage formulas."

Financial Times: Discover the secret of scent with Luca Turin

 

Oh, it was just awesome, in all ways! The opportunity to be in the presence of these fine, highly intelligent and generous people was one of the highlights of my year! SO glad it worked out.

Marion Niedringhaus

 

Thank you so very much for hosting an interesting and organized event!  I learned a great deal, met wonderful people, and enjoyed the French countryside

Jana Menard

 

Perfume is more than the experience of ethereal  fragrances.  It is history, chemistry, exotic (and mundane) materials, physics,  biology and, of course, your nose and preferences.  Sergy and Katya produced a fabulous course that took participants through perfume's history, its luminaries, its challenges and its successes.  We experienced perfumes almost 100 years old.  We experienced novel and avant-garde perfumes. And we learned about the sense of smell, down to the biophysics level.  We applied this experience and knowledge to create our own personal, wonderful  fragrance base.  The course also took us a short way down another scent road - wine tasting, but this is a story for another time.

David Burns

 

Science & Vacation “The Secret of Scent” was my #1 travel experience in 2016 – and one of my top 10 ever! As a perfume lover, a perfume blog junkie and a Luca Turin science groupie, this class hit all the right notes! Location in the Luberon was gorgeous with lots of wonderful places to explore in Provence. And the parfums… OMG! Victoria was incredibly generous in sharing her vintage parfums that may be a once in a life time opportunity to smell, parfum classics like Jicky and Mitsuko and so many others! And Luca’s science lectures on how smell works and the chemistry of synthetics, esp musks, was as fascinating as you would expect from the irreverent and articulate Luca Turin! If you love parfums, are addicted to the perfume blogs and you love travel, Science & Vacation are for you!

I loved this class so much I have already reserved my spot for the 2017 class!

Debra Dout

 

Financial Times
"So it’s serious news that Turin will be one of two principal lecturers at The Secret of Scent, a three-day residential course in Luberon, hosted from October 20 to 24 by Science & Vacation, a company that specialises in luxury learning with a scientific bent.
Also speaking scent will be the course’s other founder Victoria Frolova, fragrance expert and How To Spend It contributor, who will delve into perfume’s history and how it is created now, while offering a rare opportunity to sniff recherché vintage formulas."

Discover the secret of scent with Luca Turin
The Local
"This October, expats from across the globe will be flocking to France for a unique vacation aimed at giving guests more than a tan and a new selfie collection.
Rather than dissecting frogs and memorizing the periodic table of elements, guests who sign up for the event will spend their days eating their way through Gallic gastronomy while learning about the future of food."

Eat, learn, live: unforgettable holidays in France
FUSAC

"The Science & Vacation program was created as a solution to optimize your time and your abilities by fusing two activities: learning and vacation."

Science and Vacation Program
International Expats Club

"Science & Vacation has created a new concept that mixes vacation trips and science discussions with the most famous scientists. A new way to combine holiday and knowledge in wonderful locations all over the world."

New Science & Vacation - a concept for people curios about science
In case you are two or more, PLEASE FILL IN ONE FORM PER PERSON.