Author Topic:  [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)  (Read 187 times)

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Offline Galina Krylova

[September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« on: August 06, 2020, 03:06:31 PM »
The new school year had only just started after a summer that Galina Viktorovna had spent mostly working on products for her family's shop in St. Petersburg. It felt like a natural consequence to have one of the first Alchemy lessons cover something that related to the things she had done over the past few weeks. The Russian witch loved that her class was a mixture of theory and praxis. She also appreciated that she could pretty much choose what to do in her lessons. There were, of course, some topics that she had to cover but if she went through the history of Alchemy and the most famous Alchemists quickly, she could still do other things that might not seem to be standard. She liked that it was possible to maybe interest her students into the subject by showing them that there was so much more to it than just theory and classic experiments even if that was the biggest part of it.

Her plan for today was to introduce the students to the art of perfume creation. She wanted to prove several points with that. She had collected a vast amount of possible ingredients (mostly small samples taken from her family's business), oil and alcohol. However,  on the teacher's desk there was also a cauldron full of Amortentia that she had created to start her lesson with. The witch intended to allow her students to find their favourite smell - she had cast a protective enchantment to prevent them from taking anything out of the cauldron - and to try and create a perfume with the exact same smell.

Well aware that her plan for the lesson might not enthuse every student, Galina Viktorovna thought that the majority would be pleasantly surprised anyway. It was also for her own good - sometimes a class full of teenagers smelled worse than the dragon stables, after all.

As students came into the room, she greeted them with a small smile. Once they all settled at their desks, she got to her feet, expecting them to be quiet and listen to her.

"Welcome back to another year of Alchemy at Durmstrang," she said, her voice barely carrying towards the back of the room. She liked it that way - her students should be quiet and pay attention or else they'd miss crucial parts of the lesson.

"Today we will be talking about scents, how people like different scents and how they can influence us. I would like you all to tell us which things you think smell best and then come up front to this cauldron and carefully sniff the potion that's in it." She paused briefly. "Then I'd like to hear if the potion smelled exactly of what you were expecting. However, before we start with that, can anyone, already after this introduction, guess which potion is in the cauldron and tell us something about it?"

Offline Ruslan Shishkin

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Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #1 on: August 12, 2020, 10:09:42 PM »
Ruslan hadn't yet decided whether he liked Durmstrang. He had been sorted into the same house as Rodion, rather than Zhenya and Zina, which had disappointed him at first though of course he hadn't shown that as he'd gone to sit with his brother for the beginning of term feast. His sister's words about dealing with came back to him and he decided this might have been one of the occasions they were talking about, and thus hadn't tould a soul he was disappointed by his new house. On the contrary, he had made a conscious effort to make friends with the other new first years and tell them about the Artistic flying club. At least two of them seemed interested.

As for his classes, he hadn't made his mind up about those, either. The fact that everything was taught in Swedish, a language in which he was by no means fluent, made everything stil more difficult for a new student. What was worse, he hadn't even had a chance to use his new wand yet, and alchemy didn't seem like a class in which there would be many opportunities. Still, it wasn't as if he would be allowed to practise his flying or gymnastics if he skipped a class, and so he took a seat close to the front of the room and fashioned an expression of polite curiosity on his face. On his tutor's advice he'd made a point of memorising the professors' names and houses, so hopefully this class might be one of the more pleasant ones. 

Scents? Ruslan's immediate reaction wasn't quite what one would expect of a young boy. His first thought went to whether any of his cousins had a sponsorship deal with any of the major perfume companies and if not, whether they should arrange it. He would ask Rodion about it later, he decided. As for his favourite scents, that was easy... he had no idea what potion might be in the cauldron, but perhaps it would be alright to answer the other questions instead? Feeling a little nervous, the new first year raised a hand.

"Good day, Galina Viktorovna. I do not know the potion, but my favourite scents are broomstick polish, sandalwood and hamburgers, although I don't know how they would smell altogether..." he hesitated and feel silent, not wanting to be the first student to get out of his seat and approach the cauldron, just in case there was something dangerous in there. He'd heard tales of Durmstrang, after all.

Offline Conrad Sturm

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #2 on: August 17, 2020, 02:29:35 AM »
At the front of the room, Galina Viktorovna had placed a cauldron, the potion inside shimmering faintly at Conrad when he walked by (he averted his gaze from the professor, in case she addressed him) and hurried quickly toward a table far to the periphery of the room, slung his things down and settled down. He got his (new, in-Swedish) textbook out and set it on the table in front of him, traced over the title with one finger. Then he remembered his shadow, the girl from Koldovstoretz he’d been tasked with taking care of for the entire year, only when she’d sat down beside him. Conrad sat up straighter.

“Did you have Alchemy at Koldovstoretz?” he asked her, in careful, accented Swedish, just to make some conversation. He didn’t want her to hate him already -- it was inevitable, he supposed, that long enough with him as her mentor or her guide or whatever would give her a low opinion of him. He was barely able to teach himself material, much less help someone else with it.

But, he supposed, he had the benefit of six years’ experience with Galina Viktorovna -- five years more than Justýna would have. He quieted down as the professor started to speak, slouching down in his chair: Conrad hated speaking in front of the class, and especially about himself. At least he already knew what this potion was, and what it did -- not that he would be tricked into admitting that. He wasn’t an Alchemy prodigy anyway.

Besides, he did not know what his favourite scents were. He knew what his favourite things were and none of them were smells. He liked his dog, he liked rain on the roof, he liked cello music, he liked river rocks, and he wasn’t sure he liked the smells of all those things. The professor’s question -- what was his favourite scent? -- made their awkward turn around the circuit to him; Conrad said, voice a little louder than a grumble, “Apples and fish.” That would have to be good enough.

He was not getting up to stick his nose in a potion until someone else did first, so he sat back in his seat, arms folded, and glanced back at Justýna. “You know what potion it is? Amortentia?”

[ cc: @Justýna Tesaříková ]


the show must go wrong

Offline Zoya Chernova

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #3 on: August 18, 2020, 03:21:21 AM »
Still yawning from having to wake up early, Zoya rubbed at her puffy eyes. She had slept in all summer, except for the adventures she'd been on with Stasya, so readjusting to Durmstrang schedules was not easy on her system. Zoya rolled out of bed late, missed breakfast, her hair was a bit of a mess, and she'd been yawning half the day trying to make up for it. It was tough enough shed even considered sneaking into the faculty lounge to steal some of the strong coffee, but she hadn't made it that far yet, it sounded like a lot of work. Instead, she slid into a seat somewhere in the middle of the alchemy lab and waited. Her eyes tempted to close with every passing moment, and she avoided propping her chin up in her hand because she knew she'd fall asleep for sure.

Trying to pay attention and listen to what the other students were offering, the young witch blinked a few times when it was her turn. "Well, uh, I guess I like how the port in St. Petersburg smells, and new shoes, those pretty good," Zoya shrugged as she spoke, but her head turned both ways quickly to spot anyone who might have had an opinion about her opinion. The overly defensive witch had never minded speaking in front of the class, but she dared anyone to laugh at her. Standing up and approaching the cauldron, she leaned down and took a big sniff before turning back to the class and tilting her head to the side as she processed.

Yawning loudly with the back of her hand covering her mouth, she finally spoke, "It sort of smells like my bed, back in the dorms, is that normal?" Maybe that was her actual favorite smell, and she was absolutely okay with that.

Offline Zviad Gogoladze

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #4 on: August 23, 2020, 06:00:00 PM »
Zviad wasn't happy that he was back at Durmstrang and he felt rather strange about the Koldovstoretz students that had come back to the school. After the merge he had stayed at Durmstrang even when the majority of Koldovstoretz students had gone back to their school. He had felt that Durmstrang was giving him a chance to be a new version of himself, not the one that his Koldovstoretz school mates knew. The fact that he had been forced to repeat his seventh year did not help to cheer him up either. Another year with Galina Viktorovna as his head of house did not seem appealing. However, there was nothing he could do about it.

As he settled onto a chair in the Alchemy classroom, he wondered if Galina Viktorovna would once again make no secret of the fact that she was not fond of him. He didn't really care, of course. After all, he didn't like her either. The Alchemy professor started the lesson and Zviad forced himself to listen to her quiet voice, thinking that it was maybe not too clever if he slacked right at the beginning of the school year. He assumed that if he did a decent job in today's class he might actually be not Galina Viktorovna's least favourite student.

“I suppose it's Amortentia,” he voiced his guess as to what was in the cauldron. “It's a love potion, known to smell different to everyone.” He wasn't an expert when it came to Alchemy but that question seemed easy enough. He had heard some students whisper the same answer already anyway.

“As for my favourite scents,” Zviad began, wondering what his favourite scents actually were and if he wanted to share this with the class. “I love the smell of the forest,” he began, “and well, I like the smell of a good smoke and vodka, too.” He said, smirking. Okay, maybe he did not try to get into Galina Viktorovna's good books, after all. He got to his feet and approached the cauldron. Although he really did take a sniff, he had no clue what the smell exactly was. With a shrug he turned around again and went back to his desk, settling there and waiting for other students to share their thoughts and favourite smells.

Offline Ruslan Shishkin

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Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #5 on: August 23, 2020, 07:27:47 PM »
Although he'd been feeling worried about what this professor would say when he didn't get up right away, Ruslan relaxed somewhat when a much older boy also failed to stand. Not only that, but his answer sounded...grumpy. Ruslan risked a glance in the boy's direction, wondering if they were in the same house (he hadn't been here long enough to recognise everyone or even figure out the uniform differences yet) and whether there would be some sort of punishment for not giving a good enough answer. Then a girl he recognised, one of the Quidditch players, though he didn't remember her name, not only spoke but actually got up and sniffed the cauldron. The boy stifled a grin at her analysis of the cauldron smell and put his hand up to his face, casually, as if he needed to rub his nose, in case anyone was looking.

Someone else identified the potion, and now Ruslan wanted to smell it even more, because it sounded interesting, but he was a bit worried too, because he was far too young to fall in love with anyone. But his housemates had sniffed it and they weren't acting weird, so that probably meant it was okay...he was going to be brave.

Still a little tentative, Ruslan got to his feet and approached, sniffing the air as he got closer. There was nothing obvious yet, except he thought he could maybe smell someone's not-exactly-new shoes. Or maybe their socks. Ew. He hoped that wasn't the potion doing it's work. Imagine if something went wrong and that was what he had to smell for the rest of his life! The thought was almost enough to make him turn around, but he was too close to turn back. He sniffed again, within just a few feet of the bubbling potion "It smells like...the dressing room where my sister won the artistic flying championship this summer...and freshly washed practise clothes...and hamburgers!" he exclaimed delightedly, beaming at Galina Viktorovna. Then once he was back at his desk he hesitated and asked nervously "we don't have to...drink the potion, do we?"

Offline Stanislava Bulgakova

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2020, 05:58:24 PM »
Stasya was glad that the school year had started again. She preferred the months at Durmstrang to the summer months at home and she rather liked classes too, usually at least. Alchemy clearly was on her list of classes that she quite enjoyed and it seemed that Galina Viktorovna had a nice surprise for them for the beginning of term.

She didn't feel like speaking up in class though although she knew which potion the professor was referring to and, of course, she also had favourite scents – she liked roses, old books and summer rain. However, she did not want to tell anyone that. It felt like sharing a well kept secret somehow.

Stasya was glad that her best friend who was sitting next to her did share her thoughts on the matter anyway and she followed Zoya towards the cauldron to take a sniff in order to find out if her idea was actually correct. While Zoya found that the potion smelled different than what she had expected, for Stasya it was just what she had thought. She lingered in front of the cauldron for a few seconds, smiling to herself. Then she followed Zoya back to her place.

“I wish we could just get a vial of this potion,” she whispered to her friend. “The scent makes me feel so happy and relaxed.”


Offline Zhenya Shishkina

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Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2020, 06:12:21 PM »
Alchemy was probably the worst class for Zhenya and that clearly meant something because the Drakonya Krov student wasn't a good student anyway. She just didn't get Alchemy somehow – neither the practical nor the theoretical parts of the subject. Every lesson felt like it was her first ever contact with the subject. It didn't help either that she was terrified of Galina Viktorovna.

It came as no surprise that she could not answer which potion was in the cauldron and what it was good for. Truth be told, Zhenya did not even try to figure out an answer to that, giving up rather than giving herself a chance to surprise herself, the professor and the class mates that knew that Alchemy was one of her weakest subjects.

She was impressed by how brave Ruslan was. Her little brother did not seem scared of Galina Viktorovna and did not seem afraid to share his thoughts either. Zhenya admired his guts and wished she was at least half as confident as Ruslan was. However, as it was she was crouching down on her chair, hoping that Galina Viktorovna took no notice of her.

As other students made their way up to the front to figure out what the potion smelled like for them, Zhenya followed, trying not to stand out as someone who did not follow the instructions. She smiled as she took a sniff, realising that the potion smelled like broom wax, grass and green apples. “I didn't expect that,” she muttered to herself and then added a little louder so that those interested in it would hear it. “For me it smells quite dominantly like broom wax and then faintly of grass and green apples. I was quite sure about the broom wax but I couldn't have predicted the other scents.” Blushing slightly, the girl sat down at her desk again, hoping that she didn't need to contribute more to the lesson.

Offline Zoya Chernova

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #8 on: September 07, 2020, 06:43:00 PM »
Zoya waited for her best friend to finish at the cauldron before leading them back to the table they were sitting at. It was nice to have someone she could always sit with during class, to never worry about it. Zoya bumped into Stasya's shoulders as they sat down and listened to her whisper.

"I don't know, mine makes me sleepy," She mused, but then again, everything made Zoya sleepy these days. Maybe it was a growing up kind of thing, she had been outgrowing her shoes faster than she could learn the magic to enlarge them. Buying new shoes every other month just wasn't an option on her budget.

"So, what did you smell up there?" She whispered back, leaning toward the other girl while pretending to take notes in her bound book of parchment. Zoya half-listened to what was happening at the front of the class and half paid attention to Stasya, waiting for her response. While she wasn't keen on getting detention, especially this early in the term, she also was no stranger to having side conversations during a lesson.

Offline Galina Krylova

Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #9 on: September 12, 2020, 03:57:47 PM »
Galina Viktorovna was delighted to see a polite first year from her house who naturally didn't have a lot to contribute to the class yet but seemed to be polite and eager to participate anyway. She offered the young Shishkin a smile, hoping that he'd prove to be more intelligent than his eldest sister.

Unfortunately there were a number of students that Galina Viktorovna was not particularly fond of, too. Conrad Sturm was one of these students that could be so much better in class if he actually bothered to try. Truth be told, the Alchemy professor would have put in some more effort to motivate him, had he been in her house. As it was she usually tried to ignore that he had more potential than he showed.

Zoya Ivanovna was, as usual, tired and looked as though she had just woken up. It was a mystery to Galina Viktorovna how this girl could always be tired in their morning classes. She offered an unamused smile as the girl stated that the potion smelled like her bed and asked if that was normal. “For you it might be,” the older witch said, “maybe you should come back to take in the scent when you're properly awake and check if it changed. Either way, I hope I won't hear you yawning in my class again.” She didn't want to reprimand the girl too much, given that she was in her own house, however, Galina Viktorovna clearly hoped for more discipline and respect.

She was surprised that Zviad Gogoladze out of all students decided to name the potion and even add some additional information. “That's correct,” she acknowledged. Galina Viktorovna had almost voted for throwing the boy out of school in the previous year and was glad that he seemed to be taking this second chance seriously. Unfortunately the boy did not leave it at the correct answer and said which scents he liked. Clearly he was provoking her and Galina Viktorovna decided not to react to it.

The excitable first year shared what the potion smelled like for him and Galina Viktorovna offered Ruslan a smile that even got a bit wider as he asked if they'd have to drink the potion. “No, you should not drink the potion. In fact, I've protected it – no need to even try and snatch a sample – it's not possible to actually reach for it.”

As usual Stanislava Ivanovna did not speak up. Galina Viktorovna knew that the girl was clever, she had the written assignments to prove it, but unfortunately the teenage girl chose to only chat with her best friend in class. Galina Viktorovna cleared her throat to show that she was aware that Stanislava and Zoya were talking, but, given that both were Klyk Vampira students, she left it at that.

Yevgeniya Yegorovna contributed what the potion smelled like to her and said that she hadn't expected two of the three scents. Knowing the girl for quite a few years now, Galina Viktorovna felt that this was the most lengthy comment the Drakonya Krov had made in her class in a long time. The sixth year really was not a model student and usually failed to contribute anything sensible.

“Some of you knew pretty well what to expect from the Amortentia potion,” Galina Viktorovna said now, continuing the lesson. “Others have been surprised. This was a little test to figure out what you really like. We'll try to create perfumes today. Some of the scents you mentioned will not work as a perfume but maybe you can find something that comes close. Amortentia smells differently to everyone but the effect on the different people is the same. A perfume based on your favourite scents will have an effect on you too. It'll make you feel comfortable and relaxed.” She paused briefly.

“What do you know about perfumes? Can anyone tell me how many notes there are and how they work?”

[OOC: how to make perfume]


Offline Zinaida Shishkina

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Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #10 on: September 12, 2020, 07:20:02 PM »
Classes were sometimes a pleasant break from training when things weren’t going her way, but as Zinaida came into the Alchemy classroom, greeting Galina Viktorovna with a timid smile, she would have much rather been training on the Quidditch pitch and working on the advice Aglaya Antonovna had given at the Junior European Championships. It was difficult not to think of all the rumours that had been flying around about her distant cousin, role-model and idol and Zina hoped that the class would distract her. She couldn’t afford not to pay attention, for she needed to keep up her grades and ensure they didn’t drop.

Zina glanced between her younger brother and elder sister, trying to figure out which one to spend the class closest to. Eventually, she shuffled next to Rusya with a small smile down at him just in time before the professor began addressing them. The junior artistic flyer listened carefully to the instructions they were given, trying to think of what she liked best. Shy to start the conversation, Zinaida waited until the majority of the other students contributed before she considered speaking up. Zina, ever the proud big sister, beamed with delight as Rusya bravely spoke up, though she had to try and contain her laughter as he mentioned hamburgers.

Zinaida nodded along as some of the other students contributed, and was about to speak up herself when she noticed her brother move from her peripheral vision and go towards the cauldron to smell the amortentia potion. Zina couldn’t help but feel rather hurt by how excitedly he mentioned Zhenya winning the championships. She knew that she shouldn’t take it personally, but it still made her feel second-rate, and the junior artistic flyer bit her lip as she tucked a strand of hair behind her ear and gaze down at the ground. All motivation to say anything had now completely gone.

Until Zhenya spoke, Zina didn’t dare look up from the floor. Zina smiled at her sister as Zhenya turned back, feeling that now she had to contribute properly if her elder sister had. Nimbly, she got up from her seat and speedily moved towards the cauldron. “I like vanilla… and that new-book smell and coffee.” Zina quietly spoke up, before leaning in to sniff the potion. A frown formed on her face as none of the smells she’d just said she liked appeared, other than a faint hint of vanilla. “Oh…” She gasped softly, turning to look up at Galina Viktorovna. “I can barely smell vanilla, and I don’t smell the coffee or books like I thought.” She took another sniff in an attempt to identify the scent. “I think I smell fresh cotton and… snow?” Her voice rose up an octave, wondering if snow even really had an identifiable smell.

Her cheeks grew a little red, and she quickly returned to her brother’s side as the professor began addressing everyone’s comments. She gasped in delight as Galina Viktorovna said that they’d be creating perfumes. That sounded like so much fun! She had a feeling that snow or cotton probably couldn’t be used as a perfume scent, but vanilla definitely could! As she asked about how perfumes worked, Zina hesitated for a second before slowly raising her hand. She didn’t have much experience with perfume beyond wearing a spritz of it for competition and special events, but she knew the basics.

“I think there are three notes? The top, middle and base?” She offered, not completely confident in her answer. “I don’t know how they really work though, but vanilla is a base note, isn’t it?”

Offline Ruslan Shishkin

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Re: [September 03] The favourite scent (all years)
« Reply #11 on: September 12, 2020, 09:49:04 PM »
The girls that he was sure were in his house were whispering, her was sure of it. He could hear voices somewhere behind him and he badly wanted to look round and find out what they were saying, but he restrained himself, like when he was bored during the floor exercises section of training and wanted to just watch what everyone else was doing. Besides, the professor had smiled at him, so she must be pleased! His trainers only smiled when he did something really good. Ruslan decided that he rather liked this class, and Galina Viktorovna.

He felt happy and relieved now, happy because his new favourite professor had spoken directly to him and relieved because nobody was going to have to taste the potion. He didn't want to try it himself, but he was also glad that his sisters wouldn't have to drink it.

So this had been a test? Had he passed the test? Ruslan wasn't sure, but he didn't want to ask just then. He glanced across at Zina who was apprently still trying to figure out what snow smelled like and decided he'd ask her later. As for the next set of questions, he really didn't have a clue. Notes were something in music, not things you used to make perfumes with. He raised his hand again.

"Do we have to sing to the perfume ingredients? You know, because Zina said there are different notes in there, so is that some sort of spell to make them all work together? Is that what makes the perfumes smell different over time? I mean, when my mother puts on her favourite perfume it starts off smelling like flowers, but then later on it smells like ginger..." Ruslan had unwittingly found a vague explanation for how perfumes worked, but one could hardly say that he knew what he was talking about.

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