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  1. #1

    Default cologne-related job!

    Ever since my first spray of cologne (my dad's bottle of Baldessarini -- I stole two sprays when I was got out of the shower, realized I was out of cotton swabs to clean my ears, so I went into my parents' bathroom and I noticed this exquisite bottle sitting on the counter. I opened it, sniffed it, and took one spray on my neck, one on my chest. I couldn't help but notice how unbelievably sweet, yet solid and woodsy it smelled, and I even got the sex-appeal looks from women.

    So fast-forward to now, where I'm sitting in my chair, the Hugh Parsons cologne fading gently as its lifetime on my skin is diminishing... and I'm thinking, I know more about the world of colognes than everybody who works for Macy's, JC Penny's, and even cologne-specialty stores. I waltzed into a specialty store called Parfumerie, and was looking to try Dreamer by Versace (amazingly dreamy scent) and I ended up helping a customer find the cologne she had smelled on a man, just by the description.

    Now, I'm thinking I should get a job at one of these stores and help people, test colognes every day, and expand my knowledge on the world of fragrances. However; therein lies a quandary; I'm an avid basenoter (mostly a lurker -- I go to other fragrance-related boards and read alot there too), so I'm stuck with a problem. I live in the United States, and so the fragrances around me are your typical CK, Polo, Armani, and other common, mainstream scents; but I've found myself more into the Boucheron's and Givenchy's of the lot. I've literally sampled *every* fragrance in six different stores, but I only own eight of the ones that I absolutely loved, so I'm not completely unaware of the ones that people buy, it's just that I know more about the ones that aren't as common.

    So, what do you recommend, fellow basenoters? I'm 18 years old, I go to university as a full-time student, but I'd also like to expand my knowledge on a hobby of mine, but I need your help... I currently am a salesman, so customer communication is absolutely NOT a problem, I just would like some advice as to what I should become stronger at; be it the ability to relate colognes, know their notes, or anything else that could help me excel in this job. I'd appreciate any advice at all! Thanks guys.

  2. #2

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    What a humble and intelligent post. Your thoughtfulness indicates to me that you should be aiming for more than a sales job in a conventional store. What are you studying at university? Could it combine with your interest in fragrances in some way?

    As I understand it, most of the sales people at stores are representing a particular brand or group of brands owned by a common parent company, but others can help you more with this.

    Good luck!
    "Don’t try to be original. Be simple. Be good technically, and if there is something in you, it will come out. ” - Henri Matisse.

    "Wear R de Capucci" - Hirch Duckfinder

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  3. #3

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Leifer I can honestly say you seem to already possess all you need in order to break into this industry and work with fragrances! And that is your passion!

    I am a graphic/web designer, but worked for almost 8 years with fragrances purely and simply because I loved the product! I had no need for a second job, other than my need to discover and enjoy all that which fine fragrances have to offer. It was nice being able to work in my profession, and then work with scents which seemed the polar opposite of what I was doing at the time.

    Someone with your drive and desire to explore the industry further will inevitably become one of those S.A's that people seek out for their knowledge and passion!

    Strangely enough I wouldn't write off working for a house that presents "mainstream" scents in their portfolio. This is often a great place to begin whilst learning the ropes. A keen nose, and a love of all things scent-related should put you in good stead with a career you will enjoy enormously. As mentioned by Hirch above, there are many houses in the industry. Whilst most retail outlets (Macy's etc) dont support niche brands, you can take a look at submitting applications to LMVH, Beauty Prestige International, Coty, Unilever, and so on. There is a very comprehensive list of parent companies right here on Basenotes:
    http://www.basenotes.net/directory/parents/
    You can find local distributors on many of the websites, or alternately, make enquiries instore.

    Good luck!

  4. #4

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Thanks for the friendly compliments and advice, I'll look into the parent companies and see if I can find something that suits my needs. There isn't much around where I live (Seattle, WA) besides the retail and department stores, but there are a few smaller, more specialized stores that carry the hard-to-find scents. I was going to attempt to start there and get comfortable in that type of store, then move up and become more specialized in the world of colognes. As I have no experience in this environment, I don't think it could hurt to start in a general field and work my way up!

  5. #5
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    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Leifer View Post
    Thanks for the friendly compliments and advice, I'll look into the parent companies and see if I can find something that suits my needs. There isn't much around where I live (Seattle, WA) besides the retail and department stores, but there are a few smaller, more specialized stores that carry the hard-to-find scents. I was going to attempt to start there and get comfortable in that type of store, then move up and become more specialized in the world of colognes. As I have no experience in this environment, I don't think it could hurt to start in a general field and work my way up!
    Why don't you approach a small specialized perfume shop and offer to help them out in the store - if they say they aren't interested in hiring now say that you'll work for products. A store with a nice inventory yet short on cash might take you up on this offer. They'll get someone to help them do the 'dirty work' like restocking shelves, inventory, etc. plus you'll get to work around something you love and then you'll be able to get scents that you love as compensation for your hard work.

    Whatever you decide, good luck.

  6. #6

    Post Re: cologne-related job!

    Check http://www.fragrance.org/

    Try to get the certificate, it would look good on your CV!

  7. #7

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    If you live in Seattle, I believe there is a Fredric Malle/Editions de Parfum store there. That's top of the line!
    Good luck!
    "Faites des bętises, mais faites les avec enthousiasme !" Colette

  8. #8

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Leifer,
    Great things you say in your post. Take all that stuff and form it into a letter that begins:

    "Dear sir or madam,

    My name is Leifer and I've enjoyed being in your shop very much. I'd really like to work here, in fact. I say that because I love fragrances, I know a lot about them, and I know many things about the ones you sell (not everything of course)."

    Start the next paragraph "For more information about me and my interest in your shop, here's why I approach you." Then put the paragraph that starts "Ever..." right there.

    Rework the post so that it works as a letter along these lines, print it, sign it, and go back to the stores and give copies of it to the managers. No one does anything like this, and it is going to make everyone's day when they read it.

    Try that.
    Very best of luck,
    --Chris
    That girl, that bottle, that mattress and me.

  9. #9

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Quote Originally Posted by Schachman View Post
    If you live in Seattle, I believe there is a Fredric Malle/Editions de Parfum store there. That's top of the line!
    Good luck!
    Yes there is... it's in the Barneys New York store there, right across the street from the flagship Nordstrom. It also carries a lot of other niche brands. And Neiman Marcus is going to open a store in downtown Bellevue in mid-2008 (which makes this their third time in the Seattle area). Even though I'm not a fan of Neiman's myself, working there could be paradise for a niche fan like you.

    I also agree on checking out the vendor rep positions available. Since you live in the Seattle area, go to your local Macy's or Nordstrom and ask the people in Human Resources if any of the fragrance companies themselves have openings. I know that Coty is growing like crazy right now, as are P&G Prestige & Commercial and Beaute Prestige International (Shiseido's fragrance arm) to a lesser extent. But other companies (Estee Lauder, Chanel, Clarins, L'Oreal, YSL Beaute, etc.) could also have openings. Check out what's available and go from there, keeping your tastes in mind. And don't be afraid to go from store to store... it will maximize your opportunities.

    So there's plenty of opportunities, both current and forthcoming, in the Seattle area.
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  10. #10

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Thanks again, guys, I appreciate it! I went and talked to the owner of a very nice place called Perfumerie, and we discussed fragrances. I overheard one of my friends go up and ask him "I think he's really into colognes, maybe he's got a future with the industry!" and the owner said "He'd be hired here on the spot, I've never heard such an exquisite list of fine colognes. Nine out of ten people have not heard of the brands that he can talk about so well"

    So, I guess I can start there. It's in the middle of a very busy mall, so not only can I talk fragrances, but I can meet some people while I'm at it!!

  11. #11

    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    I just joined Basenotes a few minutes ago, literally, while seeking quality information about my favorite and somewhat mysterious cologne, Hugh Parsons (Blue). Your impressive, informative critique of this fragrance contained a balanced mix of subjectivity and objectivity. You could easily sell cologne, but the way you analyze fragrance stems from your heartfelt passion and one day you may give the New York Times' Mr. Chandler Burr (http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix....icle&ID=898247) some competition.

    I think you would enjoy a Chemistry/English or Chemistry/Philosophy dual major, or at least a Chemistry minor. Whatever, make sure that you follow your gifted and talented heart. Please keep writing your reviews, too, and good luck!

  12. #12
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    Default Re: cologne-related job!

    Quote Originally Posted by ChandlerBurrFan View Post
    I just joined Basenotes a few minutes ago, literally, while seeking quality information about my favorite and somewhat mysterious cologne...
    Not to hijack this thread...but your screen name is hilarious. The Burr would be proud.

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