The Arielle Shoshana Training Method

The Arielle Shoshana training method, recently solidified in the process of welcoming our fourth employee 👆, will not help you lose 15 pounds in 30 days for only three small payments of $19.99. But it should qualify you to discuss perfume with the very best customers in the world. (And please feel totally free to send us three small payments of $19.99 anyway.)

Step One: The Flashcards

The first stage of training is to create flashcards for every fragrance within each brand- a little contradictory for a shop that organizes our fragrances by category rather than by brand. Brands don’t mean much at first to our customers, the vast majority of whom have never heard of niche fragrance before they walk through our door. But once they do begin to have questions about the (now 25!) brands, our employees need to be able to share the stories and context behind them.

So we line up all of the fragrances in a given brand, pick up a bottle, smell it together, and then make a flashcard for it. The flashcards include the fragrance’s key notes, a word or two about the inspiration behind the scent, and the perfumer. Once we finish a brand, I administer a pop quiz on the products we’ve just covered: “So which of these scents have a vetiver note?”; “Which is the sweetest fragrance in the line?”; “Can you arrange the scents from lightest to heaviest?”

Step Two: The Posters

We map out each fragrance category on poster board, using whichever axes the trainee feels would be the most helpful (Light-Heavy and Fresh-Sweet are the most common so far). We label each fragrance on the graph with its key notes to further reinforce that information. Every trainee creates their own set of posters, the idea being that they’ll retain more from their own sticker placements and handwriting than they would from glancing over someone else’s work.

Step Three: The Cartoons

This last portion of the training method is inspired by the deeply unfunny cartoons I drew for my college biochemistry class in a desperate attempt to memorize the Krebs Cycle. These cartoons introduce trainees to some of our most frequent customer questions/requests, and their Arielle Shoshana-approved answers. As in Step Two, trainees make their own set of cartoons for maximum information retention. I ended up getting a C- in Biochem, so maybe disregard this step. Maybe disregard this whole post, actually. Who let me have this blog?

Congratulations! You are now official Arielle Shoshana trainees- hey, can you ring this guy up? 😉

6 thoughts on “The Arielle Shoshana Training Method

  1. Four employees! Great to hear that the shop is doing so well.
    As for the training method: simply brilliant.

    1. Okay, nobody should be TOO impressed- I remain the only full-timer 😉 But thank you so much, Lindaloo! 5/6 of Arielle Shoshana’s trainees were customers first, so I feel incalculably lucky that these talented, capable women very literally walked into my life!

  2. Oh I’d love to give a piece of advice to your customers. I know, let’s make an event via skype or a tiny shelf at Arielle Shoshana titled “Chemist in the Bottle approved” 😀

    1. What a fun idea, Lucas- the celebrity blogger section, perhaps with a different blogger every month! Or maybe each fragrance in the section is the recommendation of a different blogger? So many possibilities!

      1. This idea definitely goes in the right direction.
        Personally I think few recommdations from same person at a time is a better idea – as a representation of blogger own taste/preference. You could ask different blogger every month/season or so

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