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It is quite difficult to become a perfumer: first, certain natural talents are required to enter the perfume world. In addition to completing specialist studies in perfumery, you must have a solid understanding of chemistry.
To become a fully-fledged perfumer, you should expect to study and train for ten years.
What Is a Perfumer?
Perfumers are professionally trained artists who make fragrances for a wide range of products. Perfumers study long hours and for many years to achieve the delicate balance needed to create just the right scents.
If you want to be a perfumer, one of the first things you should think about is how much education you’ll need.
A professional degree in chemistry is required for working in aroma, perfume, and cosmetic formulation. You’ll learn about the natural ingredients used in perfumes, as well as the safety and toxicology of these ingredients.
In some cases, you must apply to major in chemistry after completing specific prerequisites.
This is usually submitted during your sophomore year of college and may include writing a statement explaining why you want to declare a chemistry major as well as a review of your grades up to that point.
Some colleges will offer advanced classes that will teach you about the science behind cosmetics and scents. Take these classes if they are available.
Specialized knowledge of the field you want to work in will make you a more appealing employee to perfume and cosmetic companies.
Throughout your education and immediately following graduation, you need to apply for a range of jobs in your selected field, including entry-level positions and unpaid internships.
This kind of position will provide you with practical experience in the perfume industry. Your knowledge of chemistry will make you an excellent candidate for these positions.
Working for a perfume company will most likely provide you with opportunities to advance your career toward becoming a perfumer. At work, ask for and apply for promotions. Inform your bosses about your desire to work as a perfumer.
Do everything you can to demonstrate that you are a great employee who is talented at creating scents.
Post-secondary programs and highly specialized training are available at perfumery schools. The courses are led by renowned specialists and perfumers who share their extensive knowledge with a small group of students.
Candidates for these programs must submit a written application to these schools. They have programs lasting up to six years, which will help you make an impact when compared to the other applicants during this stage of applying for jobs.
Some courses combine study and work placements, allowing you to finish your studies while gaining work experience.
Perfumery schools have strong ties to the industry’s major players, which can be especially useful when looking for a work placement or internship.
The training process to become a perfumer is mentally demanding, rigorous, and time-consuming. A trainee perfumer’s first task is to memorize hundreds of natural and synthetic materials based on their specific category and odor.
Once this olfactory memory has been mastered, the ability to create both simple and complex fragrance accords is required. New fragrances are created by combining, blending, and balancing these raw materials in memorable and unique ways.
Infinite possibilities can be expressed, much like a musician working with notes and chords.
There are lots of important factors that come into play with perfumery training, but the most important is the master of utilizing these unique fragrances into various consumer products.
The product line is diverse and extensive. It includes everything from alcohol perfumery for perfumes and colognes to different base perfumeries for lotions, shampoos, liquid soap, soap bars, laundry products, and candles.
A master perfumer should be able to master all media; however, there are lots of perfumers who have a distinct specialization in the profession today.
Modern-day perfumers typically aspire to a specific genre through their proficiency in various segments. Today’s main focus areas are personal care, fine fragrance, and household perfumery.
What Is It Like to Be a Perfumer?
A perfumer usually starts a project with a brief from their employer or a customer, which is usually a fashion house or another large corporation.
This will include the outlines for the wanted scent and will describe what it has to smell like or how it should make people feel it should evoke in often abstract or poetic terms, as well as a maximum price per liter of the perfume oil concentrate.
This, along with the perfume’s intended application, will determine which aromatic ingredients are used in the composition.
The perfumer will then proceed to blend multiple mixtures in an attempt to encapsulate the desired feelings specified in the brief.
Following the presentation of the perfume combinations to the customers, the perfumer is in the position to either win or lose the brief defending on the feedback from the clients.
They then work with the customer, often with the guidance of a panel or artistic director, who guides and edits the changes to the perfume’s composition.
This process typically takes numerous months to years, and may include cultural and public surveys to tailor a perfume to a specific market.
The composition will then be used to either improve another item as a fragrance, such as shampoos, detergents, make-up, car interiors, and so on, or it will be marketed straight to the public as a fine fragrance.
On the other hand, the perfumer may just be inspired to produce a scent and end up producing something that is later marketable or wins a brief. This is more common in boutique or independent perfumeries.
Being a perfumer is something that you will have to really think about as a career. It immerses you in a world of original, and timeless scents – but takes a lot of work to get there.
It’s also an opportunity to let your imagination and creativity run wild as you create fragrances that could become global successes.
However, it is also an opportunity for recent graduates to work with some of the most famous perfumers and be inspired to create their own style.