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  1. #1

    Join Date
    Aug 2005
    Grasse, France

    Default The source of a real "nose": Grasse?

    I was at the Fragonard website and I read the following below:

    the profession and art of being a "Nose"

    A little known but essential profession, the "Nose", or perfumer, invents perfumes. His craft has little to do with science. He works surrounded by raw materials using a set of precision scales, and by experimental dosages, trial and error he gradually succeeds in creating a good perfume.

    He is both artist and technician and his nose is of more use than any modern instrument. A "Nose" can remember and recognize up to 3000 different smells. Seated at his perfume organ (a miniature laboratory), the perfumer mixes his formulae and smells them on small dipsticks of paper soaked in perfume.

    He works at compositions for months, sometimes years, until he finds a definitive accord. His aim is to create a harmony of fragrances as one creates a color harmony or a melody in music.

    There are approximately one thousand perfumers in the world but less than fifty of them are "Noses", that is, perfumers whose creativity and originality are such that they are able to launch real trends.

    Every factory uses the services of one, two or three perfumers. Grasse is the main school and every "Nose" in existence is either a native of Grasse or has worked in Grasse perfume making.

    What do you guys think about these statistics? I believe that there are two tiers of perfumers, divvyed up in that manner: perfumer and nose. During my fragrance school interview recently, the perfumer who interviewed me asked me what my goals are: do I want to be a nose or a perfumer? She explained to me that those two jobs are very different, and well to reach that nose level takes a lifetime. (I responded, "un nez" - a nose). At the same time, at what point do you get the title "nose"? And is it really necessary?

    Back to the statistic, but how do you define "real trends"? I especially don't think that the last sentence is 100% true (though most of the renowned perfumers have had some kind of affiliation with Grasse during their lifetime). I believe Andy Tauer and Mike Storer are good independent perfumers, and they got a nice trend going but have never had associations with Grasse nor even France (is that true?).
    Last edited by scentophile; 17th December 2007 at 08:10 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: The source of a real "nose": Grasse?

    I think like Food - a traditional knowledge and training is required and then you go your own way and be free

    A simple thought but probably true

    Invisible Power

  3. #3

    Default Re: The source of a real "nose": Grasse?

    I second what Laurent said, and my suggestion would be to take Fragonard's writeup with a pinch of salt. Their website is a biased source; their company is one of few that still operate from Grasse, and they proudly flaunt it this way. Grasse is an important place to what they call a "nose" (many prefer the term "parfumeur-créateur" nowadays), but so are other places. Perfumers travel a lot, and always learn new things on site.

    As a perfumer you don't have an institutionalized title, so whatever they call you on the job is useless in terms of labor rights or legal recognition in general. Perfumery is still an open profession, and you don't become a "nose" or "parfumeur-créateur" by passing an extra exam or through a post-grad. Theoretically, anyone working in the field can call themselves that way, but it's one's professional accomplishments that really matter.

  4. #4

    Default Re: The source of a real "nose": Grasse?

    I have the "nose", the wonderful sharp ability to smell evertyhing,but i have such a big lack of resources!
    Some of them have a lot, other have not posibilities to develop your inner creativity into something real!
    Last edited by madridbatabidd; 18th December 2007 at 09:22 AM.
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